Status Update 23.05.2024

Status Update 23.05.2024
Filen Status Update 23.05.2024


Hello and welcome to the new Filen Status update. As always, here is a quick rundown of everything that has been keeping us busy since the last update.

Table of Contents

Filen Integrations (SDK)

Based on the analysis of the last Filen customer survey, we have drawn our internal conclusions, as announced previously. A recurring point of constructive criticism was that users would like more integrations for the Filen Drive. Since we aim for Filen to be not only the safest but also the most functional cloud provider on the market, we initiated this project at the beginning of this year. It is still a work in progress but already publicly available on our GitHub and published on the npm Registry.

 GitHub Link

Users active on GitHub may have already noticed this. This announcement is for everyone else.

But what is an SDK?

An SDK, which stands for Software Development Kit, comprises a set of tools, libraries, documentation, and examples provided by a software provider (us) to help other developers (you) create applications for a platform (Filen), an operating system, a hardware device class, or an API (Application Programming Interface).

The Filen SDK will enable developers to seamlessly integrate Filen's cloud functionality into their applications.

In the spirit of an open-source platform, all necessary development tools are publicly available so that every developer can integrate Filen’s service into their applications in the best possible way. The SDK is created for Node.JS, browsers, and React Native.

Moreover, the SDK is also a step in the right direction for our own development, providing new employees, in particular, with a well-structured and clear basis for future integration work.

SDK Documentation

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  • Filen CLI

    Similar to the Filen SDK, the Filen CLI is still actively being developed. It has also been published but comes with a caution not to use it actively in production yet.

    What is a CLI?

    A CLI, or command line interface, allows people to interact directly with an (operating) system to run programs or manage files. It is text- based and in our case will provide commands to interact with your cloud filesystem.

    Those of you who are not developers might recognize a form of CLI from Windows under the "cmd" command or from various PC video games. Just as you can use the console in a video game to directly influence the game processes, the Filen CLI enables you to directly manage your cloud files.

    Currently, the Filen CLI is useful for developers and IT-experts who want to automate processes or seamlessly integrate Filen into their workflow. Here is a link for anyone interested in exploring this tool further.

    CLI GitHub Link.

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  • Personnel

    After a lengthy search for suitable personnel, we have finally made some initial progress. Over the past few months, we have conducted various trial workdays and short-term internships at the Filen office.

    We are excited to welcome one of the probationary workers starting next month. At his request, the position will initially be part-time. However, we hope to welcome him or others as full-time employees soon. The company's growth depends on new hires, which is why this remains a priority. Although it is currently very time-consuming, it will prove beneficial in the future.

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  • Trust Agenda

    The study/master's thesis, which includes the agenda, has officially concluded, and we have received confirmation that we could now publish it. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication on our part as we assumed we could publish the agenda before the project was fully completed. We apologize for this misunderstanding. We will translate the document, have it signed, and then publish it as soon as possible.

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  • Certification / Audit

    As we begin to target business customers with our Filen Spaces, it is now time to consider the topic of certifications and audits.

    Our previous stance remains; it only makes sense to have finished components/products certified or audited. Otherwise, improving or expanding components would always mean that we would have carried out the expensive audit for nothing or would lose specific certifications.

    Certifications require extensive internal preparation, including extensive updates to information management systems and work processes. Therefore, with assistance from an employee at our “partner university”, or rather the University of Technology's Cybersecurity department, we have begun this preparatory work. We anticipate that these preparations could take up to a year, which is why we have started now to ensure we are ready for official certification once the Filen Spaces development is complete.

    We already have several certifications and audits in mind, but the final selection has not yet been made. We aim to focus on what the business market demands and also provide benefits to you private customers. This is just the beginning of a long journey.

    Here are the certifications we are currently evaluating:
    • ISO/IEC 27001
    • SOC 2 Type 2
    • FIPS 140-2/140-3
    • ISO 15408 Common Criteria (CC) [Information Technology Security Evaluation]
    • C5:2020 (Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue)
    • CSA STAR (Cloud Security Alliance)
    • IT-Grundschutz
    • VdS 10000
    • ISO/IEC 27017

    This list does not confirm that we will pick one, several or even one of these listed certifications specifically. We just want to show you transparently what we are currently considering.

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  • Desktop Client Update

    We are diligently working on the new desktop client update, which will revolutionize the client as you know it. The design of the Filen Desktop Client will align with the Filen Web Drive, both visually and partially functionally, including features like drag & drop data uploading and the much-anticipated virtual drive mounting.

    The client will provide functionalities that would not be feasible in its standard form due to our client-side encryption and other robust security measures. Unlike other providers, who might offer these features in an unencrypted plan or implement them while compromising security, we always prioritize security and privacy.

    The new Filen desktop client will support the WebDAV protocol, enabling experienced users to access most of the necessary WebDAV functions for external cloud storage. Because of Filen's secure client-side encryption, direct access support through WebDAV on the backend is not feasible without significant security risks; hence, the new desktop client will handle WebDAV support. We will provide more details as we approach the release. Unfortunately, we cannot yet specify a release date, as the pace of development varies greatly depending on other priorities and the initial testing feedback. However, the first internal client version with virtual drive mounting and WebDAV support is already operational. The technology exists but must be thoroughly tested and prepared for deployment.

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  • Website

    We understand that the topic of the website is a frequently discussed topic in our status updates. However, this project continues to follow our other ongoing initiatives. We can now provide more concrete information, even though we have not made significant changes yet, aside from addressing immediate issues reported through our support or Reddit.

    However, we plan to revise the website significantly once the Filen Spaces are launched at the latest. After so many changes since the website was last updated, it is necessary to provide the website with all new information and to detail existing information.

    Planned changes (Things can still change):

    • A new homepage that better highlights Filen's unique selling points and features.
    • New landing pages that introduce all features of the Filen Web Drive, including Filen Collaborate (and Spaces), the new desktop client, and the mobile app.
    • A continuous thread that guides new visitors through the website at an appropriate level of detail based on their IT understanding.
    • A newsletter subscription window.
    • A dynamic roadmap that can be quickly updated.
    • A dedicated expert area with all the necessary information for those seeking to learn more about our technology, our Whitepapers, our new SDK, and more.
    • An area for partner and affiliate information.
    • More details about our own servers and their security features.
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  • Survey

    We will soon release new surveys offering various participation opportunities for upcoming projects.

    If you want to help decide what happens with Filen in the near future, participating in these surveys is highly recommended. We are still deciding whether to conduct one overall survey on all topics or to publish separate, more focused surveys that cover specific decision points in greater detail.

    These surveys may include community votes on new website design elements, your personal preferences for upcoming certifications or even a vote for new features. While the surveys will as always only provide us with a guidance, which we will also clarify in each survey to eliminate misunderstandings, we believe involving users and the community in decisions is always beneficial on both ends. You people want a good product that is tailored to your needs, and we want satisfied users.

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  • External Financial Resources

    After making substantial investments in our new, independent in-house servers, it became apparent that even a thriving company has its financial limits. Our close collaborations with local universities have once again brought the topic of funding to the forefront. Last year, we seriously contemplated launching the Filen Spaces project as a large-scale research initiative funded by ministry grants. However, we realized that we were not fully prepared for the organizational demands at that time.

    Now, with a clearer understanding of our goals and the future direction of Filen, we are ready to pursue funding for research projects from German ministries more vigorously. This year, we are committed to applying for these projects, hoping to collaborate with the research institutes of our partner universities.

    Such an initiative would be highly beneficial, particularly for you, our loyal users and customers. Unlike investor funding, these “grants” would ensure that external parties do not influence our operational decisions. The research projects would operate independently of our day-to-day business, allowing you to enjoy the resultant high-quality features, enhancements, and other innovations, without the worry about negative external impact in our future decisions.

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  • Final Words / Conclusion

    Thank you very much for reading this post. We hope you are generally satisfied with the development progress and the current state of our products.

    Of course, we understand that from the outside, it might often seem as if not much is happening internally. That is one of the reasons why we write these updates. However, we continue to work every day to improve and expand Filen.

    As you all know, the topics addressed in this post are only those that we consider relevant to you. The normal operations of our business, of course, constitute a huge part of our ongoing work. This includes bug fixes, support, sales, applications, infrastructure improvements, planning, personnel training, accounting, taxes, and more. Especially since our entire service runs on our own hardware, we are continually planning and implementing server investments and improvements.

    We will continue to keep you up to date on what has been announced and will soon share the planned surveys with you on our regular social media platforms.

    Thank you very much for using Filen and see you next time.

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