NC20: change of strategy?

…and not being distracted by building 300MB built-in Office apps.

You cannot ignore the need for office solutions. You can see that from the fact that Hancom is now joining the team.


Not built-in, standalone…

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OnlyOffice (?) is probably a bad example to argue for strategy changes with NC20, as it exists since more than three years, starting with NC11. Okay that is basically true for a lot of social-integration apps as well that you indirectly mentioned. As said, organic natural grows/extension instead of a sudden decision by any party, from what I can see.

Also OnlyOffice is developed by Ascensio System SIA, including the ~1 MiB Nextcloud connector app, AFAIK? Of course indirectly that draws core developer time as well but it is simply wrong to assume that core development time is shifted towards non-core apps only because Nextcloud of course promotes them via blogs, conference talks etc. Instead additional development time is going there or even mostly time from 3rd party organisations or community members.

EDIT: Ah sorry, didn’t know about the indeed fully integrated document server yet:
Not sure if Robin (main contributor on that project) is part of Nextcloud GmbH paid developers? I would still argue that widening NC use cases and allow easier setup for additional features like OnlyOffice and earlier Nextcloud Talk as dedicated Spreed.ME server replacement, leads to more and more sustainable development time being available for core features.

I didn’t.
The sign of strategy change is NC20’s ability to interoperate with Teams, Slack, etc.

And this I believe is a sign of maturity, grown-up behavior, the opposite of trying to find ways to squeeze the word sex in their PR leaflets in the past…

So do I. Again - not built-in…

Okay, but integrating 3rd party platforms was done a long time as well, Dropbox integration was IMO the central feature that allowed ownCloud that time to become even a bid relevant, I guess was possible right from the start (?), and social plugin integration for Twitter, Facebook via social sharing apps starting with NC12 as far as I remember, then RocketChat, of course Collabora online (external server connector) etc.

I think both is good, offering own, completely self-hosted solutions and as well offering to integrate the big conventional solutions, at best to allow a seamless transition for users, same as with Dropbox => Nextcloud for the core data storage and sharing functionality. That transition was btw more than once topic in the NC conference talks the last two days :slight_smile:.

Not sure about that, I was using Spreed.ME that time, even learned how to create systemd units and wrote a HowTo about that to get the server running from boot on (my goodness, I didn’t know what a systemd unit is 3.5 years ago :smile:), and I remember that a lot of users complained and raised issues and finally didn’t use it because it was too complicated and stood with Skype instead. Nextcloud Talk integrated WebRTC server changed that radically.
In case of OnlyOffice, even as standalone server it was already a big enhancement over Collabora online when it’s about setup effort and system requirements but a feature is likely MUCH more used when the whole install/setup is not more then hitting the “Install” button in the Nextcloud app store. I cannot really evaluate the effort for creating this built-in compared to the previous connector app for the standalone server, but when you take development time per end user as the relevant metric, I guess a complete integration wins in very most cases.

And remember the shared hostings, where users have often not the possibility to install additional servers, so a full built-in is the only possibility.

Finally the NC usage survey might give some answers when comparing the share of users that used the OnlyOffice connector app (before the built-in was released) with the share of OnlyOffice built-in users and connector app users now :slightly_smiling_face:.

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I’m not saying it’s useless, I’m saying there is no commercial future in it.

This was discussed a few months ago, I described what I think is the preferred development…

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Okay I got that point, and indeed for larger companies, the typical paying Nextcloud customers, standalone servers are probably the more reasonable solution. Not sure how many mid/family-sized companies/organisations are paying customers where the built-in solutions are just fine and accessible as well without a dedicated system administrator.

However, still Nextcloud development, especially when it comes to apps, is as well community driven and often non-staff community members work together with paid developers or contribute significantly to features or apps, and I am pretty sure this is where the built-in easy-to-setup integration is mainly driven from. Finally the whole eco-system benefits from this contributions directly or indirectly because the core infrastructure is enhanced along with it. So when only concentrating on features and apps with direct “commercial future” I think Nextcloud would die earlier or later due to unhappy community and decreasing “free” contributions. As well non-paying users serve for feedback, testing and bug reports etc, the more users, the better in this regards, as long as the feedback channels work fine (general questions and reports on forum first, final concrete bug reports and feature requests, at best pull requests on GitHub).

But yeah, this is at the boarder to philosophical discussion indeed, probably there will be never a final answer to whether the one or the other way or something or drilling one in the middle is right, trial and error, feedback and communication is everything :smiley:.

There is no doubt open-source, whether GPL- or BSD-like, have changed the software industry over the last 25 years… Microsoft went full circle from Linux=cancer to incorporating it into Windows, and doing all that without stopping being “evil”…:slight_smile:

NC hit all the right notes when forking ownCloud… And its popularity is best proof…
But this is 1999-like tech “exuberance”, it can’t be a business model. You have to grow up.
People like Jos have to shut up and realize not everyone has access to what he is smoking…

Can there be a balance between those two - commercially viable and open-source driven?
I think so… And NC20 I believe shows they are up to the challenge…


[quote removed because the original statement has been removed]

Please don’t personally attack people here (doesn’t matter if they are from Nextcloud GmbH, Community or even Microsoft) - this is just silly and no argument.


This is an official warning. You are violating our community rules. Please modify your posting to adapt your harsh words.


It’s okay to discuss and share ideas about strategies and people will always have different opinions about which direction should be preferred (in general) for what reason, but it I am always septic if someone believes to know what is the right way for a specific organisation, especially when (s)he has no insights (is no internal member of). There is a team of professional employed people that discuss the direction and where to focus (development) resources on and that have the numbers and statistics about their users, free and paying customers and based on the numbers that I can see, Nextcloud is growing, so they obviously do a great job.

Of course, I hope their are controversies and different opinions, people inside the company who argue from the business and customer side and people who argue from the community/free user side and people who argue from a philosophical/ideological side that as well is an essential part of why Nextcloud and similar solutions have been founded, develop and grow, and each side has their legitimisation and reason and contributes to a healthy eco-system that Nextcloud is. @anon71540698 If you say that a specific person from within Nextcloud for whatever reason is not right, I say, it is interesting to read your arguments and opinion in general but in regards to Nextcloud specifically or even a specific person, you lack the insights to be able to know anything about that and it’s not your business!

Btw, about a general strategy and which somehow underlines to what I said before:


You are right, I’m no insider and know no more than you do…

Have you been around the Nasdaq bust that started around March 2000?
That was essentially the “sobering-up” after the “internet” rally that started with Netscape going public…

During those times Steve Case (AOL founder) for example said that companies don’t need to be profitable to be successful, the internet changes everything…

We all know how it ended… Greenspan coined the phrase “exuberance” describing it…

And judging by the “optics”, that’s exactly what Nextcloud was the first few years. Time to grow up …

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I agree, I cannot wait for my server to start working.

Not sure what you base this judge on, as for my impression Nextcloud GmbH had profitability and a sustainable business model in mind right from the beginning. Based on what I can remember and find, profitability has been achieved since 2016 and employees number is constantly raising, not fast but in a sustainable healthy way, I would say. There also have been a few attempts to make money through new way, I remember the Nextcloud Box, failing because WDLabs was being closed :smile:, however, it shows that there is an agile marketing and sales team that is looking out of the box of the core business model by times :wink:.

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For me it’s important that Nextcloud stays the same open-source, community project that it started as a few years ago at it’s heart. I’m absolutely positive about marketing Nextcloud-as-a-service, custom features, custom release model or support contracts to companies that need the guarantee of an ever-running service with included support for their business. Exactly as they already do. What counts for me is only the fact that I can run nextcloud on my own box without a big company behind it that’s interested in analyzing my data. That’s at least my anchor of trust. As soon as Nextcloud would move to a business model that only comes somewhat near to making profit out of user’s data on self-hosted instances, I’d move away from Nextcloud. So I hope, and I’m confident, that this will never be the case.


You know what I think would make Nextcloud absolutely KILLER as a groupware application?

Dedicated, first-party support for the External Websites application (done) and an effective kerberos implemenentation. That way, you could spin up other web applications and easily integrate them into Nextcloud with a transparent single-sign-on solution - user logs into Nextcloud, Nextcloud passes kerberos token to the applications piped in via the “external sites” plugin.

This would allow system administrators to give their teams the best versions of applications (your chat app is great, Nextcloud, but MatterMost, Rocket.Chat, and Zulip are better, etc) while having users essentially enjoy a fully-integrated, seamless experience.


I would suggest that many who choose Nextcloud do it in order to get AWAY from tech giants like Microsoft. “Playing Ball” with Microsoft is going to force many to find an alternative to NextCloud.

Remember Microsoft’s “Triple E”: Embrace, Extend, Extinguish

So if you’re a NextCloud stockholder, this is a good development in the short run. But if you are a fan of open software, this is the first nail in the coffin.

James White, CEO
Xeata, Inc.
Toronto, Canada

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my 2ct here:

I see NC being torn between 2 lovers… On one hand they NEEED some companies paying for professional support on the other hand, at least that was my impression through last 3 years here on the forum, they had never forgot about their community. Never.

And thus… this dance on two volcanos has the power of getting NC too diverse in the end. Like bigger companies or even governements with 10s of thousands of users have a different approach to a software like NC than the common home-user. Of course both want to get away from MS and Google and Apple and what not spying on their data, selling them.
But the usecases for those two user-groups are very different. While bigger companies usually won’t hesitate to buy more hardware and manpower (if needed) to make their systems run like butter in the sun the common homeuser might think twice about buying new hardware …

So right now NC tries to be both… made for big companies and made for homeusers.

So for me NC20 and what I got from it so far is another step towards homeusers (they might outnumber companie which bought support from NC GmbH by far but usually they won’t gain NC any income). Why? Easy… because they just try to be the missing link between several existing services… Which could be important. For homeusers. They even opened a new API (or better: defined it better) for being ready for more community(-driven) apps.
No company would need the dashboard since all of them would have their own and NC being jusdt one shark in a sea of different fishes.

So for me it’s resonable to say that NC spends money and effort on trying to stay relevant for homeusers as well.

Someone (@rakekniven) asked in the beginning: where do you see NC in 2025? I wouldn’t be surprised to see NC going the way of becoming more and more like an own operating system (the new dashboard for me hints into that direction… since it was made as being a new daily landing page for every (home-)user. Easy to install, easy to maintain, being the missing link between several internet-services, being focussed on privacy and safe sharing.
Of course that’s a long road to go. And if they only manage to go there half way it would be pretty much, already.

I am ready for it.

NB: I don’t really understand why some of you seem to have cramps about NC trying to get MS-Office users? NC doesn’t want ppl to buy MS-licences… not at all… but they are acknowledging that there is a world outside driven by MS-products. So why not integrated them in a way that ppl could communicate with each other and make the most of both worlds?

NB2: Pls take into consideration that I’m no insider to and am not working for NC GmbH.


I don’t see it this way…
The only successful anti-Microsoft company is Apple.

If you plan to do everything in-house, from nuts to bolts, “many will find an alternative to NextCloud” the moment their offices move out of the basement…