ownCloud 7 Features
ownCloud 7 Community Edition has significant feature improvements for users, administrators and developers. Want to learn more about ownCloud from somebody in person? Meet us at an event!Join an ownCloud event Jump to improvements for: User | Admin | Developer
Improvements for Users
ownCloud 7 introduces server to server sharing, allowing you to mount a share from another ownCloud instance and seamlessly collaborate on and share files from within your own ownCloud. This essentially combines two private clouds into a public cloud. You can even have the folder locally synced through the client. No need to create user accounts on your or the other instance - just, once, add the shared folder into your ownCloud. Read more in this sneak peek article about Improved Sharing.
The sharing code has been dramatically enhanced, streamlined and improved, making sharing more flexible, faster and accessible via the ownCloud API. These improvements include:
- Sharing by group – Turn sharing off/on based on group.
- File Filters – See “files shared with me”, “files I shared”, and “files shared with link” from the file view in the web browser.
- Shared file owner – The file owner’s name is displayed on the file browser when a file is shared with you
- Force Password – Admins can force users to set a password when they create shared links which can ensure that files shared outside of ownCloud are properly secured.
- Share Link Default and Max Expiration – Admins can require users to set a password or an expiration date for the link.
- No more Shared Folder – The “Shared” folder has been removed; instead, shared files are identified with the overlay icon representing “shared with me”. (If users are upgrading, they can continue to use the Shared folder they already have.)
In addition to the existing ability to collaboratively edit .odt files within the web browser, ownCloud can now convert Microsoft Word documents on the fly for online editing. You can open a Word doc online, edit it live with other users in the browser, and close it again – it will convert back to Word. And, it will be saved back to your desktop with the changes embedded. Read more in this online collaboration with Documents sneak peek article.
The Activities view has been streamlined, giving a cleaner and more efficient look. You can now select the activities you want to record in your activity stream and set preferences for email notifications if:
- A file or folder is shared with you
- A new file or folder is created inside a shared folder
- A file or folder is changed inside a shared folder
- A file or folder has been deleted from inside a shared folder
The new user interface of thie Files app gives a much improved user experience with changes including:
- Lazy loading files – Files are loaded using “lazy loading” which loads files as you scroll down the page, providing faster and more responsive access.
- File Sorting – Files can be sorted in the web browser by name, size and last modified time.
- Storage Location Report – An “external storage” filter enables users to filter files based on external storage location, such as ftp, S3, Swift, Dropbox, Google Drive and more.
ownCloud now features a web interface usable on most tablet and mobile browsers. This brings support to devices that don’t have a native app – like Microsoft Phone and Blackberry OS devices – as well as providing extra options for accessing files stored in ownCloud.
When setting up a password in ownCloud, a password strength indicator helps users choose stronger, more secure passwords.
Improvements for Administrators
Admins can take advantage of the improved capabilities for more easily managing users:
- View all ownCloud users in a single scrolling window
- Search by user display name using the new text filter
- Filter user lists by group
- See user attributes including the storage location and last login time
- Add new groups with a click of a button.
- Add or edit users and user attributes ( i.e. group memberships, quota, and group admin rights) with improved ease and speed
- Enable apps by group
The external storage app provides access to storage locations including FTP, Dropbox, Google Drive, sFTP, Swift, S3, WebDAV, SMB/CIFS and more. Admins can specify which storage type can be added by end users in their personal tab, providing more granular control over external storage mounts.
ownCloud can now leverage SWIFT object stores as primary storage for ownCloud files. Now users can choose the best option for their specific need: local storage, network filesystem mounts, or SWIFT object stores.
The Antivirus app (with minor customization) may be used with external virus scanners (rather than the default CLAM AV) in scanning files as they arrive on the server.
Several improvements have been made to the LDAP and Active Directory plug in application, improving both the performance of the application as well as the compatibility with openLDAP, AD and other vendors. For example, the plug-in can now manage paginated responses to handle tens of thousands of users that are part of a single flat OU.
It is now simpler than ever to connect ownCloud to an email server in a simple GUI config wizard, enabling ownCloud to send automated messages to users – such as the notifications from the Activities app. ownCloud can connect via PHP or using standard SMTP.
Edit the email templates that ownCloud sends for lost password recovery (if using the ownCloud user management), as well as the template for sending shared files and share links.
Thanks to improvements in the upgrade tool, the upgrade from previous ownCloud versions to ownCloud 7 will happen more quickly. Additionally, admins can execute scripts to migrate from one database to another – as part of the command line tools included with ownCloud. For example, a user may migrate from SQLite to MySQL using these tools.
Admins can set a configuration switch in the ownCloud config file to include or exclude external storage locations in the calculation of user quota.
ownCloud 7 builds further on its current admin features to include:
- External storage backend that uses ownCloud credentials to connect to a Samba share
- Improved apps management
- Overall speed and performance enhancements
Improvements for Developers
Integrate ownCloud into other systems with Webhooks. Apps can publish an event, and other apps can subscribe to this event using the publication/subscription model (pubsubhub). Developers create an app that registers itself with the published event manager. From that point forward, any time the event occurs, a POST is made to the URL provided by the subscriber to notify them of the event. Apps can subscribe to the notification event, unsubscribe, set a URL to respond to, set a lease time for the subscription, and provide an optional digest used for security purposes.
A new API allows for a visual representation facilitated by the desktop client shows which files are owned by the user, and which files are shared with the user but owned by someone else. This API indicates which files are shared, so that the desktop client and mobile app can place the shared file or shared folder icon appropriately on files stored in ownCloud.
ownCloud 7 offers additional developer tools including:
- Better controllers for App Framework
- Simple database layer for App Framework
- Easy CORS implementation for App Framework
- Support DB connections via sockets
From August 26-31, ownCloud contributors will gather in Berlin to work on ownCloud. On Saturday the 30th, a Conference day will provide a chance to developers new to ownCloud to learn building ownCloud apps, securing PHP applications, compiling ownCloud unit tests and much more. Find out more and participate!