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RT System Advanced User Guide

by tomw — last modified Sep 28, 2007 10:14 AM
Contributors: John DeStefano

This page is intended for users who wish to use advanced RT features or learn more about the RT system.

Why Are We Using RT?

Because it is:

  • Open: Users do not need a BNL account in order to start using RT.
  • Flexible: Both the email and Web interfaces are fully integrated, and the same information can be accessed and updated by both.
  • Simple: A user can submit a ticket simply by sending an email.
  • Interoperable: Users can interact, update, and follow up with other ticket systems via emails.
  • Scalable: Any user with an email account can use RT.

Common Mistakes

The following are a few common mistakes that users tend to make while using the RT system:

Do not send "Thank you" notes

Often when a ticket has been resolved, and the assigned expert writes to let a user know that they have resolved they issue, the user may be inclined to respond with a "Thank you" message. Unfortunately, in the RT system, sending a reply to a closed ticket causes the ticket to be re-opened, and additional action is required to re-close the ticket.

Thus, please don't send a "thank you" note. While your gratitude is appreciated, once an issue has been resolved, it is assumed that "no news is good news."

Be careful when adding CC: addresses when opening a ticket

When a ticket is created, RT replies via an e-mail containing a ticket number in the subject. From this point forward, any RT email correspondence containing this ticket number will be added to the original ticket history, so that all replies and relevant information can be recorded properly.

Users sometimes create a ticket via email, and carbon-copy (CC:) it to other people in order to inform them of an issue. Those individuals will receive the original email, plus an additional email from RT, which will contain a ticket number, once assigned.

If the CC:ed users respond to the email generated by RT, their updates and comments will appear properly in the ticket history. However, if they respond instead to the original email, which was not generated by RT and did not include the RT ticket number, the result will be that:

  • RT will create a new ticket from their response.
  • The new ticket, and the information it contains, will not be included in the original ticket history
These problems can be corrected, but not without manual investigation and intervention by RT administrators.

If you would like to ensure that any updates or comments made by those copied in your RT ticket remain with that ticket, please do the following:

  1. Create an RT ticket without including any CC: recipients.
  2. Once RT responds to your ticket request with a ticket number, you may then include any CC: recipients in a reply to RT.

As a result, all related comments will be recorded against the proper ticket history, and the CC: recipients will be included in any communications related to the ticket.

Do not forward quoted messages to RT

Users often collaborate about an issue via email and, once they are convinced of the legitimate nature of the issue, forward their email thread to the RT system with an annotation (such as "Please look into this issue").

Most email client applications prepend a greater-than (>) character to denote quoted and forwarded text. In order to regulate the size and readability of ticket histories, the RT system removes quoted lines from incoming email. As a result, forwarded messages are discarded by the RT system.

In order to add quoted or forwarded email notes to an RT ticket, remove any greater-than characters from the email body before sending it on to the RT system.

Do not use your browser's Back and Forward buttons when using the RT web interface

You may be tempted to use the Back and Forward buttons to navigate between RT menus, tickets, and other objects. However, your browser should warn you against doing this, and rightly so: even if this method of navigation seems to work, it may not properly display RT's dynamic data.

If you use the browser buttons instead of navigating properly between objects, the objects you're visiting may not display any updates since your last visit, not display a page properly, or produce undesirable results (such as multiple, repeated postings of a single reply or comment). Please use RT's menus to navigate the interface.

Do not use your browser's Refresh buttons after posting a reply or comment

Along the same lines as navigating the RT site with your browser's buttons, you'll want to avoid "refreshing" page content with the browser's Refresh button, specifically after you've used your browser to add a reply or comment to a ticket. By clicking "Refresh" after adding correspondence, you'll be adding the same exact response or comment to the ticket again, creating duplicate entries. Once replies and comments are added to a ticket history, they cannot be removed, even if they are duplicates.

The most effective way of refreshing a ticket page to view its latest content is to click the Display link, beneath the ticket number in the left-hand column of the page.

Additional Information

For more information about RT in general, visit RT Frequently Asked Questions and the RT home page.

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