Hello, everyone!

What a year this has been at the Zextras HQ…
I'd like to share with you some news and some changes in our software, our development and support cycle. There’s a lot of stuff going on, so be prepared and enjoy the ride!


Zextras Suite 2.6
First of all: Zextras Suite 2.6 has been released together with Zimbra 8.8 and is somewhat of a “transition” release. It includes the much-awaited “Mailbox Move” feature along with several fixes, and lays the foundations for Zextras Suite 2.8 - which will focus on the backup module.
Specifically, our Dev Team is working on finalizing the cycle of improvements which begun with the performance improvements on all backup operations that were added in Zextras Suite 2.4.0, and on top of this there will be some under-the-hood changes.


Compatibility and Release Schedule
Our release cycle has finally stabilised and will follow Zimbra’s release cycle throughly: this means that a new minor update will be available together with each Zimbra release, and major updates will take place together with Zimbra’s major updates. This allows us to greatly streamline and speed up our development cycle, with guaranteed release dates.

A significant change with the 2.6 release of Zextras Suite is that it will not be compatible with Zimbra Collaboration Server 6.x and 7.x. Such Zimbra releases are extremely old and are affected by several critical security bugs that have been fixed by or don't affect newer releases - and on top of that those are way out of both their official Technical Support and Technical Guidance periods.

Furthermore, now that both our Chat and Suite are included by default in Zimbra Network Edition - respectively as Zimbra Chat and Zimbra Network Modules NG - starting from Zextras Suite 2.6 our software won’t be compatible with Zimbra Network Edition anymore.


Zextras Suite “Legacy” Build
While the compatibility changes might seem a drastic change for all of those who still use Zimbra 6 and Zimbra 7, we want to reassure you that you'll have plenty of time to move to a newer and safer release of Zimbra while still being able to use our product. In order to allow this, we've deiced to keep maintaining the Zextras Suite 2.4. branch as a critical fix “Legacy” development branch until June 30th 2018.
This means that we will still be releasing sporadic Zextras Backup bug fix updates for version 2.4, to allow everyone who’s running such old releases to swiftly and easily migrate to the latest Zimbra release.
This Legacy build will be fully supported by our Support Team until December 31st, 2017: after this date, support to Legacy users will be provided only if running Zimbra 6.x or 7.x and working on a migration to Zimbra 8.8+. Anyone running Zimbra 8.x is strongly advised to upgrade to Zimbra 2.6 as soon as possible, as that is now the only officially supported release.


Zextras Chat
One big change is coming for Zextras Chat: Zextras Suite 2.6 includes the new Zextras Chat 2.0 module, based on the open source Zimbra Chat code by Zextras - the same built-in Instant Messaging platform included by default in Zimbra 8.8. The only difference between the two is the 1-to-1 video chat feature, only included in Zextras Chat 2.0.
More exciting news about Instant Messaging will be disclosed before the end of the year, so stay tuned!


Other Products and News
Another open-source product that we developed to be included in all Zimbra editions is Zimbra Drive - a built-in, integrated client for personal storage services such as ownCloud and NextCloud.

Additionally, we further extended our commitment to the Open Source community with two other zimlets developed by Zextras that are available for free in our GitHub. A VoIP interface called Universal Dialer and the brand new FCC Zimlet for FreeConferenceCall.com integration.

The array of FLOSS solutions provided by Zextras which are based on our beloved Application Layer called OpenZAL, which is also open-sourced, now stands with Zimbra Chat, Zimbra Drive, Universal Dialer, and the FCC Zimlet. And there's more to follow in the year to come - so stay tuned!


Zimbra Contribution
Last, but not least, Zextras is now an official Zimbra contributor - not just for the Chat and Drive parts, but for the entire product! This will greatly benefit the entire Zimbra ecosystem and our customers as well, since we are now working closely with the Zimbra development team and are finally able to provide fixes and improvements to the baseline product.


F.A.Q.

Q: Does mean that you'll keep developing Zextras Suite 2.4?
A: Not exactly: we'll only apply critical fixes to Zextras Suite 2.4.x, while new features and minor/ui fixes will be only released on the main tree.

Q: Will I still be able to get support for Zextras Suite 2.4.x?
A: Yes, but only if you are running Zimbra 6.x or Zimbra 7.x and migrating to Zimbra 8.8.

Q: If I'm running Zimbra 8.x will I be able to install newer 2.4.x releases?
A: Yes, but any new 2.4.x version starting with 2.4.13 will be only compatible with Zimbra releases from 6.0.7 to 8.7.11 and will not include any new features, improvements, UI fixes or bug fixes on any module except for Zextras Backup.

Q: Will there be any licensing/pricing change related to this dual-release cycle?
A: No

Q: What do you mean with “major” and “minor” updates?
A: “Minor” updates are those where the third number in a release version change: e.g. Zextras Suite 2.4.13 is a minor update of Zextras Suite 2.4. Major upgrades, on the other hand, are those where either the first or second number changes - this means that both Zextras Suite 2.6 and Zextras Suite 3.0 are considered major releases.

Q: Are Zimbra Chat and Zimbra Drive part of Zextras Suite?
A: No, Zimbra Chat and Zimbra Drive are by all means part of Zimbra itself.

Q: Will you provide support to Zimbra Drive and Zimbra Chat?
A: No: albeit being developed by Zextras, Zimbra Chat and Zimbra Drive are by all means Zimbra products and support for both will be provided through the usual Zimbra support channels.

Q: Since you are Zimbra contributors now, will you provide Zimbra support? Can I open Zimbra bugs on the Zextras Ticketing System or in the Zextras Bugzilla?
A: No, our support’s team only and sole focus is to help and assist Zextras Suite users. Any ticket about Zimbra bugs, RFEs or issues must be opened through the appropriate Zimbra channels.