Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024
Theme fund: NGI0 Discovery
Start: 2019-10
End: 2022-10
More projects like this
Data and AI
Services + Applications


Unified and intelligent search within private cloud data

The internet helps people to work, manage, share and access information and documents. Proprietary cloud services from large vendors like Microsoft, Google, Dropbox and others cannot offer the privacy and security guarantees users need. Nextcloud is a 100% open source solution where all information can stay on premise, with the protected users choose themselves. The Nextcloud Search project will solve the last remaining open issue which is unified, convenient and intelligent search and discoverability of data. The goal is to build a powerful but user friendly user interface for search across the entire private cloud. It will be possible to select data date, type, owner, size, keywords, tags and other metadata. The backend will offers indexing and searching of file based content, as well as integrated search for other contents like text chats, calendar entries, contacts, comments and other data. It will integrate with the private search capabilities of Searx. As a result the users will have the same powerful search functionalities they know and like elsewhere, but respecting the privacy of users and strict regulations like the GDPR.

Why does this actually matter to end users?

Everyone knows that once something is online, it can be hard if not impossible to take that information down again. This is especially risky when you need to share information on a document that also has particularly sensitive or even confidential data on it. Today, countless individuals, businesses and governments use and rely on cloud services to share and manage data online in a controlled space. But how much control do these users really have over their data? Ask yourself this: when you 'rent' cloud space from a provider, where and how does this organization actually store your data? How is it protected, how can you be sure that the personal information you have in there, is kept away from prying eyes? And what's more, where does this provider actually store your data, in what country and under which laws?

One of the ways you can actually answer these questions is by hosting cloud space yourself or choosing who will host it for you and where, using technology you can check and modify as you want. Nextcloud offers this functionality with an open source solution for file hosting where users keep complete control over their data. This can be crucial for organizations and businesses who manage personal or sensitive information. Of course these users also need to go through their data just as easy as a competitor would that uses public cloud services. This project aims to develop a user-friendly interface for search across privately hosted cloud spaces, where you can select and search for data based on date, type, owner, size, keywords and other useful criteria. It is even possible to also go through data outside of the cloud space you host yourselves and search your offline database. Self-hosting online files should be just as useful as any proprietary cloud service, and this project will help to level that playing field.

Run by Nextcloud

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This project was funded through the NGI0 Discovery Fund, a fund established by NLnet with financial support from the European Commission's Next Generation Internet programme, under the aegis of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology under grant agreement No 825322.