Nextcloud Hub 20 debuts Dashboard, unifies search and notifications, integrates with other technologies

At the Nextcloud Conference in Berlin, Nextcloud CEO Frank Karlitschek introduced a big release of Nextcloud Hub with a wide range of improvements in the core file handling, communication and groupware areas. In a major shift, integration with over a dozen third party platforms including Moodle, Microsoft Teams, Gitlab, Slack and many more was announced. Users can download the latest release from our website or use the beta channel of our updater to get the new release.

The three biggest features we introduce are:

  • 🏁 Our new dashboard provides a great starting point for the day with over a dozen widgets ranging from Twitter and Github to Moodle and Zammad already available
  • 🔍 Search was unified, bringing search results of Nextcloud apps as well as external services like Gitlab, Jira and Discourse in one place
  • 🗨 Talk introduced bridging to other platforms including MS Teams, Slack, IRC, Matrix and a dozen others

There is more:

  • 📢 Notifications and Activities were brought together, making sure you won’t miss anything important
  • 🟢 We added a ‘status’ setting so you can communicate to other users what you are up to
  • 🗨 Talk also brings dashboard and search integration, emoji picker, upload view, camera and microphone settings, mute and more
  • 📅 Calendar integrates in dashboard and search, introduced a list view and design improvements
  • 📫 Mail introduces threaded view, mailbox management and more
  • 🗂 Deck integrates with dashboard and search, introduces Calendar integration, modal view for card editing and series of smaller improvements

👾 Some other app improvements we want to highlight include:

  • ↕ Flow adds push notification and webhooks so other web apps can easily integrate with Nextcloud
  • 🗒 Text introduced direct linking to files in Nextcloud
  • 🗄 Files lets you add a description to public link shares

Our mobile and desktop clients will also introduce support for several of these features like the unified search and status setting.

How to get it

You can download the latest Nextcloud Hub from our website. From an existing Nextcloud server, the updater will notify you of the new version once we make it available. We usually roll out gradually and typically only make the first minor release available to all users. If you don’t want to wait and upgrade sooner, this new release can be found in the beta channel. You can enable the beta channel, refresh the page, then upgrade. After the upgrade you can go back to the stable channel and you’ll be notified when 20.0.1 is out!

Details

The feature list above is long, even though we tried to keep it short – there is, of course, even more to be found in this release. That includes performance, design, usability, accessibility and security improvements among other things. And many more features!

Integrations!

But before we get to the long feature list with many details, we want to talk about something else we are working on. Frank talked about this in his keynote (see our live stream from the conference). To become an even more useful platform for collaboration, we will be working towards deeper integration with third party platforms. The results of the first efforts in this direction are part of this release. Integrations in Nextcloud 20 include well known technologies like Slack, MS Online Office Server, SharePoint and Teams, Jira and Github as well as open source contenders like Matrix, Gitlab, Zammad and Moodle among many others.

Nextcloud Hub 20 builds on an open API, the Open Collaboration Services, making integration efforts transparent and well documented. The release introduces over 3 dozen integrations with a wide range of other technologies.

  • Bridges are introduced between the Nextcloud Talk chat service with Microsoft Teams, Slack, Matrix, IRC, XMPP, Steam and many more.
  • Nextcloud’s integrated, unified search can provide results from ticketing systems like Jira and Zammad, development platforms like Github and Gitlab, e-learning systems like Moodle, the Discourse forum and Reddit, social media like Twitter and Mastodon and more.
  • Nextcloud Talk can call external applications through commands and a new Webhooks Flow integration enables third party platform activities to trigger or be triggered by the Nextcloud workflow capabilities.
  • We also, today, introduced a new office solution to Nextcloud: Hancom office.

You can read more details on the integrations in our press release.

We did not do this, alone, of course! This is what some of our collaboration partners had to say:

With GitLab, customers get a complete CI/CD and security toolchain in a single application that spans the entire software development lifecycle,

said Brandon Jung, VP of alliances at GitLab.

It is great to see an open source project like Nextcloud integrate with GitLab, providing value to our shared customers and users across the globe. The power of open source is deep integration and collaboration, and this development is a great example of that.

Read the press release about Gitlab integration.

With this Nextcloud partnership, Hancom will bring Hancom Office Online, its flagship cloud-based office productivity application into the world’s most popular on-premise content collaboration platform. Together, Hancom and Nextcloud will be able to create the optimized user experience for viewing, editing, creating Office files. In addition, this cooperation can offer market-leading software solutions that leverage the power of the Internet and provide users with a consistent, unified and productive experience regardless of computing platform

— Dr. Won Sok Yun, President of Hancom Group

Read the press release about Hancom office integration.

The crisis has increased the need for online collaboration solutions and Nextcloud and Moodle are extremely popular in the educational space. An expansion of our integration as initially developed in 2017 is set to benefit millions of students and teachers.

— Martin Dougiamas, Founder/CEO at Moodle Pty Ltd.

Read the press release about deeper Moodle integration.

Zammad enables users to manage tasks and incoming customer requests. Open source, self-hosted cloud technologies allow networking and integration with each other. Nextcloud and Zammad complement each other and integration provides users with improved productivity.

— Martin Edenhofer, Founder and CEO at Zammad GmbH

Read the press release about Zammad integration.

Searching Gitlab repo's in Nextcloud search
Searching Gitlab repo’s in Nextcloud search
Hancom office in action
Hancom office in action
Moodle courses showing up in search
Moodle courses showing up in search
Zammad Dashboard widget
Zammad Dashboard widget

Now read on for details on our main features, more information on the app improvements and much more!

Dashboard

The first major new feature in Nextcloud 20 will be there for you when you start your day: our dashboard. It is designed to give you a quick overview of “what’s going on” through a range of app widgets. Over a dozen widgets is already available on launch and more are expected to be made available the coming months.

On top of the dashboard or under your avatar menu, you can set your status, to show to colleagues what you are up to – traveling, working from home, concentrating, and so on. This status is then visible in Talk and other apps.

Widgets currently available include:

  • Weather & Status (default included on top)
  • Relevant Files
  • Talk mentions
  • Important mails
  • Upcoming calendar events
  • Deck tasks
  • Recent statusses
  • Recent notes
  • Twitter
  • Jira
  • Github
  • Gitlab
  • Mastodon
  • Zammad
  • Data Analysis
  • Moodle
  • Discourse
  • Reddit
  • Many more

Thanks to our viewer, opening documents can be done directly from the dashboard, not requiring going to another app.

Unified Search

On the top-right of Nextcloud, a search glass has always made app-specific search available if apps supported it. From now on, this search glass will always be there, and its functionality has expanded! Search is now unified across applications, that means it shows results from all apps. Moreover, additional search providers can be installed. All together, over a dozen different search providers can offer you results!


Supported already by these Nextcloud apps:

  • Files (and comments)
  • Talk
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Deck
  • Mail
  • and more

And separate apps you can install include:

  • Github and Gitlab issue search in their integration apps
  • Moodle course search as part of the Moodle integration app
  • Zammad and Jira ticket search
  • Discourse forum topic and post search

The new search is also available in the Nextcloud mobile clients!

Nextcloud Talk introduces bridging and many other features

Nextcloud Talk makes another big leap with this release, introducing integration of Matterbridge enabling the connection of Talk rooms to one or more channels on other services like IRC, Slack, Microsoft Teams and many more. We wrote a separate blog about the bridging to other services and recommend you have a look there!

Talk bridges

A second, important improvement in Talk is that there is now an option to get a hosted High Performance Back-end from our partner, Struktur AG. You can sign up to a 30 day free trial with just a click or two!

There continues to be a great demand for secure video conferencing, and with an easy, integrated registration process in Nextcloud Talk, we are able to provide a privacy-compliant, unified communications platform that is 100% compliant with regional general data protection regulations.

— Niels Mache, CEO Struktur AG

Read more in our press release.

Besides the bridge, Talk also introduced:

  • Emoji picker in the chat
  • Upload progress and a preview when sharing a file into the chat, plus choice to add more files
  • Camera and microphone configuration before or during a call
  • Moderators can now mute all participants with one click in the moderator menu
  • Support for unified search for messages
  • Scroll to the original message when clicking on a quote or when a message is found with search

And, of course, many smaller improvements to give better performance, stability and call quality!

Mail improvements

This release introduces threading! Emails are now shown as conversation, like all emails that are related in a timeline and you can expand them as you wish. Works across all mailboxes of an account. Other features and updates include:

  • Unified search support and a dashboard widget that shows most recent important email of the combined inboxes view
  • Bring back the aliases feature
  • Many mailbox management features (create mailboxes, rename them, delete them, add submailboxes and so on)
  • More sophisticated handling of IMAP namespaces (INBOX. prefix and the like) and deep mailbox hierarchies
  • Lot of other UI improvements
Calendar list view
Calendar list view

Calendar improvements

  • dashboard integration and new search integration
  • list view for calendars
  • some design improvements

Deck improvements

  • dashboard integration and new search integration
  • Calendar integration (Deck boards are exposed as CalDAV calendars)
  • Modal view for card editing as focused view
  • feature to archive all cards from a stack
  • Smaller enhancements on filters, new add stack-button, attach files in description and more
New modal view in Deck
New modal card view
Deck integrated in Calendar
Deck integrated in Calendar

Other features

As always, there is more and more.

Notifications and Activities are now integrated, giving you one screen where you can make sure you know what you need to know and are not bothered by anything else! Various integration apps like Zammad, gitlab etc also offers notifications if you want them.

Notifications configuration

  • Zimbra LDAP integration: https://github.com/nextcloud/server/pull/16737
  • LDAP backend for contacts so you can show a LDAP group as a address book: https://apps.nextcloud.com/apps/ldap_contacts_backend
  • Changelog is shown in apps management https://github.com/nextcloud/server/pull/21082
  • Text: Link to local files and quickly navigate though them https://github.com/nextcloud/text/pull/879

Design improvements

  • Header app navigation design improvements
  • Show more apps in the header app navigation
  • Lots of keyboard navigation and accessibility fixes, e.g. making menus more readable and fixing keyboard accessibility of menus
  • Unified style of element hover/focus and selection
  • Respect “prefers-color-scheme” media selector / dark mode for guests

Stay safe and productive with Nextcloud

As you can see, this is a huge release, making a big step forward. We hope you’ll be super productive with Nextcloud!

Thank you 🙇 to our amazing community!

As always, we want to thank our community for their invaluable contributions – Nextcloud would not exist without all the awesome members of our community that regularly help us make Nextcloud better, submitting patches, translating Nextcloud to other languages or testing and reporting issues!

Feedback 🔥🤩👍

We appreciate your feedback! If you’d like to share your comments with us, continue the discussion in our forums. What’s the best thing about Nextcloud Hub so far?

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