[rt-users] RT 3.8.0 now available

Jesse Vincent jesse at bestpractical.com
Mon Jul 14 15:56:12 EDT 2008

[ A version of this message with screenshots of RT 3.8's new features  
is available at http://blog.bestpractical.com/2008/07/today-were-rele.html 

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:// 

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. )

Richtext email

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.

User preferences

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.

Lots more!

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  
Set up more configurable business rules with new Scrip Conditions and  
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.

Download RT

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

Commercial Support

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 atsales at bestpractical.com 

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 totraining at bestpractical.com 
  with the names and email addresses of all attendees. Register now to  
reserve your seat!  Space is limited.

Private training

Additionally, we offer private training sessions for organizations. If  
you would like to schedule a private training session, please drop us  
a line attraining at bestpractical.com.
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