Guests 0.5.0 released

We just released a new version of the Guests app introducing a major usability change, bug fixes and more improvements. As usual system administrators can find the extension on the ownCloud Marketplace either to download and install it manually or via the Market app within an ownCloud instance.

Here we want to provide a brief overview on the most notable changes. The full changelog can be found on GitHub.

Just enter an E-Mail address to create a guest

Guests app versions below 0.5.0 offer two ways of inviting guests. A user either had to enter a name and subsequently a mail address or just provide a mail address in the sharing dialog (and optionally specify the display name afterwards). To improve the usability of the Guests feature we reduced guest creation to mail addresses only, as mail addresses are the essential identifier of guests.

With that we also removed the guest creation modal/dialog which avoids confusion, makes guest sharing easier and quicker as there is one defined way and less clicks needed now. Users just need to enter a mail address in the user/group sharing input field and use the “Add <user> (guest)” suggestion to start sharing with a guest.

Additionally the adoption of the feature by the ownCloud Clients is facilitated a lot by this simplifying change. The ability to specify a display name during guest creation has been removed but we anyway consider it as the responsibility of guests to set a display name if needed (when not specified, the guest will show up with the mail address as display name).

Further improvements

Moreover we added mail address validation in the sharing dialog to only offer adding guests when valid mail addresses are entered. Further additions make sure that guest creation is not offered if an entered mail address is already known by ownCloud’s user management to avoid duplicate creation if a user is already present from any user backend (e.g. internal database or LDAP).

Among other bug fixes we also took hands on the app whitelisting for features that guests are allowed to use. For example non-whitelisted apps are now properly removed from the app launcher (navigation menu) and UI items induced by non-whitelisted apps are not displayed to guests anymore.

The Guests app is still under heavy development and will come up soon with great feature additions like a new sharing filter “Shared with guests”, migrating guests to regular users and restricting guest creation to certain groups.

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