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  1. 1. Design & Development Of Web Based Distributed File Sharing Service September 23, 2014 Submitted By Student’s Name Registration Number Atiq Ur Rehman 11ABELT0410 Usman Ali Khan 11ABELT0434 Usama Sheikh 11ABELT0442 Supervisor Name of Supervisor Dr. Syed Mohsin Matloob Bukhari Supervisor’s Designation Assistant Professor DEPARTMENT OF ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING UNIVERSITY OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, PESHAWAR, ABBOTTABAD CAMPUS 1
  2. 2. 1 Introduction: A file hosting service, cloud storage service or online file storage provider is an internet hosting service specifically designed to host user files. It allows users to upload the files which can be accessed by users on various platforms such as computer, ipad, tablet or smart phone through internet. Typically, the services allow HTTP access, and sometimes FTP access. Related services are content-displaying hosting services (i.e. video & image), virtual storage, and remote backup[1]. 1.1 USES: 1.1.1 Personal file storage: Personal file storage services are based at the private individuals offering them a sort of “network storage” for creating the personal backup, file access or file distribution. Users can upload their files privately or publicly.Document-sharing services allows users to share the documents files usually of PDF format, Word Processor and spreadsheets. However nowadays many services are allowing users to share and synchronize all types of files[2]. 1.1.2 File Sync and Sharing Services: These services allow its users to create special folders on each of their computers or mobile or any other devices , which this service then synchronizes so that it appears to be the same folder regardless of which device we are using. Files placed in this folder is easily accessible through website, mobile app and computer and can be easily shared with others. Such services have become popular via consumer products such as Dropbox and Google Drive[3]. 1.1.3 Software File Hosting: Authors of different apps like shareware, freeware and open source/free software often use the file hosting service to serve their software. The Problem that comes with free download is the huge bandwidth cost and to cover this cost, companies or sites owners intentionally delay the starts of downloads and slow down downloading speeds in order to persuade a user to buy a premium or upgrade by purchasing or paid account. 1.1.4 Storage Charges: Space offered by the some online file storage services is based on per-gigabyte sometimes including a band- width cost component as well. These services are usually charged monthly or yearly. Some services require a software to download and run on only those devices that have the installed software. 1.1.5 One-Click Hosting: Sometimes it is referred to as cyberlocker. Generally it describes Web services that allow internet users to easily upload one or more files from their hard drives onto the one click host’s server free of charge[4].Most such Services Simply return a URL which can be given to other people, who can fetch the file later. In many cases these URLs are predictable i.e. there is no Security or privacy and it can be misused. The sites make money through advertising or charging for premium services such as increased downloading capacity, removing any wait restrictions the site may have or prolonging how long uploaded files remain on the site. Premium services include facilities like unlimited downloading, no waiting, maximum download speed etc[5]. 1.1.6 Use for Copyright Infringement: Files hosting services may be used as a source to distribute or share files without consent of the copyright owner. In these cases individual uploads file to the file hosting service which other users can download. 2
  3. 3. 2 Literature Review: In the field of file hosting and sharing, following are the main three competitors and we will use them as our case study. 2.1 DROPBOX: DropBox is a web based file hosting service. It is an American service providing cloud storage, file synchro- nization, personal cloud and client software. DropBox works in a way that it allows create a special folder on the computers of the users who want to share the data. Then synchronizes the folder. Same folder (with the same contents) is appeared on the other side regardless of which computer is used to view it. Files placed in this folder also are accessible through a website and mobile phone applications.Dropbox provides client software for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS and web browsers, as well as unofficial ports such as Symbian and Windows Phone[6]. 2.1.1 HISTORY: Dropbox, was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, as a Y Combinator startup company. A question asked from Drew Houston that what was his inspiration behind the idea. He replied that he needed this type of thing badly. He had to work on different desktops and a laptop, but he had a problem to forget his USB Flash drive. Also he had to drown into the e-mail attachments trying to share files for his previous startup. One day his home desktop literally exploded one day which damaged the hard disk and he had no backup. After trying many things he concluded that he should make something for his personal use and after that he reallized it can also help other people. OPSWAT stands for Omni-Platform Security with Access Technologies, reported in their December 2011 market share report that Dropbox held 14.14% of the worldwide backup client market, based on number of installations. Also shown in the figure 1[7]. Figure 1: dropbox as data backup facility As of October 2011, Dropbox had more than 50 million registered users[8]. On November 12, 2012, Dropbox announced it had reached 100 million users[9]. 3
  4. 4. As of 26 September 2012, Facebook and Dropbox integrated to allow group users to share files to Face- book Groups using Dropbox’s cloud-based storage system. The feature allows users to directly share inside Facebook’s group pages without exiting the Facebook domain. This did not replace the built-in Facebook uploading feature, but added to it for any files that were already uploaded to their Dropbox storage account. 2.1.2 FEATURES: • BUSINESS MODEL: Dropbox uses a freemium business model, the users are offered both a free account and paid account. Free account has a fix storage size and a paid account has more capacity. Whereas all the users are offered an basic initial 2 GB of free online storage space. For free accounts, the total amount of traffic that all links together can generate without getting banned is 20 GB per day. For Pro and Business accounts, the limit is 200 GB per day. • DROPBOX FOR BUSINESS: Dropbox for Business is a paid service targeted for use by organizations, providing administrative controls and auditing to IT departments while allowing users the option to create separate cloud containers for their work and personal documents. Dropbox for Business allows for restrictions on sharing to limit the accidental disclosure of intellectual property outside an organization. The two Dropboxes come with two different passwords. Users are able to organize different types of file in different cloud containers while viewing both Dropboxes side by side. Administrators of the Dropbox for Business account cannot access users’ personal accounts, nor directly access data stored in users’ Business accounts unless the username and password for the account is provided to the account administrator or the account is transferred. • SIMPLE SHARING: Shared folders allow people to work together on the same projects and documents. One can invite friends, family or teammates to a folder. It’ll be as if one saved the folder to their computers. See other people’s changes instantly. Create photo galleries viewable by anyone chose. Send a link to any file or folder in the Dropbox. • DROPBOX MOBILE: Apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry keeps the Dropbox at one’s hand, where internet is available. One can carry his files with him without the need of extra devices. As Laptops and specially the smartphones are always with him. One can edit files in Dropbox from his phone. Easily upload his photos and videos to Dropbox. Can share freely with family and friends. • STUFF SAFETY: Dropbox protects ones files without the need to think about it. It keeps a one-month history of the work. Any changes can be undone, and files can be restored. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption. 2.2 Google Drive: 2.2.1 Introduction: Google drive is file storage and synchronization service provided by Google[10]. It was released on April 24, 2012. Files publicly shared on Google Drive can be searched online using search engines. As of statistics from June 2014, Google Drive had 190 million monthly active users [11]. It is available in 68 languages to make it easy to use for people across the globe. 4
  5. 5. 2.2.2 History: Earlier, Google Docs provided with 1 GB of free storage for every user. Drive was introduced with a free storage of 5 GB for every user when it was launched in April, 2012. To efficiently manage the availble storage so as to provide services to more users in the same capacity, Google announced that it was cutting the existing free storage from all paid users’ accounts, so that a user buying a 100 GB plan will get 100 GB of total storage instead of adding up to the free storage[12]. As many users had accounts on different products of Google enjoying free storage, so it was decided to merge those accounts and efficiently use the storage so in May 13, 2013, the company announced to merge the storage across Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos making 15 GB available to users [13]. The storage plans offered are exclusively charged in US dollars. Current plan rates are in 1: Storage Price 15 GB Free 100 GB US$ 1.99per month 1 TB US$ 9.99per month 10 TB US$ 99.99per month 20 TB US$ 199.99per month 30 TB US$ 299.99per month Table 1: Storage plans These prices are very low compared to the business competitor Dropbox. 2.2.3 Features: • Uploading: User’s can upload files and are provided with 15 GB of free storage. If needed, more storage can be used by buying storage plans payed monthly. • Sharing: Google Drive provides a system of file sharing in which the creator of a file, is by default, its owner. The owner is provided with options to regulate the public visibility of the file or folder. Ownership is transferable and files or folders can be shared privately with particular users having a gmail account. • File Viewing: The files of the following formats can be viewed online[14]. 1. Google Docs 2. Google Sheets 3. Google Slides 4. Google Forms 5. Google Drawings 6. Image files (.JPEG, .PNG, .GIF,) 7. Video files (MPEG4, .3GPP, .MOV, .AVI, .MPEGPS,) 8. Text files (.TXT) 9. Markup/Code (HTML, .PHP, .C, .CPP,) 10. Microsoft Word (.DOC and .DOCX) 11. Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX) 12. Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT and .PPTX) 13. Adobe Portable Document Format (.PDF) 14. Apple Pages (.PAGES) 5
  6. 6. • Synchronization: Synchronization (or syncing) in is the process of ensuring that files in two or more locations are updated via certain rules. In one way syncing, source files are copied and updated to one or more target locations while a two way syncing, files are copied and updated in either direction. • Searching: Advanced tools for searching are provided using file name, file type, owner name and various other filters. Search system can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. • Google Docs: Google docs is a web based office suite integrated with Drive. It allows users to create and edit documents online while collaborating in real-time with other users. Spreadsheets , word processors and presentation programs are part of the Google Docs and are named Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, respectively. These applications are available as web apps, chrome apps and mobile apps for android and iOS. These apps are all compatible with Microsoft Office. • Smart Phone Platforms: Google Drive is available on iOS and Android. The app on Android allows users to take a photo of a document containing text and use Optical Character Recognition to convert to text that can be edited. Most other mobile devices connect through web to view and edit files in Google Drive. • Restore Point: Google Drive provides users with the ability to review the history of desired file and restore an earlier version upto 30 days back. • Hellofax: Integrated with Google Drive makes it incredibly easy to send faxes online. With HelloFax installed, every fax you send with the service is linked directly into Drive. Most people need to send fax on very few occassions so instead of buying a costly fax machine, Hellofax can be easily used. 2.3 ONE DRIVE: 2.3.1 INTRODUCTION : Previously it was known as SkyDrive, Windows live skydrive and windows live folders. It is a file hosting service that allows users to upload and sync files to a cloud storage. Also we can access them from a web browser or their local device. It allows users to keep the files private, share them with contacts or make the files public. Files that are shared publicly do not require a Microsoft account to access. In addition, Microsoft also offers the managed business storage as one-drive for business[15]. 2.3.2 HISTORY: When one-drive was launched it was known as Windows Live Folders at the time and provided as a limited beta available to a few testers in the United States. On August 1, 2007, the service was expanded to a wider audience. Shortly after, on August 9, 2007 the service was renamed Windows Live SkyDrive and made available to testers in the United Kingdom and India.As of 22 May 2008 SkyDrive was available to 62 countries and regions.On December 2, 2008, the capacity of an individual SkyDrive account was upgraded from 5 GB to 25 GB, and Microsoft added a separate entry point called Windows Live Photos which allowed users to access their photos and videos stored on SkyDrive. This entry point allowed users to add ”People tags” to their photos, download photos into Windows Photo Gallery or as a ZIP file, as well as viewing camera information for the photos uploaded. Microsoft also added the ability to have full-screen slide shows for photos using Silverlight. 6
  7. 7. On june 20, 2011, Microsoft stars the user interface built using HTML5 technologies for skydrive.The updated featured caching, hardware acceleration, HTML5 video, quick views, cleaner arrangement of photos and infinite scrolling. It also doubled the file size limit from 50 MB to 100 MB per file. Due to this update Microsoft produces the different entry points for SkyDrive, such as Windows live Photos and Windows Live office, into one single interface. Shared files and folders of users, including those in Windows Live Groups are also accessible in the new interface.On November 29, 2011, Microsoft updated SkyDrive to make sharing and file management easier, as well as HTML5 and other updates. This update also allowed users to see how much storage they had (and how much they had used), a feature that had been removed in the previous update as part of the redesign[16]. On December 3, 2011, Microsoft released a SkyDrive for iOS app, and a SkyDrive for Windows Phone app, which are available in the App Store and Windows Phone Marketplace respectively. On April 22, 2012, Microsoft released a SkyDrive desktop app for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and OS X users which allows them to synchronize files on SkyDrive, much like Windows Live Mesh, as well as allowing users to ”fetch” files on their computer via the web browser. In addition, SkyDrive also provided additional storage available for purchase, and reduced the free storage space for new users to 7 GB (from 25 GB). Existing users were offered a free upgrade offer to retain their 25 GB of free storage. The updated SkyDrive also allows files up to 2 GB in size (uploaded via the SkyDrive desktop app).The update also brought additional features such as Open Document Format (ODF) capability, URL shortening services, and direct sharing of files to Twitter[17]. Microsoft became involved in a lawsuit with British television broadcaster BSkyB for having the word ”Sky” within its name, resulting in a High Court ruling in June 2013 that the service’s brand breached BSkyB’s trademark.On July 31, 2013 in a joint press release between BSkyB and Microsoft it was announced that a settlement had been reached and as a result the SkyDrive name would be dropped. BSkyB allowed Microsoft to continue using the brand ”for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand”.On January 27, 2014, Microsoft announced that ”SkyDrive” and ”SkyDrive Pro” (an unrelated service affected by the court ruling) would become, respectively, ”OneDrive” and ”OneDrive for Business”[18]. 2.3.3 FEATURES: • STORAGE QUOTA: OneDrive offers 15 GB free storage for new users and one can purchase additional storage. Initially, this service provide only 7 GB of storage and an additional 3 GB free storage for student for one year. This service is built using HTML5 technologies. Files upto 300 MB can be uploaded via drag and drop into the web browser or upto 10 GB via OneDrive desktop application for Microsoft Windows and OS X.From September 23, 2013 onwards, in addition to 7 GB of free storage (or 25 GB for users eligible for the free upgrade), power users who required more storage could choose one of the four premium storage plans.Upon the re-launch as OneDrive, monthly payment plans, along with the ability to earn up to 5 GB of free storage for referring new users to OneDrive (500 MB each), and 3 GB if users enable automatic uploads of photos using the OneDrive mobile apps on smartphones, were introduced[19]. In June 2014, it was announced that OneDrive’s default storage would increase to 15 GB—putting it in line with the amount of storage offered by its competitor Google Drive. The amount of additional storage for Office 365 subscribers also increased to 1 TB. Microsoft also lowered the price of OneDrive storage subscriptions at that time. • RECYCLE BIN: In OneDrive if users delete any file accidentally or by will , the service allow the user to undo the action and restore the deleted file from the recycle bin back to the original folder. Recycle bin Data is not consider as user’s used storage limit. All items store by the service in recycle bin are available for minimum 3 days and maximum 60 days. If the content in a user’s recycle bin exceeds 10% of the user’s storage limit (e.g. 0.7GB for a user with a total of 7GB OneDrive storage limit), OneDrive will delete the oldest content from the recycle bin (provided that the files have been in the recycle bin for at least 3 days)[20]. 7
  8. 8. • DOWNLOAD AS ZIP FILE: Entire folders can be downloaded as a single .zip file with OneDrive. For a single download, there is a limit of 4GB or 65,000 files (whichever comes first). • PHOTOS AND VIDEOS: OneDrive can use geo-location data for photos uploaded onto the service, and will automatically display a map of the tagged location. OneDrive also allows users to tag people on the photos uploaded onto the service via the web interface or via Windows Photo Gallery. Photos uploaded onto OneDrive can be played as an automatic slideshow. • APPLICATIONS: Microsoft launched different applications for its clients i.e Android, iOS, Windows 8, Windows Phone. These applications allows users to browse, view and organise files stored on their OneDrive cloud Storage. In addition, Microsoft also released desktop applications for Microsoft Windows (Vista and later) and OS X (Lion and later) that allow users to synchronize their entire OneDrive storage with their computers for offline access, and synchronization of files and folders between multiple computers. The OneDrive desktop client for Windows allows users to ”fetch” the contents of their PCs via the web browser, provided the user enabled this option; OS X users can fetch from a PC, but not vice versa. The Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8 versions also allow camera photos to automatically be uploaded to OneDrive. In addition to the mentioned client apps, OneDrive integrates Windows 8.1 and later, Microsoft Office 2010 and later, as well as the Office and Photos hub in Windows Phone, enabling users to access documents, access photos and videos stored on their OneDrive. Windows 8.1 can sync user settings and files, through either the included SkyDrive app (whose name was later changed to OneDrive with an update).Along with the use of reparse points, these changes allow files to be accessed directly from OneDrive as if they are stored locally. The OneDrive app was also updated to include a local file manager. Unlike Windows 8, OneDrive use on 8.1 requires the user’s Windows account be linked to a Microsoft account; the previous OneDrive desktop client (which did not have this requirement) no longer works on 8.1. Additionally, the Fetch feature does not work on Windows 8.1 [21]. Table 2: Comparison Table of File Hosting Services Onedrive Dropbox Google Drive Amazon Cloud Drive Free Storage Size 15 GB 2 GB 15 GB 5 GB Max. Paid Storage 1 TB 18 GB 10 TB 1000 GB Max.File size 10 GB 10 GB 5 TB 2 GB Direct access Yes Yes Yes No File expiration None None None None Mobile App Android, iOS Android, iOS Android, iOS Android Windows Phone Blackberry 3 Problem statement: Our project will be designing a website which will host files of the users having accounts on the website. Primary objective is to enable users to upload files of any type as long as they don’t exceed space provided to them. As users use different platforms, so our objective is to provide the users with access from Windows and Linux. For smart-phone users, we will design and develop an dedicated application to provide easy access and usage. To enable users to access their files from other platforms, we will implement file synchronization feature so that a user’s files are up to date on all the platforms that the user is using to access files. File privacy is an important feature in our project which will enable the user to keep their personal files private while share the public files they want with other users. 8
  9. 9. 4 Aims & Objectives: • Design and development of a website capable of uploading files. • Design and development of file sharing feature. • Design and development of synchronization of files for various platforms. • Design and development of windows desktop application. • Design and development of android application. 5 Research Methodology : Main steps in this project are web development, application design and database. So following software are suitable: 5.1 PHP: PHP is widely used now a days for web development. PHP is a recursive acronym stands for PHP hypertext pre-processor. It is a web developing language. Where this project have a touch of website, where the data will be uploaded automatically, we will be using PHP to develop a website. 5.2 MySQL: In the website and application the user IDs and passwords will be provided to users. which need a good database system. Suitable software for developing a data base will be MySQL. 5.3 JAVA: JAVA is most widely used in Android application design. It is an high level Object Oriented Language. We will design a windows desktop as well as an Android application using JAVA. 6 Work Schedule Plan: Sample of work schedule is given in Table 3 Table 3: Work plan Activity Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. April May June Literature Review √ √ Study of Existing Software √ √ PHP Web Design √ √ √ DataBase (My SQL) √ √ Windows desktop App √ √ Android App Design √ √ Presentation √ √ 9
  10. 10. References [1] A. Mahanti, N. Carlsson, and C. Williamson, “Content sharing dynamics in the global file hosting land- scape,” in Modeling, Analysis Simulation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems (MASCOTS), 2012 IEEE 20th International Symposium on, pp. 219–228, Aug 2012. [2] “Personal file storage,” in www.vis.ethz.ch/de/visionen/pdfs/2012/visionen-2012- 3.pdf?end=15&start=11. [3] “File sync & sharing,” in http://www.technologyreview.com/news/516951/how-dropbox-could-rule-a- multi-platform-world/. [4] “One click hosting,” in http://torrentfreak.com/cyberlockers-take-over-file-sharing-lead-from-bittorrent- sites-110111/. [5] “One click hosting,” in http://www.usenix.org/event/leet11/tech/full-papers/Nikiforakis.pdf. [6] H. Wang, R. Shea, F. Wang, and J. Liu, “On the impact of virtualization on dropbox-like cloud file stor- age/synchronization services,” in Quality of Service (IWQoS), 2012 IEEE 20th International Workshop on, pp. 1–9, June 2012. [7] “Market share reports,” in www.opswat.com/sites/default/files/OPSWAT-market-share-report- december-2011.pdf. [8] “A detailed history of dropbox,” in www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2011/10/18/dropbox-the- inside-story-of-techs-hottest-startup/. [9] “Millions of users of dropbox,” in www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/11/13/dropbox-hits-100- million-users-says-drew-houston/. [10] “Google drive introduction,” in http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes- really.html. [11] “Google drive intoduction,” in www.bgr.in/news/google-drive-has-over-190-million-30-day-active- users/. [12] “Google drive history,” in googleblog.blogspot.in/2012/09/more-spring-cleaning.html. [13] “Google drive history,” in googledrive.blogspot.in/2013/05/bringing-it-all-together-15-gb-now.html. [14] “Google drive file viewing,” in support.google.com/drive/answer/2423485?rd=1. [15] “Onedrive introduction,” in http://blog.onedrive.com/one-place-for-all-your-work-files-introducing- onedrive-for-business/. [16] Y. YuJu, W. Jing, and L. Zongying, “A study of the curriculum setup of web-page designing in multi- media major,” in Communication Software and Networks (ICCSN), 2011 IEEE 3rd International Con- ference on, pp. 254–255, May 2011. [17] “Onedrive,” in http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive. [18] “A brief history,” in http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/19/5422770/microsoft-onedrive-launch-bonus- storage-new-android-app. [19] “Onedrive quota,” in https://blog.onedrive.com/skydrives-new-200-gb-plan-enough-storage-for-a-photo- every-hour-from-birth-to-graduation/. [20] “Onedrive recycle bin,” in http://windowsteamblog.com/skydrive/b/skydrive/archive/2012/09/18/new- skydrive-recycle-bin-available-today-and-excel-surveys-coming-soon.aspx. [21] “Onedrive application for update,” in http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/onenote-windows-81-updated- onedrive. 10

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