Within the Chatstack 5.7 release we have been focussing on bug fixes, future development roadmap changes and improving performance of the server software to ensure the chat widget loads quickly and offers the best experience for visitors on your site. These speed and performance improvements are something we are constantly working on. The Chatstack v5.7 release will be available for download in the customer area today.
From Chatstack v5.7 we are introducing Docker and Docker Compose support if you’d like to containerize the Chatstack app installation. This will initially be available to customers running the Chatstack Enterprise license as we feel that these customers will make use of this feature the most (this may change in the future with Business customers eventually getting support for this as well – stay tuned for details on that).
Dockerizing Chatstack allows us to specify the exact server configuration stack that Chatstack runs with and makes deploying Chatstack easy for you. Other benefits that Docker provides is version control, security, portability, isolation and security. With the Chatstack server stack we’ve opted for nginx, php-fpm and MySQL within the default Docker Compose configuration file.
Another major reason that we have opted for this as a deployment method for Chatstack is that we have been working on a web sockets plugin that will be available to Chatstack Business and Enterprise customers in the future. This custom web sockets server will require a specific server configuration to function and deploying the stack through Docker allows customers to get the configuration running allot easier.
Please note that you are still able to install Chatstack as you always have, if your web hosting account or server supports PHP and MySQL. You can still simply upload the PHP files with FTP or SFTP, setting up your MySQL database through cPanel or Plesk and running through the web-based installation. The Docker and containerized deployment options just give you an alternate method of deploying Chatstack within your company if your business chooses to adopt this option. By containerising Chatstack it will allow us to focus on some more advanced features that will be added to Chatstack in future upcoming releases.
Firstly, what is Kubernetes? Kubernetes is a managed, production-ready environment for deploying containerized applications and will allow you to easily run containerized applications like Chatstack in the cloud for production and development purposes.
We plan on offering supported Kubernetes configuration options within a future update along with guided instructions on how to deploy Chatstack within a load balanced configuration starting with Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Cloud SQL within the Google Cloud Platform. Please contact us if you’d like early access to get started with this for your Chatstack deployment.
As part of Chatstack’s future development we are sharing some of the exciting new features and the development roadmap that we plan on moving towards for the next few releases. Below are some details on what we are working on at the moment including some highlights on what have planned for future updates. Please note that this may not include all features currently in planning.
Stay tuned for future blog posts on the Chatstack 6.0 roadmap. We’ll have additional details on these 6.x releases and features in the near future.