Deprecation notices — Cloud services, mobile and desktop apps for legacy unsupported versions

Pavithra Sudhakar
June 27, 2023
min read

November 20, 2023 will be the sunset date for allowing connections between our cloud services and workspaces running legacy versions of Rocket.Chat that are outside our support window.

November 20, 2023 will also be the sunset date for allowing connections between our official mobile and desktop apps and workspaces running legacy versions of Rocket.Chat that are outside our support window.

If you are on a legacy unsupported server, we strongly recommend you to update to the latest version of Rocket.Chat to access your cloud portal, mobile and desktop apps. Read our documentation for more information on the supported versions.

Note: We are now extending the deprecation date from October 1, 2023 to November 20, 2023. Please ensure you update your workspace to at least v.6.3.0 before November 20 for continued access to cloud services, mobile and desktop applications. We hope this extension will provide more time to prepare your workspaces for the update.

Rocket.Chat is deprecating access to cloud services (push notification gateway, omnichannel gateway and marketplace apps) as well as mobile and desktop apps for workspaces running legacy unsupported versions of Rocket.Chat. To know which versions are currently supported, please refer to our version durability document.

What is supported today? 

Our long-standing business practice has been to provide support for 6 months for each major version and 3 months for minor versions. However, we are now undergoing a shift in this approach.

In an effort to enhance clarity for workspace admins, we have decided to streamline our support window regulations. Going forward, all Rocket.Chat versions will receive support for a duration of 6 months, starting from the release date. This change is aimed at helping you plan your Rocket.Chat version updates more effectively based on a predetermined schedule. 

What is changing? 

We are deprecating cloud services, mobile and desktop applications for legacy server versions with the introduction of the new policy, which will take effect on November 20, 2023. For all the Community and Enterprise workspaces to continue using our mobile and desktop applications and access cloud services after November 20th, they must stay within the supported window. To know which versions are currently supported, please refer to our version durability document.

Why is Rocket.Chat making this change? 

Workspaces running legacy versions of Rocket.Chat software present significant operational and security challenges. The standard industry practice for software companies, including commercial open source software (COSS) is to deprecate support for legacy versions with security vulnerabilities being the most common cause. Unsupported versions are more susceptible to cybersecurity risks, which could have disastrous reputational and financial repercussions. In essence, running older versions puts the integrity of the entire organization and open-source community at risk, and can expose your users, business partners, and customers to increased risks of data breaches and increased compliance issues.

Legacy servers require extensive maintenance and have high operating costs. Innovation is impeded by the complexity of achieving backward compatibility. As you continue to leverage federated servers to accomplish messaging interoperability, it is imperative that all network nodes are running the most recent versions. 

We want to keep you secure while using Rocket.Chat and help you reduce the costs associated with maintaining legacy servers. As a result, we are applying a standard rule across all of our services and applications, and introducing this new policy which clarifies our support for versions of Rocket.Chat that are outside the support window. 

How does it impact unsupported versions? 

Today, workspace administrators can connect their workspaces to the following cloud services: 

  • Mobile Push Notification Gateway
  • Live Chat Omnichannel Proxy
  • Marketplace Apps

After November 20th, if you are running a legacy unsupported version, you won’t be able to access the aforementioned services. Additionally, the desktop and mobile apps will be compatible only with supported versions of Rocket.Chat. Users will no longer be able to use the desktop and mobile applications if workspaces are running an unsupported version of Rocket.Chat. The omnichannel channels — Instagram Direct, WhatsApp Business, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram — that rely on secure messaging proxy communication will be interrupted if workspaces are running an unsupported version of Rocket.Chat. Admins will not be able to purchase apps from our marketplace or install them in unsupported workspaces. Since push gateway access is essential to set up push notifications for workspace members, the access to this service will also be restricted to supported versions of Rocket.Chat, after November 20th. 

Refer to our version durability document to know the end of life date for each Rocket.Chat version.

What should you do before the end of the deprecation period?

Please ensure you update your workspace to at least v.6.3.0 before November 20. If this workspace is not updated by then, the following will occur:

  • Users will no longer be able to access the workspace from official mobile and desktop apps
  • Users will stop receiving mobile push notifications
  • It will no longer be possible to install marketplace apps
  • Omnichannel social channels such as WhatsApp Cloud, WhatsApp 360Dialog, Instagram Direct, Twitter, Telegram and Messenger will stop working

Read the updating Rocket.Chat documentation for information on how to update to the latest version.

However, if you do not wish to update, Rocket.Chat provides workspace owners with a variety of options for managing their workspaces in the manner of your choosing. If you choose to remain on a version of Rocket.Chat that is outside of our support window, you must implement the following alternatives to our cloud services and published apps: 

  • Mobile and desktop apps: You must compile each app from our open source code and publish your own builds to relevant app stores. 
  • Push notifications: You will need to deploy your own push notification server. 
  • Apps: You will be required to develop and sideload your own applications instead of installing them through our Marketplace.

Staying up-to-date with the latest version of any software has become increasingly important in today's digital world. The newest version of Rocket.Chat always contains the latest features and enhancements that can improve user experience and performance, and patches for security vulnerabilities. We believe all users should have access to the very best Rocket.Chat experience, and running supported versions allows this. So, update to our latest version at all times and get the best out of Rocket.Chat.

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Pavithra is a Product Marketing Manager at Rocket.Chat. She represents the voice of the customers and helps shape the voice of the product. She is highly passionate about bringing new offerings to the market. When she isn’t donning the hat of a Product Marketer, she tries her hand at multiple cuisines, lives a hundred different fictional characters through books, and enjoys playing badminton.
Pavithra Sudhakar
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