Among the major enhancements to ownCloud 4.5 is support for mounting third party storage. That means that an ownCloud deployment can potentially manage its own storage as well as leverage other online storage sources such as Dropbox, Google Drive or Amazon S3.
Access to the third party storage is delivered securely by different means depending on the storage type. Frank Karlitschek, founder of the ownCloud project and CTO of the commercial ownCloud company, explained that with WebDAV for example, ownCloud uses an ssl-encrypted connection with login/password authentication.
“Dropbox uses the Dropbox API with ssl and an api key that the user has to generate at Dropbox,” Karlitschek said. “Amazon S3 uses the native API with SSL and login/password. So the answer is, it depends on the backend, but it’s always encrypted.”
In addition to the multi-storage support, keeping everything in sync will now be easier as well. Instead of relying on a time stamp — which isn’t always accurate — to identify the newest version of a file, ownCloud 4.5 is introducing a new unique ID for each file. Karlitschek noted that on the first run of ownCloud 4.5 all pre-existing data will automatically get the ID as well.
File versioning overall also gets a boost in ownCloud 4.5, thanks to a more streamlined and intelligent system.