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TOPIC: SuiteCRM 7.9.2 Maintenance Patch Now Available

SuiteCRM 7.9.2 Maintenance Patch Now Available 1 year 6 months ago #49931

  • samus-aran
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Hi Everyone

SuiteCRM 7.9.2 is now available to download.

Download the latest version either from the SuiteCRM GitHub Repository or visit the official website to find the appropriate upgrade.

Thank you to all community members who logged bugs and contributed to this release.

We have also updated our Security Process asking the community to send their security issues directly to us via email security@suitecrm.com.

Another larger announcement in regards to the latest release of 7.9.2. This current Release resolves a number of High Priorities that have been raised via our Bug Tracker*. These High Priorities include bugs and UI functionality which was either not working as expected or were excluded from previous versions.

Ability to Select Signature based on Mail Account

This is a re-design of an existing feature from the old Email client. As a user you can associate a signature per personal mail account. When a user selects the mail account to send from via the Email compose screen the signature will update appropriately.
This differs to the previous Email client that provided a dropdown to select a signature regardless of what mail account your were sending from.

Emailing Quotation/Invoices
This was a High Priority bug which restores the functionality to send an Email attaching the generated Quotation or Invoice.

Gmail specific UID discrepancies
This was an issue specifically to Gmail mailboxes where Ids of mail were incorrectly being referenced from the List View causing the non imported Emails to be incorrectly viewed via the Detail View.

Sending Emails by Plain Text
This was a High Priority bug which restores the functionality to send an Email by Plain Text.

Bounce Emails not being picked up via Campaign hits
This was a High Priority bug which restores the functionality to record bounced emails hits when sending out Campaign Emails.

Other Resolved Issues:

- Cannot Select Emails that have no subject
- Sending Emails unintentionally via specific use cases
- After sending emails returns JSON message

We have gathered and reviewed a lot of the feedback here on the forums and would like to provide an explanation of how and why the 7.9.x release has reached this status and from those points how we plan to tackle the further releases going forward but we need the Community's help with this.

Underestimation

Refactoring, redesigning and reinventing the Email module. We begun to realise during the release cycle why it was left for so long on SugarCRM CE! This area of the application is a monster and it touched on a number of areas that were not scoped out and not fully understood until we were too far into the release cycle to turn and head back. On top of this we also underestimated how much this feature was used. Our goal was to provide a basic but complete email client and not be a direct competition to third party email applications. However in light after the production release the Email module appeared to be a highly used tool which has got our team back to restoring it to the full extend of the old email client.

Going forward we have already ensured that large areas of refactoring will only be taken on if able and fully scoped out. However we need the Community to be pro-active and voice their must haves during the release cycle or any other time so we understand what exactely is important to you on a daily basis. – important features and aspects that make the community use SuiteCRM on a daily basis.

Time Constraints

Along with underestimating the scale of the Email Client we also struck the barrier often hit – lack of time. We have had a 3 month Release Cycle for the past couple of years and doing so have improved sprint efficiency. However, ultimately, we can only be as good at time management if the goal, along with time, is realistic. Learning from this 7.9.x release that 3 months is not enough to tackle big and complete areas of the application in order to bring SuiteCRM up to current technological standards and beyond.

Absence of Feedback

The product can only get better if the Community participates. Each release we have done there has been less and less feedback on Betas and Release Candidates and thus bugs raised. To provide an example only 120+ downloads were made for the 7.9.0 Beta and a further 600+ for 7.9.0 Release Candidate!

We need you Community! We can test so far with manual tests, regression test and use cases. We are in the midst of improving our automated tests but this was not scheduled until after 7.9. The pre-production versions are there to help us achieve a stable production but as importantly provide the community the opportunity to voice the importances of the features in development and help shape the future of SuiteCRM.

To help reduce this feedback gap we will be conducting test user groups during our development phases inviting users to participate runs to test the betas and release candidate versions.

However, this will still only provide us a small window of use cases so on top of this we implore the community to download, experiment and provide feedback with pre-releases.

Automated Testing

We are a small dedicated product team and since 3.5 years since launching SuiteCRM we have grown in size with very little funding and relied on our internal profits for product growth. This growth has been steady but slow and one area we have not been able to explore fully is automated testing. This is our highest priority and will provide an extremely large part of producing stable and robust releases. Unfortunately this release has created the paradox that we are working to provide a stable 7.9.x release and thus unable to dedicate our time on the automated testing.

Our immediate priority is to stabilise the 7.9.x version first and then dedicate time to our development and testing processes which we have allocated already to 7.10.

Next Steps

7.9.3

We will continue to dedicate our resources solely on resolving High and Medium Priorities regarding to the Email module for the next 7.9.x release.
Although we have extended over the allocated bug fixing sprints for a production release we understand and feel this is a must in order to maintain a healthy production release prior to tackling the next major release.

ETA of 7.9.3 will be week ending 14th July 2017

7.10

We will be releasing the roadmap for this development cycle very soon – once 7.9.x is stable. 7.10 will be the next LTS release so it will be relatively lean in new features and more of a stability release to improve existing features and include extensive testing.

Conclusion


We have arrived at this point of a less than satisfactory release due to a number of issues. We, here at SalesAgility, have identified these issues and are working towards rectifying them and feel that this is a lesson well learned and we can only improved from here.

We would like to thank the community for your patience and continued patronship. We hope that by providing an honest explanation of where we are as a growing product team and what we have learned we have encouraged the community to step forth and help us with providing stable and contributed production releases going forward!

Please help us raise any issues via our Github Bug Tracker and if you wish to contact us directly regarding or express an interest on how you can help us please do so via community@suitecrm.com
..........

SalesAgility - the authors and maintainers of SuiteCRM
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SuiteCRM 7.9.2 Maintenance Patch Now Available 1 year 6 months ago #49978

  • pgr
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@samus-aran thanks for the detailed account of the events of the past few weeks, and the plans for the future. It really helps to learn some of the reasoning and the internal perspective of SalesAgility.

The first week of 7.9.0 was complicated and it showed the reality of some of the things you describe - the lack of community testing of the Beta and RC, the complexity of the Email module and how intricately connected it is to the least expected parts of the application... and it turns out Email is harder to test than most features, due to all the account set up needed.

The following weeks I actually think we saw some good community moments - a quieter, more serene and objective mood, a lot of testing, some excellent and quick bug reports... everybody saw SalesAgility was working hard to correct the mistakes and many people really tried to help and show a positive attitude.

That is the sort of thing I would like to see happen around a Beta release! :-)

I hope this release taught us to pay more attention to these risks and the need to organize ourselves (SalesAgility + Community) and communicate better. It's nice to read your post and see you've done your own analysis of the events, recognized the shortcomings and extracted lessons.

And I am SO glad that 7.10 sounds like a technological release, with automated tests etc., and has no new features ;-)

My SuiteCRM In-depth blog.
Thank you for always stating your SuiteCRM version, checking your logs, reading the Docs, and searching before you ask!
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SuiteCRM 7.9.2 Maintenance Patch Now Available 1 year 6 months ago #49989

  • horus68
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samus-aran wrote:
Absence of Feedback - Each release we have done there has been less and less feedback on Betas and Release Candidates and thus bugs raised.

Translation by a community user: Salesagility has been loosing community power users. Probably SuiteCRM has been loosing community power users too or maybe they just keep on using software but loosing will to collaborate with solutions.
Community users are not simply a beta tester group for a company. They need to be considered as partners. Else you could start failing to leading a community software and you will loose the "community" factor soon.
There are 270 Pull requests not merged yet (several with more than a year). There are also 553 BUG with 217 fix proposed but not accepted yet. They are solutions for community user real problems, others proposed by Salesagility members but not used on the ground of "no time to implement", or "not relevant".
There is also a trend: each week there are less PR by users.

As for now I have to keep a personal set of fixes from PR not merged. This is not the way to work and it take me too many time updating each version. I also do know that someday they will end up in conflict wit newer versions, so i need to keep those to a minimum. In the end it also makes me not using several functions of the software.

samus-aran wrote:
To provide an example only 120+ downloads were made for the 7.9.0 Beta and a further 600+ for 7.9.0 Release Candidate!

120 downloads for Beta users is an excellent number for a software like SuiteCRM. Probably 50% had just tested to see how things are going, and the other half did some real test. But you need to design a test to ask for particular test scenarios.
Example: I did tested it just to see if the install/uninstall of languages packs are working, it is my main concern for each new version and sent a feedback on that.
For curiosity I looked in some modules and screens and confirmed that several bugs are still there, not solved even with PR waiting. So I wen no further on testing.
Note: I don't use the email module so I wasn't the best person to test that feature.

samus-aran wrote:
7.9.3 - We will continue to dedicate our resources solely on resolving High and Medium Priorities regarding to the Email module for the next 7.9.x release.
So things will continue the same as they are now, old bugs not solved, Community solutions not merged. Will wait for the 7.10 version (even if not being too confident).

samus-aran wrote:
7.10 - We will be releasing the roadmap for this development cycle very soon – once 7.9.x is stable.
As for my personal roadmap using SuiteCRM I can say that I'm not too confident on the future. My software usage decisions are done by each 3rd quarter of the year to be implemented in each 4Q. I can say now that I will use SuiteCRM for the next year, but I'm not so sure I will keep on using it by the 4Q of 2018.
I really hope you can solve things internally and implement some of the promised changes, and also find a way to address several issues on the management of a community software. Suite Assured could be a good move so your company will fear less the community solutions already available and start reduccing the PR queue
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|| FAQ - Install/Update languages sites.google.com/site/translatingsuitecrm/faq ||
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SuiteCRM 7.9.2 Maintenance Patch Now Available 1 year 6 months ago #50055

  • samus-aran
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horus68 wrote:
Community users are not simply a beta tester group for a company.

No of course not Horus, we don't see the community like that at all. If it came across that in the above post then sincerely that is not the feeling within the team. I was merely pointing out that lack of testing for the beta/release candidate was one of the many factors that attributed to the less than great release.

You are asking us to view the community as partners and that is what we are addressing. We are asking the community to be part of the team to assist us with testing.

I remember the discussion you raised stating the question 'why should we [community] test?'. Well unfortunately then its a chicken and egg scenario which means things won't be merged in if they aren't tested. Now I'm not saying that we are holding up on merging things because the community hasn't tested, not at all, but simply we are low of resources to test everything ourselves. That is why we are going round in circles asking the community to assist in testing and then told no, until we've merged fixes in. See the predicament? Its a tough situation to push through if we are already low of resources to do it all internally.

Q: So where do we go from here?

A: We have already announced we are dedicating time to the github issues & Prs and automated testing for 7.10. 7.10 is a longer release cycle (6 months) so this will provide us more time to tackle the mountain.
However, that still does not mean that the Community should sit back and let us do all the testing. You are partners and we are working together to find more constructive ways that your fixes can be merged in quicker and one of that ways is to help test.

horus68 wrote:
Probably 50% had just tested to see how things are going, and the other half did some real test. But you need to design a test to ask for particular test scenarios.

I believe its down to a matter of opinion of how many downloads are expected for the pre-releases. Obviously we ourselves expected a lot more for both Beta and Release Candidate based on our knowledge of how many users have and use SuiteCRM. Unfortunately we don't have the comparison of the previous release version to judge it by.

I don't feel that is quite true that we 'need' to supply the test cases to at least get some feedback. We had supplied what it contained, screenshots and breakdown of Release Notes which we did more so than any other release. We feel that pre-production release should be open world so that any feedback that comes back contain a wide variety of areas for example Is the feature intuitive? Road blocker due to ease of use? I did it this way and it failed etc etc.

So from what we feel is an issue either due to the community are too busy, unsure how or who to provide feedback or otherwise we are addressing this in future release – organise and schedule Test User Groups. This will certainly help with getting more feedback.

horus68 wrote:
So things will continue the same as they are now, old bugs not solved, Community solutions not merged. Will wait for the 7.10 version (even if not being too confident).

Understandably we can not leave the 7.9.x in it current state so yes, the PRS merged into 7.9 and 7.8 will be at a minimum unless we have more resources to test whilst resolving bugs. The schedule is to stablise 7.9 so then we can focus on dedicating the bugfix-athon during 7.10.

If the community is unaware though that the bugfix-athon will translate into 7.8.x, 7.9.x during the 7.10 cycle. The only things not pulled into 7.8.x and 7.9.x are specific features (features, not bugs) into 7.10. Hope that clarifys that you will not be waiting 6 months to get the fixes in and PRS in.

We understand we haven't helped ourselves with not been able to merge PRs in over the past number of years and we are now addressing the issue with downing all features for 7.10 and tackling bugs. But regardless of our team size we still need to the community to test along side us.
..........

SalesAgility - the authors and maintainers of SuiteCRM
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