Collabora Online Powers Diagrams in ownCloud 10.9

New Frontend and Diagrams in ownCloud 10.9

The latest version of ownCloud Server brings various performance improvements, including significantly speeding up how ownCloud clients examine the contents of user accounts. This is especially beneficial for those users with a lot of files and large directory structures. The update has also introduced a new frontend. The “richdocuments” extension of Collabora Online supports both the old and new frontend and integrates flawlessly into either of them. At the same time, a new document type has been introduced. The ownCloud Server can now open and edit Diagrams.

Using Diagrams with ownCloud & Collabora Online

The use of the new Diagram file type is very straightforward. Below we are describing how to create a Diagram from scratch inside the new and the old interface and how to edit exiting Diagrams through the ownCloud server web interface.

Accessing documents with Collabora Online from ownCloud’s new frontend

Create or Open a Diagram in the Old Frontend

To create a new diagram inside the old web frontend, simply click the plus icon within the folder navigation above the file list. In addition to the familiar document types (word processing, spreadsheet & presentation), you will now also notice an orange Diagram option. Select this to open an empty diagram document. Diagrams are displayed in a light orange icon and include the extension .odg in their file name. Existing Diagrams will be opened through a click on the file.

Create or Open a Diagram in the New Frontend

The handling within the new frontend is very similar. The new web interface includes an updated new button over the file listing. Click it and choose the new Diagram option to start a Diagram from scratch inside the current folder. Diagrams are also displayed in a light orange icon and include the extension .odg in their file name. Existing Diagrams will be opened through a click on the file or through a context menu that opens with a right-click.

A Diagram opened in Collabora Online 21.11

Edit Diagrams with Collabora Online and ownCloud

Diagrams can also be created outside ownCloud and Collabora Online using Collabora Office Draw or LibreOffice Draw. Diagrams offer a variety of options to edit documents with (vectorized) graphics, shapes, text, FontArt and the smart connector tool that has been introduced in Collabora Online 6.4.8. Furthermore, it is of course possible to work with tables and charts. Diagrams is suitable for creating print products such as flyers or posters, but also organigrams, flow charts or technical drawings. Working within the Diagrams module is very intuitive as it is similar to the approach of creating a presentation in Impress. Further information on the range of functions can be found in the Draw online help.

Discover Collabora Online and ownCloud

Collabora and ownCloud are proud to offer a combined commercial solution including Collabora Online. Based on the LibreOffice technology core, we continue to develop this functionality in response to the evolving needs of our customers. Find out more and request your free demo.

 

 

About ownCloud

ownCloud develops and provides open-source software for content collaboration, allowing teams to easily share and work on files seamlessly regardless of device or location. Hundreds of millions of users worldwide already use ownCloud as an alternative to public clouds – and thereby opt for more digital sovereignty, security and data protection. Find more information online at owncloud.com or follow @ownCloud on Twitter.

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise-quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com. Keep up to date on all latest developments by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube or Mastodon.

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Collabora Online 21.11.3 Released – Dynamic Configuration of Multiple Hosts Saves Cost and Reduces Management Complexity

The latest update of Collabora Online brings significant configuration improvements allowing users to dynamically connect multiple WOPI hosts with a single Collabora Online Server. This makes Collabora Online easier to deploy and configure, especially when scaling to integrate with many different services. Collabora Online 21.11.3 also brings several improvements to the user experience, like the way complex commenting cases are handled. Several visual enhancements are also included. All the technical details of this version are available in the release notes.

Dynamic Configuration Saves Cost and Reduces Management Complexity

Collabora Online uses a WOPI-like protocol to interact with hosts who want to integrate Collabora Online. The improved admin configurations allow for multiple WOPI hosts with multiple aliases. This means you can use a single Collabora Online server with different software integrations at the same time as Nextcloud, ownCloud, EGroupware, Moodle, Alfresco or an Univention Corporate Server. It is possible to manage these hosts dynamically without a server restart. This makes Collabora Online much easier to deploy and configure, particularly when scaling to integrate with large numbers of different services. All of this saves cost and reduces management complexity, making this feature especially interesting for host companies. We have summarised the technical background information on Multihost Configuration inside our SDK documentation.

The comments section in Collabora 21.11.3 saw different visual and usability improvements

Improvements for Complex Commenting Cases

Icon of a collapsed thread

The way Writer renders comments has improved significantly with recent updates. When you respond to a comment, the original comment is visually highlighted and indented, making it much clearer to locate the referenced element inside the document. Collabora Online does now display comments in different ways depending on the window’s width. On smaller displays, comment threads will be displayed collapsed – as a small icon with an indication of the number of replies. This is particularly useful on laptops or tablets. On large screens comments we be displayed fully expanded. These overall visual improvements significantly enhance the look and feel of the comment section and make the collaborative editing processes more effective.

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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HiDrive Office by Collabora Online

Collabora Online Available Through STRATO HiDrive Office

Working in partnership with Collabora Productivity, STRATO has launched its collaborative office documents solution – HiDrive Office. Based on Collabora Online, HiDrive Office provides business customers with a powerful office document solution that delivers a complete range of collaborative functionality. HiDrive Office supports productivity whilst protecting data security, and it represents a real alternative to organisations looking for an office document solution that is ideally suited to today’s distributed working environment.

STRATO HiDrive supports all major document formats and offers a large range of professional features in a familiar, tried and tested environment.

Commenting on the partnership with STRATO and the launch of HiDrive Office, Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity, said:

Our partnership with STRATO means their business customers can now benefit from the secure office collaboration functionality offered by Collabora Online, which is increasingly being used by organisations keen to support the productivity of their staff, many of whom now work at home.

Collabora Online is available by default for HiDrive Business customers without additional cost. Users of the HiDrive consumer tariffs can order Collabora Online as a paid add-on.

Supported Document Formats

Clients using HiDrive Office by Collabora Online can now edit text documents, presentations and spreadsheets both in Microsoft’s OOXML format and in the Open Document Format and benefit from Collabora’s excellent interoperability. Every of these documents can be opened and edited together with team members inside the browser. Additionally, also 2D vector drawings and illustrations saved in the ODG format can be opened and edited online in Collabora Online’s Draw module. Collabora Online provides HiDrive users with a secure and feature-rich office solution in the Cloud that includes real-time collaboration, spellchecking, versioning, conditional formatting, charts, pivot tables, pdf and epub export, a vast support for different image formats and all the features you would expect from a professional office suite on the desktop.

Word Processing, Spreadsheets, Presentations, 2D Vector Graphic Editor – The Four Components of Collabora Online

Word processing in HiDrive Office by Collabora Online
Spreadsheets in HiDrive Office by Collabora Online
Presentations in HiDrive Office by Collabora Online
Graphic editor in HiDrive Office by Collabora Online

Opening and Editing Documents in HiDrive

The different document types stored in HiDrive can be distinguished by their individual icons. Apart from the file endings – visible in list view – the different document types are easily distinguished by their individual icons:

  • Text document (doc, docx, odt): Icon displaying a blue “A”
  • Spreadsheets (xls, xlsx, ods): Icon displaying an orange bar chart
  • Presentations (ppt, pptx, odp): Icon displaying a green pie chart
  • 2D vector drawings (.odg): Icon displaying a yellow sun
Document icons in HiDrive’s cloud storage web interface

To view or edit these document types in Collabora Online just click on the stored file. This will take you to an intermediate screen allowing you to choose from opening or downloading the respective file. Inside this screen, it is also possible to browse through the files, delete them or access additional information. Alternatively, it is possible to open files directly by opening a dialog with a right-click.

Right-clicking a document file in HiDrive opens a dialog allowing to open the document directly in Collabora Online, or copying or renaming it.
Clicking on a document opens an interface allowing to download a document, see more information or edit it in Collabora Online.

How to get HiDrive Office by Collabora Online

The HiDrive Business Cloud by STRATO is available in different tiers ranging from 1 to 10 TB of storage. Some of the offerings are designed for the efficient teamwork of small teams, while others aim towards the storage of video, project data or back-ups. All of STRATO’s servers are located in Germany in datacentres that are ISO 27001 certified by German TÜV-Nord. Furthermore, STRATO’s service is certified as “trusted cloud” by German TÜV-Saarland. For testing purposes, STRATO offers its Starter tier free of charge for one month and reduced pricing on yearly subscriptions.

 

 

STRATO

STRATO is a reliable web host for everyone who wants to be successful online. STRATO makes web hosting fair and simple – at the best price and without unnecessary bells and whistles. The product range extends from domain, mail, website and server to online marketing tools and Germany’s largest cloud storage HiDrive. The complete packages include flexible contract terms, a 30-day money-back guarantee and six-time award-winning customer service.

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Collabora Online 21.11.2.4 Brings Accessibility Checker and Improved UX

The latest update of Collabora Online brings several improvements regarding accessibility and the user interface. Also, the rotation of images has been accelerated, making the experience much better. Inside this blog, we are highlighting some of the latest features of the Collabora Online 21.11.2.4 update. All the technical details of this version are available in the release notes.

Accessibility Check Helps to Create Documents According to the PDF/UA Standard

Accessibility Check in Collabora Online 21.11.2.4

Collabora Online introduces the accessibility checker with the update to version 21.11.2.4. It helps to create documents according to the PDF/UA standard. Published as an International Standard in 2012 (ISO 14289), the PDF/UA format provides clear normative terms for achieving accessibility in the PDF format. The goal is to enable users to use documents without assistance from others, and to be able to receive the same value from the content as people without disabilities. This is accomplished by standardisation of the content structure within the PDF files and the technology capabilities available to the end user, including PDF readers and assistive technologies (AT).

The Accessibility Check is part of the first step in an ongoing journey to improve accessibility, both in Collabora Online (Browser) and Collabora Office (Desktop). The Accessibility Check button can be found in the Review tab. The dialog shows a list of all issues found in the text document. Through a quick access button, it is possible to access the critical element. The issue is highlighted. These checks are currently implemented:

  • Check if the document title is set
  • Check if the document language is set, or all styles in use, have the language set
  • Check all images, graphics, OLE objects for the alt (or title in some objects) text
  • Check for heading order. Order of the headings must increase incrementally with no skips
  • Check, if text conveys additional meaning with (direct) formatting
  • Check if tables do not include split or merged cells, which could be disorienting for users with visual impairments
  • Check for fake/manual numbering (not using integrated numbering)
  • Check that hyperlink text is not a hyperlink itself – hyperlink should be described
  • Check for the contrast between text and the background
  • Check for blinking text, which can be problematic for people with cognitive disabilities or photosensitive epilepsy
  • Check for footnotes and end notes, which should be avoided

Faster Rotation of Bitmap Graphics

Fast image rotation in Collabora Online 21.11.2.4

The rotation of bitmap graphics has undergone a significant speed improvement. When rotating graphics via the button (the slightly off-set filled circle above a selected graphic), the movement is now much smoother and easier to position. This improvement makes manipulating bitmap graphics much more comfortable. Here’s how you can try it for yourself. Select a bitmap graphic by clicking on it. Move the cursor to the grey circle above the graphic. The cursor now changes into a palm. Now move the palm cursor to the right and left as you wish while holding down the left mouse button.

Goodbye, Hamburger Menu 👋 The User Interface Experiences Many Improvements

Home Tab in Collabora Online 21.11.2.4
View Tab in Collabora Online 21.11.2.4

The Collabora Online 21.11.2.4 update brings some clearly visible changes to the user interface. The tabs have been streamlined in favour of a more floating style. The appearance of Collabora Online on iPads has been harmonised with the appearance on desktops and notebooks. By clicking the current tab, you can collapse the menu or display it again. Additionally, we are waving the hamburger menu goodbye. Many of the functions contained therein were already available via buttons in other tabs. Now the remaining functions have also found a new home, in places that are less generic. For instance, Select All can be found inside the Layout tab, the Full Screen icon now lives in the View tab, and so does the possibility to toggle the ruler. At the same time, the Undo & Redo buttons have been moved to the Home tab. And there are even more small UI enhancements to be discovered. All dialogs experienced visual improvements, and so did many elements in the Sidebar and the formatting icons. Thanks to the community, that contributed a lot to this specific area.

 

 

About Collabora Online

Collabora Online 21.11 is our latest enterprise quality release. It’s suitable for large-scale deployment, and comes with SLA, enterprise support with signed security updates as well as interaction with product management, helping to direct our development priorities. Collabora Online integrates flawlessly into Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, and many of the major file sync & share, groupware and hosting solutions. It’s ideal for organisations that want to collaborate on documents, without losing control over them or compromising on privacy. With the ability to host it on your own hardware or to integrate it into a trusted environment, Collabora Online is the ideal online office suite for digital sovereignty. Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner. For any questions or tailored solutions, do not hesitate to contact hello@collaboraoffice.com.

 

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Homeworking and the Role of Open Software in 2022


As most will agree, it’s been an unusual two years as the Covid pandemic has transformed society and ushered in new approaches and attitudes to the way we work, such as homeworking.

Impact of the Pandemic and Homeworking

In this blog we talk to Michael Meeks, General Manager of Collabora Productivity, to get his take on the business impact of the pandemic, the rise in homeworking and the ongoing pressure on organisations to enable and support effective distributed team collaboration and secure data sharing.

Discussing how the pandemic directly impacted Collabora Online, Michael explained that Collabora had always been a very virtual business so homeworking was nothing new.

“We utilise the skills and expertise of people from around the world, so distributed working is a necessity for us. Similarly, from a sales perspective, the pandemic, fortunately, has not been disruptive as it has for many other businesses. In fact, our sales over the last two years have increased significantly, which is possibly a direct result of organisations needing to respond to homeworking.”

Michael explained that they’d seen a growing number of businesses turning to Collabora Online as a way of solving urgent operational gaps brought about by the closure of offices.

“For many organisations, simply extending office-based solutions into the homes of their staff was either too expensive or technically too difficult.”

Tried and Tested Collaboration Solution

Collabora Online presented a tried and tested alternative to the commonly used office document solutions. Not only did it offer a familiar ‘desktop’ look and feel, which is important when trying to maintain productivity levels, but it was easy to deploy within a web/browser-based distributed environment, so it answered many of the issues business decision makers were asking when extending the working environment into a less-controllable domestic setting.

Michael said:

“We regularly talked with decision makers who recognised the urgency of homeworking, but were, understandably, concerned about operational implications, such as productivity, data security and legislative compliance.” He continued: “Given the way Collabora Online is built on the LibraOffice common core, we could provide a feature-rich, distributed office document collaboration solution that was tried and tested, and already optimised for the demands of the homeworking environment.”

Throughout the pandemic, and beyond, Collabora Online was, and is, being used by serious, tech-savvy organisations that need a document collaboration solution that not only provides more control over every aspect of its operation, such as the servers and networking it is hosted on, but greater security over the, often sensitive, data exchanged and stored in office documents.

Collabora Online, Office Productivity Market and Open Software in 2022

So as we move towards greater levels of ‘normality’ what does 2022 look like for Collabora Online, the office productivity market and open software in general?

“I think homeworking is here to stay,” suggested Michael.

“This long-term transition has clearly been accelerated by the pandemic, but you could argue that as the search continued for a better work/life balance, it would have come about sooner or later. As such, more and more organisations will be looking for solutions, such as Collabora Online, that are already optimised for a distributed working environment. Homeworking can come with its own challenges, especially when problems arise. In these circumstances, businesses need to be confident they can quickly and easily get the support they need, when they need it, which they can from us at Collabora.”

With regards to the open software market, Michael was very positive:

“Open Source software is everywhere now and is dominant in new product development, and although a tension can occur with commercial drivers that sometimes encourage bad practices, such as a reluctance to contribute back to the overall open software community, most of those involved get it and understand the huge benefits working with Open Source can deliver”

So 2022 looks like an exciting year for Collabora Online as it continues to respond to the evolving needs of a distributed, increasingly security-aware market, with end users keen to protect their flexibility and avoid getting tied to one dominant supplier.

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