EOL Policy for Tendenci 4 (T4) Software

EOL Policy for Tendenci 4 (T4) Software

Tendenci 6 Interface for Upgraded clients
Tendenci 6 Nav Bar

[EDIT FOR EMPHASIS] April 21, 2015 is End of Life for T4. The Windows servers on the Tendenci hosted network will be shut down and be offline permanently. [END-EDIT] 

Tendenci has always been at the forefront of technology with regard to meeting the needs of associations and nonprofits. When we released Version 5.0 of Tendenci in 2012, the software took a major leap forward by going completely open source, allowing for outside contributions from the development community on software enhancements and bringing a level of transparency and complete control into the hands of all Tendenci users. We are excited about what the future holds for Tendenci as we have Version 6.0 currently in beta and a roadmap for Version 7.0 already underway.

With the focus on the future and what we can achieve with the new technology available, we have made the business decision to formally establish an End-of-Life (EOL) policy. In particular the EOL for Version 4.0 of the Tendenci on the Microsoft software platform is now set for April 21, 2015.

Tendenci was revolutionary when released in 2001. By the time we released Tendenci 4.0 in 2004, it ran seamlessly on the technology that existed at the time. As Microsoft phases out support for its older technology, Tendenci must also adapt to the newer technology options that will provide the best environment for stability and growth.

For those clients still running on the Tendenci 4.0 software, there are two paths for moving forward.

  1. Upgrade to the latest version of Tendenci. T6 is mobile ready using Bootstrap, brings back the newsletter functionality using a client provided smtp relay like Mailgun, and can accommodate a host of pre-built bootstrap 3 templates. Tendenci is open source and runs on Linux, an open source server environment. This means complete freedom for you with regard to customization and hosting. We can migrate you to the new platform, including transfer of existing data and implementation of a mobile-ready theme for $7500.
  2. You can stay on T4 and self host. If you would like to stay on the older technology, we can provide limited assistance to your IT team or an outside vendor with the move to your internal server environment. We will provide a single instance of Tendenci 4.0 for your use (not for resale) and you will need to establish your own security, monitoring, database server, DNS, mail servers, firewall and a VPC (recommended). We estimate the cost of the move at $5000 for the web server portion and this is variable based on the exact hosting environment to be configured.

The last two months have underscored the need to migrate away from the outdated server environment and jump headfirst into the new era of open source hosting options. We all must adapt as we receive new information. I stated previously that we intended to restore the functionality fully of Windows 2003 on Windows 2012 R2 if it could be done securely. After further research, it is clear to me that while you can definitely secure a Windows environment, it can only be done securely on dedicated servers or dedicated virtual machines isolating each client. We cannot bring full functionality back to you securely in a shared hosting environment using classic ASP. On a dedicated server, you can have security parameters that are set by you, for you. There are a number of IT firms that can assist with this and we will extend a single use license in perpetuity if this is the route you choose in the short term.

Effective immediately, there will be no additional changes to the T4 software or hosting environment so that we can focus on the release of T6 and ensuring the migration for our clients is a seamless transition.

The Microsoft sites will be taken offline permanently in 90 days.

For clients wishing to migrate to Tendenci 6.0 on our hosted servers, we will begin migrations on February 16, 2015. We expect the migration to take 30 days and are requiring full payment up front. To achieve this, there will be a need for some compromises on layouts initially, but being upgraded to a responsive design is long overdue and we can continue to work on layouts once we get everything secured and you can edit your sites easily again.

For clients wishing to self host or move to another platform, we will provide a one-time export of your data within the next 90 days. We will be accepting requests for exports starting February 2, 2015. There will be no charge for this export and it will be limited to a one-time event. If this needs to be expedited, we can refer you to an outside trusted contractor although they will charge a fee.

There will be a conference call on Friday, January 23 at 11:00AM CST (details to be emailed separately) to answer any questions about the most recent server issues and to discuss the best course of action for your organization.

We appreciate the support of all of our clients as we have fought to protect and restore your sites during this time. We can all agree that despite our best efforts, the only course of action at this point is to adapt to the changing environment and look forward to what the newer technologies have to offer. Tendenci is a great product and successfully serves websites throughout the world. We look forward to a continued relationship with our clients in the open source world of dynamic software.

[UPDATE: Another option – Generate a Static Sites. You can simply pull the site down in static format using a one line Unix command or a $5 program on the Mac. Then edit it in a product like Dreamweaver. FTP the content to any number of hosting providers. So you CAN download and transfer your site right now to fulfill any obligations. As posted previously there is also simply linking from Dropbox or AWS if that is more convenient. Neither are as convenient as Tendenci, but will keep the sites secure.]

[Update: For developers you can use this script to download. Please be nice to the servers. And scan your files! Several clients had malware on their PC and then uploaded it to the server. All responsibility is on YOU to be sure any files pulled down. This is one of the reasons we are moving away from this older technology. Virus scanners won’t catch it all. IT IS A MANUAL PROCESS TO CLEAN IF FOUND. You must review it carefully by hand. Code snippet below

wget --limit-rate=400k --no-clobber --convert-links --restrict-file-names=windows --random-wait -r -p -E -e robots=off -U mozilla URLHERE

Did I mention scan your files!?

Thanks]

3 thoughts on “EOL Policy for Tendenci 4 (T4) Software”

  1. I understand the need to get away from the “old” technology, but the cost to move to the new T6 (bypassing T5) is more than twice as much as it was this summer? Without a doubt Tendenci suffered huge losses starting this summer when you switched servers, but so have all of us whose websites have been down or not functioning the way they should be. Is there anyway to do this switch for the price we were originally quoted?

    1. Connie – that’s odd as I don’t recall that but I don’t doubt you. Still, with a smaller company with me firmly back at the helm I know where the expenses are and where the money goes as we eliminated so many service lines to focus solely on Tendenci.

      In this situation we are moving ancient html table based sites from T4 to T5 and then to T6. And given the timeline we will need to use some outside contractors for help. And we also need clients to base their sites layout strictly from Bootstrap 3.x themes like the ones on wrapbootstrap.com.

      Good web designers aren’t waiting around for work and thus those are the prices we calculated to make it happen. For their portion alone not to mention that our team will still have a ton of work to do with data migration, merchant set up, DNS, email, etc is quite significant.

      Also don’t forget the need to sign up for an independent email relay for newsletters like http://www.mailgun.com. They are quire inexpensive but you will need to do that independently and provide the information to or set up site settings. Notifications will still go through our team.

      We have done enough conversions at this point that we know that is what it will take. Further we have to allocate overtime depending on how fast the queue fills up with those upgrading with us or moving to another provider. I really don’t know, but I do know now is not the time for me to be bargain hunting on talent to help us bring everyone up into the 21st century on Tendenci 6, mobile enabled, and oh so much more.

      Lastly, based on my calculations even excluding the hack, we will will barely break even on the conversions given the amount of data we are looking at. And if you were on the call today, we need to stop doing that so that we can have more people giving personal attention to our clients. I’ve heard a lot of complaints lately but price hasn’t been one. Hiring and training the right talent is WORTH IT.

  2. Connie – while Felix is perhaps walking a questionable line, he does present another option if you are interested into a locked-in proprietary-solution. Philosophically there is a reason I made Tendenci open source. But if you prefer he presents another option. And some proprietary items are indeed superior, I just don’t think AMS/CMS software benefits from a locked environment with no access to your data or your code.

    And, well, I guess props or something to Felix for posting on our blog as an option for our clients using software that is two release back from our current version to convert to their older proprietary technology. I don’t get it, but in the spirit of openness, I approved his comment and am replying as well. I’m sure Wild Apricot is a great product.

    Bottom line – more options and freedom for you…..

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