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Personal Ticket Tracking System for Admins? 154

Posted by Cliff
from the to-keep-track-of-it-all dept.
sirfunk asks: "I am a student and part-time system admin for a few local businesses. Most of the businesses I work for do not have me come in regularly, I'm sort of on a on-call, fix-it-when-it-breaks schedule. I'm wondering if anyone out there has come across a personal ticket-tracking system, that would allow my businesses to submit tickets with their problems and priority. The primary requirement would be that the user interface (for my businesses) would be very simple. I've checked out Bugzilla and Trac both of them look way overcomplicated for my needs. Any ideas?"
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Personal Ticket Tracking System for Admins?

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  • One or Zero (Score:4, Informative)

    by joe90 (48497) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @07:49PM (#14822476) Homepage
    One or Zero works for me - http://www.oneorzero.com/ [oneorzero.com]

    • Quote from the One or Zero web site: "The OneOrZero Task Management and Helpdesk software is licensed under the latest version of the GPL."

      -
      Cheney's company is building [nytimes.com] prisons [halliburton.com] for the U.S. government.
    • Here's another vote for OneOrZero. I'm a sysadmin for a small 3 location retail company, and it's great. Simple enough that it takes almost no training to use, and it does the job. It looks really professional, too.
  • Forge
    • Helpful...
      • Thanks, I know it is. Because if you go there and search for 'ticket', there are more than a dozen high activity ticket tracking projects in the first 20 results.
        • And heaven forbid you want some real-world advice on pros and cons, gotchas, pitfalls and nifty features, ease of installation/maintenance, suitability for specific purposes, or any of that other stuff.

  • by Alaren (682568) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @07:51PM (#14822499)

    Seriously, use a dedicated email account. Call it "workorders@yourdomain.com." Sounds oversimple, perhaps, but I think it would be more than sufficient for your needs as described.

    If you need something more robust for tracking and database purposes (I don't know how you run your business, but this one primary reason for ticketing systems), it will by necessity be more complex for your users as well.

    • Seriously, use a dedicated email account. Call it "workorders@yourdomain.com." Sounds oversimple, perhaps, but I think it would be more than sufficient for your needs as described.

      100% right on. email is the way to go. they come to you, you can look at them easily (and anywhere), and you can easily respond if the fix is a simple one they can do themselves

      use a different address for each of your customers: joes.garage.support@example.net; keep it real simple, and everyone is happy

      • I'll second this second.

        I'll even give you a gmail invite if you need one.

        Just tell your folks to send you a news story email: how, what, where, when, why.

        Every one of your clients has email in some form. If they don't have an email address, call Wharton for a case study specimen.

        The best advice I can give you is as a one man operation, DO NOT get hung up on your own infrastructure. Every minute spent on your office is one less billable, or fullfillable moment of your life.

        Time happens, and you won't bel
      • I'd have to disagree here. The point of a form to fill out is to elicit more detailed responses from the ticket submitters. All too often if you only have the free-form of an email people won't give enough details of the problem to be able to start finding a solution. If you have fields like "what do you expect to happen", "what error messages, if any do you get?", "what do you do to replicate the problem?", "how urgent is a solution needed?", etc asks people many of the questions you're ultimately going
        • All too often if you only have the free-form of an email people won't give enough details of the problem to be able to start finding a solution. If you have fields like "what do you expect to happen", "what error messages, if any do you get?", "what do you do to replicate the problem?", "how urgent is a solution needed?", etc asks people many of the questions you're ultimately going to need the answer to solve the problem.

          So stick an HTML form in front of the email, with a textarea for each question.

          • You could do that, but like the other responder I think it's going to be a poor replacement for a real ticket tracking system. Why use a crappy form->email system when someone else has already created a fully functional system that's been designed for future expansion in mind?
  • RT: Request Tracker [bestpractical.com] is pretty good.
    • by ocbwilg (259828)
      I second that, RT is great. You set it up to query a POP account every 5 minutes and it automatically grabs issues emailed to you, creates a ticket, and sends a response to the requestor with the ticket number. It has a nice web-based front end so that your customers can log in an open tickets or review the status of cases, and it does everything that you would want from a ticket tracking system. Best of all it's open source, so it costs you nothing and you can modify it to fit your needs (though it is h
    • by Enry (630)
      What they said. RT rocks.
  • Track Plus [trackplus.de]

    Demo Version [emron.org]

    We ran it internally for a bit using Tomcat and MySql.

    The last I remember it was free for use for less than 10 users.
  • Cerberus Help Desk [cerberusweb.com]. There's a pretty simple web GUI, or you can tell your users to email issues to a support mail address and it'll enter them into the tracking system automatically. There's a free version that's 100% functional, except that it's limited to a single email address/ticket queue. For your purposes that sounds like that's enough.
    • Another vote for Cerb, Used it for a while now and i've had no serious problems. As said above the public web interface is rather ugly to start but easy enough to change

  • Does nobody at all do even a Google search before asking questions here. A ticket tracking system? Hmmm.....
    • Re:Good Lord... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jaseparlo (819802)

      Dude, there is such a thing as too much information. Same for people above who said sourceforge. He might *find* every ticketing system on earth through one of those methods, but should he have to research, download, install (including battering himself against poorly documented and painful to implement open source installs) and test every package he finds to decide what to use?

      For big orgs with a lot of technical users, RT is fine but for a small simple operation it's hopelessly overcomplicated. He wo

      • For big orgs with a lot of technical users, RT is fine but for a small simple operation it's hopelessly overcomplicated. He wouldn't find that out without spending a week googling and reading reviews and articles

        Bullshit.

  • by XiticiX (712612)
    We use MAGIC HELPDESK here where I work. It's clunky, but it works. I would have designed it much differently.
    • We use MAGIC HELPDESK here where I work. It's clunky, but it works. I would have designed it much differently.

      I hear that if you take the MAGIC MUSHROOMS first, the interface appears far less clunky.
  • Try "Request Tracker" http://www.bestpractical.com/rt [bestpractical.com] Easy to set up, scriptable, both web and email interface.

    Or do a search on freshmeat for "ticket system" or something along the lines.
  • I'm a nurse and part-time sysadmin for the nonprofit I work for (I know, I know, I agree it's a bad idea, but no one more qualified has volunteered to come and do it for free). I've been using the Backpack ToDo list [backpackit.com]. I have a Thunderbird template on each computer that has the email for a backpack page and TODO in the subject line. In the body, the submitter has to put their computer ID, the problem, and either "urgent" or "annoying". Backpack is set up to SMS me when messages come in, and then I can cate

  • Hi, I suggest that you try out Mantis. The company I work at used to use Bugzilla before but the interface was overly complicated and fugly to look at and nobody really ended up using it. Right now we use Mantis at work and its quite a change from bugzilla. Very decent interface. It has an advaned and a simple mode as well. http://www.mantisbt.org/ [mantisbt.org]
    • I considered bugzilla at our business, but some of the users reporting bugs, would never figure that out - I installed Mantis and it was a success - So much so, that they started using it to request features etc ;P
    • Mantis is cool.
      it's kinda source forgey, and you get to run it yourself on your own server.
      customization of certain things is possible and they're improving it all the time.
      I found customization of the views (i.e. the columns you see when viewing all your bugs) wasn't supported and you had to hack PHP files. though who knows, maybe they'll fix that soon too (or already!)...

      There's also Gforge, which aims to be like sourceforge, though last I tried to use it I felt confused, which was maybe like 3 years ago
    • I Agree with the parent. Mantisbt is one of the best out there. Very easy to configure (at least when I used it last about 18 months ago). It is also quite easy to customise and reprogram. This is what I did. I did a major edit of the ssource code and the database in order to customise it for our own internal mini-helpdesk. It worked brilliant (I think it was version 17 or 18). The reporting is also fantastic. The reason why I had to customise it was because it was geared towards "bug reporting" but I wante
    • I've used Mantis for years and it is wonderful - pretty easy to use, flexible, powerful, easy to install, just lovely. There are two things to bear in mind, though, out of the box it doesn't support time keeping of any sort (besides adding a custom field), and also its UI is a bit tricky to configure, it isn't templated so you have to jump into editing its core files. Its PHP & MySQL-based, though they've recently added a database abstraction layer so you can try hooking it up to MSSQL, PostgreSQL, et
  • Seriously. Many CS classes (assuming you are a CS student) will have you do some medium-sized projects anyway. Why not kill two birds with one stone?

    I wrote a web-based trouble ticket tracking system for my Database Processing class.
    • This presumes he is a CS student. While that may seem obvious, it is not at all a given.

      I knew plenty of philosophy majors that were admins in their spare time, and currently work with an Oracle developer who is studying Latin.
    • Heh, I'm actually a Music student. I could write my own, and I plan to if I can't find anything suitable that already exists. However, I don't want to re-invent the wheel, nor do I really have time to.
      • I did write my own. I used a LAMP environment, and it took me a day and a half - and I'm not a real programmer. It's one 13k php file and 4 mysql tables.

        My users are, to be frank, not the brightest bunch (aircraft mechanics...), so their interface just asks for a name, their location, and a short problem description. click a button, and it sends the three of us in the department an email. There's also a list interface to see what tickets haven't been taken yet.

        It's quick and simple, but there's nothing to s
  • Might be a little overkill.

    But it's got the necessary features and much of the advanced stuff. I've used this at a job and it worked well. Hardest part was the setup (short-steep learning curve for the initial config).

    Install went smooth enough.

    MySQL, apache, PHP base. Maybe some other stuff needed too.

    Cons:
    - Too many options to sometimes (overly complicated) maybe.
    - Without a nicer template, the default look isn't pretty. Maybe not so hot for customer facing.
  • http://www.unipress.com/ [unipress.com]

    Unipress Footprints has a lot of nice features: calendaring, submission by form, instant web chatting and VNC support, time tracking, built in knowledgebase, and more.

    It's not free, but it's what we use at the college and it works great.
  • Once you get it set up, Mantis [mantisbt.org] is pretty easy to use. You can have a simply interface for creating tickets, with more information available to those who work, verify, and close the tickets.
  • OSS Choices (Score:3, Informative)

    by futuresheep (531366) on Tuesday February 28, 2006 @08:07PM (#14822653) Journal
    There's a few packages out there that you can run on a LAMP server, including the following:

    PHP Helpdesk [sourceforge.net]
    PHP Support Tickets [phpsupporttickets.com]
    Trouble Ticket Express [troubleticketexpress.com]

    • Try Request Tracker from www.bestpractical.com.

      We are on our second revision and are very happy. For most users we have an email address they send tickets too. As we interact with the ticket they get updates via email. They can reply to this email and it gets added in with the ticket. Really accessible interface.

      They also have an add on wiki available that is fairly usefull and integrated.

      Just a note... this is based on mod_perl and may be ram intensive(512MB for us).

      The config is also kinda wierd and tedio
  • I had this same problem recently and came up with PmWiki's bug tracking solution. Small, Wiki based, nice looking. Slightly complicated to set up but not anything like TRAC (I recently set this up and it was a nightmare). http://www.pmwiki.org/wiki/Cookbook/PITS [pmwiki.org] In the comments thread there are some updated versions that include decent installation instructions. You can check out my installation of it here: http://mcquay.org/bugs/ [mcquay.org] Hope this helps.
  • I successfully implemented req [neu.edu] a few years ago on a job. It's entirely e-mail based, i.e. it's easy for your customers to interface with.

    Another option (a little more modern) would be RT [bestpractical.com]. Our security group is using it with success. They get at least a hundred new tickets every day and RT made it possible for them to deal with all of them in a timely manner.

  • by pci (13339)
    I'm going to suggest IRM [stackworks.net], it should do everything your looking for and keep track of the computer systems (inventory) on each site.

    I used to use it and liked it.
  • If an ASP.Net app meets your needs, you might check it out. Free single user version I believe.

    http://www.smarterticket.com/Products/SmarterTicke t/Default.aspx [smarterticket.com]
  • In all seriousness, you could try building one yourself. Firstly, it allows you to build it to your exact specifications and tastes. Secondly, it shouldn't be too difficult, especially if you're looking for something simple. I wrote a pretty nice one with plenty of features for my IT department in an afternoon, with a couple more hours of testing before it was rolled out.
  • OTRS is the way to go.. been trialling it here with another person (two admins, ~200 users).. works a treat.
    • I tried to install OTRS a long time ago when I was setting up my small hosting business... I was never able to get it to run within Plesk. The setup for it is ridiculous, and has almost no documentation at all... I wound up using OSTicket [osticket.com]. It meets my needs, by no means anything flashy, but it does the job.
  • JIRA is great! http://www.atlassian.com.au/ [atlassian.com.au]
  • Definately give elogd a spin. Customized inputs. security, self-contained web server, xml exports, simple configuration, very quick, searching, yada yada. I used it for a few years for ticket tracking when I had a smaller number of customers. Worked like a charm. See it here: http://midas.psi.ch/elog/index.html [midas.psi.ch].
  • What about somthing like Sharepoint Services. Have a public facing Sharepoint site, some custom forms, and maby even a calander. You could even post some documentation, like an explaination as to WTF "PC load Letter" means.
  • http://zwiki.org/ZwikiTracker [zwiki.org] is easy and effective. See the links demonstrating three different views (use login x, x for the last). Also works in Plone.
  • Oracle Application Express Tutorial: Building an Issue Tracking System

    http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database /application_express/tutorials.html [oracle.com]

    Application Express is included in the Oracle Database 10g Express Edition.

    http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/database /xe/index.html [oracle.com]
  • [I'm the author of Roundup]

    I get good feedback from people using Roundup [sf.net] for this sort of thing (amongst others).

    You can set it up to accept mail in, and for each new ticket (issue) created, it sets up a little mini-mailing list of the author and the people cc'ed on the incoming email.
    • I would also like to recommend Roundup. I used it at a previous place of employment. The nice feature (which other trackers probably also have) is that a user can send an e-mail to the Roundup tracker, and it'll generate a ticket.

      In general, you can modify an issue through the commandline or through the web interface or through e-mail. Of course, I don't think anyone uses the command line interface.

      Also, Richard does a great job of responding to any issue regarding Roundup, just see the mailing lists.

      Al

  • http://perldesk.com/ [perldesk.com]

    Best $100.00 I've ever spent. It even allows tickets to be accepted via email with an auto-responder.
  • i'm actully glad to see the question asked, i'd like to see some of the other options...

    i was researching this a couple weeks ago, and have decided to give osticket community version a try.

    i've used wreq in the past and recommend it, and will also check out RT, it is we documented and even has an oreilly book! both of these are heavy perl based, where as osticket is more php/mysql based. make sure to check out the community version, the commercial version is a little stale... in any event my requirement was
  • Well, you didn't say free or open-source, so I'll throw out the suggestion of FogBugz [fogbugz.com]. For a single user it would set you back $129. It has a whole interface for dealing with external users (ie: your clients) where they just send an email to an email address you setup and it goes into the system as a new issue. It then sends them an email back giving them a link where they can track the status of the issue. Within the issue, you have the ability to add notes that are either hidden or visible to the clie
  • We've had a lot of success implementing OSTicket [osticket.com]. It's an open-source (and apparently now abandoned) ticketed support system. You can still find the code on the message board at that site, along with some modifications.

    It's at least a start. It took us a little while to implement, but now it runs like a dream. It seems to offer everything you're looking for. It's PHP/mySQL based. Hope that helps!

  • I've used it for years, simple easy email and web driven work request system. Here's the site [duke.edu] and here's a live WREQ queue [duke.edu] to poke at with read-only access.
  • If you can stomach paying for it (it's pretty cheap). Jira from Atlassian is the best out there right now. it has all of the features of the free ones and a whole lot more and they are a pretty good citizen of free software (they contribute quite a bit to the community).

    I spent a long while looking at the free alternatives and jira really blew them away.
  • by lucm (889690)
    If you are looking for something running on Windows, BugTrackerNet is a nice solution.

    http://btnet.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    This is a .NET web application, easy to setup and very user-friendly. There is also the usual support for mailed-in requests (POP listener), reports, flexible properties, and so on.

  • Create a self-contained HTML form with the submission action being a mailto url addressed to you. They can store it on their desktop or even open it as an attachment from an email you sent them. Then you can keep track of the issues in your email client. You could even have the url cc your phone or pager. Here is a page with good examples. [washington.edu] Also note that you should ask them to test it once because there are combinations of browsers and email clients that don't work or at least there used to be back in the
  • Even in a small office environment where we have tools for making/tracking requests, as well as an Outlook/Exchange setup with task management built into it, everybody falls back on email for the initial "can you help me with X?" questions.

    As was already mentioned, perhaps something like a dedicated email address that would enable you (or your ticketing system) to receive and enter this request yourself would be the best -- you could even auto-generate an email reply that would direct the sender to your
  • http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/ [bestpractical.com]

    It's what we use. It parses email to open tickets, generates replies, allows you to track an issue, handles attachments and it's open source.

    HTH,

    Queen B
    • I've used RT in many different environments now, and am completely sold on it. The last place I was at I combined Nagios alerts with an Alert queue in RT. If a critical alert was generated by Nagios, then a ticket was created. If the issue went away by itself (network link was down temporarity, etc), then the "Status OK" alert sent by Nagios would close the specific ticket that it had opened. We also used it for tracking user account and priviledge requests. All of this played a critical role in our passing
  • If you've got a lamp server, Horde WHUPS [horde.org] may be the way to go.
  • I wrote my own ticketing system in MS Access almost two years ago. In my system, there are only three tables, and two relations between the tables. The first table is the list of businesses using our services, the second is the employees that can be dispatched, and the third is the list of tickets reported in. When a ticket comes in, a new record is created in the tickets table, and the record is viewable from the business that reported the trouble. The tech then can add his name to the ticket and enter
  • I just looked into this. At first I was hopeful given the number of OSS problem/bug tracking progects out there. Some of them are pretty polished and work well for what they are designed to do.

    But then I realized that what I really want is just a simple web front end into an IMAP mailbox so that support personnel just manage tickets like they manage their email. In practice I suspect most "tickets" would be processed entirely without using the web front end at all. But regular users should be able to use th
  • I'm working on something like this for myself. It will be done "soon" depending on how busy I am with clients and the like. But when I'm done, you're more than welcome to the code. Feel free to e-mail me.
  • FogBugz [fogcreek.com] is great. Sure, it's a commercial system that you have to pay for, but it is easy to install, simple to use, has a very clean user interface and even has a philosophy. Believe it or not, the last point is the most important. The folks behind FogBugz seem to work really hard to adhere to the KISS pricipal [c2.com] and produce a superior product.

    If you compare them to workhorses like Bugzilla, Fogbugz seems very minimalistic, but it turns out to actually be more useful that way. The guy behind the folks
  • I'm shopping around for a bug/issue tracker at the moment as well. There are quite a few. This is a central problem with OSS, it's easier to write a new one than use someone else's.

    That is, there are too many problems with configuration management.

    In the time I have invested trying to find the right package, I could have written one that would have supported my needs quite adequately.

    But if anyone knows of one that is dead easy to setup, eg. uses sqlite or something like that as a backend, please post in th
  • phpaga is the perfect tool for this
    it also has mechanisms for you to track your time on each project and print invoices
    grab the latest cvs version of it
    phpaga.net
  • http://www.simpleticket.net/ [simpleticket.net] Its written using Ruby on Rails :)
  • ...and a cell phone. Take tickets by phone only so you can ask them right then and there "what do you expect to happen when you click there and what actually happens?" "what does the error message say?" "is the little green light in your ethernet card lit?". Write down the info you get from the phone call on a post-it note. Stick it on the side of your monitor. When the issue is resolved, put the note in a file or in the wastebasket, depending on how much archiving you want to do.

  • Request Tracker [bestpractical.com]
  • Another bug tracking tool to consider is Mantis [mantisbt.org]. We use it in our product to track a large number of small issues that the client is constantly coming up with; we think it works well.

    However, it's quite possible that it's also too complicated for your needs. I like the suggestion of a simple email address as a public interface; perhaps just install Mediawiki for yourself so you can store everything in it? I like wikis for keeping track of simple stuff.

  • I recall using RT (http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/features.html [bestpractical.com], I think) a few years back, and finding it very easy to set up and use. Clients even used it, as it could be linked to emails... Very cool.
  • While no ticket systems exactly, useful tools at http://www.37signals.com/ [37signals.com]
  • I think that Trac [edgewall.com] would provide you with all that you need. It combines the features of a wiki with an issues tracker. From their page:

    "Trac allows wiki markup in issue descriptions and commit messages, creating links and seamless references between bugs, tasks, changesets, files and wiki pages. A timeline shows all project events in order, making getting an overview of the project and tracking progress very easy."
  • http://www.otrs.org/ [otrs.org]

    Somebody mod the OTRS posts up! Its a really good OSS solution!

    The Open Ticket Request System is used by lots of commercial entities. We're using it around here and it works well. The latest version is a pretty big improvement on an already pro quality product. Its easy to change the graphics to reflect your company's look and feel.
    The price is right (free and OSS) and commercial support is available (we haven't needed it). FWIW, we have about 200 users and the OTRS stuff is running
  • http://www.isolsoft.com/ [isolsoft.com] - simple to set up, and easy to use.
  • I use itracker [itracker.org] for issue tracking on a few personal projects. It's easy to set up (just drop the EAR in a JBoss installation and configure a database) and easy to use.

    Not too fancy, but it should do the trick.

  • RUQueue [rutgers.edu] is an interesting rewrite of RT. I never really got into RT. I use RUQueue at work, and it works just fine. It may be too much for your needs, but it's worth looking into.

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