Looking for a good helpdesk application

Dear Lazyweb,

I’m looking for a good helpdesk application. Mostly what I’m looking for is tracking email trouble-tickets from thousands of customers. Can you recommend an app?

I’ve browsed Sourceforge.net, Freshmeat.net and Helpdesks.com and found a whole lotta apps that might fit the bill. But I just want one that works.

Any suggestions?


  1. Lee says:

    TJIC just mentioned it to me as well. Thanks!

  2. Matthew says:

    We find that Round Up works well.

  3. Highly recommend OTRS. Especially considering it seems to fit your bill: “Do you receive many e-mails and want to answer them with a team of agents? You’re going to love the OTRS!”

  4. Lee says:

    Matthew, I installed Roundup and I’ve been playing with it. I’m having trouble figuring how to “track email trouble-tickets from thousands of customers with it.”

    IE: having it generate a “thank you for writing, your trouble ticket is “45EB”. We’ll get back to you soon.”

    Am I missing something?

    I’m avoiding RequestTracker for now because we right now we don’t have any dedicated *nix machines. (yeah, I know… I know…)

    Next up, OTRS. I’m a little worried because the OTRS online demo runs pretty slow….

  5. Matthew says:

    Unsure exactly the workflow you’re looking for…. Roundup does handle email directly.
    You could have your users directly email Roundup, which would generate a ticket. Further changes to the ticket would email the user that generated the issue. Or once your receive a email from a user you could forward that email to Roundup, then track.

  6. Marah Fellicce says:

    would http://www.bugzilla.org/about/ do?

  7. Lee says:

    Bugzilla is more about bug tracking than customer support. It is pretty great for what it does though. Also, since we’re in a Windows shop, we (me and IT) have decided that only a Windows solution would do. We’re almost definitely going with OTRS.

  8. OTRS served my previous employer, and subsequently me, very well. The ticket system is stable and powerful and the head developer is very responsive. In addition to all this, OTRS is open-source. Glad to hear you’re considering running with OTRS, Lee. Let us know how it goes, whichever system you run with.

  9. M March says:

    I just setup OTRS.. and here is what I like about it:

    1. A zillion options to tweak.
    2. A nice customer ‘self-serve’ option.
    3. LDAP works well.. authentication works great.. and the search forms even use it to validate.
    4. It tracks HOW you communicate to customers.. email, phone call, etc.
    5. It’s use of ‘queues’ is very extensive.
    6. It handles incoming and outgoing email very well.

    Things I don’t like about it.

    1. Its written in Perl.. I personally can’t stand that..
    2. It doesn’t have the ability to publish RSS feeds.

  10. Lee says:

    (note to self for another project) http://projects.edgewall.com/trac/ looks like an interesting defect management system

  11. Lee says:

    I went with OTRS. I’ve had it up for about a week and it’s looking pretty good. It’s running a little slow, Apache pins the CPU every time there is a call but it runs consistantly. The authors leave workflow choices fairly open so I have to figure out how to integrate OTRS possibilites into what works for me and the company.

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