ownCloud Clients for Windows
Self-hosting services merging outAs cost for storage and Internet access get lower and lower, end-users prefer installing their own NAS or small server at home or office. One of the major reasons is security and confidentiality. Files are no longer scattered around inside those cloud storages such as Dropbox, which we don’t even know where files are actually physically stored. Also, cost per MB is lower if we do-it-ourselves.
ownCloud comes in the play
In speaking of servers or NAS, Windows- or Linux- based ownCloud has been one of the popular choices since the beginning of 2010. You may find more resources on http://www.ownCloud.org/ or http://www.ownCloud.com/ .
Accessible resource sharing
What ownCloud WebDAV services can fulfil your daily running tasks? In case you are not yet familiar, here are reminders:
- Files storage,
- Address book,
- Music streaming,
- Sharing of content across groups or public,
- URL shortening,
- Photo gallery,
- Video viewer,
- PDF and ODF viewer,
- Connecting external storages
In other words, ownCloud basically provides information sharing of any sort.
ownCloud WebUI is powerful for your collaboration tasks
With ownCloud v7.0, lots of improvements have been made. You can sort large number of files more efficiently while users from other ownCloud server can virtually share files with you. You can edit documents with your local document editing applications such as Microsoft Word through a transparent layer while your colleagues are working on the same document at the same time. Resource sharing we mentioned above can all be done with ownCloud WebUI.
If you would like to have your local files to stay synced with files on your ownCloud server, you can download and install ownCloud Desktop Client software for your operating system from https://ownCloud.com/products/desktop-clients/. Any copy/delete/modify to files will reflect almost in real-time so that other people with proper privileges can access the most updated version of files on server. Among all platform versions of ownCloud Desktop Client software, ownCloud Windows 7 Client is perhaps more popular.
Example: ownCloud’s file sharing feature
With ownCloud Desktop Client software, it is easy to achieve file sharing through ownCloud’s network folder mapping. You can follow the steps in the Youtube tutorial link below:
For more detailed usage, please refer to the on-line manual (http://doc.owncloud.org/desktop/1.7/).
Any other 3rd party Apps I can use to access ownCloud services?
There are hundreds of 3rd party vendor writing both Desktop and Mobile Apps for ownCloud and they range from Multimedia, PIM, Productivity, Games to Tools as we mentioned above. You can visit ownCloud’s Apps webpage that top 10 Apps are generally related to file sharing/management, calendar, task, and media streaming.
How do I retrieve ownCloud data on my mobile devices?Accessing ownCloud address book, calendar and task from your mobiles devices can be handy if your are not in front of your desktop and laptop. Here are tips on each of mobile platforms on the market:
- iOS – iPhone and iPAD both natively support ownCloud server through CardDAV and CalDAV.
- Android – Try Contact-Sync and Calendar-Sync. For more detail, visit http://www.dmfs.org/
- Windows Phone – There is an App called ownCloudSync. For more detail, visit http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/owncloudsync/2fdb96e1-7472-4be7-accf-835785f5dd91
- Blackberry – Use BB’s built-in CardDAV and CalDAV support and read the following thread from ownCloud forum: https://forum.owncloud.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9187
ownCloud services being Integrated into 3rd party e-mail client softwareOther than existing Mobile Apps, imagine how convenient it would be that users access their ownCloud personal contact, agenda and to-do list within e-mail software applications such as Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird in your desktop PCs with no hassle?
How Outlook and Thunderbird retrieve data from ownCloud?
For the past few years, plug-ins or add-ins have been available for Microsoft Outlook and Thunderbird. Such integrations turn out to evolve into alternatives to Microsoft Exchange Server or IBM Domino Server.
- For Thunderbird, plug-ins of soGO connector and Lightning can do the job but they require much more work configuring initially.
- For Microsoft Outlook, there is barely an add-in specifically written for Microsoft Outlook. iCAL4OL, Bynari and EVO Collaborator for Outlook are perhaps the ones that can do the job. I tried them all, but, as an end-user, Bynari and iCAL4OL are a bit too complicated to figure out how to configure. On the other hand, I installed, configured and used EVO Collaborator for Outlook with no hassle.
When NAS and ownCloud work together…
Occasionally, when people buy a NAS appliance, they also would like to stuff in an ownCloud server at no extra cost. This is when a NAS with ownCloud-capability comes in. There are NAS brands that come with built-in ownCloud features such as Thecus, Synology, and IONAS-server. There are also several NAS brands that require DIY implementation, such as D-Link, QNAP, and NETGEAR. You may google this solution for more detail.