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ownCloud 5.0 Arrives with Enterprise File Sharing Upgrades

Open source file syncing and sharing platform receives major, top-to-bottom upgrades as the platform readies for an enterprise push.

ownCloud released a new batch of enhancements for the Community Edition (5.0) of its open source file syncing and sharing platform today. According to CTO Frank Karlitschek, the company's efforts, along with contributions by the ownCloud community, have yielded a more polished, better performing solution for secure file storage and collaboration.

A little extra capital certainly helped move things along. On Nov. 26, the company announced that it had raised $2.5 million in a second round of seed funding in anticipation of a big push into the enterprise storage market.

"The ownCloud project has always been about providing people with the easiest, safest way to sync their files across multiple devices and share them with friends, family and colleagues. This latest effort adds and improves some great features, while significantly enhancing quality and user experience," said Karlitschek in prepared remarks.

ownCloud users -- some 750,000 worldwide, boasts the company -- can look forward to several "under the hood" improvements and some visible ones as well.

Performance-wise, ownCloud claims that the newly refactored file system abstraction allows users to create a hybrid cloud storage solution that employs different types of storage and enjoy up to a 500 percent boost in speed. Desktop client syncing times have also been reduced "thanks to significantly reduced server overhead communications," claims ownCloud. A new algorithm provides automated versioning management on the server.

On the security front, users can keep their file stores malware-free with Clam AV. The software has been hardened via new CSRF protection checks and by disabling inline JavaScript for cross-site scripting (XSS) protection. In April, ownCloud plans to roll out a new server-side encryption application. The company advises current users to use the existing implementation until it is officially released.

Support for the new Open Collaboration Services-based REST API (1.7) has been added, enabling better ownCloud access and management via remote systems. The latest ownCloud Community Edition also offers better LDAP support. Improvements include paged results via PHP 5.4, user and group management and configurable search for LDAP and AD directories.

ownCloud users will notice a slew of enhancements, including a streamlined design that make calendars, contacts and bookmarks easier to navigate and use. A new Lucene-based full text search engine app now enables search by filename and content. Users can now restore accidentally deleted files. Alternately, they can ensure that they stay gone with manual controls.

Other features include display names (versus login names) for better collaboration, new progress bars and an improved photo gallery, media player and web-based PDF viewer. New support and help documentation help users and administrators get up to speed on ownCloud.

ownCloud Community Edition 5.0 is available now. The company plans to follow it up with an enterprise edition in the second quarter.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.




Tags: open source, cloud computing, file sharing


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