Step 1: Helpdesk
Manager performs centralized configuration &
step is for the helpdesk manager to install the
Issue Tracker Administrator add-in (IssueTrackerAdminSetup.exe).
Because helpdesk staffs can be scattered in
different geographical locations, the
helpdesk configuration and settings data are
stored in a special SharePoint list 'TeamIssueTrackerSettings'
(we refer it as 'Helpdesk Settings data
source') accessible to all helpdesk staffs.
This list is automatically
created when the manager configures the
admin tool the first time. Issue Tracker
Technician add-in installed on the helpdesk
staff's system would then connect to it and
retrieve the helpdesk logic and settings
data to the local system automatically.
During this configuration, the admin will be
prompted to specify the SharePoint URL and
then will need to choose an existing site
where the special SharePoint list (TeamIssueTrackerSettings)
will be created. The admin can choose to
create a new sub-site directly from the
dialog box too if required.
And once a site is chosen, click 'Save'
to finish the settings configuration.
What does the
Helpdesk Settings Data Source list store?
Administrator specified SharePoint ticket lists,
fields mapping, drop down lists for problem
categories and types, custom fields and email
templates for notifications are some of settings
that are stored in this 'Helpdesk Data Source' list.
you and other technicians can start raising trouble
tickets from Outlook
mail items, the helpdesk manager need to choose
destination SharePoint lists where the trouble
tickets raised from Outlook emails can be collected
Administrator chosen SharePoint
lists for collecting trouble tickets raised
by helpdesk staffs from their emails in
is followed by fields mapping between the Outlook
mail and SharePoint list. A mapping is nothing but an association
between an Outlook field (e.g., subject of the
mail item) to a specific SharePoint list field (e.g.,
have complete control over which data goes to the
SharePoint list from Outlook.
Fields mapping tool where the mail fields are mapped
to SharePoint List Fields
Through the mapping tool, you can easily choose
which fields from the Outlook items are to be
published to the SharePoint
list, and map fields between Outlook and the
SharePoint list. This mapping feature
also allows you to dynamically create new field of
the relevant data type in the SharePoint list, so
that you can associate it with an Outlook field.
To allow technicians to add extra meaningful
information to trouble tickets, apart from the ones
extracted from the email, helpdesk manager can
compile and maintain a list of problem categories
and types, statuses and any number of custom fields
drop down values in the helpdesk settings data
source list. So that these drop down lists are deployed to
all the technicians and available in their Outlook, for
tagging new trouble ticket when it is raised from an
Helpdesk Manager can compile the problem categories
and types to tag trouble tickets for better
organization and management
With advanced team
specific settings, helpdesk manager can also control
and streamline the behavior on how trouble tickets
are raised, escalated and tracked from Outlook to SharePoint. This streamlines the process of ticket
collection procedure for all technicians.
Helpdesk Manager can control how tickets are
collected, enable automation features, set
attachment policy and set notifications
Step 2: Helpdesk
Staffs install Technician User tool
able to raise trouble tickets from emails in their Outlook,
every helpdesk staff must install the Issue Tracker
Technician Tool (IssueTrackerTechnicianSetup.exe) in their system.
Once installed in Outlook, helpdesk
staff will be
prompted to specify the 'Helpdesk Settings Data Source'
If it does not show up, you can manually invoke it
by clicking the 'Set Helpdesk Settings Data
Source...' under 'My Options' menu.
'Browse...' to specify the SharePoint site where the
'TeamIssueTrackerSettings' list is located
Enter the SharePoint URL site to
show all available sub-sites and lists. If your
helpdesk manager had already configured Issue
Tracker System with the admin tool, there would be a list 'TeamIssueTrackerSettings'
that stores helpdesk configurations including
destination SharePoint lists and their corresponding
mapping settings. Select that list to maintain a
permanent link between the Technician add-in and the
Helpdesk data source.
The SharePoint list chooser dialog box,
where it shows all the available sub-sites
and their lists displayed in hierarchical
Now, click the Save button, to confirm the
connection. Issue Tracker Technician add-in is now ready to
raise trouble tickets from emails in Outlook
to one or more of the administrator chosen SharePoint
Step 3: Helpdesk
staffs raise trouble tickets from emails to SharePoint
you navigate to any Outlook mail folder, the
Issue Tracker Technician toolbar and ribbon are
available in the Outlook explorer and inspector window.
Issue Tracker specific ribbon available in the Home tab of the
Outlook Explorer window.
Issue Tracker specific ribbon available in the
Message tab of the Outlook mail inspector window
raise a trouble ticket, simply select one or more
mail items, and click the ' Raise Ticket in ' drop
down menu to show all the available administrator
specified SharePoint lists. Choose and click the
particular SharePoint list under which the ticket
item will be generated.
raise a trouble ticket in SharePoint from an email,
click a SharePoint list from the 'Raise Ticket in'
drop down list.
When you do this, relevant metadata
such as caller and problem details, attachments etc.
will be extracted from the email to the ticket item.
You can add further details to the ticket to be
generated such as, the
technician that will be responsible for solving the
ticket, due date by which the issue should be
resolved, and problem category, type and
status and any number of
Manager can add more information on the problem,
caller etc. to the generated ticket
Once a trouble ticket is generated
successfully in the chosen SharePoint list,
information regarding the ticket, such as the ticket
ID, data/time and the URL to the SharePoint ticket
are tagged and embedded into the email item in
Outlook. This not only provides an easy way to go to
the ticket item in the SharePoint site directly, but
also prevents other technicians from generating a
duplicate ticket, from the same email (a possible
scenario on shared mailboxes and mail-enabled public
Screenshot: After a ticket is created, the
mail item is tagged with information on the trouble
ticket such as Ticket ID and URL
In the SharePoint ticket item,
most of the fields
are populated with the metadata information
extracted from the Outlook mail item. For example,
the caller contacts detail, the problem description,
subject, attachments, formatting
and style, inline images and
links are retained in the ticket. Also notice that,
further information fed by the manager in Outlook,
such as the responsible technician, due date,
problem category, type and status and other custom
fields data are also available in this ticket.
Screenshot: This is how the trouble ticket in
the SharePoint list looks like
Escalation and automatic update of the
In the email
from which a ticket was raised, you will
notice that, in the subject portion, there
is an embedded phrase within brackets,
enclosing the SharePoint list code and the
ticket ID of the raised ticket item. For
Tracking tag and code are automatically
embedded into the original email
This phrase is embedded to
the original email for tracking purpose on
subsequent email conversations that might
happen. As long as this phrase is intact
when sending out response to caller, or when
caller replies back to the helpdesk, Issue
Tracker System will automatically track and
associate it with the correct SharePoint
list and ticket item.
The tracking code remains intact in the
subject of the outgoing email, thus allowing
for automatic tracking and update of ticket
This means, the ticket item
and description field will be updated
live automatically, as and when the email is
sent out or received. This greatly enhances
the productivity of the helpdesk because, no
technicians are required anymore to monitor
the mailbox for new replies from caller, nor
there is need to add and update the new
information to the relevant ticket manually.
Issue Tracker system automatically does that
The SharePoint ticket item is updated when any email
response is sent out from the helpdesk, or received
to the helpdesk.
Automated notification emails are
sent out to the caller, confirming about the ticket
allotment. A snippet entry is available in the
description field, that informs helpdesk staffs what
the type of notification was sent, when it was sent,
and to whom it was sent. Notification about the
ticket assignment is also sent out to the
When further email responses are sent
out to the caller from the helpdesk, the description
field of the SharePoint ticket is automatically
updated, to show the response made to the caller,
and by whom.
When the caller replies back to the
helpdesk, the ticket information is automatically
Step 5: Automatic
raising of trouble tickets
technician add-in provides a way for
automatic raising of trouble tickets on a
particular SharePoint list from new incoming
emails, without requiring your intervention.
This is achieved by
real-time monitoring of user chosen Outlook
mail folders or mailboxes.
Such automation comes very handy and productive,
if you have dedicated mail folders or
mailboxes that are solely for support
purposes. This spares you from having to
do that laborious work of selecting emails and
clicking a SharePoint list from the drop
down to raise tickets.
Automatic live publishing of trouble tickets
from mailboxes and mail enabled public