Tickets Plugin 🎟

Hi @angus,

I’m a newbie here so please forgive any ignorance.

We’re trying out this plug in to see if it can replace our own home-grown ticketing system as it is in need of maintenance and we have precious little time to do so.

After configuring it, by adding tags to the appropriate tag groups, I notice that the tags are not showing up in the Priority drop-down, etc. We’re using bleeding edge Discourse (ie. beta10), so that may be all or part of the problem.

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated. Thanks.

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Hi Steven! Thanks for the report. I noticed this too and submitted a bug report at when editing PM/topic title: no longer able to add ticket priority, status, reason tags - Bug Reports - Pavilion so @angus is aware. You can add a metoo response there to let him know you are also experiencing this issue.

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Thanks Tobias. I attempted signing up on the Pavillion Discourse, in order to post the metoo, but it is not sending me a confirmation email. I have double-checked the email address and it is correct. And, yes, I checked my spam folder. :slight_smile:

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Sorry about that Steven. I can see two attempts on the Pavilion Discourse to deliver an email. We’ll need to check our mail service… (let’s take this discussion offline)

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Hey @sjhodgen, looks like mailgun doesn’t like your email address. I’ll pm you the details.

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Finally got around to trying this over the holiday weekend; thanks @tobiaseigen for reminding me.

Unfortunately I’m unable to select any of my priority/status/reason tags in the dropdown lists – whether the target post is a private message or a topic. I only get an empty list for all of them:

Has anyone else seen this? I set up some opions in each of the three tag groups that the plugin created, and for testing purposes opened them up to everyone to use. Wondering what I might be doing wrong…


Update: I just cross-referenced this at:

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@sjhodgen @downey, we’re facing this issue on our site – seeing exactly the same empty drop-downs.

I don’t see any JS errors or failing AJAX requests.

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@angus I’ve raised a pull request to resolve:

(we might want to make paviliondev the master now?)

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I’ve also pushed a fix to the Admin Tickets page which fixes those dropdowns too.

All fixes are already applied to the Pavilion fork and added to the above pull request.

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¿
How would I get this working with a normal
./launcher rebuild web_only
?

Just change the GitHub link for this plugin in app.yml to

https://github.com/paviliondev/discourse-tickets 

and rebuild, and you’ll be laughing.

Not sure what web-only means for your setup it whatever yml you use to build your instance is the file you need to change.

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yup, thanks

NB angus hasn’t officially migrated this repo to paviliondev but the latter is the only one working at the mo so …

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We normally split app.yml into data.yml and web_only.yml.

You need to switch repo by changing the clone command address on the app container.

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@merefield Thanks :slight_smile:

Generally this plugin has not been a priority for us. I originally built it specifically for @tobiaseigen, so I don’t have a great sense of how it’s actually being used.

If someone is using this, or wants to use it, on a real site, please describe the use case.

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Hi Angus! Thanks for asking - I’d also be interested in knowing who else is using it and if there is wider demand for improving it.

My organization uses this plugin very actively and depends on it. The primary use case is starting ticket PMs for various helpdesk related purposes. It is super handy to be able to quickly give tickets priority, status and reason tags and add them to a helpdesk team group. If follow-up is required, tickets can also quickly be assigned to someone. As tickets are worked on or age out, we change the status, unassign them, and archive them in the group inbox. We’ve turned on weekly email notifications about assigned tickets, and regularly check in with each other to make sure we don’t drop the ball. To give more insight, I shared our procedure below.

I also use tickets on my personal forum in combination with kanban to create and work on a backlog of personal projects. Geeky, I know, but it has been super helpful in helping me move forward on many different priorities without having to set up another system and allowing me to spend more time in discourse! As I move along, I am able to leave notes for my future self, update tags, and unassign when done. I also am able to loop in family members by mentioning them and getting their input quickly by email, though I have not been pushing them to log in.

I do not use the tickets dashboard on my personal site and discourage my work colleagues from looking at it because the filters and pagination do not work well - in fact, a setting to disable it would be welcome. I think the OP describes the roadmap quite nicely to create a tickets dashboard that would make this plugin highly valuable for many, not just my own organization - and I’d like to see it happen!

That said… it was interesting to lose access to the ticket tags pulldown for a few weeks - my team did not seem to miss it that much. Given that we do not have a well functioning tickets dashboard now, the ticket system is not as useful as envisioned for prioritizing and handling tickets, and for helping each other as a team. It’s quite possible that we could get by without the tickets plugin altogether and just rely on core discourse features (e.g. canned replies, reminders, whispers, solved, assigned). The ticket tags for priority, status and reason might also be streamlined - given that we do not have a tickets dashboard that lets us use them properly, it’s overkill to have so many options.

Tickets Procedure at my organization

No balls are dropped when handling correspondence with a ticket system, because each unresolved ticket is assigned to someone, and is given priority and status. All moderators can create tickets, but only admins can see personal messages. The helpdesk team is tasked with monitoring tickets and ensuring follow-up occurs with appropriate speed, so include @helpdeskteam in any tickets that need follow-up.

Procedures for oft repeated tasks include tickets, especially procedures with many steps over a period of time such as core membership, webinar planning, and inviting people to join the network.

Using the ticket system

Create tickets

As a moderator, you can make any topic or message on the forum into a ticket by editing the title and then selecting the big blue TICKET button. Tickets can be given priority, status, reason and assignee. By default, the @helpdeskteam group is included in all ticket messages so you can work together with the helpdesk team. You can directly add more users and groups here as well.

Once a ticket exists, its status and priority can be updated, and it can be reassigned or unassigned when it is resolved and there’s nothing left to be done.

Make strategic use of discourse features as you create and follow up on tickets:

  • Title - indicate what ticket is about in as much detail as possible
  • Canned replies - insert a prepared message and then personalize it
  • Tags - further categorize what ticket is about (e.g. country or theme)
  • Reminders - remind yourself to follow up (only visible to you)
  • Whispers - discuss privately with colleagues to ask for advice and update them
  • Solved - choose a reply that contains/summarizes the solution for the ticket (do not select whispers as only moderators can see them!)

Follow up on tickets assigned to YOU

Please follow up on tickets assigned to you on a timely basis. Once you have completed a ticket and there is nothing remaining for you to do, go ahead and unassign it.

You will be notified by email when a ticket is assigned to you by another moderator, and receive monthly reminders of pending assignments. Look for the link to your assigned tickets on your profile menu - see screenshot.

0c9c8aeb9772dff16d9f2d3e7f51b20ceed17a8b

Tickets in the @helpdeskteam inbox

We mostly use tickets to ensure message followup directly with members. You can see all of them in the @helpdeskteam group inbox. Typically we leave messages that need handling in the inbox, and archive them when they do not need handling or when they are resolved. That way the inbox remains a good place to look for messages requiring replies.

Some considerations:

  • archived messages return to the inbox when someone replies
  • you can unassign and reassign messages anytime as needed
  • messages must include @helpdeskteam in order to be visible to everyone on the team

Tickets in the forum categories

We also use tickets to ensure follow up on topics in the forum. This includes topics we create regularly such as #memberspotlight #featuredresource #introductions etc. Also flagged topics in the review queue can be assigned for followup.

Improve the ticket system

The ticket system status, priority and reason options can be gardened and improved to streamline how we prioritize tickets and move them through to resolution.

The tickets currently in the system have a mix of status, priority and reasons because of our evolving system. As we work through the backlog of existing tickets and create new ones, we can update them.

Features roadmap

@angus has created the ticket system plugin, which he can extend and improve for us based on our feedback. So feel free to give feedback below on new ideas for features or improvements. See Tickets Plugin 🎟 on meta for the latest info.

List of Ticket reasons

Reasons fall into the main categories below. If a specific reason does not exist within that category, just use the category itself as the reason. If you think a new reason should be added, reach out to the helpdesk admin.

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We use the tickets plugin as a first point of entry for creating new tasks and support tickets. The dashboard we don’t use much mainly because there was no support for ordering items - we stopped using the kanban theme for the same reason.

We now https://taiga.io for project management and still find Discourse and the ticket plugin useful for creating new tasks and support tickets.

We currently manually link up taiga and discourse related topics. We’re in the process of automating links between taiga and discourse. Having a simple way of running webhooks for ticket events would be super useful.

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Thank you for this plugin. I have some questions,

  1. How do I use this? Can you point me to the documentation or something to use this? I enabled it and got it running but can’t figure out how to use it.
  2. If I turn a topic into a ticket, then is the topic visible to only the creator and helper group?

The documentation is in the first post in this topic. What specific questions do you have that are not answered there?

Do note there are some known issues. For example I do not recommend using the tickets dashboard on the backend. But setting up the ticket tags and enabling adding ticket tags and assigning tickets when editing topic titles is working great.

To answer your second question… topic access permissions do not change due to this plugin. It just adds ticket tags and let’s you assign tickets to others. For PMs you can also add people or groups so they can see them.

Hi Tobias,
I read through the first post, but I’m sorry as I’m confused on how to use it exactly. How can someone create a ticket?

Thank you for the rest of the input.