Our Blog

Fluxin' in and geeking out

New Preview Pop-Over

Fluxiom’s quick and easy previews are the best way to drill into large file collections. Today, we are introducing a dramatically simpler and faster way to peek into your photos, videos, and PDFs: gone are the old-school pop-up windows, replaced instead by lightweight in-app overlays.

These overlays offer all the rich functionality you rightly expect from Fluxiom’s desktop-class interface:

  1. Press the Space bar to open the preview.
  2. Navigate from one file to the next by using your Arrow keys, without closing the previews.
  3. Access key file information — such as the name and size of each document — above the previews.
  4. Press the space bar to quickly return to your Assets View. Check out all available keyboard-shortcuts.

Quick-action buttons enable you to download each file as you view it, or to transfer it to a pop-up window, so as to compare as many assets as you wish on the screen. (The latter functionality emulates the old previews.)

We no longer enlarge small images when displaying them. Conversely, large files are now carefully downsized and presented in full Retina quality. This ensures that previews always look their best and should greatly facilitate delicate design work.

From a technical standpoint, the new previews use as much native browser functionality as possible, thereby maximizing performance and battery life. (Can you say iPad Pro?) In particular, the video player now uses HTML5 by default (using Flash only as a fallback) and PDF documents are natively embedded.

The new previews are available right now across Fluxiom, including on Stages. We know how central previews are to your workflows and hope you will enjoy this lighter and better-performing version. As always, we eagerly look forward to reading your feedback!

Key points

  • Previews are now lighter and faster
  • Videos and PDFs now display natively
  • You can still pop out assets in separate windows to compare them


Full steam ahead in 2016

Brand-new Macs about to join their many siblings in the data centre. Think integration day, for computers.

Some people ring in the new year with party streamers and silly string. For 2016, we chose nylon ties and CAT6 cables, as the holidays marked the beginning of the largest technology upgrade cycle in the history of Fluxiom. As our clients’ businesses grow in numerous and exciting ways, so does ours. With ever more files on Fluxiom, ever more images on Maiko, and ever more client sites to run, we felt the time had come to step up our game in a big way.

All-new platform

Our commitment to privacy and security runs deep. Our brand-new platform continues to be designed, operated, and maintained in-house using the latest Apple hardware for optimal reliability and efficiency. We never outsource client data to opaque clouds, and take full responsibility for its safekeeping.

Each layer of our stack will now run on multiple dedicated machines, without wasting a drop of power on virtualisation. Hot spares and bespoke deployment recipes will empower us to face the unpredictable, from hardware failures to overnight sensations, by bringing up additional equipment at any time, in a matter of minutes.

These new, turbo-charged servers will run the latest major Ruby and Rails versions. Over the next six months, we will progressively upgrade every app we maintain to the very latest iteration of these fast-moving technologies, enabling us to squeeze every drop of power and reliability from the new hardware.

The new platform is already up and running and undergoing the final tests. We will be moving client services transparently to the new setup over the coming few weeks, as the old platform progressively winds down.

End of support for older browsers

On 12 January 2016, Microsoft stopped supporting older versions of Internet Explorer. While we are not yet ready to take such drastic steps, we will stop supporting IE 7–9 on 1 March 2016.

Older versions of Explorer are not only fundamentally insecure, they also lack support for the modern web technologies we need to introduce new features and interfaces. Supporting these older and marginal browsers means withholding improvements from everybody, which we feel is not an acceptable trade-off.

While we won’t lock out anybody by design, we will stop testing new releases against these browsers. For their own security and peace of mind, we encourage all our customers to upgrade to supported versions of Explorer or cross-grade to browsers like Chrome and Firefox today. Our support team is ready to assist you in this effort.

We remain committed to supporting every platform we can, so long as it does not endanger stability or security. Therefore, we shall continue to support the last two versions of Safari, Chrome, and Firefox on all platforms, as well as Internet Explorer 10 and 11 on Windows.

Summary

  • Fluxiom is upgrading all its software and hardware
  • The upgrade will be fully transparent to end-users
  • Exciting new features will launch in the second half of 2016
  • Support for Internet Explorer 7–9 will end on 1 March


Up they go, there you go

The Uploader is Fluxiom’s unsung hero, enabling you to import assets into your accounts from the comfort of a native OS X application. It is also the perfect starting point for automated workflows using AppleScript, and similar technologies.

We are psyched to introduce an update to the Uploader, bringing in a fresh new look and a vibrant new icon. This new version also includes full copy-and-paste support to facilitate uploading large groups of files, in addition to the usual drag-and-drop facilities.

This release has been optimized for OS X v. 10.9 Mavericks and later, including the current OS X v. 10.10 Yosemite — and the upcoming OS X v. 10.11 El Capitan. To facilitate large-scale deployments, as well as system restores, it is distributed exclusively on the Mac App Store. It is also fully sandboxed and TLS-enabled, so as to guarantee optimal levels of security.

See the web uploader interface and the Fluxiom Uploader in action

We are already hard at work on further refinements to the application, including new and faster ways to upload data and switch between all your logged-in accounts. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing your feedback.

Key Points

  • The Fluxiom Uploader has been updated
  • It is now brighter and more secure
  • You can download it from the Mac App Store


Helping you find new files

The Assets View is the core of your Fluxiom account. It refreshes in real time, displaying files as they come in.

Freshly uploaded files now bear a green badge right in front of their filename

Today, to make it even easier to locate the latest additions to your data, we have started badging the newest files with a small green indicator. It is applied to all new files, whether uploaded by you or somebody else, and it disappears as soon as you reload the view manually.

If you are actively working in your Assets View, we will highlight the Reload button instead

As always, we won’t interfere with your Assets View if you are in the middle of something important. New assets don’t show up if you have actively selected files or are performing a search, meaning there would be nothing for us to badge. In this instance, we will continue to highlight the Reload button to let you know that new data has arrived, just as before.

Key Points

  • Freshly uploaded files now bear a green badge
  • If you are actively working in your Assets View, we will highlight the Reload button instead


A zippier user manager

Knowing whom you share your data with, and how, is central to the Fluxiom experience. Today, we are happy to announce deep improvements to our user management interface, all carefully designed to enable faster and more secure sharing.

Creating users is now a one-step process. This is by far the deepest change: instead of creating an account and then setting up its privileges, you can do both in a single stroke. This simpler process alleviates any confusion as to what privileges a freshly created user may have on the system.

To add a user to your account, start by clicking the “New User” button in the bottom toolbar, just as before. The creation form now features a new “Permissions” section, and they take effect the minute you click “Create.” (Which will also send an email to the user, and walk them through activating their account, in one fell swoop.)

It is now simpler to rescind access rights. You could always do this, of course, by removing a user’s “login rights” from their profile, but we felt the process was needlessly convoluted. Each User Card on the Users tab now features a “Revoke access” button.

Clicking this button will prevent the user from logging into Fluxiom, but will retain their account information, so that you can easily restore their access and settings. Doing so is as simple as locating their Card in the Deactivated Users list and clicking on “Reactivate.”

We now display all users by default, whether they are active or inactive. This simpler design should immediately lift any doubts as to who has (and can have) access to your account. User profiles are simply split into two groups, based on their status.

You can now search for either names or email addresses. Search is smart, too, so that partial matches return the results you expect. For example, you can quickly surface every user from a particular company based on email domains.

We now support Gravatars in addition to custom profile pictures. This means fewer generic avatars and a more visual experience all around. Existing Gravatars are displayed by default until users upload an avatar of their own. Gravatars respect your privacy and update automatically.

We hope these improvements to the Users tab help you keep track of your data and those who can access it. They are but the visible tip of a freshly redesigned iceberg and part of our ongoing improvement programme. As always, our support team is ready to answer any question you may have about these new features.

Key Points

  • The Users tab and user creation form have been streamlined
  • There is a new button to disable user accounts
  • User names and emails can now be searched
  • Fluxiom now displays Gravatars


A faster, fresher Fluxiom

They say God is in the details. Simplicity certainly is, and we just introduced two changes to the Fluxiom interface that should make it much easier to search and manage your Assets without missing a single beat.

Faster Reset

We have long provided a Reset button to clear selected tags, empty the Search field, and generally return to an “all-items” view of your data. It is still here, but it has been moved and redesigned so that its behaviour is evident: look for it at all times to the left of the Search field.

No matter what you may be doing or which mode you may be in, a click on this button will return your Assets view to its defaults, showing all your data with the most recent items on top. “Boom!” — as someone would have said.

Instant Refresh

Your Assets view will now refresh in real time, as apps or colleagues upload new files to your account. You no longer need to refresh anything manually to see the latest data.

Of course, it would make no sense to move files around when you need your Assets view to remain stable — for example when editing metadata or performing a search. Therefore, if you have selected items or have opened a panel, we will put up a small red badge on the Refresh button instead to let you know that new files are awaiting you:

Bringing real-time updates to Fluxiom without sacrificing performance (or security) meant re-engineering some core components. Expect further enhancements over time and more real-time features now that the necessary groundwork has been completed.

In the meantime, we hope these two tweaks empower you to manage your files with greater ease. As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback!



Stronger crypto, better security

TLS is the magic crypto-dust that keeps your data safe while it travels over the Internet. It is the technology that your bank uses to secure transactions over the wire. It is, also, the technology that we use at Fluxiom to protect your files and account data from prying eyes.

TLS has made great strides recently, and we wanted to give you the best it now has to offer. Today, we are proud to introduce a significant update that boosts security across the board, without sacrificing an ounce of performance — because we know both are essential to you.

As a consequence of this upgrade, all plans now offer and enforce TLS access, including the free tier. If you use the Fluxiom web application, or the official Fluxiom clients, no action is required to enjoy this extra level of protection.

Security-minded users will be glad to note that the industry-standard Qualys server test now awards Fluxiom the much-coveted A+ rating. We will, of course, keep reviewing this configuration to stay ahead of potential threats, and encourage you to keep your browser up-to-date.

We thank you for your continued trust in Fluxiom and welcome — as always — your comments and feedback on the service.

PS: If you use a custom application to access Fluxiom, please note that our API endpoints will start enforcing TLS on 13 July 2015. Your developer may want to take a quick look at the documentation before then.



Sort it out — on Fluxiom

The Assets view is the heart of Fluxiom, and almost everything you do on the platform starts there. Because there are many ways to filter your files, including Search and Tags, the view itself has always remained as neutral as possible, listing your files by modified date, showing the most recent first.

This default configuration makes it easy to locate your latest uploads, and act upon them quickly. However, it is not without limitations, and we have long wanted to provide more ways to survey your files globally. Today, this dream has become a feature!

Introducing Sorting

The new sorting options can be accessed through a simple pop-up menu, located to the right of the Search field. Simply click, and select amongst the sorting options: title, creation date, modification date, and file size. You can also opt to sort the files in ascending or descending order, depending on your needs.

The files shown in your Assets view, whether as thumbnails or list items, will immediately shift into position. Active Tag filters, if any, will remain engaged, so that you can combine sorting and filtering at will.

A click on the Reset button — located in the Tag bar, as always — is all it takes to restore your Assets view to its familiar defaults. Sorting is available to all Fluxiom users right now, including on Stages.

Small interface, big feature

This seemingly small change to the Assets view packs a big punch when combined with our drag-and-drop interface. As a prelude to “rubber-banding” your files to select them, Sorting enables you to act upon your assets with unmatched speed. This will be especially useful to users who are migrating from a traditional filesystem, where it is not uncommon for file names — arranged alphabetically — to carry strong significance.

Let us know

We believe this refinement to the interface will translate into big time savings for our busiest users. We are just getting started, and would love to hear how Sorting influences your workflows — as well as any extra sorting options you wish were available. The team is already hard at work on the next round of improvements but will — as always — keep a keen eye out for your feedback!

Key Points

  • You can now sort your Assets view
  • Use the pop-up menu next to the Search field
  • Click Reset in the Tag bar to cancel


Simpler sharing has landed

Email is — and remains — a pillar of modern collaboration. This is why Fluxiom has always made it easy to mail assets to the recipients of your choice. Today, we are introducing important refinements to this classic feature.

Focus on links

Only 0.8% of Fluxiom users have ever shared their files inline. Given the many arbitrary limitations placed on attachments, and the vagaries of corporate SPAM filters, this is hardly surprising. Therefore, we are retiring this particular option, in favour of linking securely to your files. Attachment-free emails are smaller, and travel much faster: a win for both parties.

Clearer options

Fluxiom is all set to email links on your behalf, complete with custom comments. However, if you prefer to send the message from your own email client, you can opt to open a filled-in draft in your local application of choice. This allows you to edit, send, and archive your message as you would any other. Because there are now two options, we now display two buttons: one green, for Fluxiom, one grey, for local email. Gone are the long radio buttons — they shan’t be missed.

The new sharing panel

To access the freshly redesigned sharing pane, simply select your assets, and click on the blue Share icon in the bottom toolbar.

The team remains hard at work to ensure optimum delivery times for all your emails, in both the front- and back-ends. We hope this cleaner, simpler interface helps you shave precious seconds off your workflow, and look forward — as always — to reading your feedback.



Introducing improved invoicing settings

We are proud to announce two small improvements to Fluxiom’s invoicing settings.

1) Invoices can now be sent to a dedicated email address.

It used to be that the Fluxiom Account Holder necessarily received all invoices. From now on, you can enter a separate email address for invoices only. This enables you to send all invoices directly to your accountant, while you focus on managing the application and running your team.

2) The address field is now flexible.

The small and rigid address fields have been replaced by a free-form text area. This allows you to enter more complex addresses, including building names and suite numbers. You can also use this field to enter any information you need to appear on the invoice, such as project identifiers or company registration numbers.

Both new features are entirely optional, and existing account holders need not change anything unless they expressly want to. Should you want to avail yourself of the new options, simply log into Fluxiom, and click on the “Account” tab.

We look forward to hearing your feedback while we work on further refinements to the interface. Let us know how the new invoicing features fit your workflow, and how we can improve further.