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What would you do if you needed to receive files online in a secure and orderly fashion, from a population for which you don't necessarily want to take the time and expense to create separate user accounts, or don't even know?
That's a question that we hear all the time from people trying to solve their information logistics problems across all sorts of industries and use cases. Receiving data, especially from potentially large, anonymous populations, is the first vital step in processing it. Well, it turns out that we have the perfect solution for you.
We call this feature inboxes.
The first thing you need to decide when setting up an inbox is which folder you want your files to arrive in. Let's create a new folder for this purpose. And let's call it survey responses. Maybe we have a survey out there, and we're going to be receiving responses in the form of PDFs or other files from a large population, and we don't know who they are at the point when they upload their data. So now we're in this folder, just like any other folder on your Files.com site, and we're going to open up Folder settings. We can create an inbox and you can see in this list of settings, it's right down here towards the middle. Click on that, and then on add an inbox. [see video] Let's give it a title. And we can describe this inbox for the people who are going to be using it. We also have another field for help text.
We can add some simple instructions there, and we don't want this to appear on our login page for our main site, so we're going to uncheck this. [see interface]
We do want to require registration, and I'll show you what that looks like shortly.
We also would like to separate submissions into sub folders, but do we want to require a password? For now we're going to say no. We're going to get rid of that password field. You can certainly protect an inbox with a password that everyone uploading to it has to use, but in this case, we're not going to do that.
So we've got everything set. It's just for our survey, we've got some simple instructions here, and we're going to require registration. We're also going to separate submissions into sub folders, rather than having them just all go into the same folder. So now we're going to click save.
Now, this folder has an inbox.
So now the question is, how do we get that inbox URL to the people who need it? Well, one simple way is to go back to your Folder settings. See the inbox here; we're going to click on this to view the key. You can copy this link address. You can see I've got Safari open over here. You can send this to people in an email or you can distribute it in any way that you need to. But essentially, all they need is this URL. So now we've got this pasted into Safari; let's take a look and see what we've got. All right. So this is a survey to send files and shows instruction information below.
So for demonstration purposes, I'm going to make up a name. Let's say John Doe, ABC Corp. And let's say firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let's continue.
So you can see this is the text that we entered in when we define the inbox: please drag and drop your files to upload. So this is the drop zone. [see video] Let's go ahead and just take a couple of files at random. We could be uploading one file ore more than one file. The point is your users will drag them to this drop zone, and the interface lets the user know that their files have been uploaded.
Now let's refresh on this side back in Chrome. And now we see John Doe,ABC Corp. And here's the email address. So this folder has been created for this separate submission. And if I open that, here are the files that this person submitted.
Now let's see what happens if I upload another file. Let's say John Doe forgot one and wants to put another one in there. I'm going to drag that one in. There it goes. So now I've got 4, 5, 6 and 7. There it is. So, this maintains a session and will keep files organized based on who has uploaded them.
What if we have another person uploading? This is a separate browser [see video] for a separate session. Let's get that URL again. I'm going to copy the link address again and put it in here, and we're looking at this same inbox again. So let's say this is Steve Doe this time, and XYZ Corp, different person, different company, and email@example.com. So this is a different person. You can see it's very simple to fill in the form. Click Continue. And let's say this person's going to upload the same files, because maybe it's the same survey response. And let's take a look.
Here's a separate person's submission in their own separate folder. So you can see this is a very simple way to manage inbound files and automatically keep everything organized. It's easy for your staff to know who submitted whatever it is you're receiving here.
Okay! That is the story on inboxes, one of the most popular features on the Files.com platform. We hear positive feedback all the time from customers using inboxes in a wide variety of use cases.
If you have any questions, please feel free to Contact Us or give us a call at 1-800-286-8372.
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