Nextcloud Hub II brings major overhaul, introducing Nextcloud Office, P2P backup and more

Originally published at: https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-hub-2-brings-major-overhaul-introducing-nextcloud-office-p2p-backup-and-more/

At a digital event streamed worldwide, the Nextcloud team introduced the availability of Nextcloud Hub II, the third major product launch this year and the 23rd major software release!

Watch our announcement LIVE and ask questions afterward during our Q&A!

Nextcloud Hub II brings a wide range of improvements for both private users and enterprises.

🆕 What’s new:

  • 🚀 Nextcloud Files: profile page and automatic user status setting; delegate administration tasks; massive syncing performance improvements
  • 👥 Nextcloud Groupware: Appointment booking, room and resource search and Mail improvements
  • 💬 Nextcloud Talk: background blur, device check screen, user permissions and much more
  • 📝 Nextcloud Office: developed in collaboration with Collabora Productivity
  • 🖱️ One-click deployment: easy installation and update
  • 📦 Nextcloud Backup: a peer-to-peer backup solution designed for private users
  • 📱 Nextcloud Clients: updates available for Desktop, Android and iOS clients
  • This release presents a massive jump forward in terms capabilities, performance and integration for Nextcloud, marking it as the second major generation of our vision for Nextcloud Hub. As number one collaboration platform in Germany and the choice of collaboration platform for the Gaia-X project, Nextcloud is seeing an acceleration of deployments all over the world and in Europe in particular.

    — Frank Karlitschek, CEO Nextcloud GmbH

    In other news, Nextcloud moves to decentralize the cloud, introducing an all-in-one docker based cloud image and a peer-to-peer backup solution for small installations. Learn more here.

    ✅ Nextcloud Files

    Nextcloud Files is designed to give you quick, easy and intuitive access to your data, wherever you are. This release we worked on making Files smarter, and faster.

    🔗 Providing context

    To help you know when to reach out to somebody or what they work on, Nextcloud needs to provide context on you. In our previous release we introduced user status, which you can use to show what you are doing. We made this feature smarter: the status will automatically show when you are in a call in Talk.

    status on laptop and mobile
    profile on laptop and mobile

    We go a step further and introduce a profile page. Here you can put a description of yourself, show links to, for example, social media, what department you are in and information on how to contact you. All these are of course entirely optional and you can choose what is visible to who! The profile and user status are accessible also from our mobile and desktop clients.

    main-dialog-Linux
    Syncing info in menu (Linux)
    share-enhancements-Windows
    Shared to a conversation (Windows)

    The clients have also picked up some of the sharing improvements we have done on the server lately. You can now, for example, share a file from the desktop or android app directly in a conversation in Talk. This integration is logical and simply saves you time. And to help you track what is going on with your files, the desktop and iOS app have improved activity views. Last but not least, Android introduced dedicated Calendar and Contacts backup and restore options!

    Unified search on Android
    Unified Search (Android)
    calendar-settings-overview
    Android backup settings
    calendar-restore
    Android backup and restore
    restore calendar entries
    Android individual restore

    admin delegation screen

    🧰 For administrators

    This release brings two changes for administrators for bigger Nextcloud instances. If you run a server in a big company, you sometimes just want to delegate some admin tasks to other people in the organization. Nextcloud 23 makes it possible to delegate any admin ability you want. Essentially, you can assign access to any of the configuration panels for administrators to any individual user or to a group.

    If you run a large number of Nextcloud servers, for example as hosting provider, you might want to delegate the administration of those servers to your users. One headache you can get is users who install any app from the app store! They are not all compatible with your Nextcloud server and some are conflicting with other apps. It would be better if you could test in advance. With Nextcloud 23, you can create a list of apps that can be installed from the web interface.

    space ship showing speed

    🚀 10x faster syncing and more

    Administrators and users both will be happy that we worked on making Nextcloud faster again. This release introduces a bulk upload feature which lets the desktop client upload large numbers of small files much faster. The difference can be huge – 10x or more! And if your server uses S3 for external file storage, the faster file handing there will also help. We also worked on making search faster. Part of that is introducing a quick filter in Files that instantly shows you if a term you enter in the search field matches a file in the folder you are in. Search is also available now in the desktop and Android clients.

    server load graph
    sync speed graph

    More about sync performance

    ✅ Nextcloud Groupware

    For Mail we optimized the flow users have when getting work done. We improved the layout of Mail and made it easy to turn a email message into a calendar event. And the tags you use for your email messages are now compatible with Apple Mail, Thunderbird and GNOME Evolution.

    Mail
    Mail
    create calendar event from Mail
    create calendar event from Mail

    More in the background, the Mail app can now report spam to a configured address. Administrators can provision mail accounts from multiple configurations depending on the email address while aliases can be set from an LDAP attribute.

    📆 Appointment scheduling

    For this release we wanted to simplify handling meetings within and outside your organization. The Calendar app now lets you define working hours for free/busy, making it easier for colleagues to book meetings with you, or see if you might be available on chat.

    But we went a step further: you can also allow external people to book a meeting in with you. That is a super cool thing – there are entire web services built around this and now you can just do it from Nextcloud!

    In the calendar, you can configure this using the Appointments list on the left. It gives you a lot of settings – define a name, description, length of the meeting and the calendar it should be booked into. Then define the time slots you are available, including restrictions like time to prepare or how many meetings you can handle per day.

    configure availability
    Configure availability
    Configure appointment slots
    Configure appointment slots
    book an appointment
    Book an appointment

    When you’ve defined your appointment slots, you get a link you can share with others. There is also a link on your profile page.

    For a visitor, is easy to book a slot and they will get an email to verify the appointment and then put it in their own calendars.

    Device setup before a call

    ✅ Nextcloud Talk

    This is a big release for Talk and the team has made a lot of improvements. Our focus was on enabling calls with more participants, for example for webinars. Talk is used more and more in larger organizations so this is important for many of our users.

    Most users will first notice that before you start a call you can quickly do a device check to ensure your camera and microphone are configured right. Once you join the call, you have the option in your browser to blur the background, keeping your background to yourself.

    To help in big calls and webinars, we gave the moderator new powers! First, a moderator can add a description and relative timer to the lobby screen, so users waiting to join the call know what they are waiting for and how long it will take. But a moderator can now also let individual users from the lobby into the call in advance.

    Talk permissions view

    When they are in the call, the moderator can give users permission for audio, video and screen sharing. It can be configured to give these by default, or turn them off until explicitly enabled. That can keep the call a bit more organized! The video below is a walk-through of the permissions and lobby settings.

    Talk now differentiates individual mentions from group mentions
    Talk now differentiates individual mentions from group mentions

    Talk will automatically adjust the quality of audio and video, so even in large calls or with relatively bad network it will be possible to see the other participants.

    In a moderated calls, only the people who have permission to share audio and video will be sending streams, limiting the network load further.

    And as always, there’s much more in talk, like improvements to the screen layout, to notifications, integration of Circles and more.

    ✅ Nextcloud Office

    Nextcloud offers integrations with several office solutions: OnlyOffice, Collabora Online, MS Office Online Server and Hancom office.

    OnlyOffice recently made significant improvements, including restoring versions of documents during editing, smart favicon, more editing features, mentions in comments, file templates and more.

    But the highlight of this release is Nextcloud Office, our now standard office suite, developed in collaboration with Collabora Productivity!

    Our goal was to supercharge office in Nextcloud, bringing deeper integration than ever before. We have been working on this with a shared team with Collabora Productivity and Nextcloud Office will be the default office suite in Nextcloud.

    The main improvements in Nextcloud Office:

    • Visual and usability integration to fit the overall Nextcloud design
    • Native sidebar rendering in the browser
    • Integrated Draw into Nextcloud Office for business-focused vector graphics and data visualization
    • Much improved performance

    This office application is designed to integrate even deeper with Nextcloud. The initial focus has been on a better visual integration, and you can see what that looks like below.

    Nextcloud Office Spreadsheet
    Nextcloud Office Document

    Nextcloud Office feels more like a Nextcloud application than ever before. Another improvement is a new side bar that is native and client side rendered, giving a better usability and look.

    Libreoffice Draw

    We also integrated Draw into Nextcloud Office. Draw is a business-focused vector graphics and data visualization app that can handle things like flow charts and relational diagrams. Can import from MS Visio.

    A short list of other improvements that were done:

    • Improved Excel and PPTX compatibility
    • Nicer look of shadows, glows and soft edges
    • Smarter handling of languages

    This is, of course, just the beginning. We will keep working with Collabora for more improvements.

    🏢 Other Office improvements

    The Nextcloud Office team also works on other productivity improvements. The biggest is that you can now share a set of knowledge base pages in Collectives with an external link. Deck and Talk also got a number of smaller improvements, with due date shortcuts in the Deck date picker and improved search, and an emoji picker in Text.

    ✅ Nextcloud Clients

    The Nextcloud desktop, Android and iOS clients coming with this release come with support for Unified Search, User Profiles and User Status on all platforms.

    The Android app also introduces calendar backup/restore and an improved video player for streaming.

    The iOS app comes with native media integration and picture-in-picture.

    The Desktop Client now supports End-to-end encryption with the Virtual File System on Windows and introduced a dialog to resolve file name issues. Various user interface improvements including an enhanced activity dialog with file activity and sync status/progress as well as support for directly sharing files to a Talk conversation or email address complement the <a href="https://nextcloud.com/blog/nextcloud-files-for-desktop-android-and-ios-introducing-support-for-nextcloud-hub-ii-features-and-more-major-improvements/"Desktop Client release.

    ➕ There is more!

    Nextcloud Hub II was designed to enable further growth of decentralized collaboration as a counter-model to Big Tech’s attempts to control user data! Read more about this in our dedicated blog!

    Decentralize the cloud

    🎁 When and where can I get it?

    Right away! But you might wonder when the updater will offer you Nextcloud Hub II. Well, that will take a while as we do staged roll-out of updates. That is, we only make the update available for a portion of our user base at a time. We typically wait a few weeks before we start this, so in total it can take some six weeks. And that is if no problems are found – if we find a problem that hits many users we halt the roll-out until it is fixed.

    If you don’t want to wait and upgrade sooner, this new release can be found in the beta channel. You can enable the beta channel, refresh the page, then upgrade. After the upgrade you can go back to the stable channel and you’ll be notified when 23.0.1 is out!

    Download Nextcloud Hub II (23)

    Nextcloud in a nutshell:

    Nextcloud Hub II is compatible with the latest PHP 8 and drops compatibility with PHP 7.2. The release is available for immediate download on nextcloud.com/install Existing users will receive an update notification over the coming weeks. Nextcloud does staged roll-outs, usually starting at the first minor release and gradually encompassing the entire user base unless problems are found. With an estimated over 400.000 Nextcloud servers on the internet, the total roll-out is expected to take several months.

    Technical details and help

    Latest version: Nextcloud Hub II (23)

    The latest publicly supported version: Nextcloud Hub 20

    Download from our website: https://nextcloud.com/install/

    App store: apps.nextcloud.com/

    Nextcloud Clients: Desktop (Linux, macOS, Windows), Android, iOS

    Whitepapers, customer case studies & datasheets: https://nextcloud.com/whitepapers/

    Social media channels: Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook

    Request a demo: https://try.nextcloud.com/

    Community support: help.nextcloud.com/

    Nextcloud Enterprise: nextcloud.com/enterprise/

    Are you new here?

    Nextcloud Hub is the industry-leading, fully open-source, on-premises team productivity platform, combining the easy user interface of consumer-grade cloud solutions with the security and compliance measures enterprises need. Nextcloud Hub brings together universal access to data through mobile, desktop and web interfaces with next-generation, on-premise secure communication and collaboration features like real-time document editing, chat and video calls, putting them under the direct control of IT and integrated with existing infrastructure.

    Nextcloud’s easy and quick deployment, open, modular architecture and emphasis on security and advanced federation capabilities enable modern enterprises to leverage their existing file storage assets within and across the borders of their organization.

    For more information, visit nextcloud.com or follow @Nextclouders on Twitter.

    Stay safe and productive with Nextcloud

    As you can see, we’re making big steps forward. We hope you’ll be super productive with Nextcloud!

    Thank you 🙇 to our amazing community!

    As always, we want to thank our community for their invaluable contributions – Nextcloud would not exist without all the awesome members of our community that regularly help us make Nextcloud better, submitting patches, translating Nextcloud to other languages or testing and reporting issues!

    Feedback 🔥🤩👍

    We appreciate your feedback! If you’d like to share your comments with us, continue the discussion in our forums. What’s the best thing about Nextcloud Hub so far?

    3 Likes

    2 posts were split to a new topic: OnlyOffice app not saving changes in files app

    Hello @marinela ,

    is the following information from NC23 announcement correct?

    The following schedule says NC 20 is already EOL:

    Which information is correct?

    Cheers,
    Mark

    2 posts were merged into an existing topic: NC23: How to enable Nextcloud Office

    Despite the text mentioning the usual text that stable users will only receive it in the coming weeks, 30% on stable are currently already getting it if I read the config correctly:

    You might want to reconsider this as most apps including eg. Collabora CODE are not yet marked as compatible.

    1 Like

    Hi,

    I upgrade my nextcloud to 23, and i have these messages

    • Index “fs_id_storage_size” manquant dans la table “oc_filecache”.
    • Index “fs_storage_path_prefix” manquant dans la table “oc_filecache”.

    Is there a way to solve this ?

    And i don’t have Nextcloud Office installed, i use again Collabora plugin.

    Thanks

    If you read the whole message the solution should be clear. It’s a occ console command to add the missing indices…

    2 Likes

    Likewise, I succeeded in upgrade to 23, but am both mildly confused (by the terms Nextcloud Hub II and Nextcloud 23 and whether that is the same thing and if so, why it needs two names) but have no idea about the integrated Office (I have a Collabora server and it still works fine) or the P2P backup yet (which I’m very interested in).

    There seems a gulf between the marketing and the how-to documentation ;-). Office sounds neat. And if I don’t have to maintain a separate collabora server all the better. And P2P backup sounds awesome.

    Since you are confused, just stick with Nextcloud 23 (version number). :+1:

    I’ve noticed the forum uses version numbers so makes sense that we just continue to do so.

    Reads to my layman eyes as Indiana Jones 4: Search for the Crystal Skull

    1 Like

    But are they the same thing? And why the confusing mix of terms? How is Nextcloud Hub not Nextcloud? What’s the Hub bit? And why is 23 Hub II and 22 is nothing, and 21? Is this a scheme for marketing people to confuse mere mortals?

    Nextcloud in Version 18 was the first including a integrateable office and has therefor been named “Hub”. As version 23 gets the “Nextcloud Office” it’s named “Hub II”. Stick with the version numbers and everyone knows what’s meant. The hub-things are just a marketing thing…

    5 Likes

    In video you have spoken about readiness for academic use. One really missing feature is still breakout rooms. This is not only for academic use, but also any use, where group work is needed.

    Yet another huge missing (killer) feature is conversation recording and later publishing for participants. Appropriate feature request exist since year 2018. At least audio, video but also text would be appreciated. As it is custom storage, the space or usage bandwidth should not be issues. Would be appreciated, if there could be choosed, whether to record text, audio, video or all of these. Also flexible publishing would be appreciated, e.g. how long, permissions over shared videofile, etc.

    You’ve spoken also about editing messages feature (also killer feature) and you claimed about missing real use case. Well, this feature request has been reported since 2019, has clear explanation about that feature. It is really annoying to delete-paste all the time about messages instead of just fixing them. Especially, when later try to fix - it will really mess up whole conversation, when I delete a message and insert it again into end of conversation. It really matters for organizations and is real obstacle of adopting Nextcloud, as also described in this comment and I can confirm it.

    Yet there is one big missing feature, called delta-sync, block-level sync, Dropbox calls it also binary diff. Please look also Dropbox’s magic pocket. This is especially crucial in case of large files, internet connection bandwidth limit. Appropriate feature request about delta-sync has been created already in 2016. I would say, it is second missing killer feature after Talk missing message editing feature, that preventing of adopting Nextcloud in larger organizations and, or in case of need to sync larger files and, or using mobile internet with limited bandwidth for connectivity.

    Really annoying are missing apps compatibility in case of Nextcloud 23.x and still I cannot upgrade. You mentioned, that you won’t pre-advertise, but I would say, that you actually did this. Only clean install is possible with v23. As soon as I try to upgrade, there are lots of incompatible apps, e.g. SSO / SAML authentication, which is mandatory for organizations with central user management. But there were also many other apps, that seem to be updated slowly.