We thought a lot about remote education in October, mostly because in the northern hemisphere, COVID-19 infections started to spike for a second time, sparking plans for renewed lockdowns. While the cultural shift seems to be hard for many teachers and parents involved, and a lot of students lack the hardware needed, there is an open-source software toolstack readily available for education. In Europe, schools don’t even have to install those tools themselves, because there are institutions like GÉANT and GWDG that provide hosted services to schools, teachers and students.
Remote work has started its own second wave of 2020, recently. But because remote work also means accessing sensitive data from the kitchen table, we explained in October how to use ownCloud to easily send files not as attachments but as links in emails. In Outlook and Thunderbird, there are plug-ins to automate that process, making remote work that much more secure. If an attachment gets into the wrong hands, the harm is done. If a file link gets into the wrong hands, just delete the ownCloud share it refers to.
Any kind and size of organization can (and should) leverage the obvious advantages and opportunities for reduced risks and costs that digital sovereignty brings. ownCloud COO Holger Dyroff explains in a blog post how businesses and institutions can create a truly sovereign workspace, and introduces its building blocks.
Also in October, we finally made our OpenID Connect Marketplace App available as a community extension. It enables administrators to use the full ecosystem of security features provided by external identity providers like Keycloak, Azure AD and Kopano Konnect. OpenID Connect makes user authentication and client authorization more lightweight and modular. It is also a prerequisite to run ownCloud 10 concurrently with our upcoming ownCloud Infinite Scale, which exclusively uses OpenID Connect for logging in.
Modularity is a core value at ownCloud, not just when it comes to authentication. That is why we are very happy that with Collabora Online, another open-source heavyweight has pledged to integrate with the upcoming ownCloud Infinite Scale file platform. It means that users of the browser-based office suite can leverage the substantial improvement in performance and scale the new file platform brings.
With our partner VNC from Switzerland, which provides an integrated open-source product suite for communication and collaboration in companies, we have agreed to deepen our collaboration. We begin integrating ownCloud as a data hub into the VNClagoon communication platform while also coordinating activities towards existing and new customers from pre-sales to support.