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What Is Trouble Ticket Express?
Trouble Ticket Express is a free, open source web-based help desk system. It can handle everything from bug tracking and customer support to project management and to-do lists. Trouble Ticket Express is a CGI script that runs on a web server and uses a plain text database. It can be upgraded to use MySQL or Microsoft SQL Server to make it a robust, scalable system that can grow as your business grows.
The first public release of Trouble Ticket Express was in December 2003. As of April 2015, the latest version was 3.01 released on February 11, 2010.
Why Should I Choose Trouble Ticket Express Hosting?
If you provide any service on a website, your customers need a way to let you know when they run into issues. And you need a way to track, organize, and respond to those messages quickly and efficiently. If one customer encounters a problem, chances are other customers will do so as well. The longer a problem goes unresolved, the higher the risk of losing those customers. To provide your customers with the best service possible, you need a trouble ticket system like Trouble Ticket Express.
The default installation of Trouble Ticket Express is easy to use and requires almost no configuration. It runs on any web server that supports CGI and it uses a text database. Some of its features are a web-based ticket browser, ticket message tracking, and email notifications. The default installation also supports an unlimited number of operators and usage reporting.
If you need a more robust and scalable system, you can extend Trouble Ticket Express with optional modules. These modules add features like email submission, a knowledge base, groups, attachments, and backup and restore. The most significant of these are modules for using MySQL or SQL Server for ticket storage instead of the default text database. Although the default installation of Trouble Ticket Express is free, the add-on modules are available individually for a fee. The prices are quite reasonable and well worth paying considering the powerful features you get.
Features of Trouble Ticket Express
Web-based. Work from anywhere: at your desk, on the road, or at home. You can access all features through any web browser.
Ticket monitoring. Customers and operators are always able to see ticket status and ticket owner information.
Correspondence tracking. The system displays each trouble ticket as a message activity stream. The status attribute shows whether the ticket is new, open, resolved, or waiting for more input from the requestor. Email alerts are sent out with every new and follow-up message.
UI customization. Template-driven software for effortless customization to match your website’s branding and appearance.
Multiple forms. Define as many customer service forms templates as you need. Add custom fields to your mail forms.
Unlimited operators. Create as many operator logins as your business needs.
Layout Designer: Allows custom field creation and ticket filtering using custom field values.
Mail Module: Enables submitting of new tickets and follow-up messages through email. Requires a web server that supports email piping. If your web server does not support piping, you must use the POP2PIPE Perl script. Note: The script is not a substitute for the Mail Module. It emulates the email piping feature that the module needs to operate.
File Attachment Module: Allows attaching up to three files to each ticket message.
Answer Library Module: Allows setup of a knowledge base of answers to frequent questions. Operators can use the library to provide near-instant resolution of customer requests.
Groups Module: Enables operator groups so the system can automatically assign tickets to the appropriate operators. You can assign operators to one or more groups and create as many groups as you need.
MySQL Module: Allows using MySQL as the trouble ticket database.
SQL Server Module: Allows using Microsoft SQL Server as the trouble ticket database.
Inventory Tracking Module Allows creation and management of lists of servers, workstations, projects, locations, and other items that help you provide your service.
Message Editor Module: Enables editing and deleting of ticket messages.
Export Module: Allows exporting ticket data to a CSV file for reporting and analysis.
Backup and Restore Module: Allows creation of a backup file that can be used to migrate or restore data.
How Do I Install Trouble Ticket Express?
Many hosting packages include Trouble Ticket Express and allow you to install it using a one-click installer or a control panel. If you prefer, you can download the software from troubleticketexpress.com and install it manually using FTP. Full installation instructions and troubleshooting are available on the site.
You must pay for and download each module separately and install it manually yourself. Each module has a set of instructions for paying, downloading, and installing the module. Before you buy and install a module, talk to your provider about any requirements or compatibility issues.
Pros and Cons of Trouble Ticket Express
- Free and open source
- Web-based for anywhere anytime access
- Offers more than your basic ticketing system
- Advanced features available only for a fee
- No new development since 2012 may cause incompatibility issues
Points to Consider
The default installation of Trouble Ticket Express is free and open source so it will not add to your hosting costs. The software is distributed under Apache License 2.0, which allows you to use, copy, distribute, and modify the software at no charge. The only requirement is that you grant the same licensing terms to redistributions and modifications.
If you find the default installation is not enough for your needs, you will need to purchase the individual modules as needed. The fees are a one-time deal and well worth it if you don’t mind paying just a little bit more. This is especially the case if you need a robust database for your trouble ticket storage.
There are a several alternatives to Trouble Ticket Express you should look at before deciding which application to go with. These include dotProject, Traq, and PHProjekt.
Trouble Ticket Express Server Requirements
Trouble Ticket Express requires a web server with Perl installed, CGI scripting enabled, and access to sendmail or SMTP relay. It supports both Unix and Windows hosting OSs and runs on Apache and Microsoft IIS.
If you do not want to pay extra for a trouble ticket system and are happy with the basics, Trouble Ticket Express is a good choice. It is an especially smart choice if you do not want to deal with a full database system. But if you want the advanced features, purchasing the individual modules as needed is well worth the cost.
Trouble Ticket FAQS
My hosting provider does not allow email piping. Is there a workaround I can use so I can add the Mail Module?
Yes. You can use the POP2PIPE Perl script to emulate email piping. You can buy and download the script by following the link on the Mail module download page on troubleticketexpress.com. Note that the script does not replace the module but emulates the piping feature the module needs to run.
Is there any way I can try out Trouble Ticket Express before I install it?
Yes. There is a demo installation on troubleticketexpress.com that is open to all visitors. The demo includes the Layout Designer module so you can see what customization of the ticket browser looks like.
I need to provide a trouble ticket system to my clients in a language other than English. Is there a way I can translate the Trouble Ticket Express UI?
Yes. You can find detailed translation help on troubleticketexpress.com as well as links to some third-party localization packages.