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Migrating from Akeeba Ticket System 4.x to 5.x

To ease the migration of your sites we made sure that both Akeeba Ticket System 4.x and 5.0 support Joomla 4.0. Before updating Akeeba Ticket System to version 5 you need to be aware of some important changes in this version and what you need to do to address them.

Removed features

The Credits system has been removed. This feature was rarely used, made our code overly complex and we have reached the point where there is no officially supported way to add credits anyway. If you relied on this feature you can remain on Akeeba Ticket System 4 noting that its support will end on August 2022 and have no plans on making it compatible with Joomla 4.1 or later if any changes are necessary.

The Buckets feature has been removed. It was very rarely used as it was unlikely to come up with a common reply to multiple tickets which couldn't instead be made into a Canned Reply which could then be reused on future tickets. If you were using buckets you need to note down which tickets you had in each bucket. You can tag the tickets after upgrading to ATS 5 and you can filter the display in the frontend by tag but you can no longer send a mass reply to all tickets in a bucket.

The sh404SEF plugin has been removed. This component is no longer developer for Joomla 4. Its replacement, 4SEO, does not need a plugin for Akeeba Tickete System. The URLs are generated by Joomla and ATS' SEF router helper.

We no longer ship an Installer plugin nor do we let you enter a Download ID in the component's Options. Joomla 4 manages Download Keys (what it calls the Download ID) in its Update Sites page.

We no longer provide a legacy Search plugin. The old Search component is now an optional and deprecated extension. We still provide a Smart Search (com_finder) plugin. Smart Search is the recommended and only supported search method in Joomla 4.

CLI scripts / CRON jobs

We no longer provide individual CLI scripts from CRON jobs. Joomla 4 has its own extensible CLI application, cli/joomla.php under your site's root. We provide a console plugin which adds ATS commands to Joomla's CLI application.

If you have CRON jobs using the CLI script to automate feature in Akeeba Ticket System you need to migrate them to the new Joomla CLI commands. If you were using a URL for your CRON jobs no change is necessary.

Previously optional features integrated into the component

Some features formerly included as plugins are now integrated within the component itself.

Gravatar integration is now built–in and the default fallback if no other source for a user profile image (avatar) is provided. The email address of the user submitting the ticket reply is used.

Displaying user groups is an option in the component's Options.

Sending emails (Professional version only) is integrated in the component and enabled by default. You can disable sending emails through an option in the component's Options.

Custom fields

We have removed our custom fields and our custom field plugins. Instead, we are integrating with Joomla fields, a feature introduced in Joomla 3.7. The values of the old custom fields in existing tickets are not lost. They are preserved. If you create Joomla fields for your tickets which have the same name as your old custom fields their contents will be automatically migrated when you next visit or edit the ticket.

Before migrating make a list of the field names, types and settings you had been using in Akeeba Ticket System 4.

After migrating to Akeeba Ticket System 5 create custom fields whose Name matches the Alias (slug) of the fields you had in Akeeba Ticket System 4.

If you were using the geolocation field type you cannot migrate its contents but you can replicate its functionality using a third party Joomla custom field plugin.

Share buttons

We have removed the shared buttons plugin. It had seen very limited use and was also very specific in the third party service it could use. Our software is now triggering the onContentPrepare event, the standard Joomla event which allows third party system and content plugins to add their own HTML into a component's output.

Please use a third party plugin to add share buttons. Alternatively you could use a third party module (e.g. BW Social Share) using our custom module positions.

User tags

ATS 1.x to 4.x inclusive had the option to set up user tags with the understanding that these are only visible to the support staff, not the users themselves. Due to the sensitive nature of these tags, when you are upgrading from ATS 4 to ATS 5 these tags are imported unpublished by default.

You should follow our instructions on making them visible only to the support staff before publishing them. You can publish tags from Joomla's Components, Tags page.

Kindly note that tags in Joomla are global, i.e. they will also appear in other Joomla components for users who have access to their view access level. Likewise, user tagging will also display tags you use in other Joomla components, such as core content (Articles). This is how Joomla works. There is really no way around it.

Changed options

Some of the preferences in the Options page have been removed or changed.

You no longer have options about loading the Akeeba FEF framework. Our Joomla 4 native software no longer uses Akeeba FEF. It uses Bootstrap 5 styling, this being the CSS framework Joomla 4 itself is using.

You no longer have options for Dark Mode for the same reason. If you want to implement Dark Mode on your site you can use a dark themed template for your site or the DarkMagic plugin if your site is using Bootstrap 5 in the frontend. Kindly note that this plugin is experimental and has only been tested with Cassiopeia, the default Joomla 4 template.

The Attachments Folder option must now include a path relative to your site's root for a directory which is under your site's root. You can no longer use a folder above your site's root. If you were using such a folder this option has changed to media/com_ats/attachments. Please copy your attachment files into that folder manually; it's not done automatically.

The CAPTCHA options have changed. Instead of an on/off switch for showing a CAPTCHA for Guest Tickets you can now select which of the enabled CAPTCHA plugins you want to use. Your old option is automatically migrated on upgrade. If it was off it will remain off by being set to None. If it was on it will be migrated to Use System Default which uses the CAPTCHA method defined in your site's Global Configuration. This emulates the behavior of ATS 2.x through 4.x inclusive.

The Custom Statuses have a new internal format and a new interface. Instead of a textbox with lines similar to 1=Some Label you have a subform field presented as a table, the ID and the label being separate fields. The custom statuses are migrated automatically when you upgrade from ATS 4 to ATS 5. We recommend that you review them to make sure they are correct.

There are new options for attachments. On popular request, ATS no longer uses the same settings as Joomla's media manager. This allows you to define more lax upload permissions for Akeeba Ticket System such as different file types (e.g. you could allow users to upload ZIP files in ATS but not in the Joomla media manager), a different maximum file size etc. Please review these settings. The default settings in ATS 5 match the default settings in Joomla 4's media manager which may be substantially different than what you had already configured on your site.

Off-line schedule

We have removed the off–line schedule feature. The way it was working was very limited, especially if you wanted to create an offline schedule which crossed week boundaries (e.g. go off–line on Saturday afternoon and back online on Monday morning) or one which spanned more than a week e.g. an off–line schedule for the entire Christmas and New Year period, something very common in schools and other educational institutions.

Instead, we offer an integration with Joomla's CLI application which allows you to set up CRON jobs for automating the ticket system going on-line and off-line.

InstantSearch

The InstantSearch / InstantReply feature of Akeeba Ticket System has changed. In the past we had two plugins which allowed ATS to show the top 10 search results from ATS tickets and / or DocImport articles. This was cumbersome and didn't offer a realistic way to search an FAQ section / knowledge base.

ATS 5 now offers three options. Turning this feature off, using Joomla's Smart Search or using an external search engine. By default, the Smart Search method is enabled and searches your entire site. You can use custom, hidden Smart Search menu items to limit the scope of the search to specific sections of your site. Alternatively, you could use a third party search engine, be it a commercial search engine such as DuckDuckGo, Google etc or a self–hosted search engine such as Apache Solr.

One related feature removed is sending the results of InstantSearch by email when a new ticket is filed by email (InstantReply). This is no longer possible because ATS does not receive the search results in a machine–readable way; it simply displays the Joomla or third party search results in an IFRAME.

View template overrides

We no longer use Blade templates for our view templates. We use standard Joomla .php view template files.

The internal data structures have also changed. We no longer use Akeeba FOF as our backend framework, we use Joomla's MVC.

As a result you will need to rewrite any template overrides you may have made.

On the bright side, our default view templates use the standard Joomla 4 CSS framework (Bootstrap 5) which means that most sites will not need to do any customisation. The display of the ticket system will conform to the customisation you or your template developer has made on Bootstrap 5. You will only need to do template overrides if you are using a template with a different CSS framework.

Kindly note that we CAN NOT help you create template overrides.