Features

New features of OTRS 3.1
GENERIC INTERFACE - A Web Service Framework
Current Features
Future Features
DYNAMIC FIELDS
TICKET MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS
Ticket creation improved
Inbound phone call support
Ticket overview preview improved
Ticket move improved
Bulk action improved
Configurable Reject Sender Email Address
PROCESS AUTOMATION
Escalation events added
Notification mechanism improved
Time calculation improved
GenericAgent improved
USER INTERFACE, RICH TEXT EDITOR, CHARSET
User interface performance improved
Rich Text Editor Update
Unicode Support - Non-UTF-8 Internal Encodings Dropped
DATABASE DRIVER SUPPORT
PostgreSQL DRIVER compatibility improved
MS SQL DRIVER compatibility improved
MAIL INTEGRATION
Mail handling improved
Top new features of OTRS 3.0
New features of OTRS 2.4

OTRS has many features. The following list gives an overview of the features included in the central framework.

The features of OTRS

New features of OTRS 3.1

GENERIC INTERFACE - A Web Service Framework

  • 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.

Current Features
  • 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.

Future Features
  • 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).

DYNAMIC FIELDS

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:

    • Text

    • Multiline text

    • Checkbox

    • Dropdown

    • Multi-select

    • Date

    • 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.

TICKET MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENTS

Ticket creation improved
  • Multiple email addresses can now be specified as 'To:', 'CC:' or 'BCC:' when creating a new phone or email ticket.

Inbound phone call support
  • Inbound phone calls can now be registered within an existing tickets (until now, only outbound calls were registered).

Ticket overview preview improved
  • 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.

Ticket move improved
  • The screen shown after moving a ticket is now configurable. Options are the ticket zoom view (LastScreenView) or the ticket list (LastScreenOverview).

Bulk action improved
  • 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.

Configurable Reject Sender Email Address
  • The feature allows configuring an email address instead of the administrator address to reject the creation of new tickets by email. This feature can be used in all cases where customers are not allowed to create new tickets by email.

PROCESS AUTOMATION

Escalation events added
  • 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.

Notification mechanism improved
  • 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.

Time calculation improved
  • 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.

GenericAgent improved
  • The GenericAgent can now filter for tickets change time.

  • In addition, the GenericAgent can set the ticket responsible for matched tickets.

USER INTERFACE, RICH TEXT EDITOR, CHARSET

User interface performance improved
  • The speed for rendering and article display was improved, thanks to Stelios Gikas <stelios.gikas@noris.net>!

Rich Text Editor Update
  • IOS5 support added.

  • Block quotes can be left with the enter key.

  • Update from CKEditor 3.4 to CKEditor 3.6, so improvements refer to the releases of CKEditor 3.5 and CKEditor 3.6.

  • IE9 support improved.

  • Resizable dialogs.

Unicode Support - Non-UTF-8 Internal Encodings Dropped
  • UTF-8 is now the only allowed internal charset of OTRS.

  • All language files are now formatted in UTF-8, which simplifies their handling and future improvements of the translation mechanism.

DATABASE DRIVER SUPPORT

PostgreSQL DRIVER compatibility improved
  • PostgreSQL 9.1 support added.

  • A new legacy driver is now available for PostgreSQL 8.1 or earlier versions.

MS SQL DRIVER compatibility improved
  • The MS SQL driver now stores binary data in VARBINARY rather than deprecated type TEXT as well as NVARCHAR to store text strings rather than VARCHAR (for improved Unicode support).

MAIL INTEGRATION

Mail handling improved
  • When connecting to IMAP mail accounts, it is now possible to handle emails from a specific email folder, other than the INBOX folder.

  • OTRS can now also connect to IMAP servers using Transport Layer Security (TLS), useful for modern restricted environments.

Top new features of OTRS 3.0

Context

  • 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.

Accessibility

  • 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.

Archive Feature

  • 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.

New features of OTRS 2.4

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:

  • Created Tickets

  • Closed Tickets

  • SLA Analysis

  • 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:

  • Status change

  • Email answers

  • Change in FreeText fields

  • Notes

  • Pending time changes

  • Priority changes

  • Owner changes

  • Responsibility 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.

Secure SMTP

  • 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.