Detailed Timeline

Ask an Expert will be transitioning from a custom application built on a Ruby on Rails platform (the legacy system) to a modified osTicket open source platform. This is a detailed summary of the steps which will be taken to ensure a successful transition.

Phase 0


  • Various communication channels to let experts know Phase 1 is coming
  • Create a transition help site
  • Display a banner on to inform experts
  • Call for groups who want to pilot the transition
  • Tell experts they might start seeing assignments from a new system soon

Phase 1

August 15 to September 15

  • Onboard amenable groups to work in osTicket (concurrently with Ask an Expert)
  • Work directly with groups to collect feedback
  • Add additional groups to test scaling
  • Send communications to current experts. Salient points:
    • The Ask an Expert replacement system is live
    • It’s a phased transition
    • Select groups are piloting it via widget submissions
    • All widget questions will be transitioned in Phase 2.
    • Experts can test log-ins now and might start to get questions in Phase 2.
    • All questions will move to the new system in Phase 3.
    • Question submission widgets should be updated to the new code ideally by Phase 2, and required by Phase 4 (or widgets will 404)

Phase 2

September 15 (this date and the following have shifted later)

  • Intercept ALL widget traffic for the legacy system and forward to osTicket
  • Modify Rails code to display a message explaining the transition and display a link to the corresponding osTicket group question submission form.

Phase 3

October 1

  • Rails redirects ALL traffic to osTicket
  • Rails gracefully handles widgets (per Phase 2)
  • Organic search (SEO) conveys to new domain

Phase 4

November 15

  • Shut down Rails app
  • Legacy widget URL requests will fail
  • All requests are htaccess redirected to osTicket.
  • Any direct (i.e. bookmarked) specific URI request will go to the osTicket homepage
  • Organic searches (SEO) should work seamlessly because of Phase 3

Phase 5

December 15

  • Change transition domain to
  • Set up 301 redirects on transition domain

Phase 6

January 15

  • Shut down transition domain (or keep running indefinitely if not onerous)