Definition

file-sharing applications

Contributor(s): Nathan Lamb

A file-sharing application is a software application that facilitates collaboration and file transfer.

File-sharing applications allow end users to upload files to a shared storage space and designate who may access the files. 

Workplace file sharing applications fall into two major groups: consumer and business grade. Consumer applications (such as Dropbox and Google Drive) are cloud-based and offer basic collaboration tools, such as file synch, storage and sharing. Primarily designed for personal use by consumers, these apps are typically inexpensive (some are free) and feature user-friendly interfaces, but often lack the controls, security and oversight features of business applications. Business file-sharing applications tend to offer more enterprise content management (ECM) features for security and compliance, such as automated workflows, document tracking and content-based access controls.

From a design standpoint, the distinctions between consumer and business file-sharing applications have blurred somewhat in recent years. In some cases, business applications are striving to offer easier interface and better remote access, while consumer providers are developing business-grade offerings with more security, workflow and compliance features.

This was last updated in April 2015

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