This new feature release includes shared channels, the ability to add/remove ad hoc tasks for incident collaboration playbooks, file search, and more.
Mattermost v5.35 is generally available today. This release includes the following new features (see changelog for more details):
- Incident Collaboration updates: add/remove ad hoc playbook tasks, stakeholder overview, and more (Cloud and E20 Edition)
- Granular access controls for System Console pages (Cloud and E20 Edition)
- Shared channels with external partners and across multiple Mattermost instances (Experimental in Cloud and E20 Edition)
- Search for files and within document content
- Apps framework for third-party integrations (Developer Preview)
- Serverless hosting of Apps via AWS Lambda (Developer Preview)
- ServiceNow serverless app integration (Developer Preview)
- Zendesk serverless app integration (Developer Preview)
Incident Collaboration: Ad hoc tasks, stakeholder overview, and more (Cloud and E20 Edition)
We are excited to release multiple new features for the Incident Collaboration product:
Ad hoc tasks
Incident participants can now quickly adapt to new scenarios during incidents by adding, editing, and removing tasks on the fly using pre-configured task templates in playbooks.
Ever find yourself sifting through emails, channels, and tickets just to stay informed of ongoing incidents? You no longer have to!
Each incident now has an overview page that makes key information—such as the description, participants, and status updates—available at a glance. This allows stakeholders to stay informed across multiple incidents and easily drill down when additional information is required.
Granular access control
System Admins can now configure Incident Collaboration access permissions for specific teams to better manage who can create playbooks, start incidents, and access potentially sensitive information.
More automations when incident starts
The first few minutes of incident response are critical. Users can now configure two additional automations for when an incident starts: announce in another channel and send an outgoing webhook.
Automatically announcing new incidents in another channel helps raise awareness with other stakeholders. For example, a Cloud Service Outage playbook can automatically notify the Cloud Engineering channel with a link to the incident channel when an incident starts.
Outgoing webhooks can be used in multiple ways to integrate existing tools and workflows. Valuable seconds and minutes can be saved by automating actions such as creating a ticket in Jira, starting a Zoom call, or broadcasting to an email list.
Granular access to System Console pages (Cloud and E20 Edition)
When assigning permissions to granular System Admin roles, you can now specify which subsections under the categories listed in the System Console the admin has permission to access and edit.
For example, you can now give a System Manager access to specific pages in the Compliance section, such as no access to Data Retention and Compliance Export, edit access to Compliance Monitoring, and read-only access to the Custom Terms of Service configuration page.
Shared Channels (Experimental in Cloud and E20 Edition)
Mattermost customers who need to collaborate with external partners or who have multiple instances in a federated architecture can now create shared channels to quickly and easily bring people from two or more different Mattermost instances together in a channel.
Shared channels exist alongside regular channels and offer the same experience and functionality. Members from each participating instance can post messages, react, share files, and search message history. Shared channels sync content in real time across all participating servers.
Shared channels and members from other Mattermost instances are identifiable via the interlocking circles icon.
System administrators can create a shared channel via a three-step process that establishes a secure and trusted relationship between the instances:
- The administrator of a Mattermost instance generates an AES 256-bit symmetrically encrypted invitation and a strong password to decrypt it.
- The receiving administrator enters the invitation and password into their Mattermost instance via a slash command thus creating a secure connection between the two servers
- An additional slash command executed by either partner from within a channel then creates a new channel on the connected server. At this point, all content entered by either partner is synchronized and stored in each instance’s local database.
Either partner may unshare their channel, at which point each channel will retain all posts, reactions, shared files, and display names of those who posted in the original shared channel.
We are looking for customers who want to test this feature. Please reach out if you are interested.
Search for files and document contents
Finding the right information in Mattermost is critical to smarter and more productive work. Searching in Mattermost now finds both relevant messages and files in your team’s conversation history.
Search will return results for attachments that match the file name or contain matching text content within supported document types. You can also easily access files recently shared in any channel and filter by specific file types, like documents, photos, or videos.
Apps Framework (Developer Preview)
We are releasing a new App Framework for developers to more easily create interactive apps for Mattermost and build great interactive integration experiences for users. Developers can use interactive modals and auto-completing slash commands, which will work across Mattermost desktop and mobile clients. Developers can use any language that supports HTTP endpoints to create their apps.
The App Framework is deployed as a plugin on your Mattermost server and can be installed from the Marketplace. This is a developer preview intended to drive feedback regarding apps and is not intended for use in production systems yet. Cloud workspaces already have the App Framework activated by default, and you can install Zendesk or ServiceNow apps as developer previews.
For developers who want to get started with the Apps Framework, learn more about creating your first app. Please join the “Mattermost Apps” channel on our community server. too. We encourage you to provide us with as much feedback you can and interact with other developers who are using the Apps Framework.
Serverless hosting of apps via AWS Lambda (Developer Preview)
To make it easy to deploy apps on any Mattermost server, we are adding support for hosting Mattermost apps in a serverless environment in an upcoming update of the App Framework (v0.7).
For example, when an admin goes to the “Marketplace” and clicks “install” on an app, such as ServiceNow, the server will be able to auto-provision an AWS Lambda container with the ServiceNow app in it, which is then used on-demand to run the application logic.
Support for serverless hosting in Mattermost v5.35 is limited to EC2-hosted Mattermost instances, with an account that can access AWS Lambda. Mattermost Cloud currently has apps enabled, and workspaces can install serverless apps from the Marketplace right now. To get started, read the documentation for getting your self-managed development environment ready.
ServiceNow integration (serverless app, Developer Preview)
ServiceNow is commonly used for tracking IT service requests and ITSM processes. The new integration allows agents to create new tickets without switching from Mattermost and works from mobile and desktop clients. The integration requires the new App Framework and serverless hosting, which is in a developer preview state and is not intended for production use yet.
Zendesk integration (serverless app, Developer Preview)
Zendesk is a complete solution for customer-facing service desks to help with incident resolution and communicating with customers.
The new integration allows agents to create new tickets without switching from Mattermost and to get notified of changes to their assigned tickets within a Mattermost channel. The integration requires the new App Framework and serverless hosting, which is in a developer preview state and is not intended for production use yet.
A few reminders
This release includes significant changes to the backend database architecture in support of Shared Channels and Collapsed Reply Threads. These architecture changes have noticeably affected the performance of the migration process in some cases for the v5.35 release (which ships May 16, 2021). Factors affecting performance include size, type, and version of the database.
On average, the expected migration time is under five minutes with a moderate to significant spike in database CPU usage. Performance of follow-on upgrades will return to normal. More details on the performance impact of the migration and possible mitigation strategies are provided here.
Collapsed reply threads (beta) are only a few months away. We strongly recommend upgrading to v5.29.2 or later in preparation for the release of this feature. Collapsed reply threads modify how messages and threads are stored in the database. Upgrading now will ensure your threads are being handled correctly on the backend for a seamless transition when collapsed reply threads become available.
Also, remember to check out the early preview of Focalboard, our integrated project management solution that’s an open source, self-hosted alternative to Trello, Notion, and Asana.
Thank you to our contributors
Thanks for all community contributions this month and, in particular, our v5.35 Most Valued Professional (MVP), Alexander Brenchev, who worked on a few features, including inline image collapse. Thank you for your continued contributions, Alexander Brenchev!
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Upgrade to Mattermost Release 5.35
To upgrade your existing server to the new release, go here. Review the Important Upgrade Notes to make sure you are aware of any actions you need to take before or after upgrading from your particular version.
If you’re new to Mattermost, register for a 30-day trial of Enterprise Edition (E20).