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12 October 2012, 12:20

ownCloud 4.5 mounts external cloud storage

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OwnCloud Inc, the company behind ownCloud, has announced the release of version 4.5 of its cloud storage and synchronisation software following successful beta testing. OwnCloud 4.5 is available as both an Enterprise and an open source Community Edition and is, according to its developers, faster, more robust and easier to use than previous versions.

Instead of storing data in third-party clouds, ownCloud allows users to manage their files, appointments, contacts, music and bookmarks on a private server and synchronise the data across multiple devices. A desktop client for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, as well as apps for mobile devices, are available for this purpose.

ownCloud 4.5 assigns a "unique ID" to every version of a folder or file. When synchronising, it will now only compare these unique IDs, instead of using the time stamp as before. The developers say that this reduces the load placed on ownCloud servers and speeds up synchronisation.

Administrators can now mount external Amazon S3, Dropbox, Google Drive or Strato Hidrive cloud storage in ownCloud. This allows ownCloud to provide a central user interface for different cloud storage solutions. The latest version of ownCloud offers an integrated video player for streaming videos directly from a server without the need to download them first. A basic application for playing HTML5/impress.js presentations has also been added.

The new version of ownCloud uses file versioning to ensure that files aren't overwritten accidentally and their contents lost. Calendars and address books can now be shared. Contacts can be copied or moved to other address books using drag-and-drop. ownCloud 4.5 provides the option of defining sub-administrators who can manage the members and access rights of individual groups. New file sharing controls allow administrators to provide more granular permissions, including create, update and delete rights, to users when they share a file or folder. Users can also set expiration dates as well as passwords for shared files. The developers say that they have revised the LDAP module to improve overall performance.

Version 4.5 of ownCloud is available to download as an AGPL-licensed Community Edition; paid Business and Enterprise Editions that include additional features and technical support are also available. A comparison of the different editions of ownCloud can be found on the Overview page.

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