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Does anyone have experience hosting attachments outside of salesforce? I have a customer portal that allows file uploads via an authenticated sites user and it could potentially be a large number of files of substantial size. I've started to look into options like FTP Attachments in the app exchange but it doesn't seem to have an API I could add attachments through via APEX. Google drive does have an API that I'm assuming I could access through the REST API. Has anyone solved this problem before?

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Google Apps

Some experience with this... it's pretty well integrated out of the box, on all Notes and Attachments fields. The functionality is available natively through Customer Portal, too.

  1. Go to Setup > Google Apps > Settings

  2. Configure your Google Apps Domain

  3. Activate your Google Docs service

Google Apps integration

The user needs to specify a friendly name and the Google Drive or Google Docs URL, but the user can't actually upload it in the portal. The doc doesn't have to be in your Google Apps account. But, unfortunately, the doc must be in a Google Apps business account.

Amazon Web Services

There's a new feature on Amazon S3 which allows it to serve Cross Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) headers. This could enable JavaScript (living within the Customer Portal) to push data directly to the S3 origin. Apex would still be needed to store the URLs. Document seems a natural fit at first but isn't available in Lookups so a custom object is called for... Appirio have already done a lot of the legwork if you have cash to burn.

Salesforce Communities

This is still in Pilot, but could be used to expose ContentDocument object to your portal users. It allows individual attachments bigger than 5MB via Chatter, doesn't help with the overall storage limits though...

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