Luckily, we are pushing code more frequently than we are blogging. Here is an overview of what we have been busy with in the past few months, and what’s coming up in 2020.
First of all, stay safe people.
In these dark times surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic the whole Passbolt team is wishing you to be safe and well, take care of yourself and your loved ones. Our thoughts are with our community members on the front line and all those impacted during this unprecedented time, feel free to reach out if you think we can help in any way.
Since about a month we are all exclusively working from home which is actually not a big difference for us since most of our team is used to work remotely. We are making sure to socialize altogether a few times a week in order to keep our spirits high.
As some community members pointed out, we have been absent from our own blog.
Our last blog article being from 2018, it was high time for us to post and let you know about what’s going on at Passbolt. And there are quite a few things really.
What have we been doing in 2019?
In 2019 alone, there has been a total of 8 releases. This is equivalent to a release every 1.5 months. We have shipped a few things, for both Passbolt CE, Passbolt PRO and for the organization development.
Audit log (part 1)
This first part of “audit log” makes it possible to see the activity history for a given password.
Quick access was a much awaited feature. It gives the possibility to access passwords quickly without the need to open the main Passbolt UI. Quick access also makes it possible to filter passwords using the same filters as is in the app and even to create new passwords.
Auto-fill adds the capability to automatically fill a sign-in form and populate the username and password with the information stored in Passbolt.
LDAP admin UI
Email notifications admin UI
We also invested some time in documenting Passbolt API extensively. The whole documentation can be found here: https://help.passbolt.com/api
Some improvements were also done. Among them:
- Small UI / UX improvements: creating permalink to passwords, the ability for admins to to resend invites or disable MFA for a user, etc.
- Performance improvements, mainly when a few thousands of passwords are involved.
- LDAP: OpenLdap and FreeIPA support
- And many others. Check our release notes for the full list
- Upgrade to CakePHP 3.7 and then 3.8
- Migration of CanJS workspace components to React. This is still ongoing. This migration is time consuming but will help us ship features faster on the long run.
We have been running a bug bounty programme with YesWeHack since summer 2019 which proved to be useful. A few (minor) vulnerabilities have been found and fixed.
Passbolt Cloud launch
A lot of our users were asking for it since the launch of Passbolt Pro, so we’ve done it. It took us a lot of sweat and the sacrifice of our summer holidays to be able to launch Passbolt Cloud in September 2019. The product got a warm reception and is bringing now a new flow of revenue which we can reinvest in the product development.
Want to have a look? Feel free to sign up for a 14 days free trial.
Passbolt Cloud has been developed with a state of the art architecture (based on Docker and Kubernetes) which would probably deserve its own blog article. Kudos to Diego, Passbolt Site Reliability Engineer (and official yo mama jokes teller) for the amazing not so visible work that he is doing to keep things running smoothly.
With the help and experience of Albert Casals, we have been working on a debian package for Passbolt CE (Passbolt PRO will follow). This package will make it even easier to install Passbolt in debian compatible systems and even on Raspberry Pi which is how Albert likes to use his Passbolt.
Early 2019 we have raised funds successfully from both business angels and the Digital Tech Fund (a joint public-private partnership with Expon Capital). Like us, they strongly believe in the efficiency of the open source model and its philosophy. They have proved themselves to be reliable partners and strategic advisors. Raising money was extremely useful for Passbolt since it helped us consolidate the team, invest in our infrastructures and basically implement very solid foundations for the future.
Thanks to Alka, our sales manager, and all the customers that chose to support passbolt, we are now quite close to break-even and the future looks bright for the project.
We will keep investing in both Passbolt CE and in our premium offers: Passbolt Pro and Passbolt Cloud.
Maxime aka “wild puppy” has also joined the Passbolt team since summer 2019, as back-end developer. His knack for beautiful architectures and quality code have added a lot of value to the team lately. You will soon be able to try some advanced features he took the ownership of (last in date: email notifications digest).
And of course we continue to help as much as we can with your installation issue on the community forum with the help of some community champions like garett. We are also present on github if you experience a bug (or broke the internet).
Ok, but what’s cooking?
As you may have noticed we stopped giving an ETA for features since it backfires all the time. We are optimistic by nature and we try to estimate our work with the best intentions, but we are rarely right. There is always some unplanned work that shows up: a library to patch, personal family events, or major pandemics will come to disturb such plans. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So from now on, we will just tell you what we’re currently working on, so you know that we are on it!
Short term objective: Folders, folders, folders
Since October, we have been quite busy with the implementation of our next big feature: Folders. After a few months working on this feature, the whole team grew to become obsessed with it. This is currently our sole and only focus (apart from keeping everybody safe). We will not leave our apartments until this feature is shipped.
Let’s be honest, we had completely underestimated the complexity and the effort needed. Just for the functional specifications, it took us easily 2 months and a countless pages of functional and technical documentation in order to cover all the possible scenarios and edge cases involved by the flexibility and granularity we want for the system.
We are now reaching the end and the result looks promising.
Our mid-term objectives are the same as described on our roadmap. Mainly, UI/UX improvements (for login, account setup, and main UI), advanced reports, escrow and custom fields (which will include files management).
Since recently, we are also getting a suddenly high demand for “external sharing”, which is the capability to share a resource temporarily with someone from the outside of the organization. If you have the same need, let us know by upvoting the feature in the community backlog.
In addition to these, we need to finish the front-end code migration to React.
We have also initiated the work regarding the development of the Passbolt mobile app. We have explored with a few partners the approach of building a mobile app using technologies like react native, in order to provide a unified experience on Android and Apple devices. However this approach proved harder to follow due to some core differences on how things are done when it comes to the auto-save and auto-fill of passwords and other native functionalities we want to leverage.
We have made some tangible progress on the UX that we are aiming for but will still need more time in order to dig into implementation.
Well, you possibly can. We could use some additional expertise on:
- Mobile app development (using native technologies).
- Home page / website redesign with a focus on telling passbolt story better.
- There are loads of “Low hanging fruits” to catch. You have a few days available and you know CakePHP or React and want to help, please contact us.
- Give us a star on github, a review on chrome webstore, or mozilla AMO.
- Help people experiencing installation issues on the community forum.