OTRS overview

What is OTRS?

OTRS is IXIASOFT's online ticket-reporting system. It enables you to easily report any issues or problems you encounter when using the DITA CMS. It also enables you to ask any questions that are not answered by the online help or PDF documentation.

Not only does OTRS record the initial question, it also keeps track of IXIASOFT's responses to you and your replies back to IXIASOFT. After your initial submission, you receive e-mails for each communication. You can respond directly to these e-mails if that is more convenient for you, and your responses are recorded in OTRS with the ticket.

Within OTRS, you can view a list of all your tickets and their statuses, to quickly see all resolved and outstanding issues that you have—all in one place.

OTRS stands for "Open-source Ticket Request System." You can learn more about it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OTRS.

How do I use OTRS?

Using OTRS is very simple. During your implementation, you received an URL, or Web address, for OTRS. You also received a login and initial password to OTRS. You access the URL via a Web browser and log in. From the OTRS screen, you can create a new ticket, review existing tickets, attach files to the ticket, respond to IXIASOFT comments on the ticket, and close the ticket when it's successfully resolved.

Always submit a new ticket for each new issue. For updates to existing issues, please update the existing ticket. If IXIASOFT support staff determine that a new issue is related to an existing issue, we will merge the two to ensure that all responses are kept together.

To access the OTRS ticket system, use the following link: http://otrs.ixiasoft.com.

To submit a ticket via e-mail, use the following address: support-dita@ixiasoft.com.

When should I use OTRS?

You should use OTRS any time you have a question or encounter a problem when using the DITA CMS after your initial implementation phase. While you might want to send these questions or issues directly to someone at IXIASOFT, it's much more efficient to submit them via OTRS because that way, both you and IXIASOFT can track the progress and keep the entire conversation together in one place, rather than scattered throughout multiple e-mails. In fact, if you send the question or issue directly to someone at IXIASOFT, he or she will often forward it to OTRS anyway, for just this reason.

Who can access OTRS?

Anyone at your company can access OTRS to view outstanding and resolved tickets. You have a general login that is read-only in OTRS; usually this user name is the name of your company. This name was assigned to you during your implementation or shortly after. Use this login and the password assigned to it.

Certain users that you designate as ticket reporters each have their own unique login. Each user receives the factory-default password initially, which they are expected to change as soon as possible.

Who should enter tickets into OTRS?

During implementation, you select a few key DITA CMS users or support staff in your organization to handle the initial reporting of issues from CMS users before a ticket is submitted to IXIASOFT. These people should be those who are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the DITA CMS and the Output Generator.

Many times, the issue that users experience are due to misunderstandings or incorrect use of DITA and/or the CMS according to your organization’s guidelines. Limiting OTRS usage to one or two users helps ensure that your team is not entering tickets for questions or issues that you could easily resolve internally, or that multiple people are not entering similar tickets.

What information should I include in an OTRS ticket?

The more information you include, the better IXIASOFT support is able to start resolving the issue right away. Please include as many of the following items as apply:

  • a description of when the problem occurred and steps to recreate it
  • log files (Output Generator, Eclipse, Textml)
  • CMS, Eclipse, and Output Generator build numbers
  • pertinent configuration files from the CMS or Output Generator
  • pertinent DITA files from the CMS

Before you report an error, check to see if there was a job running in the background or if another user was doing a large operation such as changing the status of many topics at once. These things can cause an error that would not otherwise occur.