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

Pavithra Sudhakar
June 27, 2023
min read

October 1, 2023 will be the sunset date for allowing connections between our cloud services and workspaces running legacy versions of Rocket.Chat that are outside of our Long Time Support (LTS) window.

October 1, 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 of our LTS window.

If you are on a legacy unsupported server, we strongly recommend you to upgrade 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.

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. The next version to be running out of the support window, as of June 30th, is Rocket.Chat v5.4.

What is supported today? 

Our long-standing business practice is to provide support for 6 months for each major version and 3 months for minor versions. This means Rocket.Chat provides security fixes and answers support tickets pertaining to the configuration and usage of supported versions. We provide Long Time Support (LTS) for every minor version that was released prior to a major version in order to maintain the support of the previous version for a longer period of time and give you more time to plan and test the upgrade. 

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 October 1, 2023. For all the Community and Enterprise workspaces to continue using our mobile and desktop applications and access cloud services after October 1st, they must stay within the supported window. Read our documentation for more information on the supported versions. 

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 LTS. 

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 October 1st, 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 October 1st. 

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

Before the end of the deprecation period, we strongly recommend all the workspaces on Community and Enterprise editions to upgrade to a supported version (version 6.0.0 or higher) for continued access to cloud services, mobile and desktop apps. If you do not wish to upgrade, 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 LTS, 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.

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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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