Nextcloud has risen to become one of the most popular in-house cloud solutions on the planet. And with good reason; the platform is easy to deploy, dependable, flexible, open source, and incredibly cost-effective.

For those that don’t know, Nextcloud is a fork of ownCloud 9. They are now primed to release their fourth iteration and have some pretty impressive features in the pipeline. What are said features? The big push for Nextcloud 12 is focused on collaboration. With this focus, Nextcloud stands to become even more flexible and business-ready than before. Considering business is their key market, collaboration features was a wise idea.

Let’s take a look at the rundown of what’s coming to Nextcloud 12. The feature list isn’t massive, but it’s still impressive.

Spreed audio/video chat

Although this feature was available in previous releases, it has enjoyed significant maturity. Spreed allows you, via direct browser-to-browser connection, to work with end to end encrypted audio/video chat. With the release of Nextcloud 12, Spreed support will also include screen sharing, via apps for both Chrome and Firefox.

Push notifications

Nextcloud 12 should see the introduction of push notifications (including client support) for calls, comments, shares, etc. This could mean instant notifications to the Android and iOS mobile clients — something business users might well depend upon.

Granular file sharing permissions

As of release 12, users will be able to share files and/or folders to multiple users and set the permissions individually. This feature is called Secure Drop and will enable businesses that depend upon a higher-level of security (such as hospitals, banks, notaries and government agencies) to securely receive data from customers, patients, clients or partners. With Secure Drop, you will be able to easily create a secure upload point which will hide the existing content of the folder from the share recipient.

Circles app

There’s a new app that will be made available to 12: Circles. With this app users can create and manage groups to make sharing even easier. Think of Circles as user-definable groups. This should serve as a great addition that will make collaboration even easier within Nextcloud.

Download activity

There’s a new logging feature that will allow users to track when files are downloaded from a public share. This feature will also allow users to set an expiration date for an internal share.

Writable public links

With this new features, users can have a collaborative Collabora Online document editing session, even with users that do not have an account on your Nextcloud Server. So if a user on the system has an external client they need to collaborate with, this is now not only possible, but easy.

Excludedirs app

This one goes out to the Nextcloud administrators in the crowd. A new app, called Excludedirs, allows administrators to enable a specific folder pattern to be excluded from indexing on the system, thus preventing those folders from being visible to searches on the server. This will be a great addition to anyone needing to house particularly private data on their cloud.

Beyond the new features

Nextcloud 12 will build on previous release strengths to bring a combined doubling of performance over its predecessors. Security systems on the server have been improved (such as authentication receiving an overhaul to enable support for a virtually unlimited range of authentication mechanisms). The update process has also been made more reliable and apps will no longer be disabled for bugfix updates.

There is no doubt Nextcloud 12 could wind up being one of the most significant updates to the open source cloud server, especially for businesses. At the moment there is no release date set, so if you’re anxious to get these new features added to your cloud, follow Nextcloud on Twitter to find out when 12 drops.