· Summer is coming to an end and everyone is returning from vacation. Meanwhile, we have been improving our features and creating new innovations. 🚀 That's why we can now introduce Zammad 6.1. With features such as the Two-Factor Authentication and Enhanced Time Accounting, we're making the autumn even better for you.✨
The Two-Factor Authentication is in general a popular feature. Especially for customers who access Zammad from the Internet, this feature is useful. With the 2FA, another barrier can be created in addition to a password, which must be overcome in order to log into Zammad. This way, accounts are safe even if a password falls into the wrong hands. In Zammad 6.1, this Two-Factor Authentication comes with a total of three new authentication methods.
Authenticator App 📱
The first new option is the support of authenticator apps. You install these on your phone and after entering your password at the Zammad login, you will receive a code on the authenticator app. This code is only valid for a short time. To login succesfully, you need to enter not only your password but also this code. The code renews itself on the app after every 30 seconds. This provides a very high level of protection during the login process.
Security Keys 🔑
Another new option are the Security Keys, that are an attractive alternative to the authenticator app. In this case, after the password has been entered during the login process, a physical security key must be inserted.
The security key is comparable to a USB flash drive. A well-known manufacturer of these security keys is "Yubikey". However, any security key is possible as long as it supports the "Webauthn" technology. The key can be used for different websites and is not only exclusively applicable to Zammad.
Recovery Codes 🔢
This innovation is basically an emergency mechanism. In the event that you lose your phone or the Security Key, you can still use the Recovery Codes. These are 10 passwords that you should put in a safe place. With them, you can still log in to Zammad in case of an emergency. However, you will only be able to use these codes once. After that, the recovery codes become invalid.
Currently, we have the S/MIME integration in Zammad for encrypting and signing emails. The PGP integration now adds another integration of this type. Like S/MIME, the PGP integration is used to encrypt and sign emails. By the way, PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy.
This is an already existing feature that has been further developed and now contains additional functions. We have also changed the layout of the feature. The following points have been improved:
Time tracking activities
It is now possible to specify during the time recording of the ticket, which time activity it is. This means that you can enter whether it is travel time, home office time, billable or non-billable time, or some other activity of ticket processing time.
This part of the feature was sponsored by Open Circle. We are very happy and grateful for it!✨
Aghishenth Thayalakumar, Head of IT Support at Open Circle AG, shared his motivation to sponsor the feature: "It was important for us to simplify the internal support workflow for our employees as much as possible. With the new feature, we can do all the reporting of the work done directly in the ticket tool and no longer have to adjust every entry in the time and effort tracking (RTM) tool."
Display unit for time accounting entries
Thanks to this new feature, it is now possible to specify whether the time
entered time is minutes, hours, days or any other display unit.
Clearer admin interface of the timeaccounting
In the admin interface of the time accounting only the most current times per table are displayed. But you can still download all entries by using the download button.
Previously, it was only possible to mark users as VIP. Now with Zammad 6.1, organizations can also be marked as VIP. For example, a trigger can be used to evaluate whether a ticket was created by an organization with VIP status. This can facilitate various subsequent work steps. In addition, new operators are now available that can be used to search fields even more easily and precisely. This makes it even easier to implement "if, then" automations.
Marc Steinbach, Team Lead Manager at VoIP Competence Center, let us know why this feature is sponsored and why it has such an important meaning for their daily work:
"We work in B2B with many different contacts that we assign to organizations in Zammad. In the past, it was difficult to keep track which customers had booked service with us and which were not currently using service. With the VIP status for organizations, our staff can directly see if the ticket is covered by the monthly service. By automatically assigning new contacts to the organization via domain mapping, this also works for contacts who are contacting us for the first time."
This eliminates the need to search/browse the possible reasons for an automations in the text. Previously, when an automatic change was made in the ticket, only a minus was displayed as the author in the ticket history. With our innovation, it is now clearly visible in the ticket history when an automatic change occurred in the ticket. In the case of automatic changes that were created by triggers, the name of the trigger that is responsible for the automatic change is now displayed in the ticket history.
Zammad 6.1 creates a new vip attribute for organizations. For systems with previously created vip attributes, there is special caution needed. In case of boolean attributes, Zammad will adjust them to the new settings and keep using them. For attributes of other types, Zammad will rename the existing attribute to _vip and add a new vip boolean attribute. This may cause issues if the previous attribute was used in other parts of the system, e.g. Triggers. In such cases, the relevant configurations must be reviewed and adjusted.
Support for the Unicorn Web Server is removed
It seems that the Unicorn Web Server is no longer really used with Zammad. Therefore, we have decided to remove it with Zammad 6.1 after it was deprecated in Zammad 6.0.
Linux Distribution Support Changes
In the future, Zammad will provide binary packages for the last two stable/long-term support versions of supported Linux distributions until they reach their end-of-life or can no longer meet the technical requirements for Zammad. Use of the latest supported stable/long-term support version is generally recommended.
Zammad 6.2 will not provide packages for CentOS 7, Debian 10, Ubuntu 18.04, and SLES 12. Users of these distributions are advised to upgrade to newer versions such as CentOS 8, Debian 12, Ubuntu 22.04, and SLES 15.
Twitter/X Integration Removal
Due to the unclear situation regarding Twitter/X APIs, we consider removing the Twitter/X integration with the release of Zammad 7.0. Please have a look here for more information and updates on this topic.
Note about MySQL deprecation.
Zammad is designed to provide our users with a secure and stable platform that is convincing in its performance. For this, the choice of supported database systems is crucial. After long discussions and based on our long experience, we have decided that Zammad will only support PostgreSQL as a database in the future. However, this change will not take effect until Zammad 7.0.
Until then, we do not recommend new installations with MySQL/MariaDB. Existing systems will continue to be supported, but must be migrated to PostgreSQL until the release of Zammad 7. For this purpose, we have provided a detailed Migration Guide that can be used to migrate existing systems to PostgreSQL free of charge.
This decision was not easy for us. However, we see it as necessary, because we want to continue to provide you with a long-term and reliable platform and keep the effort for everyone within limits.
Slack Integration Deprecation
Starting with Zammad version 7.0, we will no longer support this particular Slack integration. It is recommended that you switch to pre-built webhooks instead, a new feature of ours. Existing Slack integrations should be migrated manually before this feature is discontinued.
Support for Internet Explorer 11.
As of Zammad version 7.0, Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported.