Customs Skills

Customs Skills

A Custom Skill, or Box Skill is a type of application that performs custom processing for files uploaded to Box. Skills are designed to make it straightforward to use third-party Machine Learning services to automatically extract information from files uploaded to Box and apply the resulting data as metadata on the file.

Skills example

Custom Skills need to be enabled on a folder by a Box Admin. After this an event is sent to the Skill's application server every time a file is uploaded to the folder. This application can then download the file, inspect it or hand it off to a machine learning service, and write powerful metadata to the file.

Start building a Custom Skill

Authentication method

Working with Custom Skills is simplified by the pre-authorized API credentials that are provided with every Skill Event. For this reason though, Custom Skills allow for limited API access, mainly to read the file and write Metadata to the file.


Before a Custom Skill can be used it needs to be assigned to a folder for which the skill should trigger.

Learn more about approving Custom Skills

When to use Custom Skills

A Custom Skill is best used when the application:

  • Wants to only add metadata to files uploaded to Box
  • Does not want to upload new files or perform any other API calls
  • Wants to have way to pass files to Machine Learning services without having to handle authentication