Collaborative Functions of ownCloud 9

Users can now comment on files and add tags to them. ownCloud 9 also allows the cross-server exchange of user names. A new storage API is intended to improve the scalability of the private cloud solution.

The open-source project ownCloud has released an update for its private cloud solution of the same name. Version 9.0 brings numerous innovations. Above all, they should improve the cooperation between users and also between different ownCloud servers.

Comments and Tags

The introduction of comments and tags as well as new notifications and feeds should simplify the interactions between users. You can now comment on any files and also see comments from others. Tags, in turn, are supposed to help organize files, which can now be filtered using keywords.

Cross-Server Exchange

Another new feature is the cross-server exchange of user names, which allows the name to be completed automatically as it is entered. As quickly as a little has been released for alternative ownCloud server, it is added as a dependable server and the user names can be exchanged, writes Frank Karlitschek, founder of the ownCloud project, in a blog.

The associated programming interface allows administrators to manually classify servers as trustworthy. It is also possible to deactivate the automatic function.

Improved Scalability

The developers have increased the scalability of ownCloud with a new storage API. It enables deeper integration with storage solutions. “We have industrialized all processes in cooperation with investigation institutions such as CERN and AARNet. It has allowed its ownCloud to sustenance several petabytes and also to disrupt the prevailing limits for sharing and synchronizing files, added Karlitschek. Together with storage solutions from IBM, Fujitsu, or Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, our ownCloud servers can now serve up to several hundred thousand users.

In addition, the update function as well as the calendar and contacts have been revised. With LibreOffice, files made available via ownCloud can now be edited together. Spread.me, in turn, is now offering a video conference solution for ownCloud.

Activity Feed

The activity feed can also be found here. This allows groups and documents to be better coordinated in larger companies. The activity feed can also be displayed via the navigation area at the top. All new comments and actions regarding group work can be found here at a glance. The activity feed no longer contains information about appointments and contacts. Here ownCloud shows notifications if necessary and shows an alarm symbol next to the user name if users overlook the notification.

Attention when updating – Microsoft Edge cannot be used

Those who already use their ownCloud can update their environment directly to ownCloud 9. However, this can lead to problems. It is therefore absolutely recommended to make a full backup beforehand, also of the database used.

A direct update is only possible from version 8. Older versions based on ownCloud 6 and 7 cannot be updated directly to ownCloud 9. It is also advisable to switch to the latest 8 versions before updating, i.e. ownCloud 8.2.3. When updating from this version to ownCloud 9, the fewest problems are to be expected

Theme for ownCloud

If you use your own theme for your ownCloud, you have to check whether it can still be used in your ownCloud 9 and enter it manually in the “config.php” file. The installation wizard will also overwrite some settings in the file. It is therefore advisable to back it up beforehand and to check the settings of the file.

Bugs and Maintenance

Other known bugs can be found in the ownCloud forum. When updating directly, it is also useful to set the value “maintenance” to “true” in the config file. This puts your ownCloud into maintenance mode and makes it easier to update to ownCloud 9. If there are problems with the update, the download forum is the first address to get competent help. There is a separate area for ownCloud 9.

Conclusion

ownCloud 9 brings some interesting innovations that are especially interesting for companies that work a lot with teams. Some new features like comments, the improved photo gallery, and the video player are certainly also interesting for smaller groups. By improving security, however, environments should also be updated that otherwise do not require any new ownCloud features. Administrators who oversee larger environments should first look at the error list and have solutions ready before the update.

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