Exploring File Storage and Retrieval Solutions with Xano

The State Changers in this meeting discuss a solution for uploading and retrieving small confidential files while trying to avoid costly third party services like "Uploadcare". The participant, George, shares that the file size would be at the maximum around eight megabyte and on average one to two megabytes. Given these parameters, the State Changers propose an experimental solution using "Xano".

In the discussion, they create an API endpoint in "Xano" where an individual can upload a file. They turn the uploaded file into text using Base64 and save it to a database. The file can be a PDF, a Word document, or an Excel spreadsheet, as long as the size is manageable. For retrieving the file, they create a new endpoint to authenticate and extract the stored information. Decoding the Base64 text, it is returned and if required, the content type can also be specified to indicate if it's a PDF, Word document, or Excel file. They further discuss the security measure where a unique identifier or key is generated. This key, which acts as a hash, is part of a URL to secure authenticated access to the file. The key times out, making the URL useless after a specified duration. Essentially it creates a one-time-use URL, mimicking the behavior of a signed URL. The solution proposed unquestionably increases the complexity but allows more control over the files as they are stored inside the database, reduces costs as they are avoiding a third party service, and maintains confidentiality as the URLs time out after a user retrieves a file.

(Source: Office Hours 1/31 )

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