The new server version of ownCloud focuses on more freedom and security in file distribution. The “Advanced Sharing Permissions” feature in particular provides developers with far-reaching options for implementing individual release functions at user and group level as well as providing data with special security settings. With this function, ownCloud opens the door to setting up secure data rooms in which particularly critical files can be shared and processed together. The first major new development is the “Secure View” feature, which was implemented together with Collabora Online. A new background process in the new version also ensures that file changes in federated clouds are better recognized in the future and regularly synchronized with the desktop client, which facilitates the exchange between different instances for users and administrators. Users also have the option of defining their own settings for pending shares and deactivating their own findability via auto-completion during the search, which ensures greater anonymity and data protection.
As the first major new development, ownCloud presents the “Secure View” feature simultaneously with the release of Version 10.2. The extension was developed together with Collabora Online in order to individually restrict the transfer of sensitive data and information and thus meet even the highest security and compliance standards in joint document processing. Documents of all common Office formats (docx/xlsx/pptx/pdf) can be provided with special restrictions that make it impossible for the recipient to edit, download, copy/paste or print files. The export or printing of documents can either be completely prohibited or restricted by generating a watermark. Such a watermark displays individual user information, so it is always possible to draw conclusions about the person who (illegally) passed on the document – even when taking a screenshot or photo.
The ability to individually develop new functions for granting approval authorizations is particularly advantageous in combination with collaborative document processing (e.g. Collabora, OnlyOffice or MS Office Online Server). “Advanced Sharing Permissions” forms the basis for a mode-based release of documents, for example, by automatically implementing guidelines such as “view-only”, “comments-only” or “enforce change tracking”.
The function can be used to create so-called “secure data rooms”, i.e. isolated areas in ownCloud where documents can only be viewed or changed by authorized users and where unauthorized copying of documents is prevented. ‘Secure View’ and ‘Advanced Sharing Permissions’ thus serve to significantly increase security and user-friendliness in review processes, in the joint processing of Office documents or in the secure exchange of information.
Automatic synchronization between different instances
In addition to better collaboration within an ownCloud instance, the reliability of file exchange between different instances has also been increased. The development of a new background process, which scans all shared files for possible changes across all instances and registers them, is particularly important here. In this way, changes to Federated Shares are automatically synchronized in the Desktop Client. Users who work with files from different instances can now be sure that they will always see the latest version of a file in their client. ownCloud 10.2 also introduces the option to automatically accept federated shares from trusted servers. Operators of different instances (e.g. an external and an internal instance) can significantly simplify or automate data exchange between the two clouds without users having to accept these pending shares separately.
Additional Rights for Users
In addition to these far-reaching innovations, ownCloud 10.2 contains numerous other improvements that further strengthen the self-sufficient approach to document sharing: the new version gives users even more control when approving documents. For example, in the future it will be possible to activate or deactivate pending shares on the user level independently of the global setting of an instance.
With regard to the users’ privacy, it is also possible to individually determine their own findability within an instance. As a supplement to the option “Allow username autocompletion in share dialog”, users can now decide for themselves whether they want to deactivate auto-completion when searching for data protection reasons. A findability is then only possible by entering the complete user name.
More options for sharing folders
With “Download / View / Upload”, a new release setting for public links is also available to users. Recipients can view, download and upload content, but cannot make any changes to the files. A convenient application example of this is the creation of public folders where information can be distributed and collected through a single link, while preventing recipients from changing this content.
ownCloud is the market leading open source content collaboration solution worldwide. ownCloud enables users to securely access and share data from any device, anywhere in the world. With more than 200,000 installations and 25 million users, ownCloud provides organizations a modern collaborative experience, thereby boosting productivity without compromising on security. At the same time, it gives organizations the visibility and control required to manage sensitive data.
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