Not everyone is happy with the general way v7 is going, (v6 and v5 where better) and since it seems v8 is coming next year or is planned at least. What are your main wish lists for that new version looking it from a developer or business view. What do you like WHMCS to change, improve or even remove in the future?
Here is my list:
Make things more opt-in. Some things in v7 are not useful for more advanced users, like auto update, or the market store. I would like to have that stuff removed. Now I have more files and more bloat on my installation which I don't use and never will. This things should come as a separated module and if they are disabled or not installed, the code should not even be live in your server for security reasons, performance and just general simplicity. Less is more sometimes and many of those features I don't require as they are targeted to click one night operations, and not more longer power users that want to tweak and adapt WHMCS to their own operations.
A better bug tracker. Asking with a ticket if a bug is fixed or having to hunt down the change long on each release is painful and time consuming. Sometimes I think WHMCS as a company is very inefficient with some operations. Hiring people costs them money, so why do they want to babysit things like this. Having to answer tickets costs them time and this could be avoided with a proper bug tracker. This can't scale.
Better feedback from users
Feature requests. This is completely broken. Why use a different system when you have a nice community here? Build the feature requests and vote system here. If you don't want to build a bug tracker, you can even do the same here on the community for bugs and only customers with a valid license can access assuming WHMCS does not want to make this public.
Slow down with features
Longer releases. This could be a bit controversial but I would rather prefer WHMCS to slow down a bit. Every new release introduces more bugs than features. The Beta testing should be longer and I would be ok with maybe only 2 major releases per year. Just keep releasing patches for bugs. They are adding so many new things which are related to external services and I don't think they are aware the minefield they are creating. WHMCS should not be heavily coded to work with remote stuff. Try to build more things that work locally in your server instead of just releasing new features that require third party services.
Longer LTS releases. They are not long releases if they only last a year. Look how Microsoft does it, 10-15 years. Or even Red Hat. The people using LTS are companies or enterprises and I'm not saying WHMCS should support them 10 years, but seriously 1 year or just a bit longer? Most developers even support their normal releases for at least 3 years. The LTS should be a minimum 3 years unless the PHP or code they rely on is not supported anymore, which is a different story. Can you imagine if everyone else did the same to WHMCS developers? Imagine if PHP was only supported 1 year, or Smarty, or anything. It would be a nightmare for them. So if they are aware that they rely on such much external code now, they should give the same considerations towards their customers. Not everyone has the time to update and make all their integrations the day they are released. This is a billing and cloud/hosting automation software. Not a blog like WordPress!!! And with that I mean security patches. Not even bug fixes. They don't have to even fix bugs or release new features on those versions. But please, at least still support them with security patches for 3 years after launch. It's the responsible thing to do.
Mobile app is not updated for years. Show more love or open it up so we can add things. I have to rely on external services for ticket notifications and other things when this makes no sense if you have a mobile app. Instead of building things for something like Slack I'm seriously disappointed that WHMCS developers give more attention to external services then their own products. I can receive mobile notifications on third party services but not push notifications on my WHMCS mobile app. Shocking their own products are left to die.
Finally, open up. You are benefiting from open source developers work but do the opposite to your own customers that are developers.
Open up your code. Please just open up your code or at least the most important chunks to particular partners or companies. Make them sign what ever non disclosure agreement you want or even charge them. Your competition has none of your problems because the community can see and fix things. What is WHMCS so keen to protect here? Business users are not going to stop paying support and updates and they surely are not going to pirate the software. It's a bit childish, in particular because WHMCS would not exist today without open source work from others. WHMCS relies heavily on external third party open source code yet they even encode that. This is an insult to developers. They are taking all the code that is free and releases from other developers, and then pass Ioncube over it. One thing is protecting your code and licensing, the other thing is trying to protect code that is not even yours.
WHMCS is encoding so much garbage that I'm sure this is the root of most of their bugs and problem because we cannot fix or see what they do. This is the biggest downside of using WHMCS. I don't think any serious provider will consider WHMCS for this reason. It's a blackbox.
And I'm not talking here about the core, or billing stuff, or API stuff. No, WHMCS even encode things that affect your public website and cannot be easily modified or changed unless you make hacks around them software. You constantly have to intercept what WHMCS does and then transform the output because you have no idea what it does and how. It's a game I'm not willing to play in the future. Their competition advertises that they are 99% open code and only encode a few files related to the license. I don't expect WHMCS to do this but PLEASE if someone from the company is reading this, this is going to be your doom as a company in the next years. The minute competition comes up and is more open than WHMCS, those people are not coming back. Everyone is opening up in the software and technology industry. Even WHMCS would not exist as a company if it was not for other services developing API's which WHMCS is relies on for most of their connection. This is not the proper way to behave towards your developer customers. What exactly are they are trying to protect is beyond me. Even third party developers like Modules Garden and many others at least have an open version of their encoded modules. Everyone does at this point because they understand business users will not run things on their server they cannot fix, see what it does or just maintain. It's a trust thing. You would sell far more licenses and to people that actually have the money to pay.
Those people want to use the standard coding procedures WHMCS developers use. Not the stupid hooks and API to even change something like a link. And I say stupid because this is exactly how I feel about WHMCS v7 at this point. You have to make a special PHP hook code (the WHMCS way) to change the sidebar text, colors or links. In the past I could just open the .tpl file and change it. Why? Because WHMCS is removing code from templates and putting it behind the IonCube wall. One day, the templates will be worthless and most WHMCS websites that are customized are going to be horrible slow because users have to create 240 hooks to change colors, links, or even text.
Personally, I have access to all the database. And if I see v8 is not being more open but more closed. I'm moving out. I cannot trust my business operations to a company that wants to keep their customers under ransom. And this is how I feel when I cannot even fix the most simple bugs because the files are encoded. So my biggest wish list for v8 is for WHMCS to start being more open and trying to move towards that trend. They profit from open source but seem to hate open source which is a rather a strange business approach. One day, some of those developers may change their licenses and forbid their codes from being used in obfuscated software. If that day comes, WHMCS will have to remove that code from their software or change the way they work in terms of developing.