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acraft
acraft's picture
Joined: 2015/08/31
Points: 0

We have found that when Connect automatically upgrades on Android and IOS phones, it no longer works with version 9 of Thirdlane MTE. With bugs being reported on version 10, we don't have plans to upgrade until the bugs get worked out.

That being said, we have several users that now cannot use Connect. This comes at a really bad time with many people working remotely due to Covid-19, and we're having to use third party apps so that they can continue to use their service. Is there anyway we can roll the app back or have another option for these users?

Thanks,

Andrew

chrisc@accentse...
chrisc@accentservices.com's picture
Joined: 2018/05/07
Points: 10

If it helps at all in the short term you can download our version of the apps, iOS & Android. It's running on the most recent build of version 9 TL. It's branded with our logos but is TL Connect underneath. Just enter your own server address in the custom server field.

We can't provide support for any issues but it should work. We will probably keep these apps on version 6 for at least 45 to 60 more days.

Our downloads page has all the links: https://www.accentvoiceone.com/downloads

Trying to help where we can. Again, no support available to users who aren't running on our services.

Chris Cameron

acraft
acraft's picture
Joined: 2015/08/31
Points: 0

Thank you, Chris! We'll definitely keep this mind. We'd still like to see a solution from Thirdlane.

netriplex
netriplex's picture
Joined: 2012/01/24
Points: 140

This is something I have complained about for a LONG time. We lost so many custmers over the years because of there it is ridiculous. We are down 1 customer still on Thirdlane and this is one of the biggest factors that caused it.

https://www.thirdlane.com/forum/connect-backwards-compatiblility

thirdlane
thirdlane's picture
Joined: 2007/02/07
Points: 530

Alex Epshteyn
Third Lane Technologies
Multi Tenant Asterisk PBX

acraft
acraft's picture
Joined: 2015/08/31
Points: 0

Alex,

We prefer to wait a little while for upgrades for any possible issues to be worked out, and we like to be able to test things out before we commit to it as well.

netriplex
netriplex's picture
Joined: 2012/01/24
Points: 140

Exactly the issue we see. Most IT professionals do NOT want to upgrade software on Day 1 of a new release. It is usually tested in a development environment first. Without backwards compatibility, Thirdlane basically forces IT admins to not follow standard/best practices in regards to critical server software updates.

mcampbell@1poin...
mcampbell@1pointcom.com's picture
Joined: 2015/05/20
Points: 10

I agree! There needs to be a better way to manage the Connect packages for Android and IPhone so we are not forced into a spur of the moment upgrade of an entire production system to an untested version of TL Server [yes, from my perspective it is untested - #1: until we have run through it and are satisfied there are no major issues and #2: until we are satisfied from this forum that other users are not currently experiencing issues.]

Since backwards app compatibility seems impossible then the ability to choose an alternate version of the Connect application is crucial to stability (and stability is crucial to customer satisfaction.) When we see the following in the forums "Release tomorrow! Thirdlane Connect will be updated in AppStore and Google Play, be ready to update your installations." and 3.5 days later the update comes out - on a Sunday - we have the joy of wondering which of our customers will be calling Monday morning.

We have not yet upgraded based on #1 and #2 I mentioned above. We have a number of upset customers who found out the hard way the TL Connect app they used happily while they transitioned from working at the office to working at home during Covid-19 times just magically stopped working - so they have to initiate contact with us, then we have to train them how to download, install and operate a third party app. to make them somewhat happier.

We all need to know what is going to be done moving forward to keep customer roll at a minimum...otherwise our businesses might not be here to pay those annual maintenance fees! We need ample time to soak our lab setups before going live. We also need the ability to roll back the TL Connect app on demand for those of us who don't want to jump straight into an upgrade.

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

thirdlane
thirdlane's picture
Joined: 2007/02/07
Points: 530

Based on the feedback, we (Thirdlane and the community) could do the following:

1) Thirdlane - increased backward compatibility between releases. This is very complex and not always possible - we'll see what we can do.

2) All - beta test both the platform and apps. We are providing the beta already, but will formalize the process and hopefully there will be more participants and more feedback. Let us know if you'd like to participate.

3) Thirdlane - keep "frozen" versions of Thirdlane Connect in the App Store. Unfortunately, this will put the burden to manage updates and transitions on service providers and administrators, but at least it will reduce the "surprise". We could make the last stable version available in the App Store as soon as we would get approval from Apple.

4) Customers - control your own release schedules by using branded versions of Thirdlane Connect as they are "frozen" by default. There are customers who are doing this already - contact us if you are interested.

5) Thirdlane - consider breaking Thirdlane Connect into "standard" and "light" versions, with base features that will be less affected by the fast paced development. Please contact me directly if you know what the "light" feature set your customers ask for - we'd like to hear that.

Alex Epshteyn
Third Lane Technologies
Multi Tenant Asterisk PBX

netriplex
netriplex's picture
Joined: 2012/01/24
Points: 140

Alex,

The best and proper way to handle this from a software development standpoint would be to possibly better version the product. All releases within the same major version should retain backwards compatibility. When a new version is released which has major architectural changes, then a new release of Connect should be released in the Apple/Google Play stores.

Historically speaking, all releases within the 9.X train of Thirdlane should have been able to maintain backwards capability with some additional development effort. Server version checks, class inheritance, some if statements, and running the proper commands based on the server version.

Then when version 10 was released, where it would be understandably difficult to maintain backwards capability with a server product that was basically operating with a backend that functioned substantially differently, a new Thirdlane Connect client should be published to the stores. The Thirdlane Connect major version number should also be updated with the major server change. Ideologically, it also makes sense for Thirdlane to change the version numbers of the Thirdlane connect product to match the major server version for easier tracking. IE, if this was done historically, the last release of Thirdlane Connect 2.X should have been Connect 9.X and the first version compatible with Thirdlane 10.X Server should have been Connect 10.X.

The previous versions should remain supported until the subsequent major release. IE, Connect "9.X" would eb deprecated with the release of Server/Connect 11.X.

These are relatively basic software engineering concepts that would greatly improve the Thirdlane product. Based on the way Thirdlane releases, I question whether Thirdlane maintains multiple development branches in a source code repository like git or whether they are always working on a "master" branch and 1 release train.

biznet
biznet's picture
Joined: 2016/01/19
Points: 40

This is what I hate about phones that have apps. WHy does there have to be a play store, or Apple Store, as the only place to get such apps. Seems to me the old way of doing things, offer up a web install, let the user decide if he trusts the source? I get why they don't do it, but it is the downfall of this sort of issue.

I have told my users that the Connect web interface on their laptops or computers with headsets works fine. That is a poor workaround in terms of the only choice available to this "issue".

This is the best chance for Thirdlane to address this issue which is causing some lost customers.

I would recommend that THirdlane develop a simple SIP softphone in parallel with the the connect thing. Simple SIP phone registration would solve all of our customer remote issues. Most of them don't use any of the special other stuff anyway. The Mizu SIP dialer works great, BTW, and it is easy to setup. Not sure about the Apple side of things.

The reason I know about Mizu is that the Android Connect doesn't work with ring groups, apparently a long time issue. Why is there a problem with the Android side of this thing?

Doug