OTRS Joomla! Gateway open source software released by Cognidox

A problem faced by most companies is how to manage web-based customer support in a way that delivers fast service and reflects well on the company.

Cognidox has made available free open-source software that provides a way of integrating two of the best and most commonly-used open source products– the Joomla! CMS and the OTRS help desk system. Their gateway component enables Joomla-based sites to access OTRS tickets.

The benefit of Joomla is that it enables non-experts to build impressive-looking and robust web sites without needing to know HTML. New articles can be added by anyone with login rights, and there are many free or low-cost extensions and templates available to provide the right form and function for the website.

The benefit of OTRS is that it provides a flexible and highly scalable solution for managing customer requests. This makes it imminently suitable for Help Desk, Customer Support or IT Service Management applications. Each case or incident becomes a “ticket” that is assigned to the right person(s), with email notification and reporting functions available. If it is found to be a software bug it can be tracked to resolution in a software bug-tracking system.

Both are free and open source which allows for code customization without any vendor dependency or lock-in. Both have impressive user lists: OTRS is used by Wikipedia, and companies using Joomla include eBay, McDonalds, Palm, Ikea, Sony, Pizza Hut and GE.

The ‘gap in the market’ is for a great trouble ticket tracking solution that can be used as a Joomla component. There is nothing as good as OTRS available for Joomla. But OTRS uses its own web templates, and that results in duplication of web-coding effort. Also, the help-desk component then looks and behaves in a different way from the rest of the Joomla-based site. With the OTRS Joomla Gateway, OTRS tickets are part of the Joomla web site template, and the user experience is seamless.

Downloading the software

You can download the OTRS Joomla gateway from:

http://www.cognidox.com/opensource/otrs-joomla-gateway

You will find full installation and configuration instructions, as well as a tutorial video, at the same location. The OTRS Joomla gateway software is distributed under the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPL).

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