In the legacy version of our apps we built our own integration with Dropbox which worked very well. Each app would access Dropbox directly, then download files to import into the app. However, creating our own Dropbox integrations meant that it required maintenance, and could break if we did not update the apps each time Dropbox updated their app.
In the new LIT SUITE versions of the apps we wanted to give our customers more options, and utilize the latest Apple technology. We decided to integrate with the Apple Files app which provides a central location from where you can manage all your data, including third party cloud storage providers. It is through the Files app that you now import files from Dropbox or other cloud storage providers. This means that the LIT SUITE apps are no longer limited to the cloud storage integrations that we build, but our customers can access any other service that also integrates with the Files app, such as iCloud Drive, Box, Dropbox, Citrix Files, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and many more.
New Import Process
The new way of accessing Dropbox and downloading files does have a bit of a learning curve for customers who are used to our legacy apps, so please read below about how the new integration works.
- Open the Apple Files app on your iPad. On the left sidebar it lists all the storage locations that you have available and enabled on your iPad, for example, iCloud Drive or On My iPad. If you know you have a cloud storage app installed on your iPad, but don’t see it listed in the storage location in the sidebar, tap on the ellipsis button at the top of the sidebar and tap on Edit Sidebar. This will allow you to enable, disable, or reorganize your storage locations.
- Note that using the Files app on your iPad is very similar to how you might use Dropbox on your computer. Imagine you want to bring 100 PDF files into a program on your computer. First, you’ll open Dropbox, and download the files so they are available offline on your computer, then you’ll import them into your program. It works in a similar way on the iPad. Open the Dropbox app on your iPad and navigate to the folder where you have stored the documents you wish to import. Tap the “ellipses” symbol beside the folder and select “Make available offline”. This is how you download and make the documents available on the iPad.
- Once the documents are downloaded, open TrialPad (or any of the LIT SUITE apps) and create a new Case File, or open an existing Case File that you want to import your documents into.
- Once inside the Case File, press the “+” button under the document list and choose “Import Documents”. A popover window will appear in the middle of your screen. This is the Apple Files app, but you are looking at it through the TrialPad user interface. You can use the top left back button to navigate to different storage locations on your iPad.
- Using the Dropbox example, navigate to the folder that you selected to “Make available offline” that contains the documents you want to bring into TrialPad. (If you see a cloud icon with a down arrow next to the file name it is not yet available locally and cannot be imported. It may be still downloading from Dropbox as download speed will vary according to the size of the files you are downloading, and your internet connection.) If there are no cloud icons with an arrow next to the files they are available locally and can be imported.
- Use the ellipsis to select the documents you want to import, or tap Select All, then tap on Open.
Don’t forget, you have a lot of options now, so you may prefer the import experience from another provider like Box, OneDrive, or even using a USB to import your files!