IT Policies

Review: osTicket help ticket system

osTicket is a help system for anyone from small companies to enterprises that need a means for help ticket submission and tracking.

Recently I penned a blog post that discussed 10 Things you should consider when choosing a helpdesk system. In that blog post I mentioned one particular system that not only rose above many others, but accomplished it as an open source and free application. The osTicket system is one of the most flexible, reliable, pain-free help ticket systems available. But is osTicket the help desk system for your company? Let's take a look and find out.

Requirements

  • Web server (Apache recommended)
  • PHP 4.3 (or better)
  • MySQL 4.1 (or better)
  • MySQL database with valid username, password and hostname
  • Cost: Free, open source
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Who's it for?

osTicket is a help system for anyone from small companies to enterprises. With a remarkable flexibility, osTicket can be made to do just about anything you need it to do. If you need a means for help ticket submission and tracking, if you need to be able to assign tickets to staff, and alert staff and clients, you should take a good long look at this system.

What problem does it solve?

osTicket solves a very complex problem (one that any consultancy will understand) - that of keeping track of help tickets and customer requests. This enables the consultancy to focus on solving the problems of their clients instead of worrying about client requests falling through the cracks and leading to unhappy (or lost) clients.

Standout features

  • Simple installation
  • Ticket submission by either email or Web-interface
  • Auto response
  • Template replies
  • Attachment support
  • Internal notes
  • Knowledge base
  • Role-based access
  • Assign and transfer tickets to staff

What's wrong?

There is only one issue with osTicket and that is the lack of Exchange support. This, of course, can be circumvented by using a "connector" like Gmail. Other than that, you will be hard-pressed to find an issue with this outstanding system.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

No matter the size of your company, if you are looking for an outstanding help desk system, look no further than osTicket. Finding a better system will be a challenge - at any cost.

User rating

Have you encountered or used osTicket? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

4 comments
jmgarvin
jmgarvin

That's our software (ITSM/enteo/Centennial Discovery) ;-) We also make HEAT :-) With that being said, I quite like some of the features in osTicket and I like how it is pretty snappy. The interface is clean and it was a well thought out ticketing system.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Which application does your organization use to manage help desk tickets?

Kris.J
Kris.J

RT by Best Practical, on FreeBSD. I went thru a lot of them (including osTicket) figuring out which one we'd use, and RT came out on top.