ownCloud Server 8 Feature Improvements
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Administrators | Developers
End User Improvements
In previous versions of ownCloud, users on separate ownCloud servers could collaborate by sending public links. These links then offered a recipient the option of permanently mounting this public link in ownCloud, something referred to as server to server sharing. In ownCloud 8.0, the process for setting up server to server shared folders is now as easy as sharing a file with another ownCloud user. This makes it easier than ever for federated ownClouds to work together across servers, and even, if desired, organizations to collaborate and get work done.
With ten thousand files or more found on a typical users file sync and share account, files can be very hard to find in a standard file system view. With file and folder favorites, users can now assign a favorite icon to files and folders that are important on the server, and be able to quickly locate, access and edit important content. More importantly, server favorites set a foundation for additional file and folder meta data in future releases of ownCloud.
When working with files, users typically remember the files they have been working with in the last week or month, but older files tend to be harder to remember. Inevitably, there comes a time when even the best organization of files can't help a user find the content they need quickly. This is why we overhauled the search interface, providing a simpler and easier user experience, including enhanced result set reporting, additional search parameters and general usability improvements to make it easier for users to find the files they need fast.
Web interface enhancements
File sync and share has become dominant as a form of ad-hoc collaboration because it is simple to understand, easy to use, and just works. For this reason, the accessibility and usability of the ownCloud interface has been improved to make it easier for all users to access, edit, sync and share their files.
When ownCloud delivers universal file access to end users, files from many different document sources are aggregated into a single interface and served to end users. In some cases, passing all of the files aggregated in this interface through a single server, ownCloud, can slow down data access. ownCloud now supports direct downloads of files from select storage back-ends, reducing the load on the ownCloud server without sacrificing control over the files that are stored in the various back end systems.
System administrators should take note that PHP 5.4 is now required for ownCloud Server 8.0.
Admin and Settings page UX
As the ownCloud ecosystem grows, more and more apps are available to add to the server. Over time, this can make it more difficult to manage and administer the ownCloud server. To solve this problem, a new user interface has been implemented for the ownCloud Admin and Settings pages to make configuration of the ownCloud server faster and easier for the administrator, including a new sidebar for organization and accessing app configuration options.
Simplified App installation, upgrading and removal
As the number of available ownCloud server apps grow, it can be difficult for administrators to locate, install, upgrade and remove apps. With this feature, ownCloud now makes it easier on the administrator to install, upgrade and remove apps, and provides a new app dependency capability so that configuring and managing ownCloud is easier than ever.
New Updater Layout
While the Updater app has made updating and upgrading ownCloud easier, new improvements now make the ownCloud updater app more intelligent – now an upgrade is faster and easier. More intelligence detects errors in the upgrade process before they happen and rolls back, additional status messages provide better feedback, and error messages provide insight into any errors that may block an upgrade.
More powerful user-management
In addition to the existing filter and text string searchable user management, an entirely new set of features has been added to ownCloud. Admins can now edit email addresses for system users, sort users, select multiple users at once, rename groups and more - making it easier than ever to manage an ownCloud system in operation.
LDAP improvements including LDAP user cleanup
Integrating with LDAP and AD directories for user management is one of the most critical capabilities required for file sync and share solutions. ownCloud has significantly improved LDAP and AD performance, provided additional configuration options and expert modes, and added a new utility for verifying and removing users from ownCloud that are no longer active in LDAP or AD, making it easier to maintain ownCloud in the enterprise.
Improved and open sourced provisioning API
For many administrators, remotely managing ownCloud users is a core part of managing the overall enterprise file sync and share system. The provisioning API, that has been limited to the Enterprise Edition, is now available to the community as an open source app, providing these same system administration benefits to the overall ownCloud community.
Other: Improvements in Documents and overall speed and performance and a ton of bugfixes and polish.
As always, ownCloud strives for the best overall user experience for admins and users. This release is not different, and there are a number of performance improvements, bug fixes and general polish all designed to improve the overall user and administrator experience out of the box.
Improvements for Developers
- Provisioning API.
- Apps can now specify their dependencies in info.xml
- the App container can now automatically resolve dependencies.
- A brand new App tutorial including a demo app.
For details, see this blog about ownCloud 8 for app developers.
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