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Cerb5 (5.2) is a major functionality update released on November 9 2010; it contains over 46 new features, fixes, and usability tweaks from community feedback. There are 12 additional improvements in 1 maintenance update.

You can find the full changelog in the forums.

You can download the release files from the project website.

  • To check if you qualify for this release as a free update, view Setup->System->License Info. If your software updates expire after November 1 2010 then you can upgrade without updating your license.
    Cerb 510 license expires.png
  • Visit the project website to subscribe to feature updates on your existing license.
  • To upgrade your installation, follow the instructions here.

Important Release Notes

  • The Support Center has been moved to its own plugin (rather than being a part of the Community Portals plugin). After updating, navigate to Setup->Plugins and make sure the Support Center plugin is enabled.
  • Each Support Center portal can now provide multiple login methods. Modify your portal configuration to enable your desired options.
  • The deployed index.php file for Community Portals (e.g. Support Center) has been updated to allow HTTP redirects and other functionality. You *must* update the index.php file on any community portals for them to work properly.
  • The templates for the Support Center have changed significantly. If you have custom templates, you should export them and then revert back to defaults. Reapply your changes using the new format.

Support Center

  • Spun the Support Center off into its own plugin (cerberusweb.support_center) to make room for alternative community portals.
    Cerb 520 sc plugin.png
  • Improved the look & feel aesthetics of the Support Center. Modules navigation is now presented as tabs across the top of the page, rather than forcing use of the left sidebar 'main menu'. This removes the need for each module to provide an icon, and it allows the full width to be used by each extension. There is a new login page (also moved out of the sidebar) that can accommodate more interesting authentication processes like OpenID. The Ticket History search feature has moved into its sidebar so it's accessible from related functionality (e.g. display ticket, search results). Added a 'user_styles.css.tpl' template which allows easier CSS overrides without modifying a theme's stylesheet directly. Changed the 'Open Ticket' label to 'Contact us'.
    Cerb 520 sc aesthetics.png
  • Added a Registered Contact (People) context to the address book. A registered contact is an individual with a list of verified email addresses (and each address may be associated with a different organization). Contacts are now also the accounts linked to the Support Center, meaning that a single public login can now be associated with multiple email addresses; this removes the annoying requirement of a new account per email address. Addresses that have previously registered with the Support Center will be automatically migrated to a contact record with their existing password.
    Cerb 520 sc contactperson.png
  • Registered contacts may have multiple email addresses associated. The fields and custom fields of each address/org can now be modified from My Account.
  • [CHD-614] Support Center (SC) contacts can now share the email history for any of their verified addresses with other registered accounts. This allows companies to create a manager account in a vendor/provider's Support Center that can view the history for all linked addresses from individual team members. From 'My Account' in the SC you can show/hide addresses that are shared with you, and control you can see the history for each of your addresses. Hiding shared addresses will remove them from your history, but it won't remove the sharing link (i.e. you can always re-enable it). This has been a long-time requested feature in Cerb, but it was delayed while we thought about a solution that didn't require helpdesk workers to be responsible for verifying who should have manager access to customer data. The control of access to a contact's private data is best done by each contact themselves -- as this is much less susceptible to social engineering.
    Cerb 520 sc sharing.png
  • Implemented advanced view functionality: editable, required, default, and hidden filters. This makes it possible to expose user-level filters in the UI without security concerns. Using required filters you can sandbox a particular view; such as restricting a list of tickets to only rows where the logged in contact is a requester.
  • Added a reusable filters template for Support Center views. This functions the same as worklist filters in the worker GUI, allowing user-driven and comprehensive search functionality to be added to any list with minimal effort.
  • You can now use multiple advanced fiters to search ticket history, including: recipient, status, created, updated, mask, subject, and message content.
    Cerb 520 sc history filters.png
  • Support Center account passwords are now properly 'salted' in the database.
  • Improved the Community Portal 'index.php' proxy to parse headers before displaying content, and redirect properly in the event of a 'Location:' header. This allows various functionality for community portals -- like the OpenID authentication handshake.
  • Added a sidebar to the 'My Account' module which partitions the various settings for better usability and extensibility.
    Cerb 520 sc myaccount sidebar.png
  • OpenID is now an available login extension for Support Center portals.
    Cerb 520 sc openid login.png
  • Multiple OpenIDs can be associated to Registered Contacts.
    Cerb 520 sc openid myacct.png
  • Account registration and recovery is now handled by the enabled login extension per portal. This provides much more flexibility when integrating Support Centers with user account data from another datastore -- such as billing, forums, LDAP, single signon, etc. Previously, registration was handled by its own module, which forced the email/password paradigm. Now a custom login extension could automatically create an SC account using external data, without end-user intervention. Account recovery (i.e. "forgot password") can now be handled appropriately depending on the authorization credentials; for example, the OpenID login extension doesn't involve account passwords at all, so account recovery involves changing the OpenID associated with the account. When user data is being pulled from a source like forums/wiki/billing, account recovery link can simply involve redirecting the user to the appropriate 'forgot password' URL for an external app.
    Cerb 520 sc recovery openid.png
  • Added the ability for contacts to delete their own Support Center account. This releases assigned email addresses and OpenIDs, making it easier to combine multiple fragmented accounts that were previously created for individual email addresses.
    Cerb 520 sc delete account.png
  • The open/closed ticket history in the Support Center has been combined into a single list. The last sender is now displayed as a column, and icons have been added to clarify 'waiting for reply', 'needs reply', and 'closed'.
  • The ticket history now displays conversations based on requesters rather than the initial sender -- so the same ticket may show up in the portal for each requester.
  • The search feature for the ticket history is now easily accessible from the sidebar, even when displaying ticket content.
  • Registered Contacts can now be browsed from the address book. These are community members that have registered with one of your Community Portals like the Support Center. Displaying a registered contacts shows their verified addresses and entire ticket history. For each record you can leave comments or establish context links to other content.
    Cerb 520 sc addybook regcontacts.png
  • Each Support Center portal can now have multiple login extensions (e.g. password, OpenID, LDAP) enabled simultaneously. This allows savvy community members to use OpenID without replacing the email+password default option entirely. This also allows admins to disable logins, or force a particular login method (such as a private SSO provider).
    Cerb 520 sc login handlers.png
    Cerb 520 sc login handlers cfg.png
  • Registered Contacts can now choose from their list of verified email addresses when replying to tickets through the Support Center.
  • The 'contact us' form in the Support Center will now provide a dropdown of verified email addresses to use for 'From' when the visitor is logged in.

Plugin: Datacenter

  • Added an optional 'Datacenter' plugin which provides the ability to manage 'server' objects as a special form of asset tracking. You can add custom fields to track business-specific information per server (datacenter, monthly cost, OS, hostname, etc). While this has some value alone, the real benefit comes from the plugins that can extend the server concept: service monitoring, website management, SaaS management, etc. This plugin adds a 'datacenter' option to the global navigation menu.
    Cerb 520 datacenter.png

Plugin: Datacenter Domains

  • Added an optional 'Datacenter: Domains' plugin which adds the ability to create website records and relate them to server objects. This plugin can be used to manage corporate sites and properties, or it can provide an easy way for webhosts and SaaS providers to manage deployed sites. Custom fields can be used to track any kind of information on these records. Multiple customer contacts can be associated with a single site. Broadcast can be used on any list of sites; for example: you can easily let a list of affected customers know about maintenance, or you can pitch upsell services to the right segments of your customer base. Broadcast has access to all the fields set on customers, sites, servers, etc. This plugin adds a 'Domains' tab to the Datacenter page, and it also provides a 'Domains' tab on each server display page. It also adds a display page for each site where you can associate links and add comments. This provides a good extension point for automation, and it also brings more information in that you may want to expose to the Support Center portal.
    Cerb 520 datacenter domains.png

Plugin: OpenID

  • Added a new OpenID plugin that allows workers to associate OpenID identities with their account and then log in using them. OpenID is very interesting because it provides a viable challenge to the tired username/password authentication scheme for web applications; and instead you're able to choose from decentralized providers to maintain a single identity (and credentials) across multiple applications. OpenID Providers (OP) can use multiple factor authentication (infocards, biometrics, client certificates, phone-to-verify, one-time-password (OTP) devices, etc). As a bonus, if you have an account at several large companies (e.g. Google, Yahoo, AOL) then you already have an OpenID; however, more specialized providers offer more options -- (e.g. Verisign PIP, MyOpenID, etc).
    Cerb 520 openid login.png
    Cerb 520 openid myacct.png


  • Improved the look and feel of the global navigation menu.
    Cerb 520 uiux topnav.png
  • Improved the style for page submenus.
    Cerb 520 uiux subnav.png
  • Added CSS styles for FIELDSET/LEGEND tags, which organize form content in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.
    Cerb 520 uiux fieldset.png
  • Improved the look & feel of the My Account pages.
  • Improved the look & feel throughout the interface.
  • Added 'input icons' to the Cerb5 stylesheet. These render a friendly icon inside text input boxes to give users a hint of the expected data. These can simply be added as classes: input_color, input_date, input_location, input_email, input_money, input_number, input_openid, input_password, input_percent, input_phone, input_search, input_tags, input_url.
    Cerb 520 uiux inputicons.png
  • Improved usability on all the bulk update popups.
    Cerb 520 uiux bulkupdate.png
  • Improved the knowledgebase article display page (no more IFRAME scrollbars when displaying articles), and the organization display page.

Bulk Update

  • Views are now capable of providing a random sample of worklist rows to any functionality that requests it. This will allow for a lot of interesting functionality: A/B testing with Broadcast, distributed assignment of work, etc.
    Cerb 520 bulk randomsample.png


  • Added an SDK to /install/extras/sdk. This includes full examples of most extension points in Cerb5 (e.g. tabs, pages, scheduled tasks, custom fields, etc) that you can copy into your new plugins as needed. There's also a template for plugin.xml and strings.xml which should make creating new plugins easier. You'll also find devblocks-dao.php, which automatically generates the DAO_*/Model_*/SearchFields_*/View_* classes for your plugins -- significantly reducing the development time for new ideas.
    Cerb 520 sdk examples.png
    Cerb 520 sdk devblocksdao.png


  • Added a 'switcher' feature to the login form which allows each login extension to render a link (OpenID, LDAP, password, etc). The preference is saved in a long-term cookie.
    Cerb 520 platform loginswitcher.png
  • Converted all the 'file:' template paths to 'devblocks:example.plugin::' paths. This makes plugins templates a lot more flexible, and allows plugins to safely share templates when renderering each others content (especially from cerberusweb.core) without being concerned about the filesystem paths changing.
  • Refactored the custom fields functionality to use 'contexts' rather than 'custom field source' extensions. This makes it easier for any plugin-contributed objects to automatically benefit from custom field functionality. An update patch will migrate any existing custom fields + values to the new format.
  • Added a reusable confirmation service that allows various functionality to generate a confirmation code that is later redeemed (such as verifying an email address during account registration or recovery). Arbitrary data can be stored along with the pending confirmation to be restored on redemption; for example, in the Support Center, confirmations include the contact's email address so it can be compared along with the code before continuing.
  • The 'pretty timestamps' provided by Devblocks will now show in months (3mo) or years (5yr) when the number of days gets high enough. Both measurements are approximate, but likely far more user-friendly than '500d' or '3857d' labels.

Maintenance Updates


Cerb5 (5.2.1) is a maintenance update released on December 6th 2010 containing 12 minor fixes and usability tweaks from community feedback.

You can find the full changelog in the forums.

You can download the release files from the project website.

  • [Gravatar] [CHD-2079] Warnings in SSL mode about unsecure images.
  • [Devblocks/Smarty] [CHD-2081] Smarty in IIS attempts to write cache filenames with the ':' template delimeter. We'll submit our patch to the Smarty team.
  • [OpenID] [CHD-2080] CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION error when PHP is in safe_mode or using open_basedir
  • [Installer] [CHD-2086] Add autocomplete=off to Installer password form, too
  • [Address Book] [CHD-2084] Hid the 'Add' button on the Registered Contacts tab in the Address Book. Contacts can be added through the Support Center.
  • [Address Book] [CHD-2077] Hid the 'bulk update' button on Registered Contact worklists. This will be displayed against when it's fully implemented.
  • [Choosers] [CHD-2087] Clicking directly on the text in a chooser row will now properly mark/unmark the checkbox.
  • [Mail/Display] [CHD-2090] Using the 'o' shortcut to create comments from Display Ticket should no longer inject an 'o' into the comment textbox in browsers where this behavior was happening.
  • [Ticket/Audit Log] [CHD-2095] Added translatable text to the Audit Log for the O/R/W 'last action' values. These are 'Ticket opened', 'Recipient replied', and 'Worker replied' respectively.
  • [Platform] [CHD-2044] Converting HTML messages into plaintext will now properly handle <br/> and <br /> syntax from XHTML.
  • [UI/UX/Internet Explorer] Interface fixes for Internet Explorer 7/8/9. Added an IE-specific stylesheet for overrides.
  • [Datacenter] [CHD-2053] Adding a comment notification on servers or domains leads to a blank notification.