ownCloud 7 ensures privacy, security and control and now adds the flexibility to share like a public cloud
Lexington, MA – July 23, 2014 – ownCloud, the world’s most popular open source file sync and share software, today released ownCloud 7 Community Edition, enhancing sharing and collaboration while maintaining security and privacy – and especially control — over files.
ownCloud 7 Community Edition’s unique Server-to-Server Sharing enables users on one ownCloud instance to seamlessly share files with users on a different ownCloud installation without using share links. Both users retain the privacy and control of a private, hosted ownCloud, but gain the flexibility and ease-of-use of a public cloud.
ownCloud 7 also gives end users a “Dropbox-like” experience – complementing the security and privacy on the back end – with an entirely new web interface, mobile web browser support, file activity notifications in emails or the activity stream, and significant performance improvements.
“Server-to-server sharing is a game changer, allowing individuals – and organizations – to more easily share across private clouds, while still maintaining complete control of their data,” said Frank Karlitschek, founder and leader of the ownCloud project. “At the same time, added or improved installation and configuration wizards, completely overhauled sharing, and a new user interface significantly simplifies the ownCloud experience.”
ownCloud Community gives enthusiasts and technical users a free, secure and innovative way to sync and share data from the storage of their choice. With more than 1.6 million users worldwide, ownCloud offers ease-of-use, flexibility, sophistication, privacy and security unmatched by consumer-grade applications. ownCloud installs easily on a web server, enabling anyone to host their own file sync and share software, using their own storage (and/or cloud storage if they choose), instead of relying on third parties with files stored outside of their control.
“With all the snooping, outages, questionable Ts and Cs, and legal challenges of things like Dropbox and Google, I prefer using ownCloud to sync my files across devices and share them – privately – with my friends and family,” said Alan Clark, a long-time ownCloud user from Utah, United States. “ownCloud was a breeze to install on my server while the Apps and web interfaces make it simple for my friends, family and I to share my photos and documents. And now, with server-to-server sharing, I can combine my ownCloud instance with the one at work and have seamless access to my work files too.”
ownCloud 7 Community Edition features include:
End User Enhancements
Server-to-Server Sharing – This provides the ability for a user on one ownCloud instance to share files with a user of another ownCloud installation, without using anonymous share links.
New Files View – The files view in the web interface has changed significantly to:
- Lazy Loading Files – Files are now loaded using “lazy loading,” which loads the files as you scroll down the page, making the interface more responsive and faster.
- File Sorting – Files can now be sorted in the web interface by name, size and last modified date – making it easier to manage and find the right file quickly.
- Storage Location Report – A new view enables users to list the files stored in an external storage location, such as ftp, S3, OpenStack Object Storage (Swift), Dropbox, Google Drive and more.
File Notifications – It is now possible to select and be notified of file activities (including shared, created, changed or deleted files or folders) in the activity stream or in an email digest at a configurable interval.
ownCloud Documents with Word Conversion – The latest ownCloud Documents release includes the ability to convert Word documents on the fly for online editing. Convert a Word document online automatically, edit it live with other users in the browser, and close it again – it will convert back to Word, synced back to your desktop, with the changes embedded.
Sharing (end users) – Sharing has also been improved for end users:
- No more Shared Folder – Users can now move files shared with them around in their ownCloud folder structure — no longer required to have a “Shared” folder in their files list. If a user wishes to have a shared folder, they can simply create one and move all of the shared folders and files into this shared directory. If users are upgrading, they can continue to use the Shared folder they already have – it is up to the user.
- Shared File Views – In the files view on the web browser users can now click “files shared with me, files I shared, files shared with link,” providing a filter for the files view that lists only those files and folders that meet that criteria.
- Shared File Owner – A file owner’s name is now displayed on the file browser when a file is shared, so users can quickly see who has shared a file or folder with them.
Mobile Web Browser Support – ownCloud can now be used on most tablet and mobile browsers, thus not requiring the use of a native mobile app. This provides support for devices that don’t have a native app – like Microsoft and Blackberry – as well as providing extra options for accessing files stored in ownCloud.
New User Management – Admins can now view all ownCloud users in a single scrolling window, filter user lists by group, and search by user display name using the new text filter. User attributes have also been added, including the storage location for each user (where their files are stored) and the last time they logged in. New groups can be added with the click of a button.
Object Store as Primary Storage – ownCloud can now leverage Swift API based object stores as primary storage for ownCloud files. Admins can now choose the best option for their specific need: local storage, network filesystem mounts, or Swift object stores.
External Storage – Major improvements have been added to the external storage app – the ability to add FTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, sFTP, Swift, S3, WebDAV, SMB/CIFS and more storage locations to the ownCloud instance in addition to ownCloud primary storage. Improvements include the ability for an admin to specify which storage type can be added by end users in their personal tab, providing more granular control over external storage mounts.
Sharing (Admins) – Sharing has been dramatically enhanced and streamlined, making it more flexible, faster and accessible. Improvements include:
- Force Password – Admins can now force users to set a password when they create shared links. This ensures that files shared outside of ownCloud via a link are properly secured by users.
- Share Link Default and Max Expiration – When sharing a file with a link, admins can now require users to set a password, and also set a specific expiration duration for the link, or a guideline – all depending on policy.
- Sharing by Group – It is now possible to turn sharing off by group. If, for example, there includes a group of friends and family, admins can turn off sharing for the “friends” group, or the “family” group, or any group on the system.
Antivirus Action Updates – The Antivirus app has been enhanced to allow – with some minor customization – the use of external virus scanners (rather than the default ClamAV) in scanning files as they arrive on the server.
SMTP Config Wizard – It is now simpler than ever to connect ownCloud to an email server with a simple GUI config wizard, enabling ownCloud to send automated messages to users. ownCloud can connect via PHP or using standard SMTP, and setting this all up is a breeze for the admin.
AD / LDAP Enhancements – Several major improvements have been made to the LDAP and Active Directory plug-in application, improving both the performance of the application as well as the compatibility with OpenLDAP, AD and more.
Editable email Templates – ownCloud admins can now edit the email templates that ownCloud sends for lost password recovery (if using the ownCloud user management), as well as the template for sending shared files and share links, giving admins easier control over the email communications sent by ownCloud.
“The application ecosystem surrounding OpenStack generally and Object Storage (Swift) specifically has reached an impressive level of maturity,” said Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation. “With ownCloud support of OpenStack Object Storage, users can sync, share and store data on a mature, reliable and widely-used open source alternative for cloud storage, one that’s backed by thousands of developers worldwide.”
“ownCloud is the work of hundreds of dedicated, open and friendly developers worldwide,” said Karlitschek. “Thanks to everybody who contributed to the mobile, desktop and server development, security and bug fixing; to our UI designs, test pilots and more; and to everyone who uses ownCloud and had a suggestion on how it can improve. We welcome everybody interested in joining the community to help make ownCloud even better in the future. For those interested, we will be hosting a hackathon and Contributor Conference next month in Berlin!”
ownCloud 7 Community Edition is available now.
About the ownCloud Community
ownCloud began at a community event in 2010, aiming to bring greater flexibility, access and security to data in the cloud. ownCloud enables universal access to files through the widely implemented WebDAV standard, providing a platform to easily view and sync contacts, calendars and bookmarks across devices while supporting sharing, viewing and editing via the web interface. Installation has minimal server requirements, doesn’t need special permissions and is quick. ownCloud is extendable via a simple, powerful API for applications. For more information, please visit: http://www.owncloud.org.
ownCloud, Inc., the company behind ownCloud, will launch a commercially-supported Enterprise Edition in the third quarter 2014, targeting enterprise IT departments that require on-premise file sync and share for sensitive corporate data. ownCloud Enterprise Edition is deployed fully on premises, enabling integration into existing user management tools, governance processes, and security, monitoring, and back-up tools. ownCloud can also leverage nearly all on site storage, and can be deployed with cloud storage as well — such as Amazon (S3) and Swift – to create a centrally controlled hybrid deployment model.
About ownCloud Inc.
Based on the popular ownCloud open source file sync and share community project, ownCloud Inc. was founded in 2011 to give corporate IT greater control of their data and files — combining greater flexibility, openness and extensibility with on premise servers and storage. Company headquarters are in Lexington, MA, with European headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. For more information, visit: https://owncloud.com.