If you have a laptop at home, a desktop at work, and have a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet then it can be hard work keeping all of your calendars and contacts up to date.
A quick search on the web will reveal a lot of different CalDAV and CardDAV personal information managers to choose from. The following is a guide to the process of using an Address Book in the cross platform Thunderbird email client.
Back in Thunderbird, synchronize with the remote address book by right clicking select Synchronize. There are several apps available to sync your Android device contacts with those on a CardDAV compatible service like ownCloud. Enter your user details and the URL of the CardDAV address book that you want to connect to. If you are entering a normal URL you can find it in the settings of your ownCloud Contact Settings. You may want to choose a more mature system like the Thunderbird email client to be the interface where you manage your contacts. Android does not support CalDAV by default, so we need to install an app to allow our devices to do this. Your options for file sharing are Dropbox, WeTransfer or other commercial services on the internet.
Imagine you have a relative or friend who lives on the other side of the world and you want to share photos and home movies with each other. Using ownCloud is also a good way to learn about how to set up a web application and undertake server administration.
While some businesses can afford expensive in-house or third-party implementations for sharing documents and working collaboratively, there are also many charities, NGOs and smaller journalism outlets that do not have large budgets. However, many of these organizations also work with confidential info that needs to be protected. If you run a business with just a few people, or even alone, ownCloud could save you time, keep you organized and make collaborating easier.
By making use of free and open source software such as OwnCloud, you can maximize your efficiency (and compete better) without spending lots of money and becoming vendor-locked to specific companies and products.
One of the major issues faced by businesses is the widespread use of consumer services a€“ such as Dropbox a€“ by their staff.
The reason that employees use Dropbox, their personal email accounts and home internet connections is mainly due to the ease of use of these services compared to the more clunky solutions offered by the traditional business's IT department. This section is called Using Web Calendars, as it is possible to access ownCloud calendars in other ways a€“ via desktop synch applications or on mobile devices. When you use the calendar the first time, there will be already a calendar called Default calendar. We can see an option to choose between our Default calendar and any new calendars we have created.
We can see that if we allow the user to edit our calendar there are different options available for us to control their level of access and set an expiry date too.
If you want to export a whole calendar click on the Settings cog, and then click the Download link arrow of the calendar you want to export. Imagine the case in which a colleague has done some planning in their own calendar for the coming months.
Click on the calendar file you've saved and follow the instructions to import it into a new calendar or into an already existing calendar. While editing your contacts, click on the Add drop-down menu to add details such as Phone, Email Address and Web site.
To edit the contact information, click on the part that you wish to edit, and a cursor will appear.
When you are editing a contact you can click on the Select Groups drop-down to put your contact into a group of similar contacts.
To do this, click on the contact name and drag it to the left and drop it over the group you want to add it to. If you have a contact stored in another location, for example, in Thunderbird email client, Gmail web mail, or in another CRM system, you may be able to export it as a vCard. Locate the file on your computer (try in your downloads file) and click open (or similar, depending on your operating system). By clicking on the cog-shaped setting menu, you reveal a series of buttons for sharing and exporting your contacts.
You can save your contacts as a .CSV or open them in an application, such as your email client.
However, if you just want to download an individual contact, then there is an option for this within the contact information box. There several noticeable limitations to the way you can work with contacts currently in the web interface of ownCloud especially when it comes to sharing and organizing groups of contacts. You may want to explore using the CardDAV connection method in a more advanced client like Thunderbird to use the more advanced functionality and link this to your ownCloud site. If you are going to share movies for example, you can change the Maximum upload size to 1 or 2 GB. The Enabled ZIP-download is activated because it is Needed for multi-file and folder downloads. The next item a€“ Updater a€“ allows you to update your ownCloud instance from the web interface.
If you are up to date, clicking Backup Management, Update (top right) or  Update (bottom) does not return anything. It is good to make a manual back up before trying this in case there are problems and you have to update manually following these instructions from the official ownCloud manual. Background jobsA system like ownCloud sometimes requires tasks to be done on a regular basis without blocking the user interface. Here you see that user www-data (that runs the web server) will trigger the cron.php file every 15 minutes.
You could start by allowing apps to use the Share API and Allow links, and enable other functions if they are required by users. Unless you are connected via HTTPS the option Enforce HTTPS will be grey and you won't be able to tick it. At the very bottom of the Admin menu page you can see what version your ownCloud installation is at, which is useful to know and easily check. In conclusion, the web interface gives a good selection of items for a system administrator to view and tweak. However, the best degree of control over the ownCloud installation is still from the command line interface, when logged into the server.
Here you can change also the Language of ownCloud's user interface, your display name and your password.
It is highly recommended that users enter valid email accounts as your email address is used by the system for sending password reset details.
After clicking on Request reset you should receive an email with a link to reset your password. If you don't receive an email perhaps the ownCloud server's mail settings have not been installed or are broken.
This method is best suited to situations where you know roughly where your image is already.
This method is best suited to situations when you are unsure where the image stored, or when you do not have a specific image in mind and simply wish to browse all images. The web interface will then collect all the music files together into one place for you to preview.
You can use the play, pause, forward, backwards and volume controls just as you would in any music player. You can preview various types of documents in your ownCloud web interface by clicking on the file. Plain text files including html or code files can also be edited from within the web interface. A number of internal and external apps are made available during the ownCloud installation. To view, enable, disable and install apps you can click on the Apps menu, which is in the drop-down menu that appears when you click on your user name (in the top right hand corner of the web interface). In the Apps menu there is a long list of apps: these give ownCloud much of its functionality.


The active apps provide many features you will be familiar with already, for example document viewers, image viewers, contacts and calendars. The other pre-installed third party apps, made by independent people or companies, can be enabled here.
You will see that it has integrated with your ownCloud, in this instance you have a new icon in your navigation area. Once disabled the icon disappears from the left hand column and the apps are no longer highlighted.
Once you've uploaded an image and a sound file (music or podcast) you will see them listed in the Music and Pictures menus in the navigation bar on the left.
Clicking on the New button will result in a menu with three options: create a new Text file, a new Folder or to create a new file From link. The most common use will be creating Folders to help you to organize the files in your ownCloud. Unlike Google docs or blogging software, there is no WYSIWIG (for formatting) in ownCloud so creating a text file is simply a matter of giving it a name, opening it and entering text. The import From link can be used to import a file from the web URL into your files section. You may want to change a file's settings, for example to Rename, Download, revert to older Versions,  Share or delete the file (marked by the X). Most of the options are self explanatory, after clicking one of the above options either the action will proceed right away, or a pop-up or a field appears.
If you don't want to run the risk of someone in the group accidentally deleting or wrongly editing files you leave only the share setting activated. To select more than one file or folder to delete or download click on the check-boxes to the left of name of the file or folder.
There seem to be some bugs in ownCloud 5 with the search, which are set to be fixed in oc6. In this chapter we cover two aspects where ownCloud offers system administrators a way of increasing the level of security of their installed instance. There is no way to decrypt your files directly on the server if you decide to stop using the Encryption app. Below one can see a screenshot where  we can't read the contents of a file because it was made when the Encryption app was enabled and we are viewing after it has been disabled. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the networking protocol used by browsers that allows communication between you and a site you are visiting. To solve this problem the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) was invented to provide encrypted communication and secure identification of a network web server. Using SSL (secure socket layer) for your ownCloud website makes it almost impossible to view your traffic.
There are three parts to getting your website to use https: install the software, generate key and certificate, and configure the web server. You can install the ownCloud client from the Google Play store or through the F-Droid store. The app will try to make a connection a€“ if it is successful it will say Secure Connection Available or Secure Connection Unavailable.
If the app fails to make the connection it will tell you so in red text: in this instance check the URL and try again. Next, put in your Username and Password, the same ones you use to access your ownCloud normally, and click Connect. To install the ownCloud client through F-Droid make sure you have 3rd party applications install enabled in your Settings> Applications menu. At the core of services like ownCloud and DropBox is the ability to store, share and synchronize files between different computers, mobile devices and the web.
We have covered sharing and file versioning in other parts of the guide but it would be a good idea to explore what syncing files really involves and how ownCloud approaches it.
Syncing or sychronizing is the process of making sure that different repositories of information contain the same data. Tech Note: If you are interested in the technology behind the syncing in ownCloud there is more information here.
However, although it may be simple theoretically, in practice you may run into complications and limitations.
There are several clients which can be used with ownCloud but  this guide will focus on the use of the ownCloud client. You should now see your ownCloud server as a connection in the sidebar of your file browser. Any new folders you create or files that you add to this directory will be transferred to your ownCloud server. In the Finder choose Go > Connect to Server, type the address of the server in the Server Address field and click Connect. Note: Finder in Mac should only be used if the ownCloud server runs on Apache with mod_php enabled. After pressing Finish, Windows Explorer will map the network drive and your ownCloud instance should be available.
It is beyond the scope of this document to fully describe the setup of the hosting part of running a server. You can choose to use an external database like MySql or the more simple file based system SqLite. By default ownCloud installs with SQLite are not recommended for large ownCloud installations.
There is fuller detail about this aspect and details of how to install these prerequisites, if they are already active on your server, at this page of the official ownCloud documentation. As an example here are some commands to install some needed components for Ubuntu and Debian using a LAMP (Apache) setup. They are open standards and are used by many applications to send and receive information to keep everything synchronized. We will cover the popular email client Thunderbird as it is cross platform and works with both CalDAV and CardDAV. These plugins will give you the ability to add a remote calendar and address book to Thunderbird. A similar approach should work for other CardDAV enabled applications.Install Thunderbird and Sogo Connector plugin as detailed in the section above. Similarly, adding or editing your contacts in Thunderbird will trigger a sync with the ownCloud server.
Moving a contact from from a remote 'OwnCloud address book' to a local address book removes the contact from the OwnCloud server, (thus deleting it from all the other synchronized installations).
If you have added, or have other address books shared with you they should also appear in your list to choose from.
If you un-tick this then changes that you make on your devices will by synced back up to the server. This area is still quite experimental and changes are being made to make it more user-friendly. Changes you make there will be updated to your server and to any android clients that you have synced. Use this guide as a starting point to teach yourself how to set it up and keep ownCloud running.
They often rely on free tools for collaboration including Google Drive (docs) and sharing services like Dropbox. Anyone holding data with regards to investigating regimes, authorities or corporations should be careful about the information systems they are using.
This is to prevent the system administrators on your VPS from being able to view your data. This keeps you flexible, enabling you to grow and change as you need without extra expense. If accounts are hacked or opened up to the public by mistake, businesses lose their competitive advantage.
CalDAV is a way of syncing your calendar with other applications on your phone or desktop computer. If you want to export a single event click on it and press the Export button in the bottom right corner. The iCalendar format must not be confused with Apple's old email application which was called iCal.


It works by allowing you to create, import and export contacts in the vCard (vcf) file format. It's a good idea to take time to explore the contact dialogues so you can get the most complete contact list right from the start. This may help you to 'put a name to a face' or to remember more about your interactions with the contact. This can make it easier to find your contacts, and can be useful for compartmentalizing your contacts between different jobs, for example, or between social and work. Start typing their user name and you will be able to choose them from a list of suggested people by clicking on their name. However, when there is a new version available this tool allows you to update automatically. Activating one and clicking on Export will result in a pop-up asking what to do with the ZIP file. For that purpose you, as a system administrator, can define background jobs which make it possible to execute tasks without any need of user interaction, e.g.
While AJAX is the default setting, using the system's Cron service is a better way to run scripts. First, find the photo that you want to preview by by clicking the Files icon in your navigation bar and searching through your folders.
For example, if you don't use the ownCloud instance for PIM (personal information management) tasks, then you should disable the Calendar and Contacts apps. If you hover over the file with the cursor you will see the options to achieve these things. This is a very useful option for sharing with people quickly, especially if you don't want to give them an account on your ownCloud, or if you want to share one file with several people (even a mailing list). If you want to search for something, type into the search box, located at the top right of your screen.
You can see in the example below, files are suggested and scored on their relevance to your search term.
One particular issue seems to be searching in shared folders, and also a delay in how long items take to turn up in searches. The cheapest and easiest and most common way to have your own server these days is to hire a VPS (virtual private server), from a hosting provider. Because communication is transmitted in plain text it is unsafe, especially when using wireless networks. Most major websites, including Google, Wikipedia, and popular social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter can also be reached via a secure connection, but not necessarily by default. Everything that is done on a website, for example logging in, opening new pages, uploading and downloading files, will be encrypted with the help of certificates.
There is a charge to download the app from the Google Play store but F-Droid do not charge you for apps.
This means that if some one steals your phone, or finds it unlocked, there is an additional password to protect your data. When a computer or device (client) connects with the server it updates its own list of the data that remains the same and the data that has changed.
Try setting up WebDAV to connect and sync to your ownCloud server using the instructions on this page.
If you are using a major distribution of Linux is it likely to be your default file manager. Check Reconnect at logon to make this mapping permanent each time you restart your computer. Either you use the system's file manager and connect to the the WebDAV URL or you download and install the ownCloud client.
Due to an issue with Mac OS Unicode support, installing ownCloud Server 5.0 on Mac OS is currently not supported. If you are new to the process we would recommend a LAMP set up which involves (Linux, Apache, MySql and PHP). If you a running your own server with root access there is good help online for 'setting up a LAMP server'. See the chapter on security for the reasons why using SSL increases the security of ownCloud. You don't want to upload these personal documents to a commercial file sharing space because you are concerned about the integrity of your data. It lowers the risk of trying something new and enables you to have the tools of big business on your side, without having a huge IT department behind you. Employee behavior bypasses all of the hard work done by the IT department of the company to protect intellectual property. Without the correct timezone there will be a time offset between the events on the server and on your desktop when using ownCloud's synchronization functionality. There is another section in this guide on how to connect to your ownCloud contacts with the Thunderbird email client and an Android App. Apps are divided into 'internal' apps, which are made by ownCloud themselves, and 'third party' apps which are made by other developers and companies. Keep in mind that there are no guarantees about the degree to which they are kept up to date and whether they will work in the next ownCloud core update. Read reviews and comments about an app before installing it, and have a backup system in place. One reason to create folders is that they allow you to manage access to the data within those folders for different users or groups. This is a simple way of sharing files with and receiving them in return via the web and very suitable for group working. If there was no expiration date there is a chance that a piece of software trawling the internet for data will find the link eventually and download or index your files.
The system administrators of the hosting provider have access to all the data on all the VPSs. From the menu you can access a wide range of features, including Refresh (which re-synchronizes) to create directory and upload.
This speeds up the process of  scanning through a lot of files and analyzing which files need to be updated and in which direction. Or maybe you are uncomfortable with the increasing monopoly of huge corporations controlling data sharing. However, simply by having your documents, calendar and contacts on your own servers rather than those controlled by large corporations is a major step in preventing your data from being accessed by governments, agencies and associated contractors. As as business you have essentially no control of a document once it goes into someone's personal cloud file share. You may be asked to set your timezone automatically so it is a good idea to accept this request to help ownCloud keep all the devices in sync. For the sake of completeness it is additionally worth knowing that  background jobs can also be defined by installed apps. If you run into problems you can restore the ownCloud instance to a point in time when it was stable. For example, the homework folder you only want to share with fellow students, and not with friends and colleagues. To obfuscate your data from these sysadmins you can choose to use ownCloud's built in encryption app.
We feel it is worthwhile to evaluate different encryption methods and to get into the habit of using it. It is already planned to add a option to switch from encrypted to unencrypted files directly on the server. Data, such as user names and passwords, sent to and received by websites, is easily read by third parties. If you don't know exactly where the data goes next, you can't reliably plan and steer your business.



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Comments

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