As you may be aware that the scheduled end-of-life (EOL) of the 7.8.x LTS version is fast approaching, we’d like to open up this thread for discussion on the challenges you currently have with upgrading away from 7.8 as well as the opportunities, so you can stay up to date with new features, new bugfixes and security fixes.
We know that initially the transition from 7.8 to 7.9 wasn’t smooth for everybody, and in fact many of you opted to stick with the older version, mostly due to the new Theme and the Email module. Are there other aspects that the soon-to-be unsupported LTS provides that you would miss when upgraded to the latest LTS (7.10.x), or to 7.11.x?
While there is always ongoing work on bug fixes and areas to improve in 7.10.x, we have had the chance to answer some of the concerns about the theme (better contrast, smaller spacing, some colour options), and to enhance the latest versions in terms of technology: Bootstrap UI, automated tests, better dependency handling with Composer, new API, re-factoring of some parts of the code, cool new features.
So, we’d like to hear your feedback on how we can help you transcend to the latest versions. We aim to assist as many people as possible whilst being realistic on what we can achieve before 7.8.x end-of-life is reached. Although our product team is working in parallel on SuiteCRM 8 with our normal releases we felt that this focus on LTS end-of-life is extremely crucial to us and the community so I’m sure if we work together, as a team, we can achieve a happy SuiteCRM 7.10.x LTS transition for the majority of users.
I’d like to be able to think of this year that the SuiteCRM product team will grow and expand with the combined members from both the SalesAgility team and the dedicated community members. Together we can develop and contribute efficiently and seamlessly to take in those contributions.
So we’d like to hear from you and come together …
What specific concerns do you have about upgrading away from 7.8.x? What’s keeping you from upgrading?
Do you need help setting up test labs to rehearse the upgrade or test the new version?
Are all your Issues properly reported on GitHub, properly labelled, with enough information to be useful? Is the current method of identifying critical issues not effective enough? Maybe you can add a comment or an up vote there explaining why this is critical for your upgrade.
If you tried, say, v 7.9.4 and gave up on that branch, can you try something newer now?
Can you help with any of the stuff that is missing before you can upgrade like help test bug fixes or provide screen cast of your issues? Let’s coordinate this work!
Although i maintain a few instances of SuiteCRM i’m not really an intense user or have complicated use cases. I guess the main thing when upgrading from an LTS is to have some kind of migration guide with all the main pain points well identified.
If one has a fair understanding of the possible difficulties, one can plan ahead …
Answering to pgr’s questions:
1 - I guess that the most important reason to not upgrade is the old saying: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it ! Also, if the requirements of the new version imply updates to other parts of the system, some people can see it as a disturbance… e.g., if my chosen linux distro doesn’t carry the php version that’s needed ot the correct database version (sometimes, minor versions are different, right MySQL?) it may be a hindrance for me to update.
2 - No, I don’t need help, personally, but I think that some kind of guide wouldn’t hurt
4 - I always have one or two test systems with the most recent versions… It’s not hard to do and it gives you the opportunity to check your customizations and modules…
5 - I’m not really a fan of screencast, I much prefer the written word… I don’t mind to help, no guarantees, though…
I previously tried upgrading and the issue that stopped me was the style/theme changes broke some of our customizations. Then it just became a matter of priority and how much time I wanted to spend fixing it. We may just wait until 8 at this point.
I always try and keep the latest versions for testing purposes.
Some of the new features are very good, some, maybe less.
Unfortunately certain features introduced recently (eg.: composer or elasticsearch) are impossible to get working on most shared hosting providers which, unfortunately are preferred by many SMEs.
Having said this I have tried to upgrade our instance(s) from 7.8.x to 7.9.x, 7.10.x and 7.11.x: all were disastreous so we never went further and I wished, and kept on wishing, that the EOL of 7.8.x would never arrive or would be postponed.
Our biggest issues and concerns are, as you also state, emails overall, campaigns, themes and too many bugs (there are new, then they are corrected and reintroduced, which would be nightmare to handle in a production environment as opposed to more healthy and stable, although with less features, situation.
reporting. the standard reporting in SuiteCRM didn’t work for us, so we’re using kReporter. Unfortunately, their latest doesn’t work on 7.9 or 7.10 and they are waiting to see what happens with 8.x before updating
There are some important news there. There will be a couple of sprints dedicated to the issues raised here, and community contributions will also be part of this effort, of course. We’ll also be experimenting with a new way to coordinate our work on Github.
I know that this discussion continued on Github and I had a look over there but I wasn’t sure if this was relevant to post there or not as it is more of a question.
I have been planning our upgrade from 7.8 for some time but I have kind of been putting it off to see how things compared between 7.10 and 7.11 in re features and stability.
The major thing holding me back was the launch of the new API. For some reason, I had it in my mind that v4.1 would no longer work. The lack of API documentation has held me back in upgrading (I do see that this has been rectified somewhat). If I upgrade to 7.10/11 will the 4.1 api still work? I understand it wont be developed but having a working API is requirement #1 for us.
I did set up a test instance and went through the upgrade process, which was fairly uneventful though, I ran into many problems getting the v8 API working starting at step 1:
and kind of felt at that point that this was going to be a process I did not have time for right now.
Really the only other thing holding us back is learning the ins and outs of the new email system and having training ready to go for it.