Since we moved to github in February, the community response so far has been very good. Today I merged pull request #77! Several nice community contributed features found their way into OTRS 3.3, such as multiple backends support for CustomerCompany.
Last week we moved all the remaining content to github too: the OTRS ITSM packages as well as other public extension packages such as FAQ and Survey. This makes it possible to include community contributions for these modules in a very convenient way via pull requests.
Please see otrs.github.io for details. The CVS server at source.otrs.org is now in readonly mode and will be turned off at some point in the next weeks.
As you may know, the admin manual of OTRS can be translated. We currently have the English source version online at http://doc.otrs.org/3.2/en/html/. There are also German and Russian versions, but they are only partly translated and therefore not
Last week, the OTRS source code, documentation and some utility modules have been migrated to git. We have updated the usage instructions on the website and in the
documentation. If you still find places with outdated information, please let us know. We also plan to migrate more modules in future.
All git content is hosted on an internal server that requires a user login. The OpenSource content is automatically published on github. There you can find all necessary instructions on how to checkout the sources, look at files and their history. It is also possible to monitor all che changes that happen via RSS feeds and notification emails. The changes in git will no longer appear on the existing “cvs-log” mailing list.
OTRS commit activity statistics
If you are interested, you can register on github, clone our public modules and send us the changes you make for inclusion in the main repositories via a so-called “Pull Request”. This makes OTRS better visible for developers and makes it easier to contribute to the product. After just a few days we already received 5 pull requests!
The most popular database for use with OTRS is MySQL. This database comes with multiple different storage engines, the most prominent are MyISAM and the more modern InnoDB. That last storage engine is also faster and more reliable than MyISAM.
Recently we found some OTRS users running into issues because they had tables using different storage types in their database. This mostly happens because the friendly MySQL people changed the default storage engine from MyISAM to InnoDB with their version 5.5. So for instance, if you would upgrade your server from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04, MySQL would be upgraded from 5.1 to 5.5. This causes the default storage engine to change, but the upgrade would keep your existing tables in tact. Now when you want to create new table, for instance when you are upgrading OTRS or installing a module such as ITSM you can get an error message like this:
ERROR 1025 (HY000) at line 25: Error on rename of './otrs/#sql-143c_22' to
'./otrs/article_flag' (errno: 150)
Today I want to share some thoughts with you about the wireframe sketching tool we use in the development compartment here at OTRS. Nearly every time we create a whole new screen (or a series of screens) for the OTRS framework, we use WireframeSketcher. WireframeSketcher is a wireframing tool to create mockups, wireframes and prototypes for desktop, web and mobile applications. It is available as a standalone desktop app, as well as as an eclipse plugin (also available for other eclipse-based IDEs).
With WireframeSketcher, we are able to create mockups with standard elements such as buttons and other generic form elements, boxes, accordeons, link lists, text boxes and notes in a very easy and comfortable way. Another great feature of WireframeSketcher is its ability to create so-called “stories”. A story is a series of mockups which are connected to each other on a storyboard. In this way, we are able to create clickable screen series without creating any HTML dummies. This is very helpful for us to share our understandings about new screens with the team and to create a first experience of how the new screens are to be used.
After finishing your work, you can export the mockups as images (such as png), HTML or PDF. Make sure to check out http://www.wireframesketcher.com/ for more information.
Starting with OTRS 3.1.12 and upcoming OTRS 3.2.0beta5, we will have specific RPM packages which should be used when installing OTRS on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 or 6, or its derivatives, CentOS and Oracle Enterprise Linux.
Previously, there was one RPM available, marked ‘Fedora’, that should be used to install on both Fedora and Red Hat Linux and its derivatives. However, package names on the different Linux versions differ. This caused a few problems recently; and we mitigate this now by providing separate packages for RHEL5, RHEL6, and Fedora. These packages are available from our download page since a few days already.
If you run OTRS on RHEL or CentOS, and previously installed OTRS by using the Fedora RPM, you can simply upgrade it by using the RHEL RPM and following the standard upgrade procedures; there are no special steps needed.
Creating specific RPMs for RHEL and CentOS also allows us to better specify which dependencies are needed for installation of OTRS; the upcoming OTRS 3.2 beta 5 RPMs will also install all available Perl modules from the base repositories. For Fedora, all additional Perl modules are available in the repositories, which improves the installation experience a lot. For RHEL, not all dependencies are available. We recommend using Enterprise Packages for Enterprise Linux (short ‘EPEL’), a Fedora initiative for providing high quality packages to RHEL/CentOS Linux, to install any additional packages not available in the base repositories.
On 30th October, we have released beta 1 of OTRS 3.2. Today we have released the third beta, together with beta’s of our ITSM modules. After some more beta releases we’ll finally release the stable release on January 29th, 2013.
One of the new features Shawn already showed in an earlier blog post is the all-new Customer Information Center. One other feature we’ll write more about in the upcoming weeks is the new Process Management features, with a nice GUI where you can design interfaces and actions.
Apart from that, we have the usual smaller and bigger performance- and UI improvements.
Below a video statement from Manuel Hecht, our Vice President Global Software Development, who talks about the new OTRS 3.2 release and more.
Please try out the beta now. We recommend that you do not use this software in production yet, although we are ‘dogfooding’ ourselves and have upgraded our internal portal to 3.2.x recently. But installing it on a test environment is absolutely something you could consider, and plan your move to 3.2 accordingly. Obviously, OTRS Group can support you with upgrading if you want, just contact us to discuss. And if you are an existing customer with a Professional or Enterprise subscription, we’ll perform your upgrade free of charge.