Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I'm working on a file sharing product, for the niche use case of sharing documents between family and professional providers (lawyers, accountants, etc).

Documents are mostly emailed to recipients at the moment (unless they're too large, in which case... um....). The main problem we see is that you end up storing documents in email attachments on your email provider, and using email search tools to try and find documents.

Would this end up the same, only with all documents ending up in the Downloads folder?

Am I wasting my time working on creating a cloud storage sharing solution, and be better working on a method of organising files on the drive, that can also send them to other people?






Why have a file transfer for imp docs when you can have a single authoritative source of truth for those docs, along with version history and who changed what.

So why not just use Google Drive (or dropbox)?

I feel with features like secure file sharing (though only with other ppl with google accounts), reasonably good security[1] and Inactive Account Manager[2] it should work for legal docs. Especially considering Google is going to be around for a while.

I would rather use a Mozilla offering but they don't really have too many things for regular consumers outside of firefox and send.

[1]: https://myaccount.google.com/security [2]: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3036546?hl=en


There are file sharing use cases not covered by Google Drive or Dropbox. Briefly:

Google reads (and censors, not that that would be an issue) anything added to Drive (and uses that data to target ads at you). And Docs is primarily aimed at collaboration rather than secure file sharing. And revoking permissions isn't easy. And it's all tied up in to Google identities, which may or may not be a recipient's personal Google ID rather than their professional ID - everyone has a separate work email, not everyone has a separate work Google ID.

Dropbox is designed to synchronise a folder between two devices. You can use it to share documents, but that's not what it was designed to do. And if someone deletes it off the shared folder, it gets deleted for everyone... not ideal in this use case. It also creates a dropbox folder on the user's hard drive, and will automatically upload anything in that folder, and copy that to everyone else sharing that folder... it's democratic when this use case needs to be authoritarian.

Does that make sense?


Generate a temporary link that, when clicked sends an event to your system to deprecate the link and redirect the user to a presigned S3 download. In my case the file attachment was the product and it was important the system know when someone had downloaded, but a backend system that keeps temporary urls and requests a temporary download link from the file provider is a useful pattern. Nice thing about signed links is your server doesn't have to handle the file - it's between the client and storage provider.

yeah, I've implemented that temporary link system together with link expiry by date, by access count, and link passwords.

I'm encrypting the file on arrival, and storing it encrypted, so it has to route back through the decryption stream. But I could move that to a separate module and replace it with signed S3 if there was benefit.




Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: