Introducing ownCloud 9
Enterprise Edition

ownCloud 9 Enterprise Edition is ownCloud’s most significant release to date.

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ownCloud 9 Enterprise Edition is the same ownCloud that you know and love, with significant updates and new features offering enhanced file control, Federated Cloud Sharing, and more seamless file sync and share collaboration.

File Control

ownCloud provides Universal File Access through a single front-end to all of IT’s disparate systems. Users can access company files on any device, anytime, from anywhere while IT can manage, control and audit file sharing activity to ensure security and compliance measures are met. It is provided through a common file access layer regardless of where the data lives – in applications, object stores, on-premises storage or in the cloud – all completely managed, secured and controlled by IT.

Auto-Tagging Workflow

Tags can be assigned by a basic rules engine in the ownCloud admin panel with a feature called auto-tagging. This creates basic rules that can set tags and delete files based on tags. There is an admin page where the rules are set in the GUI, the specific tag types and tag names are defined, and the rules to apply tags are defined. This same admin page allows an admin to determine–based on tags–when to permanently delete a file.

File Firewall

The File Firewall provides a policy engine for the ownCloud instance, protecting files from access that does not meet policy. The file firewall has been updated, integrated deeper into ownCloud, and is enabled with tags as well as IP address range, device type, file size, subnet, geography, time, group membership and more.

File Ownership Transfer

When a user is removed from the system, administrators are able to move the files that the previous user owned in ownCloud to another user and still retain the shares of the files and folders they owned.

New Storage API

To be compatible with as many backend storage systems as possible, ownCloud is designed to store all file metadata in the ownCloud database. This includes information like sharing activity, file IDs and more. For extremely large ownCloud instances, it can be more efficient to hand some of the file handling and metadata storage off to backend storage systems that support, for example, versions or file sharing. As the database is often a bottleneck in extremely large systems, offloading these activities and metadata from the database, performance improves, and the same hardware can scale to support even more users – particularly useful for extremely large instances.

The new storage API not only offers better scalability, but it also enables ownCloud to leverage storage that has, until now, been unheard of in file access solutions – such as tape. In this manner, ownCloud can leverage the most cost effective storage possible, while still providing employees, partners and suppliers the frictionless experience they seek in accessing their files.

Federated Cloud Sharing

We have overhauled and simplified the sharing model to normalize behavior across intra-server and Federated Cloud Sharing to tighten the control a user has over their files. This includes the ability for a Federated Sharing user to share a file and look up users on other servers, seamlessly searching for the desired recipient. To the end user, it appears as if they are using a single ownCloud instance, even though the users are distributed across multiple ownCloud instances. This also means that mobile and desktop users can take advantage of these sharing capabilities, providing a seamless, frictionless way to collaborate with their files inside and outside the organization.

The end users at a company need to share files both inside and outside the corporate firewall to get their jobs done.  They do corporate work from a wide variety of devices and geographies, and need access to everything from everywhere. This is where ownCloud comes in.  With ownCloud’s Universal File Access, users are now able to access the information they share from anywhere, and on any of their devices (desktop, laptops, tablet or phone), and securely share those files with the people they need to effectively and efficiently to their jobs.

Need to work together among different offices? With ownCloud, you can set up a server running in all locations. The admins then federate the ownClouds together, making them aware of each other and explicitly allowing federated sharing among the locations. Users can then simply use ownCloud as they normally would for file access and sharing. When sharing with users in different offices, the type-ahead filter on sharing search results simply returns remote and local users together. At any time, the ”trusted server” designation can be disabled by the admin or the user, while the file owner still retains control of the master file.

Collaboration

With ownCloud, users can seamlessly collaborate on files and folders with others– providing comments while working on files, organizing files via tags, and watching file history through the activity sidebar. Users in ownCloud can now create a folder, tag it with a meaningful identifier, share it and start working on a project with a team all in just a few clicks. Better still, with the newly enhanced activity stream, file comments appear in the timeline – either in the sidebar, an email digest or an RSS reader – allowing users to consume collaboration activity in the best way for themselves.

Comments
Users now have the ability to add comments to files to make collaboration across multiple locations, on the same project more seamless. Comments appear in the activity stream and provide context, improve collaboration, and enable ownCloud to be integrated into day to day business activity.

Tags
Tags can now be attached to files and folders, providing new metadata information about file and folder contents – the tag can be long enough to support a word or short phrase.

  • User Tags – These tags are publicly visible to anyone who has access to the file and, depending on settings, are either static or can be assigned, read and changed in the web interface.
  • System tags – These tags are system visible tags that are applied and managed by admins, which may be set as invisible, visible and static, or visible and editable by the end user.

Federated Cloud Sharing Auto-Complete
When entering another user’s name to share a file through Federated Cloud Sharing, the system will now auto-complete the name you are looking for if the other ownCloud instance has been designated as a trusted server.

Retention
ownCloud enables admins to set document classification rules and then, based on the defined classification, take action to enforce those rules. By leveraging a combination of new system and user tags, admins and users can decide how to classify a document. Further, admins can set policies that determine how long to retain a file based on the classification, and then automatically delete the file at the end of a defined retention period.

A group of team members working across different continents are starting a new project, and they need to start working on a range of documents. They meet and divide up the work and then create a new folder in ownCloud, tag it with the title “awesome project,” and share it with the group. The first user in Asia starts creating files using Microsoft Office — PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets, Word Documents and more. As the Europeans start working, comments left by the Asian team members identify which files need to be worked on and how. Finally, the North and South Americans come online and read the history for these files in the comments and then continue the work. With a few dozen files in the folder, each version is tracked, comments explain what has been done, and the files are all available quickly through the ownCloud tag filter in the files view. This is collaboration made easy.

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ownCloud 9 Enterprise Edition is ownCloud’s most significant release to date.

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