Friday, December 31, 2010

Help Desk Template for SharePoint

I recently had a situation where I was asked to create a help desk for the small IT group that I work with. A situation came up where help desk tickets that were already created in a software package were transferred over to my area. Because we were different division, I did not have licensing for the software and was not going to get access. We sat and brainstormed a bit and the best solution we came up with to transfer the tickets over easily was to put the data into SharePoint. We already had a SharePoint site and a little bit of experience so why not.

I spent a lot of time searching some blogs and heard a lot about the "Fabulous 40" templates that came with SharePoint. These have to be installed on the server side, but lucky for me, the Help Desk template was already loaded. Basically, it sounded like a great idea, but once I got in to it, I ended up doing a lot of redesign.

If you are interested in a quick setup site, this may be an option for you. Here are some pros and cons:
Cons:
1) Microsoft is not releasing new versions of the templates for 2010
2) You need SharePoint designer if you want to change the forms
3) You need the right privileges to create workflows (which I did not have)
4) There are a few quirks you need to research that are easy to fix, but annoying

Pros:
1) It's already set up
2) Gives you a good idea how to design a similar site
3) Easy to roll out to customers who already know how to use SharePoint


It took me a while to get the site where I wanted it. The next articles I am going to write will explain how to customize the template to fit your requirements.

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