There are a few competitors in the cross-browser file upload library space, most notably “jquery file upload” and “dropzone.js”. But Fine Uploader easily eclipses all others, especially these two “100% free” libraries. While some users tend to gravitate towards free libraries for their commercial web applications, they eventually realize that you get what you pay for!
Fine Uploader’s commercial licensing model allows us to continue to evolve and support the library, while still offering the library free of charge to non-commercial open-source projects. It is the most appealing choice for both non-commercial and commercial projects due to its unmatched standing in four distinctive categories: support, feature set, expert knowledge, and our insistence on “dogfooding“.
1. Best support
Fine Uploader has always strived to bring the most complete and the quickest support to all users of the library since the it changed hands back in August of 2012. We are always quick to respond to support questions posted on Stack Overflow under the fine-uploader tag. We also routinely respond to any and all bug and feature requests filed in our project’s issue tracker. Serious issues are given high priority and fixed very quickly, all with constant updates from start to finish. We are also exceptionally quick to update our library and educate our userbase in response to browser bugs. Take the recent issue with Apple’s first release of iOS8, which contained many serious bugs that broke file uploading on all Apple mobile devices across all web applications on the web. Fine Uploader’s blog post on the subject was shared thousands of times on Stack Overflow, Twitter, Hacker News, and Reddit. Fine Uploader was also the first library to include automatic workarounds in the library itself for several of the issues introduced by Apple in iOS8.
Take a look at the fine-uploader tag on Stack Overflow and our project’s issue tracker, and you’ll see how dedicated we are to responding quickly and accurately to user inquiries. The competition comes up short in this area. For example, jquery file upload recently disabled their project’s issue tracker and closed its support forums. The “maintainer” of the project does not monitor or comment on any issues or questions posted on Stack Overflow either. Dropzone.js has an ever increasing queue of new bugs and feature requests that the maintainer almost never even responds to, much less fixes. Many users have resorted to pleading for the maintainer to simply respond to bug reports, or even merge in simple bug fixes, to no avail.
Fine Uploader is different. We understand the importance of responding to user questions and requests quickly and accurately. And we understand the importance of clear documentation, which is why we are constantly working to update and improve our comprehensive documentation site and our live examples. Many web applications need to provide users with an elegant and reliable method to upload files. We understand that, and so do all of our users. You can be confident that we’re always here to help you through any issues or questions you have with Fine Uploader throughout the life of your project.
2. Most useful features
In addition to reliable support, a critical component in your web application also needs to solve many, if not all, of your most complex problems. We’ve been listening to our users over the years and have found creative and efficient ways to solve your toughest problems by architecting and implementing new useful features. Some of our features were quite difficult to implement, so much so that our competitors shied away from the challenge. Take the concurrent chunking feature introduced in Fine Uploader 5.0 for example, which allows large single files to be uploaded as quickly as possible. To date, we are the only upload library in existence that has successfully implemented this incredibly useful but also technically challenging feature.
But our useful feature set doesn’t end with concurrent chunking. We have also pushed the limits of the expected scope of an upload library by implementing highly-desired non-uploading features, such as tracking files uploaded in previous sessions and native support for deleting and editing files. These are all highly sought after features that our competitors are also lacking. Putting aside some of these advanced features, almost all web applications that accept user-submitted files have some basic feature expectations as well. For example, most would expect that such a library will be able to split large files into chunks to allow more efficient retries in case of a network failure and overcome request size limitations common to most servers. This is a feature that Fine Uploader has offered since version 3, but some of our competitors, such as dropzone.js still have no support for this critical feature. Even something as basic as auto-retry for failed uploads, which Fine Uploader has also offered since version 3, is not available with some competing solutions (such as dropzone.js).
Even though we already offer the most complete set of features among all other upload libraries available (see the feature comparison chart at on our website for details), we continue to consider new feature requests, and always give highest priority to those that are most desired by our customers. If you see another way that Fine Uploader can solve your problems, please open up a new feature request. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly and completely we respond to each and every one of your requests!
3. Unmatched expert knowledge
But or knowledge also isn’t just limited exclusively to technology and concepts directly related to sending files from the browser to a server. We’re also Amazon Web Services experts, which was helpful when designing a module for Fine Uploader that allows you to send files directly from your browser to an S3 bucket of your choice. Our knowledge of Java and PHP has also enabled us to create complete server-side examples for a large majority of Fine Uploader users. And our fascination with video has resulted in interesting integrations with Fine Uploader, such as the “video frame uploader” library.
One of our many goals has been and will continue to be educating you. If we can help convey the meaning of an obscure browser bug, assist you in understanding how ajax requests work, or even clarify the meaning of semantic versioning, we’re glad to do so. Ensuring your comfort with Fine Uploader and the underlying technologies is a priority, and we’re always looking for ways to improve in this area.
4. We depend on Fine Uploader too!
We’re not just developers of this library, we’re customers too! Many other upload libraries are simply side projects, but Fine Uploader is both a business and a crucial component of all of our large enterprise-class web applications. For example, Media Collective, our cloud-based digital asset management system, uses Fine Uploader to allow our users to send us files, in some cases files as large as 100 GB!. Smartimage, our “lite” digital asset management system for smaller customers, relies on Fine Uploader in the same way.
Our dependence on Fine Uploader allows us to better understand how the library is used, and, as a result, we often propose and implement new features before any of our users. The same logic applies to bugs, since we heavily test Fine Uploader in our own suite of products before releasing a new version. Being able to understand how the library is used in real web applications allows us to focus on the most important features and bugs instead of wasting time on fruitless enhancements or missing the opportunity to improve a common workflow.
Commercial licensing keeps this project strong
Many of our competitors simply give away their library, but we know Fine Uploader is more valuable than that. By charging for commercial use, we are able to provide the support and rapid product evolution that you come to expect. This commercial licensing model also allows us to continue to offer Fine Uploader completely free of charge to non-commercial open source libraries. We encourage you to try out some of the free competing libraries. Once you notice an issue, or have an idea for a new feature, you’ll find that it’s entirely up to you to take the time to understand and update the codebase. Fine Uploader removes all of this responsibility from you – we take care of everything!
The future of Fine Uploader
The future of Fine Uploader is bright, and we have a lot of exciting plans. In addition to everything listed in our feature tracker, we have been compiling a number of ideas that we think will make Fine Uploader even more useful and fun to integrate. Some of our ideas include:
- An improved AngularJS directive for Angular 1.x and Angular 2.
- Integration with Jcrop.
- React integration.
- A custom Fine Uploader Web Component.
- A golang server-side example.
The above lists only represents a few of our plans, and we’ll add more over time. Please let us know if you have any ideas or requests as well.
Happy uploading, from the entire Fine Uploader team at Widen!