What's New in 4.4: Assets Now Standard in RT

In February of 2014, we released an official Assets extension to make it easy for IT departments everywhere to track and manage all of the equipment they are responsible for in RT. Support groups have more things to track than ever including software licenses, laptops, printers, and servers. And with the Internet of Things just around the corner, they may soon be adding automated sensors and robots to the list.

The initial release was an optional extension, which is often how new features start for RT. To make it easier for more people to work with it, we've pulled it into core RT so it's now standard in every install or upgrade to RT 4.4.

An asset in RT is similar to a ticket in the sense that for each object you want to track, you create an asset record. Assets is built with RT's powerful custom fields, so you can manage all the information you need: model number, type of asset, date purchased, date support expires, contact details for support, etc. And assets are grouped into catalogs, much like tickets are grouped into queues. For example if you want to keep your servers separate from your printers because different departments support them, or if they just have very different sets of custom fields, just create two separate catalogs.

RT 4.4 Assets Page

Assets are thoroughly integrated with RT tickets to support some common workflows you'll need as you support your infrastructure. You can easily find assets assigned to a user on their User Summary page. From an asset record, you can select the "Create linked ticket" action to track service like moving a server or ordering more ink for a printer.

Catalogs leverage RT's lifecycles, which means for each catalog, you can define the statuses that each asset can cycle through. A typical cycle might be from "new" to "in repair" and at some point to "recycled". You configure it to follow your process and workflow. You can see a quick demo of Assets in this video.


To learn more you can walk through the asset tutorial or read the assets documentation. Just in time for the next 4.4 release candidate, we have added an RT permission, ShowAssetsMenu, so the menu will be hidden by default when you upgrade. If you don't plan to use assets, you can leave it that way and none of your users will see the Assets features. To enable it, you can grant rights to access the Assets menu and a catalog to a few users or groups and get started. The tutorial explains this in more detail and don't hesitate to send us an email at contact@bestpractical.com if you have more questions.

If you missed some other posts on the new features in RT 4.4, you can find more in the new feature overview.

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What's New in 4.4: Improved Attachment Handling

Just as attachments are a vital part of everyday email, they are also fundamental to RT. Whether you are a working with a user sending a screenshot showing an error or exchanging a spreadsheet with accounting to track your new hardware order, we work with them all the time. Recognizing this, we've made several improvements to how RT interacts with attachments. Read on for details or just watch this video.


To start, if you type some variation of the word "attachment" into the comment/reply box, RT will gently remind you to actually attach something, just like your email client does. To add those attachments, you can now drag files from your desktop and drop them in the attachment area below the comment box. If you prefer using the file selection dialog, you can click on the attachment box and then select your files. In either mode, you can now select multiple attachments to quickly add them all at once.

We've updated the attachment handling once you've selected them as well. Once attached, you'll see a small thumbnail preview so you can be sure you have selected the correct attachments. We also start uploading the attachment in the background the moment you pick it. Previously we would wait until the entire page was submitted, which could cause a delay with large attachments. Now we get a head start while you are finishing up your changes, which will make for a quicker submit once you're done.

Attachments on Ticket Create]

As you continue to work on a ticket, sometimes you'll want to reuse an attachment already on a ticket. For example, someone replies with an attachment and you want someone not on the ticket to also see it, so you want to send it along. Now you can select from the attachments already on the ticket rather than grabbing a copy from your desktop.

Finally, we've added the ability to store attachments in external file storage solutions. By default, attachments are stored in the database, which for most installations isn't a problem. However, some users work with a large number of very large attachments, which can disproportionately grow the size of the database and its backups. You can move attachment storage to standalone files on your server or to Amazon S3 or Dropbox. You can find more information on this new feature in the configuration documentation and with the feature documentation.

If you missed some other posts on the new features in RT 4.4, you can find more in the new feature overview.

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What's New in RT 4.4: Overview

As we're wrapping up testing of RT 4.4, it's time to start showing you some of the new features we've added to make RT even more useful. If you're looking into RT version 4.4 for the first time, take a look at the list below to learn more. And if you have helped us by testing our 4.4 release candidates, thank you, and you might still find something new in the blog posts to come. Finally if you're still on an older release of RT, possibly even in the 3.x series, take a look at some of our previous releases to see all you get by upgrading in addition to the new 4.4 features.

As always, RT 4.4 comes with a full set of upgrade scripts and additional upgrade information, so we hope you'll be able to upgrade soon and take advantage of the new features. If you need help upgrading from any version of RT, we also offer a range of upgrade and support services. Just send email to contact@bestpractical.com.

New RT 4.4 Features

One of the bigger changes in this release is we've integrated our popular extensions for Assets, SLA management, and LDAP integration. This will make it easier for new RT users to discover the features provided by these additions and will provide more seamless integration with RT as we go forward. These are all significant additions and we'll have more details in the coming weeks.

RT 4.4 also brings many more new features and improvements:

We'll provide details on these and more over the next few weeks. And you can always find RT's documentation in the documentation section on the Best Practical web site.

End of Life Products

Best Practical maintains and supports two major releases of RT at a time, as described in our version support policy. As such, the release of RT 4.4 will mean RT 4.0 and other related products will be scheduled for end of life. We'll provide details on products, versions, and end of life dates in an upcoming post. Don't panic! We're here to help you upgrade to a newer version to stay supported and get all of the new features and functionality.

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