Tuesday, November 20, 2012

OTRS Tuning: Part 5 - Customers

OTRS has its own database for managing customers. Yet another great feature.

Adding new customer
Whenever a ticket is created, a mail is automatically sent to the email address of the customer. Moreover, the customer has a portal through which he can raise new tickets, view open tickets as well as view history of closed tickets.

The customer portal can be accessed using the link


Customer Portal

OTRS Tuning: Part 4 - Managing Ticket States

A wonderful feature about OTRS is that we can actually create different states for tickets as our requirements. The steps are really easy.

Admin > States

Overview: Ticket States

OTRS Tuning: Part 4 - Managing Responses

We can set a couple of predefined responses that may be used while responding to tickets, so that we don't need to type the same thing over and over again. For example, I have created two responses - one for updating tickets and one for closing tickets.

Overview: Response (Admin > Responses)

New Response: Update
New Response: Close

Assign Response to Queue (Responses <-> Queues

Assign Response to Queues

OTRS Tuning: Part 3 - Managing Salutations, Signatures and Queues

OTRS supports custom Salutations and Signatures, that will be used with each ticket. Furthermore, OTRS also supports Queues to categorize tickets. For example, we can have separate queues for bandwidth problems, separate queues for routing problems.

This way, all the tickets may sorted out based on nature of problem and different agents may be assigned to different queues so that the ticket is handled efficiently.

Here's how we can manipulate them-


Admin > Salutations

Custom Salutation


Custom Signature ( Admin > Signatures)


New Queue (Admin > Queues)
While adding the queue
  • Make sure that the queue is assigned to the proper group
  • Proper system email address
  • Proper Salutation
  • Proper Signature

OTRS Tuning: Part 2 - Setting Up Sender Email

I am assuming that the there is a valid domain with a working mail server. Here's how the sender email is set -

Admin > Email Addresses

Setting up Email Address

OTRS Tuning: Part 1 - Agents and Roles

I'm attaching snapshots of basic OTRS Server tuning.

OTRS is highly customizable, and I would recommend you to explore the application to find out all the available options.

Part 1: Accessing

Login Screen

OTRS login page for users can be accessed using the link: http://IP/otrs/index.pl

Default admin username: root@localhost
Default admin password: root

Part 2: The Dashboard and Admin Page


Part 3: Creating Roles and Agents

Roles and agents are necessary to define which user can do what.We will be creating separate agents and roles, and assign agents to specific roles.

Overview: Roles (Admin > Roles)
Creating New Role
Overview: Agents (Admin > Agents)

Creating New Agents

Assigning Roles to Groups ( Admin > Roles <-> Groups )

Assigning Roles to Groups

Assigning Roles to Agents (Admin > Roles <-> Agents)
Assigning Roles to Agents

Monday, November 19, 2012

OTRS on CentOS 6: Setting up the System

In this post, we will be discussing about setting up OTRS, an open source helpdesk/ticketing system. It is a web based application, which is very handy, as I personally found it robust, client database support, email notifications and automatic ticket escalations. For more details about OTRS, this site can be checked http://www.otrs.com/en/

In this post, we will be demonstrating how to set up the system. Configuring and tuning would be discussed in later posts.

Phase 1: Setting up packages

I have said it before, and I will say it again, adding repoforge repository for yumserver is a very good idea. This link may be helpful: http://repoforge.org/use/

yum install wget mysql-server mysql php-mysql httpd perl-URI perl-Net-DNS perl-IO-Socket-SSL perl-XML-Parser mod_perl perl-TimeDate perl-Net-DNS procmail

Phase 2: Installing OTRS

Just googling would give us a tons of link to download OTRS. I am providing with a copy that I uploaded to my Ubuntu One.

wget http://ubuntuone.com/39dFh9EZeDcroaJEkYAYfx

 rpm -ivh otrs-3.1.8-01.noarch.rpm

Phase 3: Preparing mySQL

We would be starting the mySQL service and setting up the root password for it.

mysqladmin -u root password NEWPASSWORD
service mysqld restart; chkconfig mysqld on

That should do the trick

Phase 5: Tuning the Webserver

That's easy as well. Here's how it's done-

cd /etc/httpd/conf.d/
mv zzz_otrs.conf otrs.conf
service  httpd restart; chkconfig httpd on

Phase 6: Tuning firewall and SELinux

I am still not comfortable in working with SELinux. So, I have disabled it.
The firewall needs to be tuned as well, and in this case, I am flushing the firewall. Make sure that your firewall matches your requirements.

iptables -F
service iptables save

Phase 7: Finalizing

This is the final step. OTRS has a web based installer, which makes installation of the software a very easy task. The web installer can be accessed through the following url:
Web Installer

Of course, you need to use your own IP address. Just following the on screen instructions should be enough.

And that's it. In the next section, we would be discussing about how to configure and tune OTRS.

Hope that helps.