Saturday, 12 October 2013

Be your own cloud provider and kick out Google Calendar, Dropbox and co. - Part 2 File Sync

Hey there,

so after I was able to sync all my calendar entries with all my devices by using OwnCloud, the next step is to use it as Dropbox replacement.

The main purpose for me using Dropbox was always to store documents like PDFs (books, whitepapers etc.) and to read them on my iPad. It was very convenient  and I didn't had to worry about backups, as the files were on my mobile devices, my laptop and in my Dropbox and it was also very convenient to share the files with others.

Here is the configuration, that I'm using now instead of Dropbox:
  1. iOS: I'm using an app called "Good Reader" on my iPad in order to read all kinds of documents and Good Reader also provides an interface to connect to your Dropbox. It is possible for every App that can talk to a WebDAV server to connect to your OwnCloud. In Good Reader I just needed to add a new WebDAV server,  insert the URL accordingly to the manual of OwnCloud (e.g. put in your credentials and afterwards you can sync all data with Good Reader. You can sync data that is already available in your OwnCloud with Good Reader or upload files to OwnCloud via Good Reader. It's working for me now as convenient as Dropbox. 
  2. Mac OS X: I wanted to use the Finder of Mac OS X for connecting to OwnCloud, as described here. Unfortunately it is not working as expected. I'm able to connect to my server via WebDAV and I can navigate through the directories, but when I want to create a folder or upload a file, it takes minutes and then the operation I wanted to execute did not succeed. I couldn't find out the problem, so I switched to Cyberduck. With Cyberduck I'm not having any problems and it I've got a good performance. 
  3. Windows: In Windows it was no problem to map the WebDAV share to a drive letter. Maybe you need to tweak on the registry, but I didn't had to do it on my Windows 7 Professional Laptop. 
With this configuration I can access now all my files via iOS, Mac OS X and Windows. But to access the files I need to be online, otherwise the files will not be available. To access your files also when your offline you can use the Sync-Clients by OwnCloud.
In Windows it worked without any errors, but on Mac OS X I alway got the following error when I wanted to connect to my server via HTTPS:
Die Verbindung zu OwnCloud konnte nicht hergestellt werden: Im Ablauf des SSL-Protokolls ist ein Fehler aufgetreten.
respectively in english:
Failed to connect to ownCloud: SSL-Handshake failed
When I added the parameter "ServerName" to /etc/apache2/apache2.conf and did a restart of apache I was also able to connect to my OwnCloud with the Mac OS X Sync-Client.

So now I can share my calendar and files between all my devices with my OwnCloud and do not have to use Dropbox, iCloud or another cloud provider.

Great success :-)