Support

Documentation

Chapter 1. Introduction and installation

Introducing Akeeba Ticket System

Akeeba Ticket System is a component which allows you to create a support ticket system area in your website. The users will be able to create public or private tickets which can only be replied to by themselves or designated support staff. Integration with Joomla!™'s access control allows you to fine tune who can create public or private tickets (or not allowed to post any tickets all), who can provide attachments and who is member of the support staff.

Key features:

  • Deep integration with Joomla!™ ACL (access control).

  • Nested categories at an infinite depth, using Joomla's native Category management system.

  • Meaningful and predictable SEF URLs with automatic canonical URL redirection without the need for a third party SEF component.

  • An interface built around our bespoke CSS framework, using modern CSS 3 (Grid and Flexbox), integrating perfectly with most Joomla 3 templates without the need for template overrides.

  • Optional Dark Mode, always on or automatically enabled based on browser settings.

  • Custom module positions, allowing you to easily customise front-end pages.

  • You can turn off replies / new tickets with an optional message e.g. for holidays or planned maintenance periods.

  • Select between a BBcode editor (forum-style) or your favourite WYSIWYG editor (e.g. JCE, JoomlaCK Editor, TinyMCE and so on).

  • Automatic HTML sanitisation to prevent XSS exploits and other security issues.

  • Private and public tickets.

  • Attachments support. Optionally make attachments only visible to and downloadable by the ticket owner and the support staff, even on public tickets.

  • Users can set their signature in the Joomla! user profile.

  • Manager notes, for keeping private notes visible only to support staff and store them encrypted in your database.

  • Pre-filled new ticket body, customisable per support category, guiding the user to enter all the necessary information you need to help them.

  • Email notifications of new, replied to and edited tickets with customisable, HTML templates..

  • Receive new tickets or ticket replies via email.

  • Credits system: charge per ticket type or per reply, integrating with Akeeba Subscriptions.

  • Integrates with standard Search and Smart Search, making public tickets searchable.

  • Automatically displays related public tickets when the user files a new support ticket, reducing your support load.

  • Automatically displays related Akeeba DocImport3 articles when the user files a new support ticket, reducing your support load ("FAQ" functionality).

  • Optional guest tickets (tickets filed by users who do not yet have a user account on your site).

  • Assign multiple tickets to a "bucket" and send mass replies to all of them.

  • Saved replies ("canned replies") your support staff can easily use when replying to tickets.

  • Automatic replies based on rules including ticket age, who has replied to it, content etc.

  • Automation for common administrative tasks using either a real, CLI-based CRON system or by accessing a specific URL.

  • Custom ticket statuses when the default (Open, Pending and Closed) are not enough for your use case.

  • Time cards, i.e. how much time each member of the support staff has spent replying to tickets over a specific period of time.

[Important]Important

Some features are only available in the for-a-fee Akeeba Ticket System Professional edition. They are not present in the Akeeba Ticket System Core edition.

What Akeeba Ticket System is NOT

The term "ticket system" may mean different things to different people. Before we discuss what Akeeba Ticket System is not, let us explain the context in which Akeeba Ticket System is designed.

A ticket system, as implemented in Akeeba Ticket system, means that you have customers creating tickets in different categories. Each category typically represents a particular skill set, area of expertise or product your company or organisation offers support for. You have teams of support people for each of these categories. Any one of them can answer any ticket in the category. On most tickets only one person will handle each ticket and if they have to escalate they will assign it to someone more apt to the task, implemented by assigning the ticket to the other person.

If a ticket would only be visible to support staff if someone else (let's call them an "admin") assigned it to them then the support staff would not answer any tickets unless that "admin" went first and dispatched tickets. That's quite the opposite concept to a ticket system. If you need something like that stop looking for a support ticket system and start looking for CRM software. What we described in this paragraph is one of the main tenets of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution.

Akeeba Ticket System is not a CRM, nor are we interested in making it possible to be used as a CRM. This design goal has some very important corollaries:

  • You cannot have different administrative / concierge staff and support staff. If someone can assign tickets to someone else they can also themselves be assigned tickets and reply to them. Conversely, if someone can be assigned and reply to tickets they can also assign tickets to someone else.

  • You cannot have predefined escalation paths (workflows). The status of a ticket can be changed to any other status any time by any member of the support staff. Escalation paths (e.g. an Open ticket must first go to first level support before being tagged as "needs review by supervisor") is something that a CRM can handle and requires separate roles for the staff which, as we explained, is something that will not be implemented in ATS.

  • The support staff cannot see only the tickets assigned to them. They will see all open tickets with the Latest Open Tickets view, even if they are assigned to other members of the support staff.

  • Any member of the support staff can reply to any ticket, even if that ticket is assigned to a different member of the support staff. In our experience, when doing support you will frequently need the combined experience of two or more members of your support staff to handle complex cases.

  • You cannot display the total time spent per client. You can pull a list of their tickets and see the time spent on each one, but you definitely cannot print a cumulative report or, most importantly, display a report per week, month, year or other time period. This is what a CRM or a project management software does.

  • You cannot handle client invoicing through Akeeba Ticket System. This is what a CRM sometimes does (and definitely what an invoicing application is designed to do).

  • You cannot have an FAQ section inside Akeeba Ticket System. This is a feature that's best implemented using Joomla! itself. FAQ sections are a relic of support ticket system software which runs outside of a CMS (Content Management System) like Joomla!. Since you'd need a way to provide organised content for the FAQ section they implemented a miniature CMS. But Akeeba Ticket System runs inside one of the most advanced Content Management Systems out there: Joomla!. It is simply against reason trying to duplicate the functionality of Joomla! inside a Joomla! component when you can simply use Joomla! itself to handle content.

If you need any of the above features the Akeeba Ticket System is NOT for you. You would become frustrated with it and ultimately not be able to use it.

If you are unsure if something you want is possible please ask us a pre-sales question. We always reply to pre-sales questions honestly. If your use case is not compatible with the existing features and / or design goals of Akeeba Ticket System we will tell you upfront. We prefer to lose a sale than having a frustrated user because we recommended that they use software unsuitable for their use case.

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