What ownCloud provides is an open source take on a Dropbox model where users can share and save files in a cloud environment. With ownCloud, the technology is all open source and it can be hosted anywhere.
The ownCloud 4 release debuts a number of new features to further differentiate the technology from its competitors. At the top of the new features list is the ability to do file versioning. A user can now have multiple versions of a file saved in ownCloud, which can enable rollback if necessary.
Having rollback is a safety feature and so too is the new encryption capabilities present in ownCloud 4. Server-side file encryption is a much needed feature that is now present in ownCloud 4, protecting sensitive data.
From a usability perspective, ownCloud 4 now has drag and drop file uploading through a standard browser interface. Users can now also open and read ODF formatted documents inline with the browser.
As is the case with Dropbox, extensibility is a key feature for ownCloud. In the ownCloud 4 release, new APIs are being introduced that will let developers extend and integrate with ownCloud for some time to come.
“We plan on keeping the API stable and supported for at least the next 2 ownCloud releases, and will follow a similar plan rolling forwards,” Matt Richards, VP of Products at ownCloud Inc.told InternetNews.com.