Zimbra and Seafile: the New Collaboration Dream Team

The popular collaboration software Zimbra can now be seamlessly integrated with Seafile’s powerful file sharing and file collaboration functions. We proudly present: the Seafile Plugin for Zimbra, version 1.0! Accessing files stored in Seafile conveniently from Zimbra‘s webinterface, sending sharing links via Zimbra Mail and archiving emails directly in Seafile – the plugin makes it possible. Seafile in combination with Zimbra is a safer, more economical, self-hosted alternative to Google’s G Suite and Microsoft‘s Office 365. In short: a dream team.

Seafile’s seamless integration in Zimbra

In recent years, Zimbra has made a name for itself as a low-cost, open-source collaboration solution with the key features including email, calendar, contacts, and tasks. Messaging and video-conferencing can be easily added. The new Seafile zimlet, as Zimbra plugins are called, merges Zimbra’s and Seafile’s capabilities into a powerful and user-friendly collaboration powerhouse.

The Seafile zimlet extends Seafile’s strengths in file collaboration by complementing functions for efficient team work. Seafile users can enjoy so far absent calendaring and contact management features. For Zimbra users, the zimlet puts all their files at just one click away. Switching webinterfaces is a thing of the past, sharing links can be generated right in Zimbra’s web client and emails can be archived straight in Seafile. Seafile and Zimbra users benefit!

Convenient Seafile access via Zimbra’s webinterface

A new tab ‘Seafile’ appears in Zimbra’s web client after installation. This is how users can access their unencrypted Seafile libraries and manage their files in Zimbra. All file operations including create, move, rename, and delete are available in the new tab. This goes for folders and files as well as for libraries. To create a sharing link, the Seafile tab is the right place for that too.

Managing files in Zimbra works just like in any file manager. A navigation pane displays all unencrypted libraries and their subfolders in a hierarchical structure. The detailed file list shows the content of the selected folder. File operations are easily accessible via the right-click context-menu. File management is quite as simple as it can be.

The file preview takes up the most real estate in the new tab. The zimlet supports previews for many graphic files (i.e., JPG, PNG) as well as PDF- and diverse text file format (i.e., TXT, MD). Office files (i.e., DOCX, XLSX, …) can also be previewed with an integrated online editor such as ONLYOFFICE or Collabora. Zimbra has the editor render the document and a double-click opens the document, spreadsheet or presentation for editing.

Integrating Zimbra email in Seafile

Besides file access, the zimlet also makes generating and sending sharing links very easy. One click generates an email and sends a user-friendly, short sharing link instead of a clumsy file attachment. For protection of sensitive information, password protection and automatic link expiration are two options to choose from when generating the link.

And that’s not all! The zimlet allows users to export emails directly in Seafile. As per the user’s choice, Seafile saves the mail either as EML or PDF file. If only the email attachment is to be saved, that can be done as well.

One-click-switching between Seafile and Zimbra

The zimlet makes working and managing files in Zimbra really easy. If, occassionally, a user wants to switch over to Seahub – for instance, to use the Markdown editor– all it needs is one click on the Go

 to Seafile button. It teleports the user from Zimbra’s web client to the same position in the folder structure in Seahub. Work continues in Seahub where it was left off in Zimbra. And no authentication is required either – the zimlet takes care of that.

Technical integration

The zimlet builds on the Zimbra WebDAV Client by Zeta Alliance. It was amended on behalf of our partner datamate to reflect Seafile’s ideosyncracies. Specifically, the zimlet uses WebDAV commands for all operations on files and folders and API calls for library-level operations. It also uses Seafile’s API to generate links and to implement the one-click switch.

Just like the server code of Zimbra’s open-source edition and Seafile’s sync client, the Seafile Zimlet is released under the open-source license GPL2. This license imposes no restrictions regarding the viewing, the modification, and the further development of the source code.

Requirements and installation

The zimlet requires installation on your Zimbra server. The Zimbra WebDAV client’s website as well as the zimlet’s GitHub page contain detailed install instructions. The installation is initiated by executing a SH-script. A wizard walks the administrator through the installation.

After installation, the user must equip the zimlet with access credentials for Seafile. This can be done in the zimlet’s settings. Once the zimlet has successfully authenticated against Seafile’s user database, the user can access all his/her data in the Seafile tab.

The zimlet is compatible with Seafile Professional and Community Edition. It has been tested intensively with Seafile Professional 7.0.7 and Seafile Community 7.0.4.

Zimbra – worldclass email and groupware

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Zimbra is the collaboration software suite of Synacor from Buffalo, New York. More than 100 million users in more than 140 countries use Zimbra.

Zimbra is – like Seafile – available in a free, open-source as well as a commercial business edition with closed-source components. The Zimbra Collaboration Open Source Edition (OSE), with its email server and calendaring features, is an attractive solution for medium-sized enterprises and startups. The Zimbra Collaboration Network Edition (NE) as an entreprise-class groupware, boasting MAPI and ActiveSync support, a Zimbra-Outlook connector, and professional consulting and advisory services, is geared towards large companies, public sector institutions and research bodies. Both editions share the AJAX-based web interface that facilitates using Zimbra’s many features. Besides the web client, Zimbra Desktop is a full-featured free desktop email client available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Zimbra runs on Red Hat, Suse Enterprise Linux as well as Debian, Fedora, Mandriva and Ubuntu and supports all popular virtualisation environments. A docker image is also available.

Thanks to Synacor’s commitment to the open-source idea and Zimbra’s open interfaces, an active ecosystem has evolved around the collaboration suite over the years. Dozens of zimlets facilitate the expansion of Zimbra’s native capabilities with additional user and administrator features. Most zimlets can be downloaded from Zimbra’s community website.

Outlook

We invite all Seafile and Zimbra users to thoroughly test the new zimlet and to comment in the Seafile forum. Based on emerging demand and feedback, we will push forward with the zimlet’s development. Thanks to the collaboration with the Zeta Alliance and, in particular, Barry de Graaff as lead developer of Zimbra’s WebDAV client, the Seafile zimlet will benefit from all developments in the shared code basis.

Changelog

September 2, 2019 version

  • Integration of Seafile as file backend in Zimbra‘s webinterface via WebDAV and API
  • Display of file meta data (file name, file type, file size, last modification date)
  • Support of common file operations (create, download, rename, move, delete) on file, folder and library level
  • Function Download as PDF for many file formats
  • File preview for many graphic and text files as well as PDF documents
  • Online editing of TXT and MD files
  • File preview and editing for office files with integrated online editors
  • Generation of sharing links for files, folders and libraries incl. password protection and automatic expiration
  • One-click-switch to Seahub
  • Saving emails to Seafile (either in PDF or EML format)
  • Saving email attachments to Seafile
  • Support of German special characters

Seafile Professional Server 7.0: Integrating knowledge management with sync & share

Following the release of two beta versions and intense testing in April and May 2019, we are pleased to officially release the Seafile Server Professional Edition 7.0 today. It is available for download in the Customer Center; please consult the changelog before upgrading. Version 7 of the Community Edition of the Seafile Server is also officially released. You may download it on our website.

Seafile 7 comes with many new as well as improved file sharing and file management features: A new tree-like view, file tags, more sharing permissions, more flexible favorites, and a real-time search render file management and team collaboration easier and more comfortable than ever before.

But this is not all. Seafile 7 also addresses the growing need for the easy capturing, managing and sharing of knowledge. The revised wiki function, in combination with the improved Markdown editor, lends itself to FAQs, internal knowledge databases and manuals in particular. The new functions have been designed as extensions to Seafile’s existing features and therefore they leverage its sync & share functions, make use of Seafile’s file versioning as well as full text search. Last, but not least, they seamlessly integrate into the web interface.

Seafile’s web interface Seahub has also seen tremendous changes. Visible at first glance, the user interface has undergone a facelift. All of Seahub’s components such as dialogs, buttons, and menus now have a consistent look and feel. Dialogs and menus have been improved based on user feedback. But the even bigger change happened under the hood beyond the first glance. Seahub has been completely rewritten using React, a JavaScript library specially developed for dynamic user interfaces. The technology switch was prompted by the increasing difficulty of integrating new, dynamic functions into Seahub’s old, Django-based framework. The new React-based Seahub provides the foundation for many of the new features in Seafile 7 and will be the basis for many new features to come.

Managing and publishing knowledge in wikis

Capturing and storing little structured data in an easy-to-use fashion – that is what Seafile’s wikis are for. Wiki pages are written in Markdown (MD), a simple markup language, to ensure cross platform compatibility. MD files store textual, tabular as well as graphical information; other files can be linked to MD files by a related-files function. Related files are directly accessible from the wiki page.

Since Seafile implements wikis as standard Seafile libraries, they can be synced and shared with other users just like any ordinary library. Additionally, wikis can be made publicly available. With one click, a wiki gets published under its idiosyncratic URL (i.e., seafile.com/published/faq). Working collaboratively, editing offline, sharing drafts with external parties and making content available to a public audience – everything is possible.

Editing wiki files

MD files are best edited straight from Seafile’s web interface with the improved MD editor. The web-based editor offers a smoother user experience and richer formatting options for text, images, and tables than its predecessor in Seafile 6.3. Images can be imported into MD files from libraries and local storage as well as by hyperlinks. Basic image editing functions such as scaling can also be performed in the editor’s what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) interface. Tables can be inserted and modified with just a few clicks. The same thing goes for a table’s content: A table can be copied in its entirety or in part without leaving the WYSIWYG view. To facilitate co-editing, the MD editor also supports collaborative commenting and a newly-introduced diff-function visualizes the edits the document has undergone in its history.

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Markdown Editor

Adding sharing permissions

Two new sharing permissions complement the existing permissions giving users more control over access to shared libraries in online collaboration projects, especially with guests. The ‘Preview-on-cloud’ permission grants read-only access to files through the web interface, yet files cannot be downloaded or synchronized with Seafile’s clients. ‘Preview-edit-on-cloud’ adds write-access to the restricted preview-on-cloud permission while maintaining the access restriction through the web interface.

Facilitating file management

The new column view allows users to manage files just like in Windows Explorer and Mac Finder. When enabled, an extra column displays a library’s tree-like folder structure. Users can browse in it and move files and folders just by dragging and dropping. And the similarity to desktop file managers does not end there: File actions such as renaming, moving, and opening via client are available in a right-click-accessible context menu. Extra layout options give users the means to adjust the view to fit their needs.

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Column View
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Drag and Drop
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Context Menu

Tagging files

File tags in Seafile 7 make it very easy to enrich files with meta data regarding priority, responsibility and/or status information. Tagging files helps individuals to organize their files and teams to work collaboratively.

Tags in Seafile are organized on a library-level. Seahub shows all tags used within a library in the library’s root. A click on a tag filters within the library for the selected tag and provides fast access to the tagged files.

Users set one or multiple tags, change and remove them via the context menu or the file details. Every tag is linked to a color which the user can also choose and which helps convey some additional information on tagged files.

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File Tags

Finding files

While Seafile’s search function has already been powerful in previous versions, it has become even more powerful in the new version. Seafile 7 shows search results in real-time as the users type. By adjusting the search terms during the search, the user finds the needed document faster than ever. When entering a library, the scope of the search is limited to the library. More fine-grained search options including file type, last update date and size are available in the advanced search options.

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Real-time Search

The improved favorites are a second feature that assists in finding files in ever growing data systems. Seafile 7 does away with the restriction to files as favorites. Files, folders and libraries can now be starred. All favorites are directly accessible from the favorites menu in Seahub as well as in Seafile’s sync client.

Staying up-to-date on activities

The activities menu has undergone a major revision to better support activity monitoring in larger teams. The interface has become cleaner and better organized. Similar activities are no longer displayed as discrete activities, but get aggregated in a smart way. Instead of multiple individual records for the similar transactions in one library, the reports just shows a single line stating the number of affected elements and the library in question.

Email notification for activities is another brand new feature for activities. Users can subscribe to email notifications and select the update frequency in their user settings. The activity update contains the new activities since the last notification. This way, users are always up to date even when on the go.

Improved Encrypted Libraries

Encrypted library is one of the most liked features in Seafile. We supported encryption of users data in an end-to-end way from the first day we released Seafile. In Seafile 7 we further improve the security of the encryption mechanism by using different encryption salts for each library. In cryptography, salts are used to make brute-force hacking harder. It would make such kind of attacks even harder with different salts used for different libraries. (More details about Seafile’s encryption algorithm can be found in our manual.)

To use this improved encryption mechanism, you must add the following option to seahub_settings.py:

ENCRYPTED_LIBRARY_VERSION = 3

After that, all new encrypted libraries will use the new version of encryption algorithm. Please note that sync clients before 7.0.0 cannot work with new encrypted library version. So the clients has to be upgraded to sync new encrypted libraries. Existing encrypted libraries are not affected.

Seafile Professional Server 6.3 now production-ready

Improved group functions, support for several storage backends, persistent sharing links as well as new API calls for multi-tenancy systems are the major improvements of the Seafile Server Professional Edition 6.3.2. Additionally, Seafile‘s Professional server inherits all improvements from Seafile‘s Community Server released at the end of May. Beginning today, the Seafile Professional Server Version 6.3.2 is available in Seafile’s Customer Center (https://customer.seafile.com).

Seafile 6.3.2 production-ready

Since the release of the Seafile Professional Server 6.3.0 at the end of June, the beta release of the Seafile Server has been thoroughly tested and is now ready for production use. License holders can download the Seafile Professional Server 6.3.2 from the Customer Center, and interested parties can use the Professional Edition of the Seafile Server with up to three users without a license.

Expanded group concept

In Seafile Professional 6.3, Seafile‘s development team has greatly extended the software’s group concept and implemented new group functions. In the past, groups were distribution lists facilitating the sharing of resources to multiple users. The new version introduces a new kind of a group: ‘Departments’. Departments can own libraries and system admins have their own storage quotas assigned to them. By default, group members have read-and-write access to all group-owned libraries, yet group admins can restrict access. Just like user-owned libraries, group libraries can be shared with other users and other groups. If needed, departments can also have sub-departments to reflect the organizational structure.

The reworked group concept removes several limitations that were brought about by Seafile’s user-exclusive library ownership:

  • User storage quotas need not reflect users‘ roles in groups anymore.
  • User-to-user transfers of libraries made necessary by a user‘s departure from a group are a thing of the past.
  • Organisational units can manage their resources more independently.

Version 6.3.2 supports file and folder transfer from user-owned to group-owned libraries. Ownership transferability of libraries will be implemented with a future update. (More on departments on Seafile’s help pages (https://help.seafile.com/en/sharing_collaboration/departments.html).

Support for multiple storage backend

Another new feature of the new Seafile Professional Server is the support for the combined operation of different local storage backends. Based on the specific configuration, the server decides in which backend to store the data.

This development prepares Seafile for areas of application in which Seafile has not been well represented so far. One attractive use case, for instance, is the side-by-side operation of fast disk/solid state drives and optical strorage for long-term archiving. When creating a library, the user chooses which storage to use. (Documentation for multiple storage backend support in the Seafile Manual (https://manual.seafile.com/deploy_pro/multiple_storage_backends.html) .

Persistent sharing links and internal links

Seafile’s public sharing links are the means of choice for sharing large files with external parties. Unfortunately, sharing links were not immune against file transactions. Previously, renaming or moving a file or its folder broke the link resulting in an error message when calling the link.

With the new server, this limitation is no more. Seafile Server 6.3 introduces persistent links. They prove resilient against changes in name, location and even libarary ownership. The only thing left to break links is a move from one library to another. All existing links automatically become persistent with the update to 6.3.2.

Besides improving on the existing links, Seafile Professional 6.3.2 introduces a second type of link. Developed for improving team-collaboration and other internal use cases, the new internal links serve as pointers to files and folders stored on the Seafile Server. They have the intuitive URL structure and the links‘ persistence in common with their public counterparts. Contrary to them, they require read permission for the linked resource. The Seafile team uses them extensively in their chat and task management systems.

Faster preview

In Seafile 6.3, document preview in Seahub benefits from the implementation of PDF.js for rendering PDF files (https://mozilla.github.io/pdf.js/). Compared to the preview with Collabora in previous versions, the generation and display of PDF files is now much faster and more precise.

And not only has PDF preview become better, but also the preview of office documents. Office documents are now converted into PDF format and displayed directly using PDF.js. The slow conversion into HTML is omitted.

New API calls for multi-tenancy systems

The new Seafile Server complements the exisiting user-level API calls with the equivalent calls on the tenant-level. New tenants can be created, existing tenants can be modified and deleted, and usage data can be queried using the improved WebAPI. (Details on the WebAPI in the Seafile Manual at https://manual.seafile.com/develop/web_api_v2.1.html.)

The extension of Seafile’s API takes place against the background of the increased use of Seafile by hosting providers. The new API makes it possible to integrate the wholesale administration of multi-tenant systems in existing administrative tools. Managing a multi-tenant system in Seafile has never been easier. What is more: The API paves the way for on-demand pricing models in which users pay only for used resources, not for assigned resources.

Improved file locking

File locking prevents file conflicts when files are simultaneously edited by multiple people. Only one user can open the file with the permission to write to the file. Previous versions of the Seafile Sync Client only supported file locking under Windows. The current version also supports file locking under Mac in combination with Office for Mac.

And this is not all! Seafile’s file locking was improved in a second way: File locking also kicks into action when a file is open in an online editor (e.g., OnlyOffice, Collabora Online, Microsoft Office Online Server). A user trying to edit a synced copy on his local machine receives a file-locking notification and opens the file in read-only mode.

What’s new in Seafile Community Server 6.3

The Seafile Community Server 6.3 was released at the end of May as a beta version. Since mid-June, it has become production-ready. The Professional Edition of the Seafile Server inherits all new features and improvements introduced in the Community Edition. In version 6.3, these three stand out:

WYSIWYG Markdown Editor

Chief among the improvements in Seafile Community 6.3 is a new, inhouse-developed Markdown Editor. The new editor provides two important features so far missing from (almost all) other markdown editors: table-editing and image inserting in WYSIWYG mode – the view mode users are used to from text editors such as Microsoft Word. The new editor replaces the old one that has reached the end of its lifetime for lack of extensibility.

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Django and jQuery update

Both Seafile Server editions now use Django version 1.11. Django 1.8, used since version 5.2 in Seahub, was deprecated in April 2018. Django 1.11 is in long-term support until mid 2020. As a consequence of the update, FastCGI mode is no longer supported by either edition in a configuration with Nginx/Apache as reverse proxies. WSGI mode is the required mode.

Repositioning of Seahub’s action buttons

Aiming at unifying and streaminling Seahub’s site layout, the action buttons, formerly located underneath the breadcrumbs, now sit in the top ribbon (see figure). As a positive side effect, the change in position frees up extra space in the main window.Picture1

The full release statement for the Seafile Server Community Edition 6.3 is available at https://forum.seafile.com/t/seafile-server-6-3-is-ready-for-testing-a-wysiwyg-markdown-editor-and-more/6250/48

Seafile Professional Server 6.3 is ready for testing! Major new group functions

Following the release of the beta version of the Community Server 6.3 on May 26, we are pleased to release the Seafile Professional Server 6.3 for testing today. The production version is slated for the end of July.

The redefinition of the role of groups in Seafile is the most notable change in version 6.3. Group-owned libraries and the nesting of groups are completely new features. The support of multiple storage backends and the persistence of public links are two more major improvements introduced in version 6.3. More details about these and the many other improvements are coming up in the rest of this announcement.

Redefined groups: Group-owned libraries & group nesting

Through version 6.2, the ownership of libraries was limited to users. Reacting to feedback from user base, this changes in the current release! Beginning with version 6.3, ownership of a library can lie with a user or with a group. Additionally, groups can be assigned quotas and they can have sub-groups. With this change, we aim to facilitate file and storage management in larger organizations with frequent group entries and exits. Here is just one example of where we think group-owned libraries will be of help: If a user leaves a group, no more libraries must be transferred from this user to another.

Groups able to own libraries are called departments, their sub-groups sub-departments. All libraries created in a department by a department administrator belong to this department and can be accessed by all department members – either with read-only or read-write permission. Of course, commonly-owned libraries can be shared to other groups and users outside the department.

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Departments can be created and managed via the admin panel (see figure). An unlimited number of admins and users can be named as members. In a future release, we will add the ability to transfer ownership from a user to a department.

More storage options: Support for multiple storage backends

With Seafile Professional 6.3, different local storage backends (e.g., local disk and Ceph storage) can be combined and used together for one Seafile server instance. To use this feature, all data need to be sent to the Seafile server which then determines where to store the data based on the individual configuration.

Besides increasing general storage flexibility, multiple storage backend support also opens up new application areas for Seafile. In one implementation scenario, which we deem attractive, fast disk storage is operated side-by-side with slow, high-density optical storage. When a new library is created, the user chooses whether to make the library hot access and to store the library in the disk array or on the optical storage for long-term archiving.

Reliable URL-file access: Persistent public links

Did you know: A sharing link was rendered unusable when the file or its folder was moved or renamed? We did know and we did not like it! This is why Seafile Professional 6.3 does away with it!

Beginning with version 6.3, public links are persistent and immune to file transactions such as renaming or moving. Public links also stay intact when library ownership changes. Only deleting a library, this you can’t do without harming the public link.

Faster document previews: PDF and office file preview with pdf.js

Good news for all those that use Seahub without Collabora or OnlyOffice integration: Seafile’s built-in document file preview is a great deal faster now. Instead of rendering office documents in HTML, they are converted into PDF format and displayed as such. pdf.js, which Seafile uses for that purpose, has also been updated.

New markdown editor and updates: Shared improvements with the Seafile Community Server

Seafile Professional Server 6.3 inherits all improvements and updates that the earlier released Seafile Community Server 6.3 features – for which a production version was made available since the beginning of the week. Below a summary of the three most important shared improvements.

WYSIWYG Markdown editor

Seafile Community Server 6.3 introduces a brand new, Seafile-made WYSIWYG markdown editor. The new editor provides two important features so far missing from (almost all) other markdown editors: WYSIWYG table-editing and image inserting.

It replaces the old non-WYSIWIG editor which – unfit for extensions – proved to have reached the end of its lifetime.

A new table is added by clicking on the table icon in the menu bar. Rows and columns can be added/removed and alignment changed quickly by means of context-sensitive menu buttons (see figure).

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Images can be inserted by simply dragging&dropping the files form the file manager into the editor, through the clipboard or the image icon in the menu bar. Similarly, links to other files in the same library can also be easily added by drag and drop. Another boon of the new editor: It supports markdown shortcuts. For example, * + space at the beginning of a line inserts a list.

WYSIWYG is enabled in the Rich Text Editor. The lovers of MD code’s clarity can switch to the Plain Text Editor by clicking on the three dots button.

Django and jQuery Update

Django 1.8, which was used since Seafile version 5.1, was deprecated in April 2018. Both Seafile Server editions have now been updated to Django 1.11. The long-term support of Django 1.11 runs until mid-2020. As a consequence of the upgrade, the FastCGI mode is no longer supported. Seafile behind Nginx/Apache must be configured in WSGI mode as of now.

jQuery was also updated to version 3.3.1

Minor Seahub redesign

Version 6.3 introduces a slight modification of Seahub’s navigation bar. In an attempt to make the positioning of the action buttons more consistent across pages, the buttons moved to the top bar (see figure).

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For more details on the Seafile Community Server 6.3, see the corresponding release statement (https://forum.seafile.com/t/seafile-server-6-3-is-ready-for-testing-a-wysiwyg-markdown-editor-and-more/6250).

Changelog

  • Support nested group and group-owned libraries
  • Update Django to version 1.11, remove FastCGI support
  • Update jQuery to version 3.3.1
  • Update pdf.js to version 1.19, use pdf.js for preview pdf files
  • Docx files are converted to PDFs and preview via pdf.js in built-in preview
  • [fix] Fix some bugs with OnlyOffice and CollaboraOffice
  • [fix] Use mobile version of OnlyOffice if viewed via mobile devices
  • Shared sub-folders can be searched
  • Show terms and condition link if terms and condition is enabled
  • Remove login log after delete a user
  • [admin] Support customizable site title, site name, CSS via Web UI
  • [fix] Fix a bug that causing seaf-fsck crash
  • [fix] Cancel Zip download task at the server side when user close zip download dialog
  • [fix] Fix crash when seaf-fsck, seaf-gc receive wrong arguments
  • [fix] Fix a few bugs in realtime backup server
  • [beta] Wiki, users can create public wikis
  • Some other UI improvements.

Seafile Pro edition 6.2 is ready

In this release, we continue our effort to improve the user interface of Seafile web and offer features to make organizing files easy and intuitive.

There are three major new features:

1. The login page is redesigned, adding a background image.

2. A statistics module is added. Now you can find report charts for daily active users, daily file operations, and used space

This feature is turned off by default, you need to turn on it by adding the following config to seafevents.conf.

[STATISTICS]
## must be "true" to enable statistics
enabled = true

3. “Admin” permmision when sharing a library to another user/group

Other changes include:

  • Add the ability of tagging a snapshot of a library (Use ENABLE_REPO_SNAPSHOT_LABEL = True to turn the feature on)
  • Add a field Reference ID to support changing users primary ID in Shibboleth or LDAP
  • [Admin] Add an option to enable users to share a library to any groups in the system.
  • Use WSGI as the default mode for deploying Seahub.
  • Use multi-threads in search indexing
  • Support adding a custom user search function (https://github.com/haiwen/seafile-docs/commit/115f5d85cdab7dc272da81bcc8e8c9b91d85506e1)
  • Clean the list of languages
  • Improved performance of loading library list
  • [improve] Improve performance of file history page.
  • [improve] Show two file history records at least.
  • Support OAuth.
  • Support Swift v1 protocol.
  • Enable publish library update events to message queue (like Redis)
  • Other small UI improvements

Enjoy the new version!

How to use Seafile library snapshot to protect your data from Ransomware

A few weeks ago, a new ransomware named “WannaCry” attacked a lot of computers around the world. The ransomware encrypts all the data in affected computer and asks for ransom with BitCoin for “decrypting” the data. However, security experts warn that even if users transfer the ransom, it’s still not possible to recover the data.

This kind of ransomware appears from now and then. It never stops threatening people’s data. “WannaCry” got people to know that how vulnerable their data is. The only valid defense against ransomware is an up-to-date backup of your precious data. Since backup is something Seafile is very good at, we’d like to share how to use one of Seafile’s special feature — library snapshot to easily recover your data.

How does Seafile Protect Your Data

First of all, Seafile cannot help you to decrypt the data encrypted by ransomeware. Whenever you change or add a file inside a synced library, Seafile automatically creates a new version on the server. The old versions of a file is still kept in library history. From Seafile’s point of view, when the ransomeware encrypts a file, it just creates a new version of that file. So you can still find the original version on the server.

File history is a pretty standard feature of all file sync and share products. However, Seafile goes one step further to help you recover all of your encrypted data very easily. Seafile creates a snapshot of the entire library whenever any change is applied to the library. Users can look into any snapshot in the history and restore the entire library to the status of that snapshot, in just one click. Simply put, every library has a “time machine” built into it. With other cloud storage products, you have to either recover the files one by one, or write a script to recover the files in batch. Dropbox does provide a similar service, but users have to contact support manually to ask for recovery.

How to Restore to a Snapshot

In Seafile web interface, navigate into a library. You can find a small “clock” icon on the top-right position of the file list. You can click that icon to view library’s history.

library

Hover your mouse over any change record in the history page. You’ll see the “view snapshot” link.

view-snapshot

Click that link, you’ll see the status of the library after that change was applied.

restore

To the top-right of the file list, you can find a “Restore” button. Clicking that button will restore the entire library to this snapshot state.

That’s it! You defeat ransomeware within a minute. Enjoy!

Seafile Drive Client 0.6 is available now!

We’re excited to announce the release of Drive client 0.6 version. In this version we added two long awaited improvements: file and folder sync status overlay icons; and sync error notifications. Some syncing bugs are also fixed to make this version more reliable.

You can see the overlay icons in Windows file explorer as in the screenshot below.

drive-client-new

A file or folder can be in a few states:

  • Cloud-only (with a “cloud” icon): files or folders not downloaded to local computer yet. Only file name, size and last modification date are available.
  • Synced (white tick with green background): Files or folders are completely synced to local computer. You can access them when offline.
  • Partially synced (green tick with white background): Only appears on folders. This means some files or folders inside the folder are downloaded.
  • Syncing: files or folders are being uploaded or downloaded.

A problem in the previous versions of SeaDrive is that there is no way for the users to know whether there is an error in syncing. In this new version, errors are communicated to the users in a few ways:

  • Whenever a sync or network error is detected, a disclaimer (“!”) will be displayed on the system tray icon.
  • When the client detects the server is disconnected, a notification will be popped up.
  • When the client encounters an error in syncing, a notification will be popped up. And you the users can see all sync errors by right clicking the system tray icon and choose “view file sync errors”.

We hope you like this new version. Feedbacks are welcomed!

Seafile Adds Co-authoring to Office Online and Collabora Online Integration

The latest Seafile Pro Edition (6.0.6) adds real-time co-authoring to its integration with Microsoft Office Online Server and Collabora Online. This ability will greatly boost collaboration productivity for teams.

With real-time co-authoring, two or more users can edit a document at the same time and see each other’s changes while they’re typing. You can see the cursor location where someone is working and what they’re typing as they type, just as if they are working on your computer or device. You can hover over the cursor location and see who is making the changes.

Co-authoring  supports most modern document formats:.docx, .pptx, and .xlsx.

Integration of Collabora Online:

Co-authoring is only supported in Collabora Online 2.0. Here are some samples for co-authoring on different document types.

Docx file:

xietong1

.ods:

xietong2

.pptx:

xietong3

Integration of Office Online:

Co-authoring is only supported in Office Online Server 2016.

Docx file:

xietong4

.xlsx:

xietong5

.pptx:

xietong6

Welcome five educational institutions joining Seafile community

We are happy to announce that in the last quarter five educational institutions joined Seafile community, including Max Plank Society (MPS) in Germany, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) in Poland, University Hannover in Germany, Institute of Informatics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland, St. Paul’s Hospital of University of British Columbia in Canada.

We are working with Max Plank Digital Library (MPDL) on the Keeper project. The Keeper project is for the exchange, storage and long-term archiving of research data. Researchers at the Max Planck Society (MPS) are required to comply with the “Rules of Good Scientific Practice” adopted by the Senate of the MPS, which include guidelines for long-term archiving of primary data for at least 10 years. The syncing performance, reliability and support for large files is critical to the success of the project. MPDL chose Seafile after throughout testing for about a year. Seafile’s high reliability and the ability to sync very large file (even 1TB in size) makes it a very satisfying solution for them.

We are also working with Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC) to provide a file syncing and sharing service to universities and schools in Poland. Initially, the service will introduced to a few selected universities. After the pilot, the service will be introduced to more universities. PSNC have been using Seafile community edition for almost 2 years. They compared multiple products and find Seafile the most reliable and performant. “Users want the ‘Dropbox’ equivalent, not something else.” says Maciej Brzezniak, storage management team leader from PSNC, “Users appreciate Seafile’s performance and reliability in file syncing.”

St. Paul’s Hospital of University of British Columbia uses another product for internal file sharing and collaboration for a few years. After switching to Seafile, they find the reliability and performance of the service are much improved.

We’re looking forward to bigger developments for Seafile in educational communities in the year of 2017!

Drive client for Windows is now ready for production use

We’re glad to announce that Seafile Drive client for Windows is now ready for production use. Since the initial beta release in September, the Drive client has evolved rapidly. Thanks to the feedback from our community, many issues in the beta version have been fixed in the last two months. Now the Drive client is stable enough to be used by general users. You can download it from our website. User manual is available too.

The Drive client is a new way to map your Seafile storage as a virtual drive on your computer. You can access all your files in Seafile without syncing them. We believe it’s a more intuitive way to use cloud storage. For more information about the Drive client, you may read our previous post.

There are still a few milestones ahead for the future releases:

  • File locking support
  • File upload/download progress
  • Encrypted library support
  • Keep selected folders always in sync
  • Auto update of the client

We’re also working on Linux and Mac version of the Drive client. They’ll be available soon.