When Frank Karlitschek, co-founder and former CTO of ownCloud, forked ownCloud into Nextcloud , I expected it to do well. I didn't expect it to have its first major release less than two weeks after the company opened its doors. Well, the first Nextcloud release is out now.
In an e-mail, Karlitschek said:
We've been overwhelmed with the response to our announcement of our new project on June 2nd. Customers immediately started asking for support and contracts, users asked 'when can we migrate' and contributors wanted to move their repositories to our GitHub project.
Our suggestion to everybody to stay calm and just wait until we'd release our first version middle of July was widely ignored and people have been working fanatically on getting a release ready.
So, to honor all these contributions, we decided to move the schedule from 5 weeks in the future to tomorrow... Moreover, we made a firm decision that our business model would not include any non-free components: Nextcloud will be fully open source.
By this Karlitschek means that unlike the open-core ownCloud, all of Nextcloud's features will be open-source. There will be no features reserved for enterprise customers.
This first release is based on ownCloud 9, which was released in March 2016. It delivers a capable, proven private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud. This version also introduces new features such as a file drop capability and enterprise grade logging.
Looking ahead, Nextcloud has started the public development of further enterprise grade features like Shiboleth single sign-on authentication, Windows Network Common Internet File System/Server Message Block (CIFS/SMB) storage integration, retention handling and fine grained file access control capabilities.
These features will be made available as Nextcloud apps under an open-source license, probably the Affero General Public License (AGPL). All code submissions will be done in the open, on GitHub. This will enable customers, partners and users to participate and contribute to their development. These new features will gradually become available for support through our enterprise support subscriptions.
"The transparency of developing these features in the open enables us to more closely track customer demands and needs," said Nextcloud co-founder Niels Mache. "By pursuing a business model which has worked for Red Hat we've enabled the establishment of a healthy ecosystem, benefiting users, customers, contributors and our own business alike."
Nextcloud 9 is available now. Full Nextcloud documentation for the program and how to upgrade from ownCloud is also ready to go. The new company claims that a qualified enterprise support team is ready to help you with support subscriptions.