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Akeeba Ticket System

#37361 Differences between ATS for J!3 and J!4

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Environment Information

Joomla! version
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PHP version
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Akeeba Ticket System version
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grzesko

Hello,

Small question - are there any differences (regarding funcionality) between ATS for Joomla! v.3.x and ATS Joomla! v.4.x ?

nicholas
Akeeba Staff
Manager

Yes, there are some big functionality changes between ATS 4 (Joomla 3) and ATS 5 (Joomla 4).

The most important change is that custom fields in ATS 5 are using Joomla's built-in Fields feature, the same feature you can use with core Joomla categories and articles, user, contacts, etc. These are far more powerful than our original implementation of custom fields found in ATS 4 which date back to the Joomla 1.7 days a decade ago, about 8 years before Joomla added custom fields in Joomla 3.7.

We have removed some features which were not as useful as we thought: ticket buckets and credits. Ticket buckets were based on the idea that you could send a mass reply to multiple tickets at once. In practice, even if you are replying to very similar issues, it makes more sense to slightly edit the reply among tickets to better fit what each client is asking. Adding tickets to buckets was also inconvenient and nobody would use that feature. The credits system was barely used by one or two of our clients and it was a real pain to add credits — all the integrations we had created with third party software to automatically add credits became obsolete as these extensions stopped being maintained. It also made it very difficult to manage client relations so we removed it.

Tags have been reimplemented using Joomla's tags feature, introduced in Joomla 3.2. This makes it easier to use and more powerful for searches.

The InstantReply feature has also been reworked to use either an external search engine (such as DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing, ...) or Joomla's Smart Search instead of our custom integrations with Akeeba Ticket System itself and our very niche Akeeba DocImport software. This means that you can have an FAQ section using standard Joomla articles and they can be searched automatically as your client tries to file a ticket. This is far more useful than just searching the public tickets.

We have introduced ATS-specific upload options. We no longer use the same settings as the Media Manager. This lets you allow different kinds of files to be uploaded to the ticket system than they are allowed in Joomla's Media Manager. This is especially useful if you want to allow your clients to attach ZIP files instead of just images and bigger files than what the Media Manager allows.

The entire application has also been rewritten from scratch, using Joomla's MVC architecture instead of our FOF framework. This makes it leaner and faster. The performance with several thousands of tickets per category — like what we have on our site — is dramatically improved. Joomla 4's MVC did finally use the concepts we introduced with FOF 3 back in 2014 and improved them with the knowledge acquired over the 7-odd years between FOF 3 being released and Joomla 4.0 being released.

We have also reworked our permissions system to have a more consistent approach as to what permissions do. Now you have separate permissions for editing your own ticket and your own post. Speaking of which, you CAN now allow clients to edit (parts of) their own ticket metadata, e.g. convert a public ticket to private if they discover they accidentally submitted it in public instead of privately. The same feature allows them to edit the ticket's custom fields — if you have allowed it in each custom field's settings — to provide you with more accurate information.

Everything else has remained the same. The main concept of how you organise your ticket system and how tickets work for you and your end users is not that much different between ATS 4 and 5. You will still be in familiar territory. It's just leaner, faster and more powerful thanks to custom fields.

Nicholas K. Dionysopoulos

Lead Developer and Director

🇬🇷Greek: native 🇬🇧English: excellent 🇫🇷French: basic • 🕐 My time zone is Europe / Athens
Please keep in mind my timezone and cultural differences when reading my replies. Thank you!

grzesko

Hello,

Thanks for the detailed answer :)

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