I have now implemented a "Trouble Tracking System" for people to use to request help from the Systems Team (Yes, a Systems Team of one. ;-). This messages is also on the Web server on Mercury. (mercury/systems/sysadmin.letter.html).
Why implement a trouble tracking system? A trouble tracking system has several benefits for users, as well as the systems team. The big win for users is that it helps me remember all the requests that come in. (It means I can't say "I forgot" when you ask me why something hasn't been done yet.) It also gives the users a chance to see where their request is in the queue, as well as what other requests have higher or lower priorities than their ticket(s).
The big win for the systems team is that it also helps me prioritize my work, estimate the time I need to do all the work, document common problems at our site, and estimate how long new tasks will take me.
There are two ways of submitting a request for help, either via email or via the web server. Currently, submitting a ticket via email is the preferred method.
To submit a ticket via email, send email to "sysadmin", with the subject being a brief description of the problem you are having, or of the task you with the systems team to work on. Please include a longer description of your problem in the body of the message, as well as any other relevant details as you can think of.
You will receive a response from the system within a few minutes to let you know that the system has received your request. This response will also tell you who the ticket has been assigned to, and the "Trouble Ticket Number" of your request. Please save this message, as this number will allow you to use the email and finger interfaces to the system for future queries about your ticket.
To submit a ticket via the Web server, point your browser to http:/mercury. Once there, click on the "Systems Team", and then click on "Submit a Problem Report". This page lets you enter assorted information fields for your request, and will submit it to the system for you. As with the email interface, you will receive a response from the system within a few minutes to let you know that the system has received your request.
If you have a problem submitting a ticket, please let me know (via email to me (ewedaa), voicemail(ext. 494), pager (520-1215) or finding me in person) if you do not receive a response. This would indicate a problem with the system that I will need to know about so I can fix it.
There are three ways of viewing the status of a request for help, either via email, the Unix finger command (Functioning next week) or via the web server.
To access the Web pages to view the reports and individual tickets, point your browser to http:/mercury. Once there, click on the "Systems Team", and then click on "Trouble Ticket Reports". This page lets you view assorted reports that are generated every hour from the database. These reports are lists of the open or closed tickets sorted by:
These reports will show you either every open ticket, or every closed ticket in the system.
To view an individual ticket when viewing one of the reports, simply click on the ticket. This will bring up the ticket.
There is not yet a search engine in place, so you will need to look for any individual ticket by hand. If you know the ticket number, open the report that is sorted by Ticket Number. Otherwise you might want to look at the reports sorted on either "Who Sent The Ticket" or the "Ticket Type" (A search engine is slowly under development, and is expected to be done by Q2, 1996.)
To view the status of your ticket via email, send mail to sysadmin_status with your trouble ticket number in the subject of the message. NOTE: Your trouble ticket number is five digits. For example, to request the status of ticket number 00005, your subject would be "00005", not "5". Within a few minutes, you should receive a copy of your ticket via email. Once again, please let me know if ( via email to me, voicemail, or finding me in person) if you do not receive a response.
To view the status of your ticket via 'finger', you would enter: 'finger ticket_number@mercury', with your trouble ticket number replacing ticket_number in the finger command. NOTE: Your trouble ticket number is five digits. For example, to request the status of ticket number 00005, your command would be 'finger 00005@mercury', not 'finger 5@mercury'. Within a few minutes, you should see a copy of your ticket. Once again, please let me know if (via email to me, voicemail, or finding me in person) if you do not receive a response.
Data on this page last updated on Thu Dec 14 16:15:00 PST 1995.