Select App Type

Select App Type

Upon creating a new Box application in the Developer Console, you must select one of the following types of applications. The type of application you select is dependent on the use case for your project and will only impact the available authentication methods when configuring your application.

App Type Selection

Custom Apps

Authentication methodsOAuth 2.0 or JWT Authentication
FeaturesWebhooks, App Gallery, and Web App Integrations

Custom Apps encompass most use cases and is the most flexible option. This application type allows for interaction with our 150+ endpoints. For example, downloading/uploading, searching, applying metadata and much more.

A custom application typically presents Box functionality to a user within a custom interface. Box offers pre-built user interface components known as UI Elements for functionality like browsing, search, viewing and more that can be customized, or you can build your own.

When to use a Custom App

A Custom App is best used when the application:

  • Wants to use OAuth 2.0 or JWT authentication
  • Wants to upload and download files
  • Wants the freedom to access both their own files, as well as files owned by other users, even external users.
  • Wants the option to list the application in the Box App Gallery
  • Wants to provide integration into the Box Web App

Learn more about Custom Apps

Use Cases

Example use cases for Custom Apps include:

  • A file vault in an application that allows an end user to access files that have been shared with them, while also providing access for employees to the same files through the Box Web app.

    An example of this would be a financial advisor sharing statements and investment prospectuses with investors that can be viewed and commented on within a custom-built application.

  • A file upload feature in an application that allows an end user to submit and upload files from within a custom-built application to Box that then initiates a business process with the Box Web app.

    An example of this would be a candidate submitting a PDF of a resume to a recruiting portal then can then be routed to an appropriate employee for review.

Limited Access App

Authentication methodsApp Token
FeaturesLimited API access

A Limited Access App is best for leveraging Box View or previewing Box content within another application. This type of application can only interact with a limited number of endpoints.

Custom Skills

Authentication methodsAccess Tokens in Skills events
FeaturesLimited API access

A Custom Skill, or Box Skill is a type of application that performs custom processing for files uploaded to Box. Skills are designed to make it possible to use third-party Machine Learning services to automatically extract information from files uploaded to Box.

Box Skills need to be enabled on a folder by a Box Admin. After this an event is sent to the Skill's application server every time a file is uploaded to the folder. This application can then download the file, inspect it or hand it off to a machine learning service, and write powerful metadata to the file.

Working with Box Skills simplified by providing pre-authorized API credentials with every Skill Event. For this reason though, Box Skills allow for limited API access, mainly to read the file and write Metadata to the file.

When to use Custom Skills

A Custom Skill is best used when the application:

  • Wants to only add metadata to files uploaded to Box
  • Does not want to upload new files or perform any other API calls
  • Wants to have a way to pass files to Machine Learning services without having to handle authentication

Learn more about Custom Skills

Use Cases

Example use cases for Custom Skills include:

  • A process that automatically extracts license plate details from images and writes the details back to the file as keywords
  • A process that automatically detects faces in videos, and writes the timestamps at which these faces occur back to the file as a timeline
  • A process that extracts audio from a video file and writes a transcript of the