Redmine 5.0: Is It Worth Upgrading?

5/10/2022
5 minutes
Pavel Rosický

Redmine 5.0 is the latest version of the popular open-source project management software. Since this is a major version, upgrading to it is of course more technically demanding than upgrading to any minor version. But – is it worth upgrading at all? Let’s see.

In this article, Pavel Rosický brings a brief summary of the most important changes in Redmine 5.0. We hope this can help you make a better-informed decision on whether to stay with one of the previous versions or upgrade to the latest one.

For many of you, the best alternative option is to upgrade your existing Redmine to the easy-to-use Easy Redmine project management software, which you can immediately try for free for 30 days.

Now back to the new Redmine 5.0, which contains a total of 143 changes (issues) aiming to improve this project management platform. Some bring brand new features, others only serve as patches and bug fixes. Some improvements, such as the default setting of custom queries in request lists or the ability to add Wiki followers, have already been an "old familiar thing" in Redmine for some time.

As you can see below, Redmine 5.0 brings some interesting features, many of which are long-awaited, but it also contains important code changes that could interfere with the functionality provided by the plugins you have installed. Therefore, if your Redmine does not have any plugins added, it is a good idea to upgrade, although you may also need to upgrade basic components such as Ruby. Redmine 5.0 supports Ruby versions 2.5.x – 3.1.x so just make sure you are using the current version.

However, if you have some important plugins installed in your Redmine that you can't work without, we recommend waiting for the developers to make them compatible with the new version of Redmine, otherwise, the upgrade can become difficult and risky too. Let´s go through the promised overview of changes worth mentioning in the new version.


Changes in user accounts and security

  • Two-factor authentication: This secure authentication mode can now be enabled specifically for certain user groups (#31920) or for users in the administrator role (#35439).
  • The e-mail address length limit increased from 60 to 254 characters (#36825).
  • Improved user importer: Among other things, a new account notification can be sent to a user when importing users in bulk (#35365).


Changes in the user interface

  • As an alternative to the existing Markdown (#32424), the text editor CommonMark Markdown from Github (GitHub Flavored) was newly introduced.
  • It is now possible to insert mentions for users with the "@" symbol and related alerts (#13919), which was a long-awaited feature.
  • Additionally, "hints" have been added to custom fields: Although it was previously possible to suggest values in custom fields by default, it was not yet possible to include text as user instructions that would appear when hovering the mouse cursor over a custom field and disappear when moving it to another place (#14275).
  • The descriptions of some buttons have been changed to make it easier for users to understand what action they are taking.


Changes in program code

  • Redmine 5.0 was migrated to the Ruby on Rails 6.1 development framework using the Zeitwerk code loader. This comes with important code changes that improve application performance but can also cause compatibility issues with already installed plugins. Some of them will need to be redesigned to work with this new version.
  • Added support for PDF previews (thumbnails) in Windows (#32898).
  • Internet Explorer 11 is no longer supported (#34978).
  • Lots of minor API enhancements.


Changes in issues

  • You can now specify default custom queries at the application, project, and user levels in issue lists. (#7360)
  • In "contains" filter types, the search has been improved according to this idea of Plan.io.
  • A new option in "My Account" that can automatically add you as a watcher for issues in which you participated at a certain point in time. (#4347)


Changes in Wiki

  • Watchers can now be added/removed from Wiki pages the same way as we can do in Issues. (#7652)


Conclusion

These are the most important changes in the new Redmine 5.0. Now it´s up to you whether you decide to upgrade or not. If you are interested in more detailed information about changes in Redmine 5.0, see the complete changelog of this version.

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