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uploading files from multiple browsers and devices

Posted on 2013-10-29
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Last Modified: 2013-11-01
Hi experts,
I'd like to know what are my best options to offer file upload from multiple devices from a webpage on desktops, iPhone and android.  I need to show a multiple file selection dialog if possible.  Is it?

Also, if there's no cross platform answer, what's the next best thing?

Thanks for any help!
Mike
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Question by:thready
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Accepted Solution

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Gary earned 500 total points
ID: 39610386
jQuery has a number of cross browser multi file upload plugins

http://www.jquery4u.com/plugins/jquery-file-upload-plugins/

Uploadify is popular, I also like Plupload
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39610424
You will need a server side language like PHP or ASP.NET.  HTML and javascript are not capable of doing it.
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610482
Dave- how does the server side component help with file chooser dialogs?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39610504
It doesn't as such but you can't upload files and save them without a server side language to receive them.  "file chooser dialogs" in a web page are in a form using <input type="file"> tags.  While you can style them to some degree, there is very little else you can do with them.  They are tightly restricted to prevent security breaches that would allow a malicious web site access to your files on your computer.

Here's one simple example using PHP.  File upload forms are rarely shown without the server side code because they are essentially useless otherwise.

http://www.w3schools.com/php/php_file_upload.asp

Technically you can create file upload procedures in Flash or JAVA but those required 'signed' code and permission to run on the client.
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610513
I believe we do have JSP on the server side, so it should be possible in that sense.  What concerns me is your comment on the tight restriction.  I'm hoping there's a way around that other than using signed java or flash.  This probably leaves us with one choice- browser plugins...  :o(  I'm not sure if there's any better way...  No other ideas?  Is browser plugins our best bet if we want to avoid java?

Many thanks,
Mike
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39610517
Do you not have PHP or .Net?
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39610522
Why are you not wanting to use standard form uploads?  Those work everywhere.  What is it you want to do?
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610525
I'm the new guy this week.  Learning what they're using.  We can likely put whatever we need and proxy it off to the real workhorse...
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610530
We want to offer something like facebook's multiple photo upload component...  Many files in one shot- works from multiple browsers.  Preferably something on all browsers on all devices....
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39610542
Are you on IIS or Linux - you must have a server side language - it would be very unusual that you do not have anything.
The two plugins I referenced above are both usuable with PHP, .net, coldfusion etc.
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610545
We're using tomcat
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610546
Hi again Gary - will those plugins also work on IOS and android?
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Author Comment

by:thready
ID: 39610547
And Gary- I'm not discounting your answer whatsoever, I just want to cover all the bases before...  I fully intend on checking out all those plugins as soon as I get the chance to!  :o)

And thanks to everyone for their input on this!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 39610548
Yes - any browser.
If it's Tomcat then you will (likely) have PHP
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39610559
I don't know how they are doing that but I suspect you will need to get really expert at javascript.  If you look at the code on one of the photo pages, it is almost all javascript, very little html.  The only thing I'm really not sure about is how they get the 'Open' dialog window.  If you can figure that out, you can use javascript to do the rest.
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Expert Comment

by:_agx_
ID: 39612753
(no points..)

Supposedly it used to use Flash. It may still...  Other than html5, I'm not aware of any way to get a multi-file option from standard input controls.  So unless they're using some kind of html5 magic, it has to use some kind of signed control to get the multi-upload feature.
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Author Closing Comment

by:thready
ID: 39616521
Thanks to everyone for their input!
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