Owncloud Usage Common Scenarios

It may not be intuitive how to Owncloud File Synchronization can help you and your business. Following are some real world scenarios describing how people have (or can) benefit from this service.

Business 1:

Wendy, Barbara and Traci work in the same office and need a backup, but they also want to be able to access their files from other locations. Security is not a concern for the documents.

  • Wendy, Barbara and Traci have pre-existing files on their Windows workstations. These files are stored on their desktops (Wendy), in My Documents (Barbara) or “wherever” (Traci).
    • We created three separate accounts for Wendy, Barbara and Traci. Each account had two folders; Desktop and My Documents
    • We performed a default installation of the OwnCloud client on each of their workstations, then deleted the default “Owncloud” folder it creates and added two sync’s, My Documents and Desktop
    • We performed the work on a Friday and, over the weekend, the workstations were synchronized to our server
  • All three need access to some shared files. In addition, they need a shared calendar and list of contacts.
    • We create a fourth account, “Business” and share the calendar, contact and files from its main folder to all three of them. The files are set up as Read/Write access, meaning any of the three may modify them.
    • All three set the shared folder synchronize to their workstations.
    • At this point, any of them may modify a file, contact or calendar entry and it will show up on the others workstation.
  • Barbara needs read only access to some of Traci’s files. Traci creates a folder and shares it to Barbara as a Read Only folder. Barbara can now see the files on her computer, but can not modify them. Only Traci can modify the files in that folder.
  • Wendy uses her installation as a pure backup. As files are modified on her computer, they are uploaded to the server in real time.
  • Barbara occasionally needs a “file off her computer” at work. When she needs this, she logs into her OwnCloud account using a web browser, downloads the file and, if she needs to, modifies it and uploads it again.
  • Traci works from home on her Apple laptop occasionally. She sets up the OwnCloud client on her machine and synchronizes a folder on her desktop to the OwnCloud account.
    • When Traci is at the office, with an always on Internet connection, her work is backed up to the server as soon as she saves the file.
    • When Traci is at home, she connects her MacBook to the ‘net and it immediately synchronizes and changes she made at work to her laptop.
    • Traci can begin making changes to files, editing at will, even if there is no Internet connection.
    • Traci reconnects her MacBook to the Internet. the OwnCloud client recognizes there are changes on her laptop that are not on the server and begins uploading the modifications.
    • When Traci returns to work and turns on her Windows computer, the OwnCloud client on that machine notices there are changes on the server and downloads those to her desktop
    • Traci must ensure a synchronization has occurred on her MacBook and her work computer before editing any files, understanding that she may lose information if she does not do this.

Business 2:

Elaine and Sunni have a business where large files need to be sent to clients. Many times, this means breaking the files into smaller pieces to get around the size limits of e-mail. Sunni and Elaine create one OwnCloud account that is shared between them.

  • Elaine and Sunni create a folder on both of their computers (one Mac, one Windows) and name it “Client Files”, then synchronize the empty folder to their OwnCloud account. For each of their current clients, they create a separate folder inside of Client Files.
  • Elaine must send a very large file to Client A. She drags the file into A’s folder, and it is then synchronized with the OwnCloud server.
  • Elaine then logs into the OwnCloud web interface, finds Client A’s folder, and Shares it with a Web Link. Since some of the files may be sensitive, she password protects the share. Elaine then copies the URL (web link).
  • Elaine sends an e-mail to the client stating “Your files are ready. Click this link and put in your password” and pastes the link into the e-mail.
  • Client A receives the e-mail, clicks on the link and his web browser opens. He types in the password, and sees a list of files which he can download to his workstation. He downloads the files, but realizes he sent the wrong dates for scheduling, so he replies to Elaine and Sunni about the modification needed.
  • Sunni looks in Client A’s folder on her desktop, opens the file and makes the changes. Once she saves the edit, she then sends an e-mail to A stating the file has been changed and he should get the new copy.
  • Client A uses the same link and password to open the folder, then downloads a fresh copy of the file.

Family:

Leora and her three adult children Rod, Niki and Nancy. Rod, Niki and Leora have individual OwnCloud accounts. Nancy does not have an OwnCloud account.

  • Rod uses his account to synchronize files, contacts, and calendar between his Debian Linux workstation, his Debian Linux laptop, a Windows workstation, his Android smartphone and his Android tablet.
  • Niki uses her account to synchronize her Documents, Pictures and Music between two Windows laptops. She does not, however, use it to synchronize her calendar or contacts.
  • Leora uses her account to synchronize the files on her Ubuntu Linux workstation to the server, for backup. She also uses her account to synchronize her online calendar and contact list to her Android tablet.
  • Leora has a folder named “honeydo” on her computer. These are tasks for Rod, Niki and Nancy to perform sometime in the future.
    • Leora shares that folder with Rod and Niki, with full read/write abilities. Rod and Niki can see and modify the task list from their workstations and, in Rod’s case, his tablet or smartphone. They can both also add files to this folder which will then show up when Leora next synchronizes.
    • Leora also shares the main todo list with Nancy by sending her a link. When Nancy clicks on this link, she enters a password and can see (but not edit) the todo list
    • Leora can also share her calendar to Rod, since he uses his OwnCloud Calendar. All she has to do is Share it with him and he can see one or more of her calendars on his default calendar.