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October 16, 2012

ownCloud 4.5 Release Engineered to Earn ownCloud Better Reputation

ownCloud, an open source file sharing and synchronization technology that has been compared to Dropbox (News - Alert), made an effort to move forward with the release of new community and enterprise services. All these will be in the ownCloud 4.5 release which is the first big release of the platform from the release of the 4.0 earlier in the year (May).

A big change in the new version of the ownCloud 4.5 includes support for the mounting of third party storage. This capability will allow an ownCloud deployment to be in charge of its own storage whilst leveraging other online storage resources such as Google (News - Alert) Drive, Amazon S3 or Dropbox.

To uphold security integrity, mounting of the third party storage varies according to the third party storage means. For instance, WebDav uses an SSL-encrypted link with login and password validation.

Attempting to explain the varying security layouts of the connections, Frank Karlitschek, founder of the ownCloud project and CTO of commercial ownCloud company, said, "Dropbox uses the Dropbox API with SSL and an API key that the user has to generate at Dropbox," Karlitschek said. "Amazon S3 uses the native API with SSL and login/password. So the answer is, it depends on the backend, but it's always encrypted."

Improving on the management of the uploaded file content, ownCloud quit relying on time stamps, which are not foolproof to identify the newest version of a file and now works by assigning a unique ID to each file. The ID helps identify all the characteristics of a file, from size to time of uploading. An additional improvement to do away with file redundancy is one that merges similar files instead of creating another copy of the same.

The commercial release of ownCloud 4.5 will include support for Oracle (News - Alert) as a backend database. There also is an enhanced logging module to aid meet audit and compliance needs. Only the commercial release will feature user storage based on user role.

In case the ownCloud 4.5 build does not capture all your needs, the company has another release on the line that will be due on December. The futuristic version will focus on creating a strong client-side and server-side encryption.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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