[Rt-devel] RT for helplines

Todd Chapman todd at chaka.net
Mon Jan 14 11:40:48 EST 2008


I think RT could do what you want. Some aspects would be harder than others
though. Custom fields can be applied to user accounts so that is easy.

Hiding the email address could be difficult. There a lot of places in the
interface where the email could appear. It would take some custom
development to hide the email but it could be done.

Approving correspondence would also be difficult but could be done with
custom software modifications.


On 1/12/08, David Barnard <david at didactylos.net> wrote:
> I am considering adapting RT to manage an email helpline. Not a
> technical helpline, but a crisis / mental health / support helpline.
> Volunteer helplines don't have the funding for a fancy commercial
> solution, and of all the free/OSS possibilities I have researched, RT is
> the best fit by far. It's not an exact fit, though.
> I would like your opinions on whether there is more suitable software
> than RT, and whether RT can be customised for my needs without rewriting
> a significant fraction of the code.
> Here are some details specific to the situation: instead of the
> issue/ticket being central, the whole thing revolves around the actual
> email conversation.
> Conversations will never be closed (except in very tragic
> circumstances).
> - This won't be a problem if I map each email to a separate ticket,
> resolved by sending a single reply.
> Responses must be approved before being sent.
> - I'm guessing I can suppress any emails when the reply is created, and
> raise an approval ticket instead. Approval will send off the email. (The
> goal is to have the reply seen by two people, so responses can't be
> approved by the same person who created the response.)
> I need to track some user metadata. Can I add custom fields to users?
> Confidentiality. Ideally, I would like to hide contact details such as
> the requestor email address.
> - I can think of a couple of ways to do this. Removing data from the
> UI, or creating dummy users. This may make searching difficult.
> I need to link new conversations with past conversations from the same
> person. This one should be easy.
> Emails should be answered in FIFO order.
> I may need to simplify the interface and terminology. Helpline
> volunteers will include total technophobes.
> Can anyone see any major flaws in my plan? How significantly will this
> diverge from the standard RT?
> Many thanks
> David Barnard
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