Today, we're releasing RT 3.8.0, the first major upgrade to RT in about two years. Over the past two years, we've been working hard to improve RT. We're very proud of RT 3.8 and hope you'll find it a worthy upgrade.
Many, but not all, of the new features you'll find in RT 3.8 are the direct result of work we did for clients. WYSIWYG email composition, GnuPG email signatures and encryption, ticket relationship graphs and email digests are all enhanced versions of features we originally developed as "custom" extensions for clients.
When we haven't been busy improving RT for clients, we've spent much of our time tidying and polishing RT. In the past few months, we've resolved over 540 bugs and feature requests. RT's new visual style, "on-line" dashboards, workflow and performance improvements, along with literally hundreds of bug fixes and performance improvements are the direct result of your patches, bug reports and suggestions over the past few years.
I could easily claim that there are too many new features to list, but the reality is simply that there are more new features I could list than you're willing to read about. If you're interested in the full, sordid history of changes to RT since RT 3.6, you can find the full history in our public subversion repository at svn://svn.bestpractical.com/rt.
What's new in RT 3.8
A new visual style
We've completely overhauled RT's visual style to look a bit more like what you'd expect modern enterprise software to look like. The pleasing blue gradient background and rounded corners will keep you on an even keel when dealing with even the most complex and frustrating issues. (We've also extensively tweaked the fonts, menus and layouts based on feedback from dozens of testers. RT has always been easy for your team to pick up with little or no user training. The usability improvements in RT 3.8 should help keep your team happy and productive. )
RT has been around since before the days of HTML email. We've completely retooled inline RT's email composition system to give your team a "WYSIWYG" composition window for HTML email using FCKEditor. We chose FCKEditor because of its excellent cross-platform support. (It even preserves styles when you copy and paste from your word processor!) When creating, replying to or commenting on tickets, you can now make things bold, italic, red or blue (and do all sorts of other things to your text as well). At the same time, we overhauled how RT displays HTML and multipart email messages to work more like desktop email clients. We've always worked hard to make RT a good email citizen. That's more true now than ever. When sending styled email, RT will always send a plain text equivalent along as well. If you don't need rich text support locally, you can disable it from RT's configuration file.
Email signatures and encryption
Many organizations around the world use RT to manage the information flow of their mission-critical security applications. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is the global standard for inter-organization secure email. We've updated RT with comprehensive support for PGP using the Gnu Privacy Guard. RT can now verify PGP signatures on incoming messages, decrypt encrypted messages and sign and encrypt outgoing mail.
RT has always been incredibly configurable and flexible. Through version 3.6, however, most of that configurability was in the hands of developers and administrators alone. Starting with version 3.8, we've introduced a new user preference system. For version 3.8.0, we've added the set of preferences we found our users most commonly reaching for, including:
- Ticket history ordering
- Date and time format
- Username format
- Default queue
- Size of message text boxes
With RT, it's easy to customize your home page to show you the saved searches and charts which matter to you on a daily basis. Your RT homepage is your personal dashboard. In RT 3.8, we've made it possible for you to build and save dashboards for particular projects or groups. Dashboards can contain saved searches, saved graphs and ticket relationship charts. You can, of course, keep these dashboards to yourself, but you can also share them with the other members of a group you're in. With just a few clicks, you can schedule daily, weekly or monthly delivery of a dashboard. Here at Best Practical, we used this feature to send daily updates on the progress of the RT 3.8 release to the whole team -- complete with a list of open critical issues and a recap of all the issues resolved in the past day.
Charts of ticket relationships
RT has a rich "relationships" system which lets you link tickets (or just about anything else) together to form larger projects. You can set up "depends on" relationships, "parent child" relationships and simple "refers to" links. It's always been easy to see a single ticket's relationships as a list. Beginning in RT 3.8, you can build clickable diagrams of tickets and all their relationships. With a few clicks, you can customize which ticket attributes are displayed and how the chart will be rendered. You can save charts you build and include them on your homepage or in RT's new dashboards.
- Breeze through upgrades with new upgrade tools
- Subscribe to iCalendar feeds of ticket due dates
- Bookmark frequently-used tickets
- Turn off mail from RT when you go on vacation
- Get your mail from RT as a daily or weekly batch
- Delete historical or spam tickets with RT::Shredder (only as a superuser)
- Set up more configurable business rules with new Scrip Conditions and Actions
- Forward tickets to third-parties from within RT
- Enable and Disable RT extensions with the new Plugins system
- Automatically log out inactive users with rt-clean-sessions
- Run faster with less memory, thanks to numerous performance improvements and bug fixes.
You can download RT 3.8.0 at: http://download.bestpractical.com/pub/rt/release/rt-3.8.0.tar.gz
This release of RT has been digitally signed with PGP. You can download the signature file at: http://download.bestpractical.com/pub/rt/release/rt-3.8.0.tar.gz.sig
We sell commercial support for RT. If your organization uses RT in production, you should consider buying a support contract to help ensure that your RT instance continues to work well. To celebrate the release of RT 3.8, we're offering:
- free upgrade support to new support contract customers.
- a 20% discount on upgrades to RT 3.8 from any previous version of RT.
- a 10% discount on migration to RT 3.8 from any other ticketing or issue tracking system.
To find out more about our support options, please contact us at [email protected].
2008 RT Fall Training
We provide unparalleled instruction in how to get the most out of RT. On October 24, we will be offering an intensive one-day developer and administrator training session taught by the developers who built RT. This is the first training session where we will present new features and changes in RT 3.8.
This comprehensive session will cover:
- New features in RT 3.8
- RT's system architecture
- A guided tour of the RT source code
- Extension mechanisms you can use to customize RT
- How to tie RT into your existing authentication infrastructure
- Building your own tools that talk to the RT backend
- Automating common procedures
- Customizing RT's workflow to match your own
- How to write custom reports based on RT's data
This session will be only be offered in:
San Francisco, CA on Friday, October 24th, 2008
The cost of training is $995 per participant. Discounts are available for organizations sending more than one participant and for academic institutions. To reserve your seat, please send mail to [email protected] with the names and email addresses of all attendees. Register now to reserve your seat! Space is limited.
Additionally, we offer private training sessions for organizations. If you would like to schedule a private training session, please drop us a line at [email protected].