Using the Desktop Client with shares, but without a user account on a server

What would be a great time saver is the ability to sync one or more folders with the client by entering a share link + password instead of a user account.
At my company we provide access to folders to external parties during our projects.
To do so we create an account which has access to several (External Storage) folders. The creation of the accounts is quite time consuming and requires admin privileges.
Making the client sync a folder shared by link (obviously only if it meets requirements such as read/write access and password protection) would save time and open up the possibility to regular users to do this themselves.

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All of thatbalready exists between sharing and federation.

It does, if the recipient has a Nextcloud account on their own instance, or the admin of the sharing instance sets up a new Nextcloud account for them (which is the hassle they want to avoid).

I think flinc is suggesting that the Nextcloud desktop client could be used without a Nextcloud account at all - just enter in the share path and password as you would if accessing the share from the web, and you get the share synchronized to your computer without needing an individual account.
Seems like a very nice feature for sharing across organizations, where not everyone has Nextcloud.

That is exactly what i mean mactrent.
Most companies unfortunately do not have Nextcloud instances running.
additionally as a side effect (in my view as Nextcloud enthousiast) it might trigger interest for the product as well.

So, the desktop app would need to host a webdav server by itself. Sounds complicated.

My technical knowledge is insufficient to understand why a webdav server is needed when connecting to a share link but not in when connecting with an account.
I have no idea about technical feasibility but if webdav server is required then that sounds like overkill for such a function.

The desktop app is already a webdav client, and that’s all it needs to be. It would connect to the server that shares the file using webdav, with the only difference being that it uses the share password, instead of a regular account.

On the back-end, this could just be an extension of the Guest Accounts feature - where ordinary users can create a temporary or limited account with access only to a given resource. The main difference is where you put the button.

Try filing a request to the desktop github repo.

But with the guests app you can create - and even decentralise who can - guests. With a guest account, they can login and use the client. All you has to do is setup so they are all added to a specific group or circle. Then make a group folder (use the group folder app, or create one folder under the admin account and under that one, each folder you creates is shares for different groups). The groups folder app works, but it is a pain when upgrading NC and the groups folder app is not yet supported. Best solution: Create a “service account” with the purpose of creating group shares. Then under that service account, each folder you creates, you can share with whomever you like. This setup will also work the groups folder app is not working, as it is as basic as it can be, and the result is the same.

If it lets any user on the sharing instance create a guest account when sharing a file, then that does sound like the solution. Could you maybe do a step-by-step, with an example?

Can the user create a guest account and share a folder with it, without requiring an admin’s help each time? What exactly does the admin need to do beforehand, to allow this?

First download get and activate the Nextcloud app “Guests”.

Follow instructions from that app. Done.