April 12, 2013 | Posted by Paul
The ticket system in v3 is a plugin, which means it can be installed or uninstalled with the click of a button. If you haven’t noticed yet, we try to keep things simple by separating everything into one of two categories: Core, and Extensions. Since extensions can register links and views in the system, if you don’t need a particular extension uninstalling it results in a lighter interface.
I don’t know about you, but I feel less stressed, and more productive with less clutter!
Here are some of the features in the ticket system:
- Tickets can be created and updated via email and the interface.
- Tickets belong to departments, and can be assigned to staff and escalated to other departments.
- Staff can communicate privately with one another through Notes within a ticket.
- Attachments can be added to tickets.
- Predefined Responses make replying to frequent requests effortless.
- The ticket queue / overview can be made full screen, useful for projecting up on the wall in a NOC.
- Support staff members have schedules, which define when they receive ticket notices.
- Markdown syntax is supported for styling responses. For example *italic*, **bold**, # H1, ## H2, ### H3, and more.
Overall a lot of improvements over the ticket system in v2.5, and we have even more planned for future releases. The video is below, be sure to turn on your sound and make the video full-screen.
Tags: blesta v3 | departments | email piping | imap | pop3 | staff | support | ticket system | v3
March 01, 2013 | Posted by Cody
Financial advisory firm, Deloitte, recently published an article detailing the ever expanding need for two-factor authentication. They predict that, “a number of technology and telecommunication companies will likely implement some form of multifactor authentication with their services, software and/or devices in 2013.” I see this less as a prediction and more of an advanced report of the facts, since we had the same notion back in 2010 when we announced two-factor authenticationfor Blesta.
Deloitte’s predictions go even further, stating that passwords that were previously considered secure (8-characters of mixed case, numbers, letters, and symbols) are now vulnerable to hackers, primarily due to password reuse and the use of graphics cards (GPUs) to perform dictionary attacks. Personally, I’ve never found those types of passwords to be very secure. After all, we know that password security is derived from entropy (randomness) and entropy increases with length. So rather than trying to remember 8 to 10 character passwords with letters, numbers, and symbols that have no meaning, why not simply use a long natural password? Bonus points if your language of choice is not typical of the application’s audience. Extra bonus points if it’s a dead/non-existent language. Anata no o pasuwado wa nan desu ka?
Of course, what’s more secure than a secure password? How about a password that changes every time you use it? “How could I possibly keep track of that,” you might ask? That’s where two-factor authentication takes over.
Time-Based One-Time Passwords (TOTP) are generated using an algorithm that produces a pseudo-random value based on any given moment in time (remember, randomness = good). The benefit of using two-factor authentication is that you need not put all your trust into the security of your password. Random token generators (or apps for your smart phone) can produce a one-time password that’s used in combination with your standard password, and as the name suggests are used only once. That means that even an attacker that knows your password and knows the token you just used to login to your account still can’t use the information to login as you.
Tags: authentication | blesta 3 | password | security | TOTP | two-factor | v3 | version 3
February 07, 2013 | Posted by Paul
Quick links are basically bookmarks. In the grand scheme of things, they may not be the most powerful of features, but don’t write them off so easily. Quick links are simple, unobtrusive, and very useful for getting back to where you need to be.
If there’s a client you frequently access, or a package, setting, or email template you aren’t quite happy with, just quick link it! Quick links appear on the dashboard and are staff member unique.. that means you are the only one that will see your quick links.
Add and remove quick links with a simple click directly from the page you’re on. Get back to where you need to be quickly and easily. Just another way you can customize your dashboard.
The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen and be sure to turn on your sound.
Tags: bookmark | quick links | v3 | version 3
January 31, 2013 | Posted by Paul
We like to do everything in house, and we work best together as a team. From idea, to design, to implementation we’re all involved to one degree or another in every part of development. Granted, we each have our strong points, but the unique ideas of every member of our team can be found in every stage of development.
I was feeling a little nostalgic and thought I’d share a bit of the evolution of the v3 design. The video below shows how the design for v3 came along, from the first hour as a static image in Photoshop to how it looks and works today.
It’s incredibly satisfying to create.. and to see something static come alive.
The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen. (No sound this time)
Tags: blesta v3 | design | photoshop | v3 | version 3
January 17, 2013 | Posted by Paul
This one is from BlestaLabs.. that dark little corner of the office where we do R&D.
Watch the video first, and then scroll down for some details.
The video is below, as usual you can make the video full screen, and be sure to turn on your sound! (If you like music, no narration this time)
Let’s face it, we’re nerds, and we like to push the limits. We spend a lot of time making things run properly, you know, in the back-end. Nice and efficient like. So, what a better way to test Blesta v3 than on a credit card sized computer, right? So, we ordered some Raspberry Pi’s and waited 6 months for them to arrive.
I took one of them, and installed Debian Wheezy, Apache 2, PHP 5.4, and MySQL server 5.5 and slapped an alpha copy of Blesta v3 on it.
The Raspberry people were nice enough to ship ones with 512MB of RAM (upgraded from previous 256MB versions) but it’s obvious that the bottle neck with running a web server on a Pi is the ARM processor. As recommended, I installed php-apc, and that improved things noticeably along with some other tweaks. To improve things further I might try lighttpd, or another light weight web server, but overall performance is pretty good!
And there you have it, the next-gen Blesta on a Raspberry Pi. Hey, if it’ll run on a Pi with a tiny processor and an SD card for a hard drive, it’ll run on your web server.
Don’t fall for the lie, PI is better than cake anyway.. and it’s real! Some of you gamer nerds know what I’m talking about.
Tags: blesta 3 | cake | pie | raspberry pi | v3