Installing/Configuring the OTRS Ticketing System

Posted on January 24, 2012

I’ve been tasked with installing/configuring the open-source version of the OTRS ticketing system, with the ITSM modules, for evaluation here at work.  So far, I’m really happy with it.  I have the basics setup and ready to go and I must say that it seems easier to configure than FrontRange’s ITSM.  Another nice thing – IT’S FREE!  From my experimentation, it appears that since it’s completely web-based, it works on virtually any device with a browser and network access.  On top of that, there’s an iPhone app available too.  FRS’s ITSM product is .Net-based.   That means that it doesn’t really work with non-Windows devices.  ITSM Version 6 had a fairly robust web client available that could be used by the Mac people.  ITSM Version 7, on the other hand, drops that web client.  That means that Mac users are basically SOL, unless they use the free iPhone app.  “Ah”, you say,  “that’s simple enough.  Just download it and go!”.  Well, if only it was that easy.  To use the mobile client, you have to purchase the Mobile server module(s) – and the licenses to go with it.

OTRS Pros so far:
Initial install was straightforward.
A lot of configuration options.
Very flexible, due to the above.
Good support in the forums.
Totally web-based, so it works with virtually any browser.
Has an iPhone app available.

OTRS Cons so far:
A lot of configuration options = A LOT of configuration options.
Looks slightly “clunky” compared to FRS’s ITSM.  A certain amount of that can probably be corrected fairly easily – somewhere within the configuration options.
No tech support number to call – without paying for support.
No true Workflow engine to assist with ticket routing, etc.

We’ll see what else comes up as I move forward.


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