Our Blog

Fluxin' in and geeking out

How we reacted to the Heartbleed Bug to protect our customers

As widely reported, an exploit known as OpenSSL HeartBleed CVE was discovered on April 7th. An attacker who exploits the heartbleed vulnerability would have access to the contents of server memory, which means private information could be extracted.

Although it was just found, the bug has been around for more than two years, which means a lot of sites that we all use every day may have been affected. About two-thirds of Web servers rely on OpenSSL.

The Fluxiom application servers were not affected by the Internet security threat Heartbleed.

Only our servers responsible for the initial signup were potential targets so we’ve immediately patched the servers and re-keyed and installed new SSL certificates. This closed the vulnerability of the signup servers.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email security@fluxiom.com. For more information on the Heartbleed vulnerability please visit: http://heartbleed.com/

New feature: self-serve, consolidated logins in Stages

Fluxiom has been designed to help large teams share large files with large groups of people, and our secure Stages are central to this mission. Many of you have created dozens of Stages, and handed out hundreds of accounts to trusted clients and partners.

Today, we are delighted to introduce three key upgrades to the Stages login system. They have been designed with scaling in mind, and will greatly facilitate account management, for both administrators and end-users.

1. Logged-in users can now switch from one Stage to the next

Each Stage previously came with its own login page, and set of credentials. This means users could be required to authenticate multiple times on multiple pages, to view all the files they had been granted access to, across all their Stages. They will now be able to log in from a central location, and access all the Stages you have shared with them, through an in-app drop-down menu.

Users can access all the Stages you have shared with them, through a drop-down menu at the top left of the screen.

2. Stage logins are now assigned per user

Users were previously handed one password per Stage, even if the Stages they had been granted access to were published by the same Fluxiom account, and were shared with the same email address. From now on, they will be given an opportunity to set up one single password of their own, which will work on all the Stages they have been invited to join. Once logged in, they will be able to switch between Stages, without needing to re-authenticate.

3. Stage users can now reset and change their password

Stage passwords, known in Fluxiom parlance as Magic Phrases, were previously fixed, and randomly generated by the application. Resetting them required that the administrator took manual action. Stage users will now be able to follow the standard Fluxiom password reset process, should they ever forget theirs. They will also be able to change their automatically generated password to the string of their choice.

The transition

We know such transitions can cause confusion, and become a burden for account administrators. But they needn’t be a problem! In fact, this one will be nearly transparent, as Fluxiom will walk your users through the process of upgrading their account, all by themselves. Here is what to expect…

Users who have only been invited to a single Stage will be transparently redirected to the new unified login page, where their existing credentials will continue to work. They will be able to update these credentials, but will not be required to do so. If they do not want anything to change, then nothing will, at least on the surface.

Users who have been invited to multiple Stages will also be transparently redirected to the new unified login page. Upon entering their email, and any one of their existing passwords, they will be sent an email containing a link to create a new password of their own. From then on, this new password will unlock all the Stages they have access to. This will happen the next time they log into Fluxiom, and no unexpected emails will be sent until then. The entire upgrade process will be as easy and painless as resetting a password on a regular web application.

Together with the recent addition of a Tag Bar in Stages, these dramatic improvements to the authentication system will greatly streamline the workflow of teams who rely on Stages to communicate with external partners. In addition to the convenience and security boost it provides, this user management overhaul paves the way for an even simpler, smoother Fluxiom — but that is a story for another day.

New feature: Tags in Stages

Tags are a key ingredient in the Fluxiom formula. Tagging files makes it easy to drill right down to the documents you are looking for, no matter how large your account, and how advanced your criteria. And we all know how convenient Stages are, when it comes to sharing your files securely with clients and partners.

Yet, until today, Stages did not reflect the various tags you had assigned to the documents they contained. While it was not a big issue for smaller Stages, it could occasionally make files more difficult to find than they could — and should — have been.

Today, we are happy to announce that this limitation is no more. All the tags that have been assigned to the documents you put in a Stage will be displayed in a Stage-wide Tag Bar. This bar behaves just like the Tag Bar that already appears in your Fluxiom account. It will also feel instantly familiar to anybody who has ever used labels to manage their email, or tags on OS X.

The Tag Bar is now available in Stages

This new feature does not change the way Stages work. There is no new interface to learn, and nothing to update in your existing Stages.

Do note that because the tags you selected to create the Stage in the first place are assigned to all the documents your users have access to, they will not appear in the Tag Bar. If there are no other tags in the Stage, the bar will simply display Fluxiom’s helpful built-in tags, such as « Images », « Today », etc.

1.700 Stages on Fluxiom currently host nearly 1.000.000 documents, and we think this small but significant update will tremendously boost their usability. As the system keeps growing, we will keep looking for ways to make retrieving and sharing your data even easier.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome on Stages. We look forward to hearing what you would like to see next in Fluxiom, and will have one more thing to share in the coming days.

Upload files automatically to Fluxiom

Uploading photos to your Fluxiom account in real time could dramatically cut down on the energy and time you spend collecting feedback from your clients.

By giving them access to a shared folder, and letting them watch the shoot as it unfolds, you are guaranteed to capture their attention like never before. It’s also a great opportunity to tighten the feedback loop, avoiding costly misunderstandings, and the frustrating re-shoots that go with them. And, finally, it provides you with a real time backup, just in case the studio’s sprinkler system decides it’s time for a wet hard drive contest.

All you need to achieve fully automated, fully transparent uploads is a small Apple Script to glue together the Finder on your Mac, and the free Fluxiom Uploader you already use.

By using OS X’s Watch Folders, you can turn any directory on your machine, including your camera’s destination folder, into a magic Fluxiom-enabled zone. Because Fluxiom accepts RAW files, and outputs them transparently as clean, web-compatible JPEGs, there is no need to run photos through a cumbersome batch converter before showing them to your client.

Two-minute setup instructions can be found on our support pages.

Obviously, you will need a fast upstream connection for the process to happen transparently, and you will need sufficient space in your Fluxiom account to accommodate the files. Otherwise, there is no limit on the number of files you can upload in this manner: as far as your account is concerned, this is a perfectly regular upload operation.

We hope this tip will save you time and frustration during a very busy time for all creative professionals. As always, our support engineers. welcome your comments on this feature, and would be delighted to assist you in setting things up.

Two small improvements to notifications

In the spirit of continuous, steady improvement, we are happy to announce two tweaks to how Fluxiom notifies you of important events. These will not fundamentally change how you interact with the application but should, hopefully, further lubricate your workflow at critical junctures.

Stage invitations are now sent to the host

Whenever you invite someone to join a Stage, Fluxiom emails that person with instructions and credentials to log onto the application.

Once in a blue moon, this email got stuck in SPAM filters, causing a small but unnecessary amount of confusion.

To side-step the problem, you will now receive a copy of the credentials that are sent to your guest. This effectively enables you to transmit these credentials easily from your own email address (which the guest already trusts) or through whatever alternate means you see fit.

Unconfirmed files now appear in the Inbox

Whenever a third-party uploads files to your Fluxiom Inbox, they are sent an email asking them to confirm their upload.

It could happen, however, that senders forgot to confirm their files, resulting in delays and frustration while Fluxiom waited for their green light.

To alleviate the issue, the application will now display the files in your Inbox tab, and allow you to confirm them directly, without waiting for the sender to do so. As before, unconfirmed files will be automatically deleted after 24 hours, to prevent clogging.

Flux' from your iPad more efficiently than ever

iPad users, rejoice! We are thrilled to announce that the Fluxiom Uploader works nicely on iOS 6.

On the uploader page, tap the +Add Files button to bring up a native pop-over with direct access to your albums and camera roll. From there, you can select as many images or videos as you want and upload them straight to Fluxiom in a single go.

Once uploaded, you can use your files as you normally would with Fluxiom: share them, add them to Stages, etc. The full Fluxiom web application works beautifully on the iPad.

We cannot wait to hear about the great things you share on the go with Fluxiom on iOS 6. Drop us a line and let us know!

Improvements to the data export feature

Fluxiom never locks you in: our data export feature enables you to download the last version of all your stored assets at the click of a button. Whatever you sent us we send you back, in a ZIP archive. There are no proprietary formats and no sneaky exceptions.

Now that Fluxiom allows you to store tremendous amounts of data in the cloud, these archives sometimes grow extremely large. Once in a while, they get so large that browsers and routers can choke on them mid-way, forcing you to re-start the complete lengthy download a few times, until it goes through.

Obviously, this goes against our « easy out » policy. This is why today we have pushed an updated, improved export feature. There is only one change: instead of sending you one potentially huge ZIP archive, we break your data down into chunks of 5 GB (about one DVD) or 1000 files. Each chunk gets its own archive, which you can download separately from the rest.

There are no other changes, and the export feature is still as complete, as fast and as freely available as it has always been. We hope this tweak makes your life simpler, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

Improved email delivery for all users

Fluxiom is a wonderful way to avoid email overload, especially when collaborating with others. Email is still part of the experience, though, when it makes the most sense: we mail links and updates to your contacts on your behalf to make sure they see them, and we sometimes need to get rapidly in touch with you about invoices, service updates and account configuration changes.

You might have noticed that, once in a blue moon, Fluxiom emails can get caught in SPAM filters. As SPAM levels rise on the Internet, email administrators require increasingly complex authentication measures: the burden is on us to prove we are good guys.

To that effect, we have now switched to a vastly improved email delivery system, that turns all the authentication knobs to eleven. Rest assured no action is required on your part.

Our emails should now reach you faster, and even fewer will be erroneously marked as SPAM. Going forward, our administrators will also be able to collect global filtering data, and will tweak content or formatting to further improve delivery.

As always, please let us know if you, or anybody you share files with, experience any issues with Fluxiom emails. We are committed to continuously improving and streamlining your experience with the application, and that extends to every single message we send.

Fluxiom becomes more iPad friendly

With the latest update we made Fluxiom more Finger friendly. Many customers use the iPad on a daily basis so we wanted to improve the experience. Share large files like videos or images on the go or download a PDF right to iBooks, no problem!

Improvements
  • Smooth scrolling: Thanks to iOS5 we improved the asset view and made browsing files fast and super-smooth. Give it a try!
  • Toggle select: If you’re on a PC/Mac we’re sure you love the rubberband select and all the desktop like features Fluxiom offers to select files. For the iPad we added a toggle select so you can select multiple individual files. Tap a file to select it, just tab again to deselect.

Two tips to launch Fluxiom even quicker on your iPad

1. Add Fluxiom to your Home Screen

For quick access add Fluxiom to your Home Screen. Open Fluxiom in Safari and tap the Go To icon next to the URL. Tap Add to Home Screen.

2. Setup “Remember me”

When signing in to Fluxiom, you are given the option to check Remember me on this computer, so the next time you open Fluxiom on this device, you are not required to sign in again. As long as you don’t explicitly sign out, Fluxiom will remember you.

We hope you find the new updates helpful. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Fluxiom remembers you (again)

We have rolled out an update that fixes an issue with the Remember Me functionality.

The old “Remember me” function was not working properly and caused troubles for some of you, and we really regret that. So we put some time aside to not just quickly fix this issue but overhaul the whole process.

When signing in to Fluxiom, you are given the option to click Remember me on this computer, so the next time you open your browser and visit Fluxiom, you are not required to sign in again. As long as you don’t explicitly sign out, Fluxiom will remember your browser.

Fluxiom can also keep you logged in on different machines at the same time. Logging out on one machine will not log you out on any other computer or mobile device where you previously logged in with “Remember me” checked.

The “Remember me” functionality is a great option for your personal computers or your mobile devices. However if you are using a publicly-accessible computer we recommend to not use the “Rembember me” functionality or at least make sure that you click “Sign out” before you leave the computer.

We also added additional security updates and included SSL encryption for the Login page for all accounts. While full SSL encryption is included in all Pro-and-higher plans we have added SSL secure encryption for the Login page for all Fluxiom accounts, including the Free accounts.

We hope this improvements make it more convenient for you to access Fluxiom from your different devices be it your laptop, iPad or your office machine.

Happy fluxin’
The Fluxiom Team

PS: We also made a bunch of other changes, we will cover in a separate post…