ICC Home  /  Members  /  Meetings  /  Peer Support  /  Documentation  /  Projects

The IFAS Remedy System:

Return to IT/SA Services Documentation Home


IT Helpdesk Summary

Remedy is a web-based trouble ticket system used by the UF Help Desk which has been extended for use by IFAS. Fran McDonell, head of the UF Computing Help Desk has been most helpful in making this system available to us, and Adam Bellaire, has skillfully managed the programming of that system.

The End User Interface

End users submit requests via the http://support.ifas.ufl.edu website, aka "Ask the IFAS Help Desk". This interface requests that the user select one from a number of problem categories. The category picked automatically becomes the "Topic" of the ticket. This topic can be changed later when the consultant works on the ticket.

There are text boxes where the ticket initiator enters their Gatorlink username or UFID. If they don't know their UFID, they can look it up through a link. The user is also asked to enter their contact phone number and e-mail address along with a brief description of the problem. There is currently no method within this system for an end user to attach files (screen shots, etc.). If the user e-mails the problem to the IFAS Help Desk rather than by using Ask the IFAS Help Desk, the Help Desk consultant will enter a ticket on their behalf. Such e-mail would be the only current method for a user to assist the consultants by attaching supplementary materials.

Note: The UF system does have a crude method for a consultant to store and associate such materials with the ticket, but this is not available to IFAS currently. An e-mail to the UF Help Desk automatically creates a ticket using the e-mail subject as the ticket topic; this is not being done currently for IFAS.

Should the user have a problem pertinent to the UF system rather than to IFAS, there is a link to the UF Help Desk client screen.

Viewing of Ticket Status By End Users

At the top of that page is a "click here" link that an end user may use to display currently open and previously closed tickets which they had previously submitted via this system. By clicking on the "Details/Re-open" link in the "Action" column, Users can see the e-mail exchanges which have occurred on their tickets, but they will not see the internal Help Desk comments of the consultants which are made via the consultant interface. Users can also re-open a ticket here.

Controlling Ticket Assignment and Notification

The Remedy system has been modified to allow OU administrators to control the assignment and notification of tickets created by their own users. This may now be done via the web interface at http://remedyassign.ifas.ufl.edu. To use this site, you must logon with your ufad\if-admn credentials. From there you find your GatorLink username, select it, and are given the various routing options which you may control.

By default, the IFAS Helpdesk is assigned all tickets. If you wish, you may pick a single administrator (some units have more than one) to receive those. If that is done, any tickets your users generate will be assigned to that administrator. E-mail notification is always made to whoever is assigned the ticket. No matter who is assigned (either the Help Desk or some other administrator in your group) you may elect to receive an e-mail notification whenever one of your clients creates a ticket.

The assignment and notification can be changed at any time. You may find this useful, for example, when you go on vacation. If you want to be part of the Remedy ticketing system, please investigate the above sites and familiarize yourself with them. IFAS IT will be requesting that all incoming issues be resolved using the Remedy system.

The Consultant Interface

OU Admins have access to http://remedy.ifas.ufl.edu via their Gatorlink credentials. This site has a special interface for support personnel use. One function that can be performed there is to generate tickets on behalf of your users. You can do this by entering the Gatorlink username or UFID of the person with the particular problem and then clicking on the "New Ticket" button. This brings up a "New Ticket Contact Info" form where the "New Ticket" button is grayed out. You have to choose a primary contact method via the drop-down list box at the bottom of the form before the "Submit" button is activated and you can generate the actual ticket. If you had put in the Gatorlink name or ID of the person with the problem in the previous page, the rest of the fields are filled in for you (with the exception of the "contact" field where you can put in alternate contact info):

  • F. Name:
  • L. Name:
  • Title:
  • Email:
  • Gatorlink:
  • UFID:
  • Network Managed By:
  • Work:
  • Home:
  • Contact:

The Remedy Ticket Form

If you are creating a ticket for a user, the ticket isn't actually created until you follow through with one of the various options on this page. A new ticket is displayed in a form that has many options. One of these is required, that being the "Supported Service" option. This corresponds to the category radio buttons on the end user ticket request form, but provides a much finer granularity in categorizing the issue. If you select the "General Topics->Projects" entry, the ticket will be taken out of the general Help Desk queue and placed in the Projects Queue. This provides a way of keeping track of internal issues separate from end user issues. There are fields where the consultant can enter information pertinent to the problem, including a drop-down list box for OS and text fields for "Software" and for the "Problem Account Username". The "Problem Summary" field is blank on a new ticket, but this is where the ticket topic would be on an existing ticket and where you can modify that topic to make it more descriptive of a particular problem.

It is not readily apparent from the interface, but many of the items at the bottom of the form represent mutually-exclusive choices for methods of handling the ticket. (Note: this is likely the weakest and most confusing portion of the interface currently.) You may do one of the following at any given time:

  • Assign
    This drop-down list box includes the Gatorlink usernames of available consultants (i.e., IT support folks within IFAS). Adam was asked if those could be listed by actual name rather than Gatorlink username; he believed that was possible and said he would look into doing that. You can use this field to assign/re-assign a ticket to a particular support person for resolution. That person will get an e-mail notifying them of the assignment. Note that anyone can reassign any ticket to anyone else.
  • Refer
    This drop-down list box allows you to refer a problem to a group outside of IFAS. Currently, this list includes: CNS Net Services, CNS Open Systems Group, Active Directory Support, and the UF Bridges Help Desk. For some reason, the "Refer Ticket" button is not grayed out prior to selecting the target--this is inconsistent to the more logical button inactivation which is implemented in the "Assign Ticket" function in the line above and should likely be fixed.
  • Refer by e-mail
    This text box allows you to type in an e-mail address or list of e-mail addresses in order to refer the problem to someone who is not in the "Refer" list.
  • Send e-mail to client
    This button is used when you have resolved an issue and is the method for notifying the client of that. The ticket is then closed by default, but you may indicate that you wish it left open by using the checkbox given here. This is also where the "Client Kudos or Complaints" field (wherein I believe kudos is misspelled) comes into play; those are not sent to the client, but are kept for internal use.

Other options available include:

  • Save the ticket
    This button is used after using the consultant interface to modify the information within the ticket, when you want those changes saved.
  • Mark the ticket as pending
    This button is used when you have just gotten a new ticket and you wish to indicate that a solution is in the process of being formulated.
  • Close the ticket
    This button is used when you are completely done and want to close the ticket.
  • Send the ticket to UF Help Desk
    This button assigns the task to the UF Help Desk and would be used for problems outside our purview.

Viewing the IFAS Help Desk Ticket Queue

The very topmost link on the IFAS Remedy Web interface front-page allows a consultant to view the entire Help Desk ticket queue. The tickets are listed in table view with the oldest at the top (note: it might be more useful if the sort order was reversed). The various column headings are:

  • Edit
    This field is a link which you may click to edit that particular ticket.
  • Entry-Id preview
    This field is also a link which you may click to view a summary of that particular ticket in a small window.
  • Time/Date In
    This field lists the time and date when the ticket was first created.
  • Updated
    This field is the number of days since the last time any entry had been made on the ticket.
  • UFID lookup
    This field is a link to a directory lookup (by UFID) on the person with the problem.
  • Name lookup
    This field is a link to a directory lookup (by name) on the person with the problem. This might be useful if someone (mistakenly) has more than one UFID.
  • Network Dept
    This lists the Network Managed By code related to the person who has the problem.
  • Problem Summary
    This is either the category chosen by an end user entering the ticket via the "Ask the IFAS Help Desk" or it is that field entered or edited by the support staff.
  • Assigned to
    This field is not very useful in this and Adam plans to remove it. The reason for that is that the value here is only useful when the ticket is actually in an assigned status.
  • Updated by
    This field displays the UFID of the person who last updated the ticket.
  • Gatorlink ID history
    This field is also a link that will take you to a list of all past problems entered for that person.

The rows, each representing a particular ticket, are also color-coded as follows:

  • Yellow
    This is the default for regular tickets in the queue.
  • Light Blue
    This color is used to mark pending tickets.
  • White
    This color is used for tickets that are currently assigned to someone specific.

Viewing Reports

Remedy uses an Oracle database that is maintained by CNS. It includes a "reports" function to which access is currently limited within IFAS to Dan Christophy and himself. There are some standard reports pre-existing or you may create custom queries. If someone has a particular query to run against Remedy, please contact Dan Christophy.

Remedy Knowledgebase

A knowledgebase component of Remedy was being considered. The UF Help Desk had reviewed a number of vendors for that, had developed criteria for our needs and then evaluated the vendor solutions based on those criteria. That was the end of it however. There have been no further meetings or discussions on the topic. The current understanding is that the project has been cancelled.

Remedy Training

Group training may be arranged is there is interest. Please contact Steve Lasley.

last edited 24 May 2006 by Steve Lasley