ownCloud and Collabora Enable Setting up Virtual Data Rooms with New “Secure View” Feature

With “Secure View”, ownCloud and Collabora Online present a first of its kind, entirely new way of individually restricting data and information exchange. The fully controllable restrictions range from simple download deactivation to a highly-protected read-only option. Enterprise users thus can entirely control and meet the highest security and compliance standards when working together on digital documents. Thanks to Secure View, “virtual data rooms” can now be set up without expensive additional software.

Using Secure View, documents of all common Office formats (.docx/.xlsx/.pptx/.pdf) can be provided with comprehensive restrictions. These restrictions prevent the recipient of a file from editing or downloading it, copying/inserting content and from printing the document. An important part of sharing and collaborating in Secure View is that the text displayed on the computer is composed of images. The protected document itself never leaves the server. To add to these permissions, exporting or printing documents can either be entirely prohibited or can be restricted by generating a watermark. A watermark of this type displays individual user information. This ensures that it is always possible to draw conclusions about the person who passed on the document (without permission) – even when taking a screenshot or photo.


Maximum Security When Working Together on Documents

“With the development of Secure View, we can now offer our Collabora Online users even more ways to collaborate and work with documents that require a particular level of security,” Michael Meeks, General Manager at Collabora, points out. “Collabora Online and ownCloud complement each other perfectly by combining convenience and flexibility, when editing and viewing documents, with maximum data exchange security.”

Secure View is the basis for mode-based document sharing, whereby individual permission settings determine what the recipient of a file can do with it. In addition to individual access restrictions for specific documents, policies such as “view-only”, “comments-only” or “enforce change tracking” can also be automatically applied as soon as certain prerequisites are met. This way, “virtual data rooms” can now be established using Secure View. In these restricted areas within an ownCloud, sensitive documents are protected from unauthorized redistribution without impairing read access for authorized persons from anywhere. The only prerequisites are Internet access and a web browser.


All Data Remains on the Server

Typical use cases for Secure View are review processes of confidential documents or the controlled provision of sensitive information for a selected group of people. Since ownCloud is an on-premises private cloud solution, access to such secure data rooms can also be granted to external authorized readers without the original confidential data leaving the company’s servers – because the text displayed on readers’ computers is composed of images. This enables convenient collaboration, for example with consulting lawyers or R&D partners, while ensuring that security and compliance rules are met.

Secure View is the first feature which has been developed on the basis of “Advanced Sharing Permissions”, introduced in ownCloud 10.2. This technical foundation provides extension developers with the means to implement advanced individual permission settings at user and group level, thus maximizing security and control.


Document Protection Without Vendor Lock-in

While there are other software solutions for virtual data rooms available on the market, none of them offers a comparable level of security and control at the same time. One of these software solutions is Microsoft’s “Azure Rights Management”, to name just one example. It encrypts all documents and stores the decryption key in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud. To make this solution work, it is necessary to use Microsoft products across a large part of the corporate infrastructure in order to guarantee full protection and accessibility of the sensitive documents.The result is an architecture that is unnecessarily complex and highly dependent on a single vendor.

With the solution from ownCloud and Collabora, these two obstacles are eliminated. This way organizations stay in full control of where their sensitive data is stored and which software they can choose for editing and viewing documents. “Securely viewing” these documents only requires a web browser. So there is no vendor lock-in at any point of this process.

“The joint development of Secure View, an unprecedented feature, is a great example of what can be achieved with flexible integration solutions,” Tobias Gerlinger, CEO of ownCloud, comments on the cooperation. “In this way, we can offer our users enterprise-relevant new features without getting bogged down with too many different development ventures – as is the case with some competing products. For ownCloud, stability, security and performance of the core product are the top priorities.”



About Collabora Productivity, Ltd.
Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, providing a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specialising in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries.

For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

About ownCloud
ownCloud is the market leading open source content collaboration solution worldwide. ownCloud enables users to securely access and share data from any device, anywhere in the world. With more than 200,000 installations and 50 million users, ownCloud provides organizations a modern collaborative experience, thereby boosting productivity without compromising on security. At the same time, it gives organizations the visibility and control required to manage sensitive data.

To get the latest updates, please visit owncloud.com/newsroom or follow us on Twitter @ownCloud.

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Collabora Online 4.0.3 Released

Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 26, 2019Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind bringing LibreOffice to the cloud, is excited to announce a new release of our enterprise product Collabora Online 4.0.3. This release comes with lots of bugfixes and a few minor new features.

What’s new in Collabora Online 4.0.3?

New features

  • Follow other editor behavior: we now show the flag with the suer name above the other users’ caret when they are typing or moving around in the document. When the other user stops interacting, the flag fades away after a second or two.

  • In impress – we added keyboard bindings to allow switching slides with up/down arrow keys when the slide pane is focused.
  • The Help URL is now configurable in /etc/lookitconfig.xcu and when the URL is unset, the Help buttons inside dialogs are hidden.
  • MPLv2 code subset configuration is now built by default.
  • Restored sort buttons to the toolbar in Calc – present in 3.4, and back by popular request in 4.0.3.

Notable bugfixes

  • In some circumstances the convert-to folder could become filled with documents – we made the cleanup of in-progress conversions much more robust.
  • When no avatar is available – we now show user colors:
  • Do not disable the Close Document menu for read-only docs

  • Last modification link should lead to revision history only when revision history feature is enabled
  • Show a normal statusbar in narrow window
  • Localization fixes
  • Fix Save As when ‘%’ character is used within the filename
  • Disable Thesaurus menu, when thesaurus is not available
  • Fix a crash, when trying to accept changes
  • Fix a crash, that occurred when no spelling dictionaries were available
  • Make PDF exported watermarks (when printing) look more similar to the watermarks shown in the online editor – when tiles are watermarked.
  • Fix rare corner-cases where under heavy load, concurrent editors may have had their changes attributed to other users.

Getting Collabora Online 4.0.3

Collabora Online is suitable for large scale deployment, comes with an SLA, Long Term Support with signed security updates as well as a rich product management interaction helping to direct our development priorities.

Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. For tailored solutions, contact sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner by filling in the partner form or contacting sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Collabora Online is only one part of a larger Enteprise File Sync & Share, Groupware, or Hosting solution. Collabora is excited to go to market with a long list of Partners each of which has an integration.

Online demo

You can get an online demo of Collabora Online and try it out yourself right now!

For more information:

About Collabora Productivity:

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, providing a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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Open letter for the EU parliament about Copyright Directive

As you may have heard: at the end of March, the EU parliament will have to vote on the Copyright Directive. Two articles in this directive – Articles 11 and 13 – may seriously jeopardize the success of all open source businesses and companies in Europe.

We believe that it is essential for businesses (rather than just individuals) to be heard in this debate. For this reason, many different European companies from the open source world, including Collabora, have signed an open letter to the European Parliament trying to urge politicians to vote against Articles 11 and 13 of the proposed Copyright Directive.

This open letter has been sent today (March 19th, 2019) to the members of the European Parliament. Please, find below a link where you can download and read this open letter. And, do not hesitate to share it with your contacts.

Open Letter Copyright Directive

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Collabora Online 4.0 released

Cambridge, United Kingdom, February 14, 2019Collabora Productivity, the driving force behind bringing LibreOffice to the cloud, is excited to announce a new, major release of our enterprise product Collabora Online 4.0. This release includes a fresh look, mobile improvements, improved interoperability, new dialogs and functionality as well as a raft of bug fixes and polish.

At the same time as our release we are updating the Collabora Online Development Edition (CODE) for home users, and to make it easy for everyone to try this out and get involved with integrating it into their systems. For more information please visit CODE’s page.

What has changed?

This release includes a fresh look – with improved toolbar colors and layout, mobile improvements – with support for Retina and HiDPI screens along with easier shape editing, as well as improved interoperability provided by upgrading the underlying document rendering core to Collabora Office 6.0. In addition, we introduce support for Vereign’s blockchain-powered platform which provides Collabora clients with an authentic identity management solution as well as bringing more of the rich dialogs of our core engine to users.

Screenshot of Collabora 4.0 on a computer

Refreshed Toolbar icons and layout

Toolbars have been refreshed to integrate the Colibre icon theme (thanks to Andreas Kainz) and lighter coloring, which significantly improves the look of 4.0. Compare before and after.

Collabora Online 4.0 Toolbar comparison from Writer

 

Collabora 4.0  bubble toolbar

In addition, a new icon to hide the menu bar is now present. It further simplifies the UI.

More space Add document type icon More formatting options

Screenshot of Collabora 4.0  bubble renaming document

The document file name – which you can click-to-rename – has been tucked into the menu more neatly. Further, a ‘click-able’ modification time – which when clicked launches the revision history – has been added.

While Collabora Online can be used as a software component integrated into a variety of products, these improvements to the visual design have been developed in close partnership with Nextcloud.

Integrating with Vereign

Vereign is a Swiss open source company building a blockchain based self-sovereign identity and personal data store. It can be hardened to Swiss banking standards. They are currently running a beta program to add authentic communication to e-mail, starting with Gmail and Roundcube. Collabora has partnered with Vereign to also provide authentic documents bearing the qualified electronic signature of your hardened self-sovereign identity.

logo of vereign company

The document_signing_url configuration key in loolwsd.xml will be pre-set to app.vereign.com for future CODE releases, as/when the API is stable. However Collabora Office users will need to enable this integration explicitly if they want it. If you are already signed up with the Vereign beta program, to send authentic email with your Gmail account, your self-sovereign identity and its passports will be immediately usable for signing documents in CODE 4.0.

Use the File → Sign document menu option to activate the ‘Vereign Toolbar’ to log into this service.

 

Screenshot of Collabora Online 4.0: signing documents digitally

For the users who are accustomed to using the Vereign app, we have created a QR code dialogue so as to speed up their log-in process.

 

Screenshot of a dialog window requesting the user to scan a qrcode with vereign app

And after using the identity to sign the document with a qualified electronic signature according to the EU and the Swiss laws, you should see:

Screenshot of Collabora Online 4.0: signing documents digitally with a logged session on Vereign app

Vereign also supports storing – and later publishing – copies of signed documents to provide you with an independent, user owned archive of your interactions. This archive is blockchain secured, as is the audit trail of all your identity interactions.

Vereign is currently gathering interested parties for Proof of Concept (PoC) deployments next year and partners with potential use cases are encouraged to contact Vereign directly.

Improved shape editing

To make shape editing much more pleasant, and more helpful for touch users we have enlarged the size of the selection handles and made them circular. We have also added a more convenient and familiar rotation control to avoid needing to use the shape dialogue to rotate objects.

screen of the new rotation handle added to the transformation feature

We have also added a more convenient and familiar rotation control to avoid needing to use the shape dialogue to rotate objects.
Rotation control added to shape dialogues.

 

When shapes are being re-sized or re-positioned, instead of just showing a rectangular profile of where the object will end up, we show a semi-transparent re-sizing preview of the new shape in its position at the new size:

 

Re-sizing preview:
Screenshot comparison between the old and new forms of scaling a picture in Collabora Online

 

In addition to make shape insertion easier we added a palette of all the built-in custom shapes allowing easy insertion of new shapes into the document.

screenshot of the brand new shape palette

Mobile device improvements

Mobile device support has improved significantly in this release in a number of critical areas. Time to first document load is improved – though it has always been possible to load, layout and calculate large and complex documents on the server – avoiding complexity and battery life impact on a small mobile device.

We have introduced a simple, stripped down viewing mode at first, to make it easier to view documents in an uncluttered way.
Stripped down viewing mode:

Screenshot collabora Online 4.0 Mobile view docScreenshot of Collabora Online 4.0 Mobile TOC

 

Toolbars are easier to use, can auto-hide, and scroll to allow a wider selection of commonly used functionality. The menus are also far easier to scroll and interact with deeper menu hierarchies.

Pinch to zoom, pan, and other multi-touch behaviors are also improved, along with the ability to zoom and pan into different areas of complex dialogues allowing the full rich functionality of the desktop designed dialogues that are larger than a mobile screen to be used conveniently.

 

Zooming and panning into different areas of complex dialogues:

 

Animated gif displaying zooming capabilities within dialog windows

 

Improvements to the special character dialog making it easier to use favorite characters in 4.0 are also visible here.

 

Retina / HiDPI display improvement

Version 4.0 now can take advantage of the browser’s native higher DPI to render at the display’s real resolution, getting crisp pixel rendering, for example at 200% zoom:

screenshot showing not so crisp pixel rendering of a dialogue at 200% zoom vs a hidpi variant
This has a significant effect across all components, and particularly Calc which now has a 200% zoom option.

Before and After:
screenshot showing not so crisp pixel rendering of calc screenshot showing crisp pixel rendering of Calc
 

By avoiding the browser needing to do a local scaling, we get much crisper text, and conditional formatting, as well as using your display to best effect.

We also moved to using scalable vector Colibre icons for dialogues, and rendering these at a higher resolution when needed too.

Writer improvements

Rich section properties

This feature provides users with the possibility to configure the attributes of sections of a Collabora Online Writer text document. For instance, a user can restrict editing to specific parts by locking certain sections of the text with a password in order to protect sections, perhaps legally sensitive, of a text from being changed.

Screenshot of Insert Section dialogue box from Writer

Inserting a multi-level Table of Contents

Users can now insert powerful Tables of Contents (TOC) and customize them to their preference. Adding a TOC to your documents easily provides an overview of a longer text based on the headings you have used helping readers to navigate through multiple pages easily and quickly. Use “Ctrl+Click Function” to jump to a heading or sub-heading in a document.

Dialogue box for inserting a table of contents in the Writer

Calc improvements

Page styling

Calc uses page styles to specify the layout of how we print pages, including line arrangement, line styles, background colour, paper format, margins, layout setting, headers, footers, and shadowing styles. These are applied via page styles you can re-use for other sheets.

Screenshot of Page Style dialogue box from Calc

Impress improvements

In Impress, every slide is based on a slide master. Masters also exist for notes, and handouts. Every type of master has predefined areas for date, header, footer, and slide numbers whose styles can be customized. When editing online, to provide quick information about your contents, you need to be able to create, edit, and customize the Header and Footer as well as Bullets and Numbering features. Here’s some descriptions and screenshots of the dialogues.

Header and footer

This feature allows you to create a header and footer for your slides, notes and handouts, without having to editing the Masters themselves.

Bullets and numbering

This allows rich customization of the position, type and size of bullets and numbering to create the ideal lists. All the changes can be made using the Bullets and Numbering dialog box, which can be accessed through the Format menu.

Animated Screenshot of Bullets and Numbering dialogue box from Impress

Miscellaneous Online improvements

  • Security and document jail creation performance – particularly on stackable file-systems – has been significantly improved by removing all of the Collabora Office code from the document jails.
  • Improved Thumbnailing API via accelerated convert-to implementation, allowing easier file browsing.
  • Translations have been expanded, thanks to the enthusiastic LibreOffice teams to include reasonable localizations to thirty-seven popular languages.

Improvements from Collabora Office 6.0

Collabora Online re-uses the same underlying core document rendering and interoperability engine based on LibreOffice provided by Collabora Office 6.0. Collabora Online 4.0 upgrades us to the new 6.0 version – which includes many improvements from the wider LibreOffice community, such as:

  • many improvements across Visio, MS Publisher, Keynote, Pages & Numbers filters (thanks to the Document Liberation Project)
    document liberation logo
  • Much improved EMF+ rendering (thanks to Bartosz Kosiorek)
  • Spreadsheet loading and calculation performance improvements
  • Substantially improved EMF+ (OLE object) preview rendering
  • Improved table styles & border rendering
  • Improved interoperability – with many improvements to OpenXML (DOCX, XLSX, PPTX) support, support for new attributes, and wins for legacy SmartArt shapes without DrawingML fallback.

For more details, and credits around Collabora Office 6.0 please see https://www.collaboraoffice.com/collabora-office-6-0/

 

Getting Collabora Online 4.0

Collabora Online is suitable for large scale deployment, comes with an SLA, Long Term Support with signed security updates as well as a rich product management interaction helping to direct our development priorities.

Enterprises interested in using Collabora Online can check out our home page for more information on partner integrations and online demos. For tailored solutions, contact sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Hosting and Cloud businesses that wish to add Collabora Online to their product portfolio can become a partner by filling in the partner form or contacting sales@collaboraoffice.com.

Collabora Online is only one part of a larger Enteprise File Sync & Share, Groupware, or Hosting solution. Collabora is excited to go to market with a long list of Partners each of which has an integration.

Online demo

You can get an online demo of Collabora Online and try it out yourself right now!

For more information:

About Collabora Productivity:

Collabora Productivity is the driving force behind putting LibreOffice in the Cloud, providing a range of products and consulting to enterprise and government. Powered by the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers in the world, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice codebase and community. Collabora Office for Desktop and Collabora Online provide a business-hardened office suite with long-term, multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora, the global software consultancy dedicated to providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specializing in mobile, automotive and consumer electronics industries. For more information, visit www.collaboraoffice.com or follow @CollaboraOffice on Twitter.

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Adfinis SyGroup and Collabora invest to bring a preview of Collabora Office for iOS

Adfinis SyGroup and Collabora are excited to share a preview release of Collabora Office for iOS with the open-source developer community. We hope to continue development, and produce a first release of Collabora Office for iOS in the Apple App Store in the first half of 2019.

We’re thrilled to work with Collabora on this innovative project”, says Nicolas Christener CEO-CTO of Adfinis SyGroup, “ it’s really exciting to see Collabora Office’s progress and be involved in helping to drive a common technology road map.

Adfinis SyGroup is a fantastic partner to work with”, says Michael Meeks, “its a real privilege to experience their enthusiasm and focus on their customers, and to fuse that with our product plans.

Read the full story: from Adfinis SyGroup

A quick taster video:

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