Nextcloud is a popular open source software for managing cloud services, like file sharing, photo albums, calendar, email, document collaboration, video conferences, and projects. The product is used by individuals, enterprises and public administration. The key features are security, privacy and adding new functions with third party apps. In October 2020, Nextcloud announced release 20 that featured a sizable number of new features that also indicate the direction the product is going.
In early 2020, when Nextcloud version 18 was introduced, the primary developer of the product, Nextcloud Gmbh, told it is now called Nextcloud Hub. You can read more about that in this article. Now, with version 20, the Hub label is starting to make sense.
The key concepts of Nextcloud have been sharing information and collaboration in secure and privacy-respecting manner. With version 20, integration becomes a key concept as well. The product opens its secure borders to proprietary systems like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Reddit, Twitter, and many others. This is achieved through an open application programming interface (API) known as Open Collaboration Services. The API is a Nextcloud project.
So far, Gitlab, Moodle, Hancom Office, Zammad, Matrix, Mastodon, and others have used the API for integrating their products to Nextcloud.
A practical example what integration between products can mean is search function in Nextcloud. Until now, it has been somewhat frustrating experience to try and find something within the system using the default search function in the toolbar. If a file name happens to have the same keyword you are searching, it is a hit, but for instance, text files written in Notes app couldn’t be searched reliably. Now, the improved search is able to find information in:
- Files (and comments)
- and in other default apps.
Additional apps that can be searched include:
- Moodle course search
- Zammad and Jira ticket search
- Discourse forum topic and post search
Nextcloud mobile clients also make use of the new search integration.
Here is a list of new major features that came with Nextcloud Hub 20:
- Open Collaboration Services API for integration with other systems.
- Dashboard widgets, like Twitter and Github.
- Search integrated to other apps.
- Talk can bridge to MS Teams, Slack, IRC, Matrix and a dozen other systems.
- Each user has a personal, visible to others status.
- Flow adds push notification and webhooks for integration with other apps.
- Text has direct links to files stored in Nextcloud.
View the long list of new features and improvements in the announcement.
If you want to try Nextcloud on your own server, here are the installation instructions for Linux to help you get started.