This article is intended for server administrators (on-prem/SaaS) seeking a technical overview of the updates and changes in the latest EPOS version of IceWarp.
It aims to help them make an informed decision before upgrading IceWarp from Deep Castle to EPOS.
UPDATES IN SERVER DEPLOYMENT
Dashboard is a new feature of the IceWarp product. The latest version requires successfully passing the API check to make sure the server is accessible from outside for its latest feature called Dashboard. This is the initial step for each installation of EPOS.
There is an option to skip this check, but the recommended steps are to find out why you cannot reach our API. Issues will likely be in your infrastructure, so we recommend you look at the firewall and Smart Discover settings. The last thing is to ensure the communication is getting through both ways.
2. PHP REDIS
Another change in the latest version is PHP which supports Redis by default now to help with load-balanced setups and Docker deployments.
Linux installations have another specific update where icewarpd has been replaced by systemd; however, icewarpd is still accessible for the Services administration (works as a wrapper for systemd's calling).
The latest version extends the compatibility with RedHat 9, CentOS 9 and Rocky Linux 9 OS and can run in Docker.
5. FOLDER STRUCTURE
Another significant change in decades has been made in the IceWarp home directory structure, where we decided to split the directories of the functional code from configuration and caches to operate smoothly in Docker.
These changes apply to:
- LDAP and PURPLE (extension for Instant Messaging) have been split between the configuration (in /config) and binaries.
- Calendar binaries are located in /Groupware and photo caches etc., in /Calendar.
- CYREN binaries (ctasd/ ctipid) are located in /Cyren
- Spam databases were moved to /spam
6. USER ACCOUNTS
The storage of user accounts has been moved to the Accounts DB. For those customers that did not use any database and for the new installations, SQLite will be used by default, and data will be migrated automatically.
In addition, some extra configuration information previously in maildir, such as plan.dat, was also moved into the database.
The list of scheduled conferences stored previously in Conferences.xml (config/conferences.xml) has been moved to the Groupware DB.
TeamChat push (config/teamchatpush.dat), which holds the list of mobile applications for Apple and Google push purposes, has been moved into the Groupware DB, which is particularly useful in load-balanced setups.
9. TARPIT (INTRUSION PREVENTION)
The table for Intrusion prevention (config/tarpit.dat) has been moved to the existing Antispam DB.
10. TEAMCHAT THREADS
The TeamChats threads have been redesigned, and the GroupWare DB received the following new tables:
The previously used GroupChatUnread table has been migrated into the new table TeamChatOwnerChannel.
Due to these changes in TeamChat, downgrading to the previous version of IceWarp is only available for some. To learn more, please check the existing articles about upgrades (Linux, Windows) and downgrade.
11. LOAD BALANCING
Components such as full-text search can now run independently from IceWarp, and Yoda's database can now be load-balanced, so it is no longer a single point of failure.
Yoda-scan supports various mount points on Windows and Linux.
EPOS now supports an external generator of thumbnails which used to be handled locally.
XMPP (Instant Messaging) can now be used externally, meaning the presence cache can be distributed among several servers. It is not dependent on a master node as a single point of failure.
Antivirus service is also being prepared to work externally as a single service or within a farm (available soon).
UPDATES IN FEATURES & REMOTE CONSOLE
1. ANY PASSWORD
Any password feature used for administrators has been discontinued.
For troubleshooting the Groupware logs, the "Getlasterror" is now unique for each session, and it won't be overwritten by previous sessions (it is used globally for the whole server).
The GroupWare part of the server has dedicated methods for listing TeamChat channels, and the application logic has moved to the low-level GroupWare code instead of using the Teamchatapi and the Webclient PHP.
3. TEAMCHAT ACL
The owner of a TeamChat room (also known as a moderator) can now assign owner permissions to other members to become moderators. At the same time, a moderator can kick himself out of the room, which was previously impossible.
4. WEBCLIENT INDEXING SERVICE
The new WebClient Indexing Service will speed up getting e-mail data to the WebClient. The service will use recognized data from SMTP communication to parse them to the POP3 service before the complete e-mail gets to the POP3 service. Therefore the whole process will be faster because the POP3 service will know a lot about the e-mail before the IMAP UID is known.
This process is traceable in the IMAP and SQL logs by the "WCIndexingService" tag. This service is enabled by default.
The SmartAttach and Shareable links were unified in WebClient. You can password-protect and set expiration to the Shareable links. The URL shortening is automatically applied by default for traceability.
The "Document reference" header is added to the message headers to be interoperable with other systems worldwide.
Yoda-scan can scan the SmartAttach links and, therefore, can be searched by the full-text search.
6. CYREN (ANTISPAM)
We have adjusted the behaviour of CYREN based on recommendations from the vendor. It relates to the way it works with IceWarp. CYREN now runs separately on in and out relays. CYREN's service ctasd runs twice now with two configurations, once as a ctasdconf for incoming and ctasdoutconf for outgoing communication.
7. REMOTE ADMIN CONSOLE
The RCP protocol has been changed significantly. Accounts are updated as JSON structures with partial data instead of binary blobs.
We have added another possibility to deny access to RCP over HTTPS by specifying the port in the following API variable "c_system_remoteconsoleprotocol_port".
VoIP services such as Echo, Voicemail and IVR are discontinued.
The web Administration console (WebAdmin) has received the following updates:
- Whitelabeling can now work with only one background, used for both WebClient, WebAdmin and mobile.
- User's listing has improved and now offers to display individual admins, domain admins and users to simplify the listing of the huge amount of users.
- Account statistics can now be exported into CSV.
UPDATES IN MICROSERVICES
Continuing with the trend of previously released microservices such as Documents and Conferences, we are now introducing Dashboard and URL shortening for businesses to benefit from, used by multiple instances of IceWarp servers on a transactional basis without storing user data.
This allows customers to keep their data with them while accessing the full suite of services, saving costs on system integration and streamlining the integration of their existing services.
With microservices, new features appear instantly and can be used immediately.
When you first log in, you will see a welcome screen with an introduction to the new features of WebClient. After that, you will be redirected to Dashboard, a cloud microservice that lets you have your documents and notes at hand and access them from any device.
The Dashboard offers the following actions:
- Create notes, documents, and folders directly in your workspace
- Pin notes and folders to your workspace
- Create files elsewhere and drag & drop them into your workspace
- Share items directly from your workspace
- Set the background according to your preferences (location is changed for both WebClient and IceWarp Mobile)
The dashboard is a cloud microservice; however, it does not store any user's data on the on-prem server except the background images.
2. URL SHORTENING
The new URL Shortening service is used as a background for the SmartAttach service that helps you send attachments without slowing down your SMTP traffic.
The primary purpose of this service running in the background is tracking access to files and shortening the URLs.
It consists of private and public API for getting data when shortURL is known and querying by IceWarp when setting up a new link or when reading details.
The new weather service provider OpenWeatherMap is replacing the previously used weather service from WeatherUnderground.
It consists of private API endpoints querying the lookup for cities protected by ClientSSL certificate.
UPDATES IN APPLICATIONS
We have introduced a new mobile application called IceWarp to replace the current TeamChat application, available in Apple, Android and Huawei stores.
The feature of TeamChat is now implemented into the IceWarp application, which we aim to extend even further in future.
The new application works only with EPOS. You must upgrade your Deep Castle version to benefit from the latest application.
The new app can now be paired via the web client's QR code for regular and guest accounts.
The data from the old app to the new one will be transitioned smoothly by settings migration in both iOS and Android platforms.
IceWarp Epos represents a significant change in many aspects of the product.
Please pay special attention to the upgrade, downgrade and installations tasks.
Going back to the previous version might not be an option for everyone.
- How to install EPOS (Linux)
- How to install EPOS (Windows)
- How to install EPOS (Docker)
- How to upgrade to EPOS (Linux)
- How to upgrade to EPOS (Windows)
- How to downgrade EPOS