OTRS has many features. The following list gives an overview of the features included in the central framework.
The features of OTRS
Easy and initial handling with any modern web browser, even with mobile phones or other mobile computers.
A web interface to administer the system via the web is available.
A web interface to handle customer requests by employees/agents via the web is integrated.
A web interface for customers is available to write new tickets, check the state and answer old tickets and search through their own tickets.
The web interface can be customized with different themes; own themes can be integrated.
Support for many languages.
The appearance of output templates can be customized (dtl).
Mails from and into the system can contain multiple attachments.
Support for mail attachments (MIME support).
Automatic conversion of HTML into plain text messages (more security for dangerous content and enables faster searching).
Mail can be filtered with the X-OTRS headers of the system or via mail addresses, e.g. for spam messages.
PGP support, creation and import of own keys, signing and encrypting outgoing mail, signed and encrypted messages can be displayed.
Support for viewing and encrypting S/MIME messages, handling of S/MIME certificates.
Auto answers for customers, configurable for every queue.
Email notifications for agents about new tickets, follow-ups or unlocked tickets.
Follow-ups by references or In-Reply-To header entries.
Expanded queue view, fast overview of new requests in a queue.
Tickets can be locked.
Creation of own auto answer templates.
Creation of own auto responders, configurable for every queue.
Ticket history, overview of all events for a ticket (changes of ticket states, replies, notes, etc.).
Print view for tickets.
Adding own (internal or external) notes to a ticket (text and attachments).
Access control lists for tickets can be defined.
Forwarding or bouncing tickets to other mail addresses.
Moving tickets between queues.
Changing/setting the priority of a ticket.
The working time for every ticket can be counted.
Up-coming tasks for a ticket can be defined (pending features).
Bulk actions on tickets are possible.
Automatic and timed actions on tickets are possible with the "GenericAgent".
Full text search on all tickets is possible.
OTRS runs on many operating systems (Linux, Solaris, AIX, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Mac OS 10.x, Microsoft Windows).
ASP support (active service providing).
Linking several objects is possible, e.g. tickets and FAQ entries.
Integration of external back-ends for the customer data, e.g. via AD, eDirectory or OpenLDAP.
Setting up an own ticket identifier, e.g. Call#, Ticket# or Request#.
The integration of your own ticket counter is possible.
Support of several database systems for the central OTRS back-end, e.g. MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, MSSQL).
Framework to create stats.
utf-8 support for the front- and back-end.
Authentication for customers via database, LDAP, HTTPAuth or Radius.
Support of user accounts, user groups and roles.
Support of different access levels for several systems components or queues.
Integration of standard answer texts.
Support of sub queues.
Different salutations and signatures can be defined for every queue.
Email notifications for admins.
Information on updates via mail or the web interface.
Escalation for tickets.
Support for different time zones.
Simple integration of own add-ons or applications with the OTRS API.
Simple creation of own front-ends, e.g. for X11, console.
GI is a flexible framework to allow web service interconnections of OTRS with third party applications.
OTRS can act in both ways - as a provider (server, requested from remote) or requester (client, requesting remotely).
Simple web service connections can be created without programming by configuring the Generic Interface.
Complex scenarios can be realized by plugging in custom OTRS extensions that add perl code to the GI infrastructure on different architectural layers.
Connectors expose parts of OTRS to Generic Interface web services.For example, a ticket connector exposes the ticket create/update function, so that they can be used in a web service regardless which network transport is used.
A scheduler daemon process supports asynchronous event handling. This is useful to asynchronously start web service requests from OTRS to another system, after the agents request has been answered (e.g. when a ticket has been created). Otherwise, it might block the response, resulting in increased response times for the agent.
With the Generic Interface new web services can be configured easily by using existing OTRS modules, without additional code. They can be combined to create a new web service. When configuring a new web service connection, the administrator has to add:
A new web service in the admin GUI
The basic meta data (Transport type (SOAP), URL etc.) and
Existing operations (part of a connector) and specify for each operation how the data must be mapped (inbound and outbound)
A Generic Interface Debugger will help the OTRS administrator to check how requests are coming in and how they are handled through the different layers.
Network transports: SOAP/HTTP. Others like REST and JSON are scheduled to be added in the future depending on customers demand.
Configurable data mapping Graphical User Interface for key/value transformations with respect to incoming and outgoing data.
Graphical debugger to check the configuration and flow of information of configured web services.
A ticket connector allowing the use of OTRS as a web service for ticket handling.
Additional network transports (REST, JSON).
The GI will replace the iPhoneHandle as the backend for mobile apps.
Additional connectors will be added to provide more parts of OTRS for use with web services (e.g. to allow the creation, update or deletion of agents, users, services or CIs).
The DynamicFields Feature replaces the existing ticket and article FreeText and FreeTime fields with a dynamic structure that will also allow to create custom forms in OTRS.
An unlimited amount of fields can be configured using an own graphical user interface for administration.
The fields can have different types that can be used for both, tickets and articles. Available by default are:
Date and time
New custom field types (e.g. custom field type dropdown with an external data source) can be added with small effort as the fields are created in a modular, pluggable way.
A future scenario is, that DynamicFields can be used for objects other than tickets or in custom modules. For example, a custom module adding objects to handle "orders" in OTRS could use the DynamicFields to attach properties/data to these orders.
A database update script will transform historic FreeText fields and related configuration settings into the new structure.
Multiple email addresses can now be specified as 'To:', 'CC:' or 'BCC:' when creating a new phone or email ticket.
Inbound phone calls can now be registered within an existing tickets (until now, only outbound calls were registered).
It is now possible to exclude articles of certain sender types (e.g. articles from internal agents) in the SysConfig from being displayed in the overview preview mode.
A certain article type can be configured which will display articles of that type as expanded by default when the view is accessed.
The screen shown after moving a ticket is now configurable. Options are the ticket zoom view (LastScreenView) or the ticket list (LastScreenOverview).
With the new bulk action, outbound emails can now be sent from multiple tickets at the same time. As tickets can have different queues, and these queues each can have different templates, salutations and signatures, these are not used in the Bulk Action email.
An additional bulk action allows configuring the ticket type for selected tickets.
OTRS will now create events for each of the available escalation types (response, update and resolution). This allows performing actions (such as notifications) before the escalation occurs, in the moment it occurs and in the moment that the escalation ends.
A new generic agent notification module allows the OTRS administrator to define messages that will be shown in the agent web front-end when agents log into the system.
All kind of times are from now on calculated by and based on the application server only solving the issues that were caused by variances between the clock times of application and data base servers.
The speed for rendering and article display was improved, thanks to Stelios Gikas <firstname.lastname@example.org>!
PostgreSQL 9.1 support added.
A new legacy driver is now available for PostgreSQL 8.1 or earlier versions.
User Centered redesign of the Graphical User Interface which results in a dramatic shift from a comprehensive but static to a more powerful and dynamic application using state-of-the art technologies like Ajax, xHTML and optimized CSS.
New Ticket and Article Indicator
This new feature has been implemented on both ticket and article level. It allows an agent at a glance to check for any updates within a ticket or on the article level to check for new and unread articles. You benefit from increased transparency and decreased response times.
Optimized Fulltext Search
The new search feature allows you to flexibly customize the way you browse the information base. Options the new search feature provides range from single search-string searches to complex multi-string boolean search operations including various operators. You benefit from fully customizable searches according to your needs.
New Ticket Zoom View
The redesign based on Ajax technology allows agents to display complex and linked information structures in real-time while keeping the agents' current working environment. The agent will benefit from increased orientation and increased workflow efficiency.
Global Ticket Overviews
Well known from OTRS 2.4 the global ticket overviews have been optimized to achieve increased inter- activity. Depending on the use case and preferences of your agents they can easily change the ticket overviews layout according to their special needs. Options are small, medium and large, each providing a different degree of information details.
The redesign includes common accessibility standards WCAG and WAI-ARIA which also allows disabled users to better interact with OTRS Help Desk. The US Rehabilitation Acts Section 508 has been fulfilled.
New Customer Interface
The customer web front-end can be integrated to your organizations intranet and is fully integrated into the redesigned help desk system.
OTRS 3.0 now offers a new archiving feature. With a separated archive you'll benefit from a reduced time spent for searches and increased display of results.
Licensing changed to AGPL Version 3
Why AGPL instead of GPL? - AGPL and GPL are identical, with one exception: For software used in an SaaS environment Copyleft is effective in AGPL - which is not the case when using GPL. Keeping in mind the growing world of SaaS, ((otrs)) wants to ensure that future developments continue to return to the OTRS community. This is the reason for the switch to AGPL.
Why v3 instead of v2? - GPL v2 is getting older and has, especially in the USA, various legal uncertainties. In the opinion of ((otrs)) GPL v3 is keeping the spirit of GPL v2, and at the same time has been tailored to new needs. ((otrs)) views GPLv3, more specifically AGPLv3, as being the best balanced Copyleft Open Source License available today, offering Protection for copyright owners and users and providing the best security under the law.
New Management Dashboard
The need for a system-spanning, next to real-time, and personalized presentation of useful information led to an integrated Management Dashboard. It is possible to create plug-ins to display content from individual extensions alongside the standard content. Standard plug-ins are:
Ticket volume (new & open) from the last 24h, 48h and 72h
Calendar including an overview of upcoming events (escalations, auto-unlocks, etc.)
System-wide overview of ticket distribution within the queues
First Response Time/Solution Time of Queues
Integration of RSS
New Standard Reports
The new reports provided with OTRS 2.4 are:
Required working time per customer / per queue
Solution time analysis per customer / per queue
Answer time analysis per customer / per queue
New Master/Slave Ticket Feature
With the Master/Slave Ticket, it is possible to link multiple tickets of a similar nature, and handle them collectively. As soon as the problem is solved, only the master ticket must be closed. All other tickets will be closed automatically, and the solution text for the master ticket will be sent to all customers of slave tickets.
A new link type 'Slave' will be available. All tickets with this Type of link will inherit the following actions from their Master ticket:
Change in FreeText fields
Pending time changes
New Rich-Text/HTML E-Mail Support (WYSIWYG)
With this feature, it is now possible to write e-mails, notes, and notifications in rich text format (HTML format). Using a WYSIWYG editor (What You See Is What You Get), it is possible to comfortably write using formatted text and even include in-line pictures.
New Out-Of-Office Feature
With this new feature it is possible for all users to activate "out-of-office" to notify colleagues and OTRS of the period of their absence. The out-of-office feature is active for a time frame set by the user. Activation of this feature has the following effects:
In the lists in which an agent can be selected as owner or responsible (i.e. Ticket creation or changing ownership), the period of absence and the time till return will be shown behind the user's name. This will help making the absence of the user more transparent.
If an agent receives a follow-up during a period of absence, the ticket is automatically unlocked and a notification is sent to all agents in the queue. This allows immediate reaction to the customer follow-up by another service employee.
New Ticket Overviews and global Bulk Action
Flexibility of presentation within the ticket overview is a must. Based on the "S/M/L" (Small/Medium/Large) Ticket View every agent has the possibility to change the view for each type of overview (Queue View, Status View, etc) on-the-fly with a simple mouse click on the appropriate icon. This allows for the highest possible level of individualization and adjustment to any operational situation.
Additionally, decentralization of the Bulk Action feature integrated the Bulk Action in all ticket overviews (Bulk Action allows processing of multiple tickets at a time).
Postmaster Filter recognizes Follow-Ups to internal forwarded messages
Currently, e-mail replies to forwarded articles arrive in OTRS as email-external. The problem is that the answers to these forwarded articles can be seen by the customer in the web- interface. Although it is possible to classify e-mails of an entire domain as email-internal, this only shifts the problem. Also, such step makes it impossible to properly service customers in the domain, as the customer would not be able to track tickets in the customer web-interface any more. With this new feature, e-mail replies can be traced back, and email- internal or email-external will be set based upon the original Forward-Article type.
Configurable event based notifications
Until now, a very inflexible notification could be sent to an agents and customers, for example Agent: New Ticket or Customer: Status Change. In order to make the notification system more flexible, a complete overhaul was performed on the messaging mechanism. The new system allows messaging to agents, customers, or a dedicated email address, based on the event taking place.
With this, it is now possible to just inform the customer when the ticket has been closed. Or, for example, when a VIP customer creates a ticket, a message can be sent to a specific address. Events (i.e. TicketCreate, TicketStateUpdate, TicketPriorityUpdate, ArticleCreate), and all known message variables (i.e. <OTRS_TICKET_TicketNumber> <OTRS_TICKET_Priority>), are freely selectable for creating triggered messages via the web interface.
READ-ONLY Permissions and Notifications with watched Tickets
In the current release of OTRS it is possible for a user to maintain a Watched Tickets List. This feature is dealing with tickets marked as "subscribed" by a user. It has the advantage that users no longer lose track of tickets marked as "sub- scribed", and are able to view them on an individual list. The "Read-Only" Feature - Up to now, tickets marked as "sub- scribed" were shown in a list, however, the agent could only actually view them if they were in a queue for which the agent had read permissions. With the "Read-Only" Feature, agents subscribed to a ticket always have read permissions on the ticket, even if the ticket is moved to a queue where the agent has no permissions. "Notify" Feature - Via a personalized setting, every agent can define whether or not to receive notifications about tickets, just as the owner and responsible of a ticket would receive. This allows for active tracking of watched tickets.
OTRS can receive and send mails in multiple ways. All currently available methods for receiving emails have been implemented within OTRS 2.3 (POP3,POP3S,IMAP,IMAPS). Until now, there were two options for sending emails: using a local MTA (Sendmail, Postfix, etc.) or per SMTP. In OTRS 2.4.x, SMTPS (Secure SMTP) has been implemented in order to keep up to the growing security standards.