Everything you need to know about WISP 2

They said it wouldn’t be done. Some said it couldn’t be done. After a half-year of delays and false starts, we’re finally ready to upgrade all our customers and finally deliver on our promises.

We hope the update isn’t a major event for most of you, but WISP 2 is a major update for us. It’s an important stepping stone to make sure WISP doesn’t suffer long term from technical debt and to make the leap onto a more modern technology stack sooner than later. We can now focus back on our core goal and values – bringing unique and innovative features to your customers.

Top-line items for admins

  • Update is rolling out at the start of Febuary – 12th or 13th currently
  • New client & admin (formerly application) API
  • Custom CSS & JS may need updating – will be disabled
  • There will be some downtime – ETA 1-2 hours
  • Audit logs & notifications will be cleared

Impact to your operations

If you use the WHMCS module or application (admin) API to automate deployment, you will need to update your systems or module later this year, when the new admin API is being rolled out. For now, everything will continue working as normal, and no changes are needed.

The client API isn’t going to continue working, and any implementations will need to be updated to utilise the new API. The good news here is that the client API will now be much more exhaustive, meaning your clients can basically automate anything they can do through the panel. You can share the new client API documentation with your clients here.

If you have custom CSS or JS that changes the design it will likely need updating. The front end has been rebuilt using tailwind, so all the classes are different now. One advantage of the new frontend is that we hope to soon allow more extensive modifications to the front end, and we’ll be posting more information on that as soon as possible.
For now, as soon as the update goes live we will disable any modifications to prevent things from getting ugly. However, you will be able to view and re-enable your modifications in the admin area easily. Any custom branding will continue to be used like normal and shouldn’t need updating.

There will be some downtime. Generally, we always try to avoid downtime on the game panel, so this is something that we understand might cause some frustrations and we will aim to minimise this as much as possible.
From our internal testing, we expect it to last around 1-2 hours. The amount of time this actually takes may vary a bit. However, this is the only downtime we expect.

Notifications and audit logs will be purged as a one time action when we release the update since the new systems are more advanced and the old data isn’t directly compatible.

The admin area has been updated. The design is now inline with the rest of the product, and I’ll let the screenshot below speak for itself. Everything should be in roughly the same place, so you should have no issues adjusting to it.

There are some minor changes, one being the ability to re-send announcements. A slightly more major update to the admin area is that all admin API keys are now shown, instead of just yours.

Impact to your customers

There are a few changes that will be immediately apparent to your customers. However, none of these changes should impact their user experience negatively. There will be some changes to the site UX that you should be aware of.

One obvious big change is the navbar change from the top to the side. The new navbar design has the same page navigation structure and can be changed back to the top in the user account settings.

As you might have noticed, there is also now an option for users to set their language in their account settings. The default can be set in the admin area. More information on languages below.

The graphs are one of the most used features by customers. So we made sure the graphs feel as premium as the rest of the game panel.

  • We made them animated, obviously
  • Then we made them really fast. They’re so fast they will dynamically adjust the animation speed based on the latency from your server on the fly
  • They show data values on mouse hover, to allow faster interpretation
  • They have longer timespans. You can now switch between a 5 minute and 1 minute timeframe on the graphs

There will be lots of minor changes your customers might notice, and I’ll run through some of those quickly.

File searching is now built into the file manager
Audit logs have a new look
Creating schedules is more verbose and uses cron syntax
Easier SFTP access for supported applications

Some other small changes they might notice:

  • The site now has skeletal loading
  • Subuser permissions now include literally everything
  • You can upload folders through the file manager (drag & drop)
  • Startup parameters save automatically as you edit them
  • Backups can be scheduled and locked to prevent accidental removal
  • Disk usage is now visible realtime

In conclusion

You will not need to make any immediate changes, and staff shouldn’t need any training to use the new admin area. The admin API and WHMCS module will continue to work as normal, and we will be providing an updated module when we release more documentation on the new admin API. There will be a deprecation period in the future for the old admin API before we eventually phase it out, but you will have ample time to update any integrations.

Your customers shouldn’t have any unexpected surprises or issues using the new site. The most major change that people might take some time to adjust to is the navigation being moved to the side – we hope the setting to switch back in the account settings will remedy any friction from customers who dislike the change.

Additional languages will start to be rolled out soon after the update, and if you want to help contribute towards a language keep an eye on our Discord.

What next?

Once we iron out all the teething issues with the new update (we’re sure there will be some) our focus will be on features and better customisation. Updates should be more frequent.

There shouldn’t be another update-blocking-update in the future like this. The final major hurdle will be the daemon rebuild, paving the way to allow more extensive modding and customisation – but this isn’t something we are going to start on for a while at least, and it shouldn’t result in updates to the panel being delayed while we work on that.

We should be releasing the front-end source code relatively soon, allowing you to take customisation to the next level – watch this space.