ownCloud 7 Sneak Peek: Online collaboration with Documents

ownCloud 7 is coming and in this series of articles I provide a preview of some of the most awesome features! It is the turn of the Documents app today.

oc7 Documents
Documents showing

Introducing Documents

The documents app was introduced in ownCloud 6 and brought collaborative editing of Open Document Format documents to ownCloud. Multiple users could simultaneously open a single document and work on it, seeing each others avatars and even mouse cursors, identified by colors.

This technology, based on WebODF by KO GmbH brings editing more powerful and flexible than the rather well known Etherpad and clones, but without any additional dependencies or server requirements! And thrown in the box you get the powerful ownCloud features like versioning, local syncing, encryption, undelete and so on.

More and better

That is unique and special. No longer do you have to set up and maintain (and regularly restart) a Etherpad server. No longer do you have to limit your collaboration to basic text – while WebODF isn’t yet as powerful as local editing, it can open and work with real documents.

New in ownCloud 7 is the seamless support for Microsoft Word documents by way of transparent conversion of file formats. Upon opening a Microsoft document for online editing, ownCloud can transparently convert the file, allow you to edit, and convert it back when you close it again. Changes are then synced to wherever the file was – desktop, laptop or with server to server sharing, another ownCloud instance.

These are all the sneak peeks we released:

Find more details on owncloud 7 in the feature list!

You can discuss the features of #owncloud7 on twitter, Google+ and Facebook and don’t forget to tell others about this ownCloud release!

7 Responses to “ownCloud 7 Sneak Peek: Online collaboration with Documents”

  1. menelic

    I am looking forward to OwnCloud Documents becoming a real rich text tool for content collaboration. This would include annotation features as well as a way to persistently mark authorship. From the looks of things, progress is accellerating: In the above screenshot, the blueish highlighted text in the kyrillic/ russian document caught my eye. Was the document uploaded like that or has this been created in OC documents app – if so, this could be one way of marking authorship.
    As the OC 7 feature list still says “ownCloud Documents get annotation” I’d be grateful if Jos or someone involved in documents development could give us an estimate: When will we get annotations and possibly authorship trackability between sessions in OwncCloud documents?

    • Jos

      As far as I know, these features are basically ready but still have to be integrated. If it will come with a minor release of ownCloud 7 (like owncloud 7.0.2) or has to wait for ownCloud 8 I don’t know, unfortunately.

  2. Erik

    My largest grievances with the the document sharing in the current version are:
    *) formatting gets messed up when collaboratively sharing content.
    *) There does not seem to be any undo — one typo can blow away a paragraph, which change is then instantly synced. No way to get it back.
    *) Cut and paste and problematic, often leading to messed up formatting.
    I hope these issues have been addressed!

    • Jos

      Some of these have been addressed in previous maintenance updates and more is coming in future – I know a rather large set of improvements didn’t make it into 7.0 and you can probably expect a lot of improvements in 7.0.1 in the Documents compatibility and stability.

  3. Jashan Chittesh

    It’s great to hear that there’s work being done on how document collaboration is handled in ownCloud 7. However, the main issue that currently prevents me and all of my colleagues from using this ownCloud feature is lack of proper note / comment support. For collaborative document editing (in particular asynchronous collaborative document editing) this is a must-have feature. Not having this is a real showstopper.

    So … any news in that area?

    • Jan Liska

      I have exactly the same wish. Rich annotations would be awesome as could be seen on a demo page of the webodf project.

      • Jos

        This feature is hopefully going to make it in ownCloud 8.2, if not, 8.3. It is stuck on some bugs in the ‘upstream’ project, this one among others: https://github.com/kogmbh/WebODF/issues/551 (text styling broken in collaboration mode)

        Once that bug is fixed, we can and will integrate the latest Documents which includes working annotations and comments 😀

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