IntroductionLive SDK

In a move to compete with DropBox, Google Drive…etc. Microsoft revamped SkyDrive this week incorporating most of Mesh‘s features. If you signed up for SkyDrive before April 22nd, and have uploaded at least one file, be sure to apply for the free upgrade to 25 GB.

I wrote a couple of articles on the use of the DropBox REST API. Microsoft’s revamp made me curious to see if I could do the same with the SkyDrive API.

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Bitly API: Authentication

April 21, 2012

Introduction

I was playing around this morning with the Bitly API. Like the Dropbox API they use OAuth for authentication. But instead of version 1.0 they use the OAuth 2 draft specification.

Wondering how much it differs from the previous version I created a Bitly account and started coding…

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IntroductionDropBox Logo

With this entry into the Dropbox series we come back to the beginning of the cycle. We started with authentication and that’s where we’ll end.

Having a user authorize your application to access his or hers Dropbox account consists out of 3 steps. Using OAuth you must:

  1. Retrieve a request token
  2. Have the user authorize your application
  3. Retrieve an access token

Before retrieving an access token you must wait until the user has authorized your application. There’s no way to determine when this has happened. Up until now we just waited a little while and hoped for the best. However, when you instruct the user to authorize your application, you can also specify a callback URL which will automatically be called when the authorization process has been completed.

Let’s create a sample web application that demonstrates this.

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IntroductionDropBox Logo

I’ve been using Dropbox for about 6 months now. Before that I relied on Google Documents to share my files between the computers I use. Of course I had to login first and then I had to download them. Kind of a drag, certainly with big files.

With Dropbox that’s a thing of the past. Just install the client software and it will synchronize all of your files automatically. They are neatly downloaded into a local Dropbox folder on each of your computers. And only the parts of the file that actually changed are transferred, greatly reducing the download time.

Another neat feature is that other applications can use your Dropbox folder to store their data. For instance, I use a password manager (AgileBit’s 1Password) to securely save my login accounts. If I create a new account for a site on my laptop, then when I start my desktop it will automatically be known there once Dropbox has synched 1Password’s files (which is nearly instantanously).

This is made possible thanks to the Dropbox REST API. Let’s find out how we can use it…

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