Ferrysoft

Ferrysoft Help Desk

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Ferrysoft Help Desk is a web based help desk solution. The Express Edition is free of charge. Click the screen shot to learn more about Ferrysoft Help Desk.

How to use the Administration features of Ferrysoft Help Desk

Introduction

The administration options of Ferrysoft Help Desk are accessible via the Administration page. This page is only available to users with the Help Desk Administrator role. This is initially just the user named administrator. The screen image below shows the Administration page.

Administration

The following sections explain each of the available options. The options are listed in the suggested order for setting up a new system.

Registration Key

The Setup Registration Key page allows input of the Registration Key details as provided by Ferrysoft. Setup of a Registration Key is only required if Ferrysoft Help Desk is being used in a multi-user environment as it allows more than one registered user. If Ferrysoft Help Desk is used without setting up a valid Registration Key then the number of registered users is limited to one. The Organisation Name, Registered Users and Registration Key must be entered exactly as provided by Ferrysoft, in order to setup the Registration Key correctly. The screen image below shows the Setup Registration Key page.

Setup Registration Key

Organisation Name

Enter the name of the organisation as provided by Ferrysoft. Organisation Name is a required field.

Registered Users

Enter the number of registered users as provided by Ferrysoft. Registered Users is a required field and must be numeric in the range 1 to 1000 or zero for unlimited.

Registration Key

Enter the registration key as provided by Ferrysoft. Registration Key is a required field and is a maximum of thirty two characters in length.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

Priorities

The Priorities page allows the priorities table to be modified. The priorities table controls the allowable priorities for cases. The screen image below shows the Priorities page.

Priorities

Click the Modify link to access the Existing Priority page for the selected priority.

The screen image below shows the Existing Priority page.

Existing Priority

Priority Name

Enter the priority name for the priority.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

System Labels

The System Labels page allows the list of system labels to be modified. The list of system labels controls the allowable system labels that can be associated with cases. The screen image below shows the System Labels page.

System Labels

Click the Modify link to access the Existing System Label page for the selected system label.

Click the Move buttons to move a system label up or down the list, in the direction of the arrow.

The screen image below shows the Existing System Label page.

Existing System Label

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the system label. A prompt will appear to confirm that the system label should be deleted.

Label Name

Enter the label name for the system label. Label Name is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

Organisations, Contacts and Users

Ferrysoft Help Desk allows you to associate contacts with cases. Contacts can belong to your own internal organisation, customer organisations or supplier organisations. Internal contacts can be accessed directly via the Internal Contacts link of the Administration page. Alternatively, internal contacts can be accessed by selecting the internal organisation from the Organisations page. Customer contacts and supplier contacts can only be accessed by selecting the corresponding organisation from the Organisations page. You are allowed to setup one internal organisation and multiple customer and supplier organisations. Each organisation can have multiple contacts associated with it. Users are people who are allowed to login to Ferrysoft Help Desk. Users must be bound to a contact before they are eligible to login to Ferrysoft Help Desk. Therefore users are categorised as internal, customer or supplier depending on their contact binding. Binding can be performed in either direction with the same result. That is, a user can be bound to a contact or a contact can be bound to a user. The screen image below shows the Organisations page.

Organisations

Click the New Organisation link to access the New Organisation page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Organisation page for the selected organisation. Click the Contacts link to access the Contacts page for the selected organisation.

The screen image below shows the Existing Organisation page.

Existing Organisation

Delete link

The Delete link does not appear if the organisation is an internal organisation. Click the Delete link to delete the organisation. A prompt will appear to confirm that the organisation should be deleted.

Organisation ID

Enter the organisation identifier for the organisation. Organisation ID is mandatory.

Organisation Name

Enter the organisation name for the organisation. Organisation Name is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

The screen image below shows the Contacts page.

Contacts

Click the New Contact link to access the New Contact page for the organisation. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Contact page for the selected contact. Click the Bind link to access the Select The User To Bind To page for the selected contact. The Bind link is not shown if the contact is already bound to a user.

The screen image below shows the Existing Contact page.

Existing Contact

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the contact. A prompt will appear to confirm that the contact should be deleted.

Contact Name

Enter the contact name for the contact. Contact Name is mandatory.

Email Address

Enter the email address for the contact. Email Address is mandatory.

Business Phone

Enter the business telephone number for the contact.

Home Phone

Enter the home telephone number for the contact.

Mobile Phone

Enter the mobile telephone number for the contact.

Send Alert Policy

Select the policy for sending alerts to this contact. This dropdown might be disabled, depending on how the administrator has configured the system. The policies that can appear are described in the following table.

Policy Dropdown Meaning
Never Send (System level policy) Disabled Never send alerts to this contact. This policy has been configured for all contacts at the system level.
Always Send (System level policy) Disabled Always send alerts to this contact. This policy has been configured for all contacts at the system level.
Never Send Enabled Never send alerts to this contact.
Always Send Enabled Always send alerts to this contact.

Time Zone

Select the time zone for the contact.

Refresh Interval

Enter a number of seconds in the range 0 to 86400. Refresh Interval is mandatory. This number controls the automatic refresh interval for the main web page. If the number is zero then automatic refresh is disabled. It is recommended that the refresh interval is set to 60 (one minute) or higher to avoid refreshing the page too frequently. Alternative typical values are 300 (five minutes), 600 (ten minutes), 3600 (one hour), 18000 (five hours), 36000 (ten hours) or 86400 (one day).

Bind Status

An indication of whether the contact is bound to a user. Display only.

Unbind when contact is saved

This checkbox is only visible if the contact is bound to a user. Check the box if you want to unbind the contact from the user when the Save button is clicked.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

The screen image below shows the Users page.

Users

Click the New User link to access the New User page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing User page for the selected user. Click the Unlock button to unlock a locked user. The Unlock button is not shown unless the user is locked. Click the Approve button to approve the user to login. The Approve button is not shown if the user is already approved to login. Click the Bind link to access the Select The Contact To Bind To page for the selected user. The Bind link is not shown if the user is already bound to a contact.

The screen image below shows the Existing User page.

Existing User

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the user. A prompt will appear to confirm that the user should be deleted.

Email Address

Enter the email address for the user. Email Address is mandatory.

Password

Enter the password for the user. Password is mandatory.

Approved

Check the box if the user is approved to login.

Help Desk Role

Select the Help Desk Role for the user from the following:

Role Meaning
<None> No access is allowed to Help Desk.
User (access to cases: own=read, others=none) User access is allowed to Help Desk. Own cases can be read only.
User (access to cases: own=write, others=none) User access is allowed to Help Desk. Own cases can be read or modified.
User (access to cases: own=write, others=read) User access is allowed to Help Desk. Own cases can be read or modified. Cases assigned to other users can be read only.
User (access to cases: own=write, others=write) User access is allowed to Help Desk. Own cases can be read or modified. Cases assigned to other users can be read or modified.
Administrator Full access is allowed to Help Desk, including access to all cases and access to administration functions (for internal contacts only).

Note that access to cases assigned to others is always limited to users within the same organisation. For internal contacts, this means all internal contacts associated with the single organisation operating the help desk. For customer contacts, this means all contacts associated with the same customer organisation as the user. Thus, customer contacts can never access cases assigned to customer contacts of another customer organisation, regardless of the Help Desk Role set for the customer contact user. The same principle applies to supplier contacts and supplier organisations.

Discussion Forum Role

Select the Discussion Forum Role for the user from the following:

Role Meaning
<None> No access is allowed to Discussion Forum (but public access is allowed).
User User access is allowed to Discussion Forum.
Moderator Moderator access is allowed to Discussion Forum.

Knowledge Base Role

Select the Knowledge Base Role for the user from the following:

Role Meaning
<None> No access is allowed to Knowledge Base (but public access is allowed).
User User access is allowed to Knowledge Base.

Bind Status

An indication of whether the user is bound to a contact. Display only.

Unbind when user is saved

This checkbox is only visible if the user is bound to a contact. Check the box if you want to unbind the user from the contact when the Save button is clicked.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

The screen image below shows the Select The User To Bind To page.

Select The User To Bind To

Click the Bind button to bind the contact to the selected user.

The screen image below shows the Select The Contact To Bind To page.

Select The Contact To Bind To

Click the Bind button to bind the user to the selected contact.

Email Accounts

The Email Accounts page allows the email accounts table to be modified. The email accounts table defines the parameters for the inbound (POP3) and outbound (SMTP) email interfaces. The screen image below shows the Email Accounts page.

Email Accounts

Click the New Email Account link to access the New Email Account page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Email Account page.

The screen image below shows the Existing Email Account page.

Existing Email Account

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the email account. A prompt will appear to confirm that the email account should be deleted.

Email Account Name

Enter the name for the email account. Email Account Name is mandatory.

Incoming Mail Server (POP3) Connection Parameters

Enabled

Select this check box to enable the email account as a POP3 connection.

Server Name

Enter the server name of the incoming mail server to use for receiving emails. The incoming mail server must support the Post Office Protocol - Version 3 (POP3). Server Name is mandatory if Enabled is checked.

Port Number

Enter the port number of the incoming mail server. Port number must be numeric. If this option is left blank then the default is "110" (for an unencrypted connection) or "995" (for an encrypted connection).

Connection Timeout

Enter the connection timeout in seconds to use with the incoming mail server. Connection timeout must be numeric. If this option is left blank then the default is "30".

Encrypted Connection

Select this check box if the incoming mail server requires an encrypted connection.

Username

Enter the Username to use when authenticating with the incoming mail server. Username is mandatory if Enabled is checked.

Password

Enter the Password to use when authenticating with the incoming mail server. The password is stored in encrypted form for security purposes. Password is mandatory if Enabled is checked.

Default Assigned To

Select the name of the person to use as the default for all new cases entered via this email account. This allows a named user to be automatically assigned to new cases and receive alerts when new cases are entered via this email account. If Default Assigned To is not set then the system Default Assigned To applies instead to all new cases entered via this email account.

Outgoing Mail Server (SMTP) Connection Parameters

Enabled

Select this check box to enable the email account as an SMTP connection.

From Email Name

Enter the From Email Name to use on outgoing emails. From Email Name is mandatory if Enabled is checked.

From Email Address

Enter the From Email Address to use on outgoing emails. From Email Address is mandatory if Enabled is checked.

Delivery To

Select the delivery method for the message. Messages can be delivered to an SMTP server or to a pickup directory (for pickup by an SMTP server). If the message is delivered to a pickup directory then it can either be a specified directory or the default IIS directory.

Server Name

Enter the server name of the outgoing mail server to use for sending emails. The outgoing mail server must support the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Server Name is mandatory if Enabled is checked and Delivery To Specific SMTP Server is selected.

Port Number

Enter the port number of the outgoing mail server. Port number must be numeric. If this option is left blank then the default is "25".

Connection Timeout

Enter the connection timeout in seconds to use with the outgoing mail server. Connection timeout must be numeric. If this option is left blank then the default is "30".

Encrypted Connection

Select this check box if the outgoing mail server requires an encrypted connection.

Authentication Credentials

Select the type of authentication credentials required by the outgoing mail server. If authentication credentials are required then they can be supplied as the default credentials or they can be specified in the Username, Password and Domain input boxes.

Username

Enter the Username to use when authenticating with the outgoing mail server. Username is mandatory if Enabled is checked and Delivery To Specific SMTP Server is selected and Authentication Credentials Specific is selected.

Password

Enter the Password to use when authenticating with the outgoing mail server. The password is stored in encrypted form for security purposes. Password is mandatory if Enabled is checked and Delivery To Specific SMTP Server is selected and Authentication Credentials Specific is selected.

Domain

Enter the Domain to use when authenticating with the outgoing mail server. Domain can be left blank if Username and Password are sufficient to establish the authentication credentials.

Pickup Directory

Enter the pickup directory to receive the outgoing messages. Pickup Directory is mandatory if Enabled is checked and Delivery To Specific Pickup Directory is selected.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

Announcements

Announcements is a feature to display messages to users of Ferrysoft Help Desk on the login page. Announcements can be used to display status information about Ferrysoft Help Desk or other useful information. Each announcement is set up with a Sunrise Date (the first date when it will appear) and a Sunset Date (the last date when it will appear). The screen image below shows the Announcements page.

Announcements

Click the New Announcement link to access the New Announcement page. Click the the Modify link to access the Existing Announcement page for the selected announcement.

The screen image below shows the Existing Announcement page.

Existing Announcement

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the announcement. A prompt will appear to confirm that the announcement should be deleted.

Announcement Title

Enter the title for the announcement. Announcement Title can be up to 255 characters long. Announcement Title is mandatory.

Announcement Text

Enter the text for the announcement. Announcement Text is mandatory.

Sunrise Date

Select the date that specifies the start of the period for showing the announcement to users of Ferrysoft Help Desk. The Sunrise Date must not be after the Sunset Date otherwise the announcement would never be shown. The Sunrise Date and the Sunset Date can be the same date, in which case, the announcement is shown for one day.

Sunset Date

Select the date that specifies the end of the period for showing the announcement to users of Ferrysoft Help Desk. The Sunset Date must not be before the Sunrise Date otherwise the announcement would never be shown. The Sunset Date and the Sunrise Date can be the same date, in which case, the announcement is shown for one day.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

Discussion Forum

Discussion Forum is an electronic meeting place where a community of users can get together to discuss a common interest. The Discussions page is the means to setup the structure of the discussion forum. The screen image below shows the Discussions page.

Discussions

Click the New Discussion link to access the New Discussion page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Discussion page for the selected discussion.

The screen image below shows the Existing Discussion page.

Existing Discussion

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the discussion. A prompt will appear to confirm that the discussion should be deleted.

Discussion Name

Enter the name for the discussion. Discussion Name can be up to 25 characters long. Discussion Name is mandatory.

Discussion Description

Enter the description for the discussion. Discussion Description can be up to 255 characters long. Discussion Description is mandatory.

Recent Display Maximum

Enter the recent display maximum number and type for the discussion. This controls the maximum number of topics displayed in a Recent Topics display. It can be expressed as a number of topics or a number of days. Recent Display Maximum is mandatory.

Older Display Maximum

Enter the older display maximum number and type for the discussion. This controls the maximum number of archives displayed in an Older Topics display and the display style. It can be expressed as a number of months or a number of years. The display style is monthly archives or yearly archives depending on the specified type. Older Display Maximum is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base is an electronic database of knowledge that can be used to contain solutions to common issues. The Knowledge Bases page is the means to setup the structure of the knowledge base. The screen image below shows the Knowledge Bases page.

Knowledge Bases

Click the New Knowledge Base link to access the New Knowledge Base page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Knowledge Base page for the selected knowledge base. Click the Topics link to access the Knowledge Topics page for the selected knowledge base.

The screen image below shows the Existing Knowledge Base page.

Existing Knowledge Base

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the knowledge base. A prompt will appear to confirm that the knowledge base should be deleted.

Knowledge Base Name

Enter the name for the knowledge base. Knowledge Base Name can be up to 25 characters long. Knowledge Base Name is mandatory.

Knowledge Base Description

Enter the description for the knowledge base. Knowledge Base Description can be up to 255 characters long. Knowledge Base Description is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

The screen image below shows the Knowledge Topics page.

Knowledge Topics

Click the New Knowledge Topic link to access the New Knowledge Topic page. Click the Modify link to access the Existing Knowledge Topic page for the selected knowledge topic.

The screen image below shows the Existing Knowledge Topic page.

Existing Knowledge Topic

Delete link

Click the Delete link to delete the knowledge topic. A prompt will appear to confirm that the knowledge topic should be deleted.

Knowledge Topic Title

Enter the title for the knowledge topic. Knowledge Topic Title can be up to 255 characters long. Knowledge Topic Title is mandatory.

Knowledge Topic Text

Enter the text for the knowledge topic. Knowledge Topic Text is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page

System Defaults

The Setup System Defaults page is used to setup the defaults for system level data values. The screen image below shows the Setup System Defaults page.

Setup System Defaults

Announcements Configuration

Default Sunrise Date Offset

Enter a number of days in the range 0 to 90. This number is added to today's date to calculate the Default Sunrise Date for a new announcement. If the Default Sunrise Date Offset is zero then the Default Sunrise Date for a new announcement is today. If the Default Sunrise Date Offset is one then the Default Sunrise Date for a new announcement is tomorrow. Typically, Default Sunrise Date Offset will be set to zero so that the Default Sunrise Date is today which causes a new announcement to appear immediately.

Default Sunset Date Offset

Enter a number of days in the range 0 to 90. This number is added to today's date to calculate the Default Sunset Date for a new announcement. If the Default Sunset Date Offset is zero then the Default Sunset Date for a new announcement is today. If the Default Sunset Date Offset is one then the Default Sunset Date for a new announcement is tomorrow. Typically, Default Sunset Date Offset will be set to seven so that the Default Sunset Date is one week away which causes a new announcement to appear for a duration of one week.

Announcement Purge Days

Enter a number of days in the range 0 to 365. This number is added to the Sunset Date of announcements to determine the earliest date to purge the announcement from the system. If the Announcement Purge Days is zero then announcements are eligible for purging as soon as they have passed their sunset date. Typically, Announcement Purge Days will be set to ninety so that announcements are purged approximately three months after they have reached their sunset date.

Alerts Configuration

Internal Contact Type / Generate Alert Policy

Create Case

Check the box to generate an alert for internal contacts, when a new case is created.

Change Case

Check the box to generate an alert for internal contacts, when an existing case is changed.

Delete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for internal contacts, when an existing case is deleted.

Undelete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for internal contacts, when an existing case is undeleted.

Internal Contact Type / Send Alert Policy

Select the policy to use for sending alerts to internal contacts.

Policy Meaning
Never Send Never send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Always Send Always send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Set by Administrator (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by an Administrator.
Set by User (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by a User.

Customer Contact Type / Generate Alert Policy

Create Case

Check the box to generate an alert for customer contacts, when a new case is created.

Change Case

Check the box to generate an alert for customer contacts, when an existing case is changed.

Delete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for customer contacts, when an existing case is deleted.

Undelete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for customer contacts, when an existing case is undeleted.

Customer Contact Type / Send Alert Policy

Select the policy to use for sending alerts to customer contacts.

Policy Meaning
Never Send Never send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Always Send Always send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Set by Administrator (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by an Administrator.
Set by User (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by a User.

Supplier Contact Type / Generate Alert Policy

Create Case

Check the box to generate an alert for supplier contacts, when a new case is created.

Change Case

Check the box to generate an alert for supplier contacts, when an existing case is changed.

Delete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for supplier contacts, when an existing case is deleted.

Undelete Case

Check the box to generate an alert for supplier contacts, when an existing case is undeleted.

Supplier Contact Type / Send Alert Policy

Select the policy to use for sending alerts to supplier contacts.

Policy Meaning
Never Send Never send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Always Send Always send alerts and disallow any change of that policy at the user level.
Set by Administrator (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by an Administrator.
Set by User (User level policy) Allow the policy to be set on a per-user basis by a User.

General Configuration

Default Discussion

Select the name of the discussion to display by default when the Discussion Forum is accessed. If no Default Discussion is set then the first discussion in alphabetic order is displayed by default.

Default Knowledge Base

Select the name of the knowledge base to display by default when the Knowledge Base is accessed. If no Default Knowledge Base is set then the first knowledge base in alphabetic order is displayed by default.

Default Assigned To

Select the name of the person to use as the default for all new cases entered by customer contacts or supplier contacts. This allows a named user to be automatically assigned to new cases and receive alerts when new cases are entered by customer contacts or supplier contacts. This default does not apply to new cases entered by internal contacts as the default in that situation is always the name of the internal contact entering the new case.

Default Priority

Select the priority to use as the default for all new cases.

Default Email Account

Select the name of the email account to use as the default for sending emails.

Internet Address

Set Internet Address to the web site address that you have set up for accessing Ferrysoft Help Desk via the Internet. For example, http://www.example.com/ferrysofthelpdesk/

Intranet Address

Set Intranet Address to the web site address that you have set up for accessing Ferrysoft Help Desk via your intranet. For example, http://example/ferrysofthelpdesk/

Text 1

Enter a new description for the Text 1 field. This allows the use of the Text 1 field to be tailored for display on the New Case and Existing Case pages. Text 1 is mandatory.

Text 2

Enter a new description for the Text 2 field. This allows the use of the Text 2 field to be tailored for display on the New Case and Existing Case pages. Text 2 is mandatory.

Text 3

Enter a new description for the Text 3 field. This allows the use of the Text 3 field to be tailored for display on the New Case and Existing Case pages. Text 3 is mandatory.

Save button

Click the Save button to save the changes made on this page.

Cancel button

Click the Cancel button to abandon the changes made on this page and return to the previous page