We’re deprecating ownCloud and Nextcloud connections, but it’s still possible to use them with Buttercup

Storing password vaults on free cloud storage is one of the fundamental ideas behind Buttercup’s open source password manager. Provided is a feature-rich password management platform that can be used entirely for free, and services such as ownCloud and Nextcloud made that possible.

Dropbox is great, but to some people (ourselves included) nothing screams secure better than a self-hosted cloud storage option like the two we’re talking about here. They’re great platforms with fantastic communities that support simple protocols like WebDAV. They support WebDAV, but in our opinion they don’t treat it with the respect that it deserves.

WebDAV is a fantastic protocol (dating back to 1996) that allows for easy resource discovery on a server, such as with file storage providers. Serious cloud storage providers implement it to provide compatibility for services that still rely on WebDAV to transfer files to and fro. Some printers and scanners even integrate it to allow for cloud storage integration.

Buttercup provides WebDAV access directly via a WebDAV adapter, which can be accessed in any of Buttercup’s applications. It also provides first-party Nextcloud and ownCloud adapters that simply wrap WebDAV — they’re not mega-useful beyond providing nice names and icons for users that have their own installations or something to that effect.

So why bother removing them?

Both ownCloud and Nextcloud have had major issues supporting WebDAV access from browsers, where Buttercup also operates. They’ve neglected proper CORS support and in doing so have created a large community support problem with Buttercup — we haven’t successfully been able to help our users in every case due to the support issues upstream. ownCloud has managed to implement domain whitelisting but neglected support for browser extensions (no domain), leaving modified nginx and Apache configurations as one of the only options for getting CORS working. Nextcloud is in much the same boat.

Growing Buttercup while supporting connection issues on these platforms is not something that the two of us can do right now, so we’re rearranging the storage connectors to ensure a better balance between our efforts to continue building Buttercup and the stability of the platform and its integrations.

What does this mean for current ownCloud and Nextcloud users?

At most a slight inconvenience, if you’re using them without issue now. Unfortunately this deprecation will require users to transition to the WebDAV datasource type, but users will still be able to connect to WebDAV enabled services. For instance, an existing ownCloud URL might look like https://myserver.com, and on WebDAV this would change to https://myserver.com/remote.php/webdav. Directions for the WebDAV URLs for each service can be found in their respective documentation.

Users that cannot connect to ownCloud or Nextcloud right now, or are experiencing issues while trying to connect, will unfortunately not find any resolution when using the WebDAV adapter — All three items use the same engine under the hood. While we expand the platform we cannot unfortunately support CORS issue troubleshooting.

Over the coming weeks we’ll remove access to Nextcloud and ownCloud connectors for new vault connections, but existing connections will continue to work. On the 1st of August 2019 we’ll completely remove access to these datasources, and existing connections will no longer be available.

We regret having to remove these connectors, but want to communicate to our fantastic community that this does not result in a reduction of connectivity support. You can still connect to ownCloud and Nextcloud in the same capacity as you did before, but we will no longer be supporting connectivity issues to such services (beyond reproducible bug fixes). Issues opened that do not accurately describe a bug within Buttercup will be closed.

Buttercup has a variety of connection options available, for accessing vault files. Users can connect to remote vaults stored on Google Drive, Dropbox and WebDAV-enabled services such as Yandex, Seafile etc.

Users can connect local vault files on Windows, Mac and Linux, and within Chrome, Firefox and Brave browsers when using the secure host within the desktop application.

We’ll be continually adding new datasource integrations based on the popularity of the service.

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