More official Nextcloud Apps

As promised in the first blog post about the Nextcloud App Ecosystem, here comes the second one about all the official Nextcloud Apps that are disabled by default.

To understand the different types of apps better, I would categorize them as following so far:

  • Official Nextcloud app:
    A Nextcloud app is called official when it’s developed/maintained by Nextcloud GmbH and shipped in the Nextcloud server package. Some official apps are enabled.
  • Approved Nextcloud app
    A Nextcloud App is called approved when it comes from a third party entity and is shipped in the Nextcloud server package.
  • Apps from the Nextcloud app store.
    In Nextcloud version 11, an app store will be integrated. I don’t know yet how these apps will be called in the future.

This blog post covers official Nextcloud apps which are disabled by default:

  • Default encryption module
  • External sites
  • External storage support
  • External user support
  • File access control
  • Files automated tagging
  • Gallery
  • LDAP user and group backend
  • Retention
  • SAML authentication

If you just read the names and you are not familiar with the Nextcloud project you might struggling to understand what these apps are for, why they are not enabled and whether it is a good or a bad idea to enable them. I’ll go through these apps, provide a short description and, if possible a common use case and some screenshots.

Default encryption module

I’m not sure why this package is called a module, it should be called an app, an official app!

As you may assume this app is about security. After enabling the app and server-side encryption in the administration settings, all your new uploaded files will be encrypted based on AES 256 keys (How secure are AES-256 encrypted files?), the app won’t touch existing files.
Attention: It is not possible to disable the encryption again and switch back to an unencrypted system!
Please read the documentation to know all implications before you decide to enable server-side encryption.

Enable server-side encryption
Enable server-side encryption

External sites

This app allows an administrator to add links in the Nextcloud web interface apps menu that points to an external website. For a user, the external site appears in an iframe as if it’s part of the Nextcoud installation.

External Sites - Configuration
External Sites – Configuration
External website in an iframe
External website in an iframe

External storage support

The external storage support app enables administrators to configure connections to external storage providers (FTP , Amazon S3, SWIFT object stores, Google Drive, Dropbox, other Nextcloud servers, WebDAV servers, and more). Administrators can choose which types of storage to enable and can mount these storage locations for a user, a group, or the entire system. The screenshot shows an example with external storage via SFTP.

External Storage Configuration
External Storage Configuration

Users will see a new folder appearing in their root Nextcloud directory, which they can access and use it like any other Nextcloud folder.

External Storage in Files
External Storage in Files

External user support

This app authenticates user login against FTP, IMAP or SMB. Passwords are not stored locally and authentication always happens against the remote server. There is no graphical user interface for configuration. You have to add parameters to the configuration file config.php.
Have a look at the documentation.

File access control

This app controls the access to files. It can be used e.g. in relationship with the two factor authentication app (an approved app – TOTP TwoFactor (Google Authenticator)) because it’s necessary to protect the keys. I’ll cover this topic in a separate blog post.
Meanwhile, have a look at Joas blog post on Nextcloud.com – File Access Control – A firewall for your private files in Nextcloud.

Files automated tagging

The app automatically assigns tags to newly uploaded files based on conditions. Combined with Files Access Control App and Retention App it’s possible to create workflows like

  • converting document file types to PDF upon upload by members of a specified group
  • emailing files put in a specified folder with a given tag to a given mail address.

Have a look at https://nextcloud.com/workflow/.

Gallery

Hey, the Gallery app is the awesome photo gallery that you see, after you uploaded some images. It creates automatically mosaic pictures for folders and hopefully it’s soon possible to see EXIF Tags.

Gallery
Gallery

LDAP user and group backend

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) app allows LDAP users (including Microsoft Active Directory) to appear in your Nextcloud user listings!
Have a look at User Authentication with LDAP.

Retention

This is for automatic deletion of files after a given time. Files have to have a “delete” tag. It is configured in the administration area.

Retention App
Retention App

SAML authentication

The app authenticates users against a Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) backend, such as Shibboleth which allows people to sign in using just one identity to various systems run by federations of different organisations or institutions.

Conclusion

The official but not enabled apps are often covering special use cases like the whole authentication and workflow handling. Even if these are not “main stream use cases” it’s important and crucial to know that these solutions exist for using Nextcloud efficiently in your company!


tl;dr: The Nextcloud 10 server package comes with several official apps that are not all enabled by default but awesome!

Save

Save

Save

The post More official Nextcloud Apps appeared first on Hagen Graf.

Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps …

So I installed Nextcloud Server and the Nextcloud iOS App and the OS X desktop client. I’m syncing my photos and other files and I’m so happy that everything works. I mean, not in the way “Yeah, it works somehow and I like it because it’s open source software and they are the good ones”. No, it’s more like

It works fine awesome, the data is were I need it! I don’t have to think about!

But the best thing is …

There is more to discover and there will be much more in the near future!

I discovered Nextcloud Apps! They are hidden behind the little + in this popup.

Nextcloud Apps
Nextcloud Apps

I didn’t know, that there is a whole ecosystem behind that little +. Beside the shipped apps there will be a whole new App Store created by Bernhard Posselt and many other contributors. As far as I know the Nextcloud App Store will be fully operational from the Nextcloud version 11 release (will be in 2016) on. The beta version is already online and it looks promising (https://apps.nextcloud.com/).

Nextcloud - App Store - Beta
Nextcloud – App Store – Beta

Shipped Apps

Before we talk about the future let’s have a look what is already available. The core nextcloud server package comes with official apps, which are developed by Nextcloud directly and with approved apps. Approved apps are developed and supported by the community and approved by Nextcloud as “so good” to ship them with the core package.

Official Apps – Enabled by Default

The following Apps are official and enabled. They are the real core package of your Nextcloud Server. Because they are necessary and simply working I didn’t pay a lot attention when I installed Nextcloud for the first time but it’s worth to have a look what the whole core system is about.

Activity

Activity is a kind of Facebook timeline. You can see, ordered by date, all your shares, comments, favourites, uploads and the activities of remote users who are connected to you via the federation system.

Nextcloud - Activity
Nextcloud – Activity

Auditing / Logging

Logging is necessary and in this case it’s about PHP. You can choose what to log and you can download the log file to look for the reason of the entries.

Nextcloud - Logging
Nextcloud – Logging

Collaborative tags

Every user can tag files. The tags are stored and offered to all the users. It’s a great feature for your personal cloud or for teams. If you run a bigger installation with plenty of users that didn’t know each other you should disable this app to avoid confusion.

Nextcloud - Collaborative Tags
Nextcloud – Collaborative Tags

Comments

Yeah, it’s possible to comment on files

Deleted files

This app enables users to restore files that were deleted from the system. Restoring a file also restores related file versions (versions app has to be enabled).

Nextcloud - Deleted Files
Nextcloud – Deleted Files

Federation

Federation allows you to connect with other trusted servers.

Nextcloud - Federation
Nextcloud – Federation
  • File sharing
    The file sharing app implements the whole process of sharing files within Nextcloud server.

    Nextcloud - File sharing
    Nextcloud – File sharing

First run wizard

This app enables the popup that appears when a user logs in for the first time.

Nextcloud - First Login
Nextcloud – First Login

Notifications

The app send notifications for example when you receive a remote share.

Nextcloud - Notification
Nextcloud – Notification

Password policy

Manages the password policy on your Nextcloud Server. Common passwords are taken from https://github.com/danielmiessler/SecLists/tree/master/Passwords

Nextcloud - Password Policy
Nextcloud – Password Policy

PDF viewer

I uploaded most of my books to have enough to read …

Nextcloud - PDF Viewer
Nextcloud – PDF Viewer

Provisioning API

Enables external systems to communicate via API with Nextcloud. For example the url http://admin:secret@example.com/ocs/v1.php/cloud/users -d userid="joecool"-d password="secret" creates the user joecool with the password secret.

Server info

Information about current CPU load, memory usage and active users.

Nextcloud - Server Info
Nextcloud – Server Info

Text editor

Create a new file online and write something! The screenshot is a gif animation including a problem that is solved by Nextcloud itself … have a look!

Nextcloud - Text Editor
Nextcloud – Text Editor
  • Theming

    You are already wondering about the nice orange color on top of the screenshots?

    Nextcloud - Theming
    Nextcloud – Theming

    Have a look at my login page (https://cloud.cocoate.com) and upload a nice log in image to your personal cloud!

    Nextcloud - Individual Login Page
    Nextcloud – Individual Login Page

Update notification

It displays update notifications. I saw it for the contacts app but I was to slow to take a screenshot (next time).

  • Usage report

    Sends anonymized data to help to improve Nextcloud. You can disable it at any time.

    Nextcloud - Usage Report
    Nextcloud – Usage Report

Versions

This application automatically maintains older versions of files that are changed.

  • Video player

Yes, there is a video player in Nextcloud! Click the link (https://cloud.cocoate.com/index.php/s/By6txeI6Hws38B8) for my shared video of @maxilamps.

Nextcloud - Video Player
Nextcloud – Video Player

Have a short break …

My initial plan was to try out and describe the Nextcloud apps. What I described so far in this blog post is a short glimpse on the official apps which are enabled by default! There are more official apps you can enable at any time (Default encryption module, External sites, External storage support, External user support, File access control, Files automated tagging, Gallery, LDAP user and group backend, Mail template editor, Retention, SAML authentication) and there are also the approved apps which can be enabled by just one click (NewsBookmarksDocumentsTasksJavaScript XMPP ChatOwnBackupownNote – Notes ApplicationQOwnNotesAPI,Shorten).
May be now you get a better impression what the Nextcloud ecosystem is about and how interesting it already is!

Now I’ll start to play around with the “not enabled” official apps and will come back soon with a new blog post.


tl;dr: The Nextcloud ecosystem is an amazing collection of useful apps and it’s growing and improving every day. Have a look at it!

The post Nextcloud Apps, Apps, Apps … appeared first on Hagen Graf.