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RT Essentials [Paperback]

Jesse Vincent , Robert Spier , Dave Rolsky , Darren Chamberlain , Richard Foley

Price: CDN$ 45.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 28 2005

In a typical organization, there's always plenty that to do such as: pay vendors, invoice customers, answer customer inquiries, and fix bugs in hardware or software. You need to know who wants what and keep track of what is left to do.

This is where a ticketing system comes in. A ticketing system allows you to check the status of various tasks: when they were requested, who requested them and why, when they were completed, and more. RT is a high-level, open source ticketing system efficiently enabling a group of people to manage tasks, issues, and requests submitted by a community of users.

RT Essentials, co-written by one of the RT's original core developers, Jesse Vincent, starts off with a quick background lesson about ticketing systems and then shows you how to install and configure RT. This comprehensive guide explains how to perform day-to-day tasks to turn your RT server into a highly useful tracking tool. One way it does this is by examining how a company could use RT to manage its internal processes. Advanced chapters focus on developing add-on tools and utilities using Perl and Mason. There's also chapter filled with suggested uses for RT inside your organization.

No matter what kind of data your organization tracks--from sales inquiries to security incidents or anything in between--RT Essentials helps you use RT to provide order when you need it most.

Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Jesse Vincent is the author of RT and the founder of Best Practical Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to open source tools to help people and organizations keep track of what needs doing, when it gets done, and who does it. Before founding Best Practical, Jesse worked as the systems lead for a now-defunct dotcom and a software designer at Microsoft.

Robert Spier is a software engineer who has been working with RT for almost 7 years. When not managing other engineers at his day job, he moonlights as Best Practical's lead trainer, and maintains the perl.org infrastructure.

Dave Rolsky is a programmer, author, and activist with a background in music composition, and an obsession with Hong Kong films and the works of author Gene Wolfe. He has been actively developing Free Software (Perl) for several years and is a member of the Mason core development team.

Darren Chamberlain is system adminisitrator and recovering programmer living and working in the Boston area.

Richard Foley is a Munich based Perl and Oracle developer who spends most of his time programming, when he could be spending quality time with his family, walking or skiing in the nearby Alps. He has a technical illustration background, and has developed applications for the Aerospace, Internet and Banking industries. Responsible for maintaining the perlbug database, from 1997 to 2001, he was co-organiser ofYAPC::Europe::2002 and is a member of the YAPC::Europe committee, the group responsible for organizing Perl conferences in Europe.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Software, but Average Book April 30 2006
By M. Terretta - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We've been using RT for several years. As one happy customer mentions at Best Practical's site, managing a project or service driven organization without RT is like watching TV without a TiVo. The software is powerful, flexible, and above all, adaptable to many styles of management for more than just technology projects. No question, the software gets 5 stars.

This book, however, is largely a reorganization of the information provided with the software. If you prefer to read printed materials instead of PDFs or HTML, this book will save you money on printer paper. But if you're looking for best practices, recipies, or enhancements such as those you'll find in the RT Wiki, you may be disappointed. In fact, for most of the advanced capabilities, you are referred by the book to other resources. The book does contain the occasional nugget, such as a half dozen lines of code to truly delete a ticket and related data. With some searching, you'd be able to find those, and better, at the RT Wiki, such as the particuarly valuable contributions from the University of Oslo (do an A9 search for "RT prosjektgruppen").

Compared to most O'Reilly books which set the bar for excellence, this one is merely average. However, I do recommend this book as an introduction for those considering whether it's worthwhile to move to RT from some other enterprise ticketing system, and for techs to give to managers who are more comfortable with hard copies than electronic documents. For any RT admin, it's certainly worthwhile to have documentation printed and organized in an easy reference, considering how much you've saved on the excellent software itself.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dissappointing Jan. 11 2007
By S. Holmes - Published on Amazon.com
I was very dissappointed with RT Essentials. I had been using and administering an older version of RT for some time, but when I upgraded to the current version I thought I would benefit from reading this book. There are a lot of new features in the later versions and this book just barely mentions them. I had the feeling that it just almost told me what I wanted to know, but not quite. I would very much like to see an expanded, more detailed more comprehensive edition. I think it would take a book twice the size of the current edition to do RT right. I want complete tutorials on writing scrips, using templates, using custom fields, using saved searches, etc.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short walkthrough of the basics Aug. 26 2005
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
This is a short (~200 pages) walkthrough of the basics of Request Tracker. It starts with the fundamentals, sells the approach, then covers installation, the web interface, the command line interface and then into hacking and administration. The illustrations are good, and the text is well written, if a little terse.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very light on usability content... March 3 2011
By Chris P. OConnell - Published on Amazon.com
RT Essentials really disappointed me. This book contains a great deal of technical information, but could and should have contained a wider range of general information.

Here are a few things I would have liked to have seen:
1. A 10 page user guide for basic users of the software.
2. An explanation of default system behavior. What happens when a user sends an email to a designated email box? What does the canned response look like? How might one modify it? What are the options? (this was covered in a sort of all over the place way).
3. A discussion of RTFM, the plug-in is mentioned briefly in Appendix A. Since the software is downloadable from the same website that hosts RT, a one or two page synopsis could have been useful.
4. A discussion about other plug-ins, including a way to run some basic reports (a function that seems to be totally absent given my three days of experimenting with the software.)

I feel like a lot of filler was in this book. There was an entire chapter discussing different entities and attributes related to data structures inside the database. I guess that may prove to be helpful to some extent, but anyone with a database background should be able to figure this out with relative ease.

Bottom line, this book was helpful to get a general overview of the software capabilities. I do, however, think the 200 pages could have been better spent covering some basic topics.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but already dated Aug. 6 2006
By M. James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Request Tracker (RT) is a great product. I am the only sysadmin at a small company, and having an automated tracking system is going to be an immense benefit for me. I bought "RT Essentials" to help me get up to speed on RT3 really quickly. And, since it was written by the programmer who's responsible for RT, the book had lots of detail and tips.

However, when it came down to implementing some of the code in the book, I found that it was already outdated. For example, I tried to set up the Autoreply template with Password by copying the code straight out of the book. It didn't work because the program codebase has changed too much since the book was released.

I was able to fix my template problem by hooking into the great RT user community, where the author contributes frequently.

All in all, I thought the book was really helpful for getting RT installed and getting me up to speed. For the nitty-gritty, I'd rely on the online wiki and great user community.

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