What features to include in the product?

What features to include in the product?

When designing CloudFiler we made a shopping list of capabilities that we wanted the product to have.


Any Device

Being restricted to filing from a PC running Microsoft Windows is limiting, as users frequently access their email via: Macs, mobiles, tablets and browsers too, so the system should support all of these.

User interface 

The interface needs to work well on touch devices, be: clean, uncluttered and adhere to modern design principles. It should look & behave the same on all devices both when filing incoming and outgoing messages.

Full preview

Visual recognition of a message is important, so the search tool should present a full HTML preview showing all the: formatting,  images and keyword highlighting.

Search layout and filtering

Ideally the search tool should have the filtering fields at the top of each column to provide a cleaner and more intuitive interface.

Searching into attachments

Sometimes what you seek is in an attachment to an email, so the tool should search into attachments as well as the body of of the messages.

Don’t swamp the network with indexing tasks

The system shouldn’t require each device to build their own index as this can swamp the network and presents a security risk.

Search index to always be up-to-date and fast

Provide a single search index that is shared by all and is always up-to-date. It needs to be scalable to address the needs of large multi-national corporates. The tool should automatically switch to one of a number of search servers around the world to address latency.

Works when disconnected from the office

The system should allow you to both file messages and search for them when disconnected from the office, thus removing the need to VPN in.

Stop Outlook from blocking the software

Design the software so that it won’t be blocked by Outlook.

Allow unlimited devices with one license

Rather than tying the license to the device, link it to email addresses so that users can have as many devices as they like and can use the system via virtual environments at no additional cost.

Allow customers to manage their own licenses

Provide a portal where customers can see: what they own, which staff are using the licenses and can manage the licenses themselves if they wish to, but also provide the option to let the system manage licenses automatically.

Make deployment easy

Ideally remove all need to deploy software to devices.

Remove the need for version control

Technical support issues arise when users run a selection of software versions. Ideally remove all version management by having just one version.

Prevent loss of configuration and suggested locations

Losing your preferences and having to re-teach the software your filing behaviours is frustrating. Ideally these should be centralised and automatic so that you can move from device to device and everything is common.

Tight security

Ensure that: filing locations can only be seen by the right people, that the data is encrypted and all communications between the components of the system use bank level security.

Make security management easy

Provide role-based security so that users don’t have to laboriously add/remove staff from each location.


Provide a rich API (programming interface) so that customers can extend the system. A typical example is creating filing locations automatically when a new customer or project is added to the financial system.

Allow each filing location to automatically sync messages to other storage

Whilst most customers wish to file to Windows folders, some have a range of places where they would like to file messages, including: SharePoint, Autodesk Construction Cloud and other services. Ideally, they should be able to configure a location to sync the messages to multiple places at once.

Allow filing to more than one location

Users may need to file an invoice to: the supplier location, the project location and a finance location. Make this easy and if the user subsequently selects a message that has already been filed, show them where they filed it.

Provide automated filing

Allow each filing location to have it’s own virtual email account which you can CC in your communications, so that any emails in the thread that include the address are automatically filed to that location.

Provide quality technical support and make it easy to access

Provide easy access to chat based support where customers can paste screenshots and upload files. The system should be persistent so that if the customer closes the browser and opens another one, the thread is maintained. It should automatically email them a summary of the conversation which they can then file for future reference.

Modern payment options

Most businesses prefer being invoiced, so allow them the convenience to place their order on-line but opt to be invoiced. Allow them to review all historical transactions via their account.

Others want to pay by: credit & debit cards, PayPal,  Apple Pay, Google Pay and others.

Get the price right

We need to enough money to recruit and retain good people that support a stable and growing business, we don't need to be greedy. 


We have yet to address everything on our shopping list, but most are implemented or well on their way.