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Cerb5 (5.3) is a major functionality update released on January 18, 2011; it contains over 103 new features, fixes, and usability tweaks from community feedback. There are another 37 improvements in 3 maintenance updates.

This is a summary of the highlights of this release. You can find the detailed 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 January 15, 2011 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

  • Make a backup before upgrading.
  • If upgrading from 5.1 or earlier, make sure you re-enable the 'Community Portals' and 'Support Center' plugins if you were using the Support Center.
  • Since the 'home' page has been removed, you should reattach your workspaces to other pages (e.g. mail) by clicking the '+' tab.


  • Workspaces are no longer confined to 'Home' -- they can now be added to the tab lists on any page: home, mail, activity, address book, datacenter, kb, preferences, setup, etc. This allows you to move your workspaces closer to the appropriate data. A single workspace can be displayed in multiple locations. To add a new workspace to your current page, click the '+' tab.
    Cerb53 workspaces anywhere.png
  • [CHD-1866] You can now customize the order of workspace tabs.
    Cerb53 workspaces reorder.png
  • [CHD-1267] When customizing a worklist you can now drag/drop columns to reorder them rather than having to clear and re-enter everything.
    Cerb53 worklist reorder.png
  • [CHD-1048] Dates in worklist columns will now be displayed in full format (e.g. "5 months"), and dates in the past will be suffixed with the word "ago" (e.g. "90 days ago"). This consistency demonstrates how relative dates should be entered into date text boxes (i.e. "5mo" doesn't work when entered as a relative date).
    Cerb53 dates ago.png
  • [CHD-2056] Search presets should remember sort column and order (ascending/descending).
  • Added autocomplete choosers for the 'Owner' add/remove field on the appropriate bulk update popups.
  • You can now add multiple new worklists directly from an active workspace.
  • [CHD-2128] Added 'copy' to worklists that were missing it: messages, registered contacts, snippets, domains, servers, and knowledgebase articles.
  • Moved the 'Explore' button to a more obvious location, from the top-right of the blue bar to the view toolbar below the results. Added a 'play' icon which gives a better sense of the slideshow nature of Explore mode.
    Cerb53 explore btn.png
  • Made improvements to the performance of Explore mode.
  • When using 'copy' on a worklist the page will no longer be redirected to a different location. This allows you to copy multiple worklists from the same page with less back-and-forth hassle.
  • Implemented 'explore' mode for more worklists: messages, contacts, servers, domains, and opportunities.
  • The 'home' page has been disbanded, as the recent improvements have made it unnecessary. 'Notifications' and 'My Work' have moved to the 'Preferences' page as a temporary placeholder until the addition of worker profiles in a future update. The workspaces previously shown on 'Home' can be moved to any other page -- any of which would likely be more appropriate.

Call Logging

  • [CHD-806] Added a new 'Call Logging' plugin. This can be used to track incoming phone calls, associate them to registered contacts or organizations, and assign them to the appropriate worker for a return call. This plugin can also be used to capture outgoing calls for recording contact with opportunities across multiple channels (improving the efficiency and accountability of sales processes). Call records have all the functionality you've come to expect from Cerb: views, worklists, custom fields, peek, context links, comments, etc.
    Cerb53 call logging.png
  • Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from call logging popups.

Feed Reader

  • [CHD-805] Added a Feed Reader plugin capable of subscribing to RSS/Atom feeds and importing items. Items can be managed with all the familiar Cerb5 tools: custom fields, owners, worklists, presets, bulk update, peek, context links, comments, etc. This plugin can be used for various processes through RSS: vendor announcements, moderating corporate blog comments, scanning Twitter for keyword mentions, auditing wiki changes, reviewing new bug reports, reading new forum posts, scanning Google Blog search for keyword mentions, etc.
    Cerb53 feed reader.png
  • The peek popup for feed items can now be displayed while in 'explore' mode. This allows you to comment, change properties, and add owners while viewing external URLs (e.g. wiki, forums, issue tracking).
    Cerb53 feed reader explore.png
  • Added a quick Close/Reopen button to the feed reader 'explore' toolbar.
  • [CHD-942] Allow tasks to be added while viewing feed items in explore mode.
    Cerb53 feed reader tasks.png
  • [CHD-943] Allow feedback to be captured while viewing items in the RSS Reader plugin using explore mode.
    Cerb53 feed reader feedback.png
  • Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from feed reader popups.


  • [CHD-2002] [CHD-2092] The 'chooser' widget now has the option to provide an autocomplete box before the button. You can enter a couple characters from your desired record (e.g. worker, address, org) to add it to the list, which saves a lot of needless clicks compared to opening the chooser search popup (especially when you already know what you're looking for).
    Cerb53 choosers autocomplete.png
  • All 'worker' choosers now provide an autocomplete box in addition to the search popup (e.g. owners).
  • All address, organization, and group choosers now provide an autocomplete box in addition to the search popup.
  • Added a new 'file' chooser which can be used to upload files through Ajax (without leaving the current page) even when displaying 'peek' popups.
    Cerb53 choosers file.png
  • The worker and group choosers will now display an autocomplete box when used inside search filters (and worklist customize).


  • [CHD-464] Added attachment functionality to comments since they are already ubiquitous, which allows files to be attached to orgs/opps/etc.
    Cerb53 comment files.png
  • [CHD-594] Allow attachments on organizations


  • [CHD-2065] "worker" and "status" should not be options in the Workflow subtotals sidebar.
  • When focused inside a group in Workflow, an "all groups" link will now appear to reset the filter in the sidebar without having to manually change the filters.
    Cerb53 workflow subtotals reset.png
  • When clicking on a bucket in Workflow the subtotals sidebar will now focus on that group and all its buckets, rather than displaying just a single bucket. This will save a lot of extraneous clicks.
    Cerb53 workflow subtotals buckets.png
  • [CHD-948] Add next/prev links to peek to navigate other messages within a previewed ticket.
    Cerb53 ticket peek paging.png
  • [CHD-287] The ability to delete individual messages on a ticket.
    Cerb53 ticket delete msg.png
  • [CHD-2110] Ability to search content from Messages tab.
    Cerb53 message search content.png
  • [CHD-2003] The "When would you like to resume this conversation?" option is missing from the peek popup of tickets.
  • [CHD-1472] Show the 'From:' header in the reply box for spot checking.
  • [CHD-2108] When there are pending drafts on a ticket, a nasty error will be displayed (if display_errors is on)
  • The text in the ticket peek popup is now translated.
  • Comments can now be viewed and added to tickets from peek. Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from ticket popups.

Time Tracking

  • [Usability] [CHD-2078] Add 'status' to the bulk update popup for Time Tracking entries.
    Cerb53 timetracking bulk status.png
  • [Web-API] [CHD-2089] The Web-API time tracking interface currently doesn't return the activity_id.
  • Comments can be added to existing time slips from peek. Workers can be notified when leaving new comments from time tracking popups.


  • [CHD-2042] Add a quick 'Completed' button to the task display page.
    Cerb53 tasks completed button.png
  • Comments can now be added to existing tasks from peek. Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from task popups.


  • Comments can now be added to existing opportunities from peek. Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from peek popups.

Address Book

  • Owners can be assigned to Organization records.
  • [CHD-1767] Working with Contacts/Companies: Add notes to contacts and attachments to organizations.
  • Comments can now be viewed and added on organizations from peek. Workers can now be notified when leaving new comments from org popups.


  • [CHD-450] Allow attachments in knowledgebase articles, both in the worker GUI and the Support Center.
    Cerb53 kb files.png


  • [CHD-2046] Added custom fields to snippets for easier categorization.
    Cerb53 snippets customfields.png

Support Center

  • [CHD-2140] All the new templates are now available for editing with the Custom Templates feature of the Support Center.


  • [Platform/Tabs] [CHD-2118] All tab lists will now properly remember the previously selected tab when returning to the page, including plugin-provided tabs and workspaces. This functionality was revamped on: activity, home, mail, address book, datacenter, knowledgebase, my account, and setup.
  • [Autocomplete/Usability] [CHD-2092] The autocomplete input boxes should automatically highlight the first option in the dropdown menu as you type so you can hit ENTER to quickly continue typing. This also makes it more clear that you can use the arrow keys for navigation (compared to hitting the down arrow key to start things off).
  • [Drafts] [CHD-1865] Resuming a draft doesn't restore the 'To:' line if it was never edited from defaults.
  • [Mail/Usability] Added a keyboard shortcut (e) for 'explore' to Mail:Workflow and Mail:Search.
  • [Comments/Notifications] [CHD-2103] The comment popup will no longer list the current worker as one of the defaults on the 'notify these workers' list. This saves the extra click of removing yourself each time you comment.


  • Implemented auto-escaping for all template variables. This ensures that any user-provided content will always be displayed as markup text instead of being rendered as HTML. This is superior to the previous solution of expecting official and third-party developers to explicitly use the 'escape' modifier in Smarty for every variable; e.g. {$var|escape}. If there are situations where your plugin functionality depends on rendering HTML from template variables, use the 'nofilter' flag; e.g. {$var nofilter}.
  • [CHD-687] Ticket worklist 'customize' can display custom field values from non-authorized groups.


  • [Extras/Translations/i18n] The available language packs have been added to the /install/extras/translations/ directory (previously they were hidden in another GitHub repository).
    Cerb53 translations.png
  • [Translations/Dutch] Updated the Dutch translation (Much thanks to Niek @ Oxilion.nl!)
  • [Translations/German] Updated the German translation (Much thanks to yaqwer on the Cerb5 forums)


  • Upgraded Smarty Template Engine dependency from 3.0-rc1 to 3.0.6-release.
  • Upgraded jQuery dependency from 1.4.2 to 1.4.4
  • Upgraded jQuery UI dependency from 1.8.2 to 1.8.7 (this should fix IE9 issues when not running in compatibility mode).
  • Upgraded jqPlot dependency to 0.9.7r635
  • Upgraded Twig dependency from 0.9.6 to 1.0-beta1

Plugin Development

  • [Contexts/Autocomplete] Added a context-aware 'autocomplete' service that can be used by any UI functionality.
  • [Contexts/ACL] Contexts now have a formal way to specify access control for viewing particular objects. For example, the 'ticket' or 'opportunity' contexts can decide if a worker is allowed to view a particular record based on group memberships, etc.
  • [Contexts/Attachments] Refactored existing attachments functionality. Attachments can now be added to any context (e.g. messages, comments). Any plugin-provided objects can provide attachment functionality with very little implementation work. The same attachment can be linked to multiple records, which is more efficient in terms of storage. Browsing attachments from Setup will display links (file<->context). When an attachment has no links pointing to it, and it's older than 24 hours, it will be removed by the maintenance scheduled task.
  • [Plugins/Address Book] Added the 'cerberusweb.contacts.tab' extension point for adding new tabs to the Address Book through plugins.
  • [Workspaces] Workspaces are now a formal database object. Previously they were just unique 'tags' on worklists.
  • [Contexts/Workspaces] Contexts are now used to add worklists to workspaces. You no longer need to create a workspace 'source' plugin.
  • [Plugins/Contexts] Implemented Extension_DevblocksContext::getAll($as_instances=false) to make it easier to pull a list of possible contexts for various functionality. The method accepts one argument: whether or not to return the results as extension instances (true) or manifests (default/false).
  • [Platform/Smarty/URLs] [CHD-2111] Improved the 'devblocks_hyperlinks' Smarty template modifier so that it doesn't include common trailing punctuation in the hyperlink (e.g. http://example.com/.). The new pattern matching should be less strict, as long as an http/https scheme prefixes the URL in plaintext.
  • [Plugins/Contexts/Notifications] [CHD-2145] Added Context_Notification
  • [Plugins/Events/Comments] [CHD-1999] Added a new event point for 'comment.create', to process events when new comments are created on any record.
  • [Plugins/Comments] Added DAO_Comment::triggerCommentNotifications() to make it easier to fire context-driven notifications about new comments using the 'notify workers' pattern.

Maintenance Updates


Cerb5 (5.3.1) is a maintenance update released on January 22, 2011; it contains 14 minor fixes and usability tweaks from community feedback covering the recent 5.3.0 update.

You can find the full changelog in the forums.

You can download the release files from the project website.

  • [Mail] [CHD-219] Fixed the 'auto hide quoted text' feature when displaying mail. This had to do with the new auto-escaping functionality in templates.
  • [Support Center] [CHD-2165] Submitting a ticket give the ticket number with <b> </b> instead of the HTML.
  • [Preferences] [CHD-2164] The 'My Account' page doesn't remember 'OpenID' as a selected tab.
  • [Mail/Snippets/Usability] [CHD-2166] The snippet worklist shows extension ids for the 'context' column rather than friendly labels like 'Ticket' or 'Worker'.
  • [Mail/Snippets] Fixed an issue with the 'message' tokens not displaying on ticket snippets.
  • [Mail/Peek] [CHD-2174] Warnings output if you attempt to 'peek' a ticket that has no messages (such as one where the only message was deleted, or any ticket with its content merged into another).
  • [Datacenter] [CHD-2172] Add/notify comments from server and domain peek popups.
  • [Mail/Display] [CHD-2177] The Display Ticket page will now show the reopen date next to the status when 'Waiting for Reply'.
  • [Mail/Peek] Fixed a bug where blank 'reopen' times on 'Waiting for Reply' tickets would not be saved.
  • [Platform] Fixed a bug in template modifier '|devblocks_prettytime' that displayed future timestamps in seconds as a negative number.
  • [Feed Reader] [CHD-2161] Feed List doesn't grab RSS feed if allow_url_fopen isn't enabled. Need a check to make sure it is enabled.
  • [Platform/RSS] Converted DevblocksPlatform::parseRss() to CURL from file_get_contents() so 'allow_url_fopen' is not required in the php.ini file.
  • [Platform/Plugins] Changed C4_AbstractView addColumnsHidden(), addParamsDefault(), addParamsRequired(), addParamsHidden() to support a second $replace parameter (which defaults to false). When true this will replace the params with the passed arguments, like addParams(). When this is false, it will add new params to the existing list -- although this can lead to strange behavior because parameters will accumulate through persistence and affect the list output.
  • [Snippets] [CHD-2171] You can now filter snippets by the 'plaintext' type.


Cerb5 (5.3.2) is a maintenance update released on January 26, 2011; it contains 9 minor fixes and usability tweaks from community feedback covering the recent 5.3.0 update.

You can find the full changelog in the forums.

You can download the release files from the project website.

  • [Mail/Snippets/Usability] [CHD-2094] Added a new snippets toolbar to the ticket reply screen. This allows you to insert snippets with an autocomplete box, without having to open up the chooser to make selections. You still can use the chooser if you aren't sure how to find the appropriate snippet (or if it even exists yet). The autocomplete entry allows substring matches and it will display results by the most frequently used snippets first.
  • [Mail/Snippets/Usability] [CHD-2182] You can now add new snippets while replying to tickets without having to return to the Mail->Snippets tab.
  • [Support Center/Knowledgebase] [CHD-2179] Viewing a knowledgebase article on the Support Center shouldn't show the 'attachments' block when there are none.
  • [Mail/Merge] [CHD-2188] Fixed a bug where merged tickets could become open and deleted at the same time if they had a reopen date.
  • [Knowledgebase] [CHD-2189] Fixed a bug that returned blank pages on some knowledgebase actions (e.g. adding subcategories).
  • [Support Center/Knowledgebase] [CHD-2106] Fixed a devious bug in the Support Center knowledgebase where sorting or paging a list could reset it to the default properties. This had to do with a missing image in the stylesheet requesting the 'top' of the knowledgebase in a second HTTP request, which cleared the previous settings.
  • [Mail/Parser/Redirect] [CHD-2180] The Mail Filters will now gracefully handle malformed Return-Path headers when performing the 'Redirect' action. Previously, if there were multiple Return-Paths, or if the Return-Path was enclosed in <> brackets, the message would silently fail and not be redirected.
  • [Platform/Plugins] Added an optional $prefix argument to DevblocksPlatform::getConsoleLog($prefix) that will automatically prepend the prefix to all subsequent log statements. This removes the need to manually prefix log entries (especially on crons) to identify which plugin log output is coming from.
  • [Platform] [CHD-2158] A user-friendly 'Page Not Found' will be now displayed when requesting URLs that have no controllers. This will also assist people who had /home (a phased out page) in a browser bookmark.


Cerb5 (5.3.3) is a maintenance update released on March 7, 2011; it contains 14 minor fixes and usability tweaks from community feedback covering the 5.3.0 update.

You can find the full changelog in the forums.

Instructions for upgrading from earlier versions of Cerb5

You can download the release files from the project website.

  • [Snippets] [CHD-2210] Searching snippet titles should automatically use leading/trailing wildcards.
  • [Snippets] Fixed the search filters for last_updated (date), created_by/last_updated_by (worker chooser).
  • [Mail/Display/Reply] [CHD-2204] Fixed the escaped HTML on the "You are replying to a ticket owned by someone else" warning message.
  • [Parser] [CHD-2205] Fixed a bug in the email parser that checks if the incoming email message's "Precedence" header is "bulk". When working properly this avoids sending auto-replies back to mailing lists. With the bug, this could also avoid sending auto-replies in certain unintended situations.
  • [Setup/Plugins] Added a 'Find more plugins' link to the 'Setup -> Features & Plugins' tab. This directs people to the https://github.com/cerb5-plugins repositories.
  • [Support Center] [CHD-2203] Unable to add secondary email address to SC account if it's not in the address book already.
  • [Knowledgebase/Mail/Reply] [CHD-2194] Searching the knowledgebase when replying to a ticket ignores subcategories.
  • [Knowledgebase/Mail/Reply/Usability] Improved the usability of the knowledgebase search on Ticket Reply. After searching, the term text will be focused and selected so you can type another term immediately if you aren't satisfied with the results. You can press ENTER inside the search text box to run the search. The explicit search button has been removed. Fixed a big that cleared the results list on subsequent searches without providing new results.
  • [Mail/Display] [CHD-2218] Fixed a bug that responded with a blank page (after successful form submit) when pressing ENTER in the 'edit recipients' popup on Display Ticket.
  • [Mail/Display/Usability] [CHD-2200] The ticket mask will no longer be stripped from the /display/ URL when using the toolbar at the top of the Display Ticket page.
  • [Contexts/Feedback/Plugins] Added a context for Feedback entries.
  • [Feedback/Custom Fields] [CHD-2196] Feedback entries aren't showing custom fields (e.g. setup/read/write).
  • [Login/Usability] [CHD-2197] Multiple login failures will now preserve the destination URL throughout the entire process. Previously if you clicked on a helpdesk URL, were asked to log in, and mistyped your login then you wouldn't be redirected to the page of the original URL when you did subsequently log in successfully.
  • [Mail/Bulk Update] [CHD-2214] Bulk update on tickets should be able to set a 'reopen on' date when setting 'waiting for reply' or 'closed'.