It is my pleasure to announce that Web Help Desk 12.3 has reached RC status and is available for download from the SolarWinds Customer Portal for customers on Active Maintenance through June 1st, 2015.
This release includes support for Parent/Child ticketing, allowing you to link multiple tickets to a one parent ticket. Using this feature, you can for example:
- Model repetitive business processes, such as on-boarding new employees or scheduling maintenance tasks
- Track your IT projects
- Group service request tickets together for troubleshooting or create ad-hoc child tickets to fulfil requests
It also address various known feature requests, namely
- Multiple Tasks On One Ticket - by providing ability to track tasks as separate child tickets
- FEATURE REQUEST - Link any tickets - directly linking any service requests
- Multiple Technicians Assigned to One Ticket - by providing ability to have technicians assigned to individual child ticket representing tasks they are responsible for
- Link Client and Primary Ticket Information In Cascaded Tickets - linking any service requests and passing information selectively from parent to children by inheriting value in Task element definition
- Checklist within ticket - by providing ability to track tasks as separate child tickets
- Link Tickets generated by Tasks and action rules - by ticking the "Link to Parent" checkbox in Task element
- Ability to link tickets - directly linking any service requests
The Parent/Child relationship logic incorporated within SolarWinds Help Desk is modeled after the concept of Problem/Incident management. Problem/Incident is addressing unplanned interruptions or failures (Incidents) and identifying the root cause (Problem) of one or more incidents. This process is based on ITIL best practices, but it has its limitations. Parent/Child relationships are designed to provide general links between tickets and serves many purposes. There are a few other differences, which I highlight later in this article. Fundamentally, to link a problem with an incident, you create a relationship between both entities.
Manually Linking Tickets Together
Using Parent/Child relationships built into SolarWinds Web Help Desk, you can manually link service request tickets together by clicking the Requests tab on the right side of the ticket screen, as shown below.
Here, you can link any existing ticket as a parent to your working ticket. Simply search for the appropriate tickets using the Search Requests function and click Link next to the targeted ticket.
Once you create a relationship between both tickets, click Save. After you save your child ticket, you can:
- View the linked parent
- View the parent ticket from the child ticket
- Send notes to linked child tickets
- Send notes to the linked parent ticket
- Add attachments to the notes and propagate to parent and child tickets
Viewing a Linked Parent
Once you link your ticket to the parent ticket, the Linked Parent ticket tab appears within your working ticket, as shown below.
In this embedded tab window, you can view basic ticket information such as the ticket number, status, or subject combined with the request details. You can also unlink the ticket by clicking the Trash icon on the right side of the window. The ticket screen also includes an embedded History tab that appears in the ticket. SolarWinds Web Help Desk records all ticket actions related to the Parent/Child ticket relationship, providing you with a complete record for auditing or other IT business processes.
Viewing a Parent Ticket from a Child Ticket
When you click on the ticket number or request details of the linked parent ticket, the parent ticket appears on your screen. In the parent ticket is an embedded Linked Child Tickets tab that lists the linked child tickets and ticket summary information, such as the ticket number, status, and request details. You can freely move between the parent and child tickets as needed by clicking each ticket.
You can add a parent ticket to another parent ticket as required, but every ticket can have only one parent ticket. The Parent/Child logic built into SolarWinds Help Desk incorporates a tree structure that will not allow you to create endless loops between tickets.
Sending Notes to Linked Child Tickets
When you are in the parent ticket, you can send a note down to all linked child tickets. Simply create a note in the ticket and select the Show in Linked Child Tickets check box, as shown below.
Once you save the ticket, the note is visible to all linked child tickets.
Sending Notes to the Linked Parent Ticket
You can also send a note up to the parent ticket. When you are working in a linked child ticket, simply click the Show in Linked Parent Ticket check box. Your note is copied to the parent ticket, as shown above.
Adding Attachments to Notes
When you send notes to the child or parent ticket, you can also include an attachment. If you need to edit the note, open the original ticket of the note, edit the note, and then save it. The updated note including attachment will be immediately available to the parent ticket or down to the child tickets.
There is no limitation on ticket status for any ticket within the Parent/Child structure. You can open, close, or modify any linked ticket.
Automatically Linking Tickets Together
The Parent/Child ticketing structure built into SolarWinds Web Help Desk can help you automate repeated tasks, such as the New Hire process used to on-board a new employee. In this scenario, you can create a standardized set of tickets that are completed by various people within your organisation.
Some process tasks are dependent on others and need to be tracked separately using an action rule to trigger your New Hire process. Simply define the criteria — such as the request type or a keyword that appears in the subject — to run a task. Your defined task creates a set of tickets assigned to the appropriate department or individuals and links them to the parent ticket that initiated the action rule.
When you create a task for your automated process, select the Shared check box so you can use this task in an action rule. For every step of your process, define a task element.
Each task element creates one ticket. In the Task Elements tab window, you can decide if the newly- created ticket should be linked to the parent ticket, as shown below.
By linking tickets together, you can:
- Pass information from parent tickets to child tickets. This process allows you to distribute selective or sensitive information to all child tickets. Typically, you would create a form using custom fields and pass your information through these fields as needed.
- Combine information between ticket types. You can combine information from a parent ticket with new information in a child ticket. For example, the subject in a child ticket could include a description with the parent subject description appended to it, separated by a space.
- Copy ticket attachments between ticket types. You can copy ticket attachments (but not note attachments) from parent tickets to child tickets. However, be aware that this process will duplicate the attachments in your database and consume additional storage space.
- Trigger succeeding task elements when a targeted element is completed. Using the Generate Next Element logic, you can define when the next ticket is created based on the previous ticket element status. For example, you could create tasks that generate service request tickets to create a new employee email address and user account. When those tasks are completed, you can configure these tasks to trigger another step in the new hire process, as shown below. Alternatively, you can perform the same procedure by creating several tasks and action rules that model more complex dependencies and workflows.
Now that you have seen how Parent/Child relationships can benefit your organization, go to our customer portal and download the new version to get started today.
PS. One more thing , often you need to reference ticket from a Note, Request Details field or FAQ fields. You can do it now by simply typing "ticket <number>" or "case <number>" (it works also with keywords like request, incident or problem). WHD will automatically makes it a link.