From the desk of: Sam C. Chan

Drop-Box Service

June 30, 2007

Since 2003, we've been providing Bravo Drop-Box Service to our patrons, building your own for you at standard consulting rate. It is now formally a flat-fee service, which represents a significant costs reduction to you.

What Is It?

  • your patrons can submit large files through your web site (browse & click Upload)
  • the content of "drop-box" is accessible to you only, and invisible to the public


  • eliminate factors beyond your control (and reduce your stress)
    • less time wasted providing tech support
    • no artificially imposed size limits by multiple third parties
    • not subject to frequent SMTP server congestion and delay
    • avoid risks of false positive in filtering & resultant confiscation
    • sidesteps firewall issues
  • does not clog up your email servers & message archives
  • less impact on your Internet bandwidth
  • more professional image
  • better customer service and satisfaction
  • zero-client-install, zero-learning, zero-coordination (asynchronous process)

Typical scenarios

  • exchanging collaborating materials: photos, audio recordings, videos, etc.
  • accepting engineering/financial reports in the course of your operations
  • clients submitting QuickBooks data for your processing
  • dissemination of large PowerPoint and other multimedia presentations
  • branch offices submitting databases for HQ review & consolidation
  • Hot-Standby Site partners routine cross-site archival storage

Shortcomings of Other Alternatives

  • email: per-piece & daily quotas from ISP, plus other limits along the path
  • IM: requires install, live interaction, plus technical firewall and NAT issues
  • consumer-oriented free upload: ads/spyware, throttling, unprofessional image, closely linked with (and completely subsidized by) piracy & porn.
  • legal issues: control, privacy & regulatory compliance (i.e. inappropriate EULA)
  • need to deal w/ many different programs/sites, plus train your patrons!

Costs:   $90 (1-time fee)

What's Included?

  • server-side software
    • PERL/CGI programming
    • server-side installation
  • addition to your existing web site (required):
    • 2x html pages + 1x redirect page
    • open submission page (no password required)
    • plain utilitarian user interface with no artistic theme
    • your company identification info
    • link to your main web page & contact link
    • customize size and number-of-files limits per your requirements
  • testing
  • informational Materials:
    • public URL for submission + private URL for admin
    • Bravo standard policy & disclaimer (for public) template
    • dropbox management (retrieval, deletion, space monitoring)
    • best practices, tips and list of frequent problems
    • 5-minute basic demo
  • on-going troubleshooting of server-side operations
    • hosting must be on Mach 4 Network (otherwise billable at premium rate)
    • excluding any alteration/upgrade/restore

What's Not Included (handled at extra costs)?

  • hosting space (might require upgrade to your existing plan)
  • custom sub-domain name (optional, you can simply use your own)
  • general web design & development (billable at standard webdev rate)
    • customization to match existing web design theme
    • additional design & features not essential to the actual file transfer
  • client-side installation (billable at standard consulting rate)
    • any FTP program (required) installation
    • instructions on how to use FTP programs
    • on-going client-side troubleshooting and training refresher
  • troubleshooting for, and assistance to your patrons on their systems
  • extra security measures (optional projects)
    • user authentication for submission page
    • encryption strategies & implementation
    • implementing/adjusting file type filters
  • incidences resulting from the nature of accepting files
    • malicious files
    • abuse of your hosting bandwidth and space quotas
    • legal issues: copyrights infringement, inappropriate content



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