This year has been one of the most exciting years for ServerPress as we have grown in every area related to business and family! One of the greatest attributes of our team is the ability to manage the growth of of our company. When not managed appropriately, growth can quickly cause a team to experience setbacks, see milestones slip, and watch products fail. As a team, we are committed to never letting the growth get ahead of us. But this also requires a commitment to make the changes needed, when it is obvious those changes are required.
So – we sincerely hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter! It highlights the process we’ve been working through this year in order to maintain the quality of our codebase and the integrity of our company as we move towards v4.0. We look forward to hearing back from you all and please remember to check out the featured articles in the Tips & Tricks section!
Our Product Roadmap to 4.0
At the end of 2014, we sent out an email talking about the end of life for our v3.x product and the beginning of v4.0. In that article, we let you know that there were some things we needed to do prior to putting all of our efforts into v4.0. And while we really wanted to dive into the 4.0 development tasks, we realized there were just too many changes that had to be dealt with programmatically, and there were some issues that had to be resolved for our 3.x users.
While Steve was busy building v3.8, we dedicated time to discuss all the different development needed for v4.0. After a lot of brainstorming and strategy, we came to a company decision to NOT abandon the 3.x life cycle but to continue to release updates. We established a Product Roadmap, committed to a production timeline, and have been steadily working towards all the forecasted goals. Because of this plan, v3.8 – which was released this spring – actually contains working components of v4.0!
Any time there is a major revision or architecture change in a piece of software, there are usually some major setbacks for the end user. By taking a slow, steady, methodical approach, our goal is to make your transition into 4.0 seamless so as not to disrupt your workflow, production timelines, or business operations. No one really has time to deal with the large learning curve that would come if we released v4.0 in it’s entirety.
By building 4.0 out via self-contained units, we are able to produce lean, clean, sanitized code, that can be fully tested before it is released. As a result, you will enjoy small, incremental changes in the platform until one day, you’ll be using v4.0 seamlessly within your workflow.
Fully Extensible Software
In the v3.8 release we included the ability to write developer plugins to make DesktopServer fully extensible. We started with a handful of plugins: Airplane Mode, Bypass Login, and Debug and Trace. We’ve since added Admin Color Bar*, mailbox-viewer*, and an auto converting plugin that converts MySQL v4.x format to MySQL v5.x InnoDB format*. Developer plugins are one of the most powerful feature of v4.0. If you’ve updated to v3.8, you are using one of the most powerful features of v4.0.
Before long, we’re going to open the ability to for community developed plugins that can be shared and monetized (if you like) from ServerPress.com. Since one of our favorite things about WordPress is its community aspect, we are totally excited about the opportunity to turn DesktopServer into a Community project.
Next Up: DS-CLI
We are currently in the process of developing a CLI plugin which will allow you to do everything from a command line. This is the most common feature requested by our advanced developers. It might sound like a small change, but everything that is on the horizon is blocked until the CLI component is finished. We expect this feature to be released very soon and we really think you’re going to love it!