NAME

RT::Extension::TemplateTickets - Designate tickets as templates for new tickets

DESCRIPTION

This extension allows a Request Tracker administrator to mark any ticket as a template ticket for privileged users to load when creating new tickets, and optionally restrict access to these templates to specific groups.

When a queue has template tickets which are visible to the current user, a drop-down list of available templates will be shown at the top of the ticket creation form. Choosing one of these will redisplay the form with the template values pre-populated.

Tickets which have been created from a template will optionally show the name of the template they were created from under their Basics section, if the template is configured to enable this.

For each template ticket, the administrator chooses which of the ticket's properties to be include in the template, whether to include child tickets, and which child ticket properties to carry over.

When a template ticket is used to create a new ticket, if the template had child tickets, the creation of the new ticket will also trigger automatic creation of child tickets patterned after those of the template's children. This helps with standardised tasks which need to be broken up into pieces.

Template tickets are administered under Admin - Queues; after choosing a queue, go to Templates - Tickets in the page menu. Administrators must have the new ShowTicketTemplate or ModifyTicketTemplate rights.

Note: Anyone using a template ticket to create a new ticket will need sufficient rights to be able to view the original template ticket itself.

RT VERSION

Known to work with RT 4.2.16, 4.4.4, and 5.0.1.

INSTALLATION

  • perl Makefile.PL
  • make
  • make install

    May need root permissions.

  • Edit your /opt/rt4/etc/RT_SiteConfig.pm

    Add this line:

    Plugin('RT::Extension::TemplateTickets');
    
  • Clear your mason cache

    rm -rf /opt/rt4/var/mason_data/obj
    
  • Restart your web server

TUTORIAL

This tutorial goes through two example types of request:

  1. A request for a standardised change to be made to a system;
  2. A data subject access request, which requires reports to be run by multiple different teams.

In this tutorial, we will refer to the RT groups Group 1, Group 2, and Group 3, and the queues General, Team 1, and Team 2. We will also use the custom fields Systems affected and Implementation plan for the change request scenario. These are all just for illustration.

GETTING STARTED

Managers of template tickets will need the ShowConfigTab right so they can get to the Admin - Queues menu.

They will also need new rights; to create, edit, and delete template tickets, they need the new Staff right ModifyTicketTemplate on the relevant queue. To just view the list of templates and their settings, they only need the ShowTicketTemplate right.

Grant these rights in the usual way through the queue's Group Rights and User Rights pages.

Template tickets for a queue are managed under Admin - Queues; after choosing a queue, go to Templates - Tickets in the page menu.

SIMPLE TEMPLATES

Template tickets, as their name suggests, are based on tickets. To create a new template ticket, you must start with a ticket to base it on.

For the first example, consider a change request process. Here, someone who wants to make a change which may affect business functions will submit a standardised form to change management, who will review it, and who will then communicate the potential effects to the wider business.

The same sort of change may need to be raised many times. For instance, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) need testing regularly. There is a risk of an outage when testing a UPS, so a change request would be needed for each one.

Create a ticket with yourself as the requestor, with the subject of UPS test - HOSTNAME. Populate the Systems affected and Implementation plan custom fields with some placeholder text. Then, resolve the ticket, and make a note of its ticket number.

Now that you have a ticket to turn into a template:

  1. Go to Admin - Queues, click on the queue, and then go to Templates - Tickets in the page menu.
  2. Under the Create a new template ticket heading, type the ticket number into the box and click on the Create button.
  3. The template configuration page shows the settings at the top, and a view of the ticket itself underneath. In the top section, under Settings, enter a category.

    Categories are optional, but useful when you have a lot of templates. Templates in the same category are grouped together when shown in the list.

  4. Enter a description. The description is shown next to the drop-down list when the template is selected. It is optional, but can be used to give more details of what the template is to be used for.

  5. Choose whether to show the derivation of tickets which use this template. When this is selected, new tickets raised using this template will have a Derived from template: field in their Basics section, which will show the ticket ID, subject, and description of this template.
  6. In this example, there won't be any child tickets to include.
  7. When no groups are selected under Groups, this template can be used by any privileged user with permission to see the ticket and create tickets in the queue.

    To restrict this template to RT groups Group 1 and Group 2, type "Group 1" into the box and click on the Add group button, then type "Group 2" into the box and click on the Add group button again.

    Click on the Remove button to remove a group if it should not be there. Try adding another group and removing it.

  8. Choose which fields from the template ticket to copy into any new ticket which uses this template.

    By default, only Subject and Content are selected (where Content refers to the opening correspondence - the first comment).

    In this example, scroll down and also select the Systems affected and Implementation plan fields.

  9. Click on the Create ticket template button.

Once the template ticket has been set up, it will appear in the list under this queue's Templates - Tickets page menu, from which you can edit it again.

To delete a template ticket, edit it, and use the Delete this template ticket button at the right. Check the confirmation box first. Note that the underlying ticket won't be deleted, just the template definition attached to it.

USING A TEMPLATE

Once a template has been set up, members of the relevant groups will be able to use it.

Click on the Create new ticket button at the top of RT as usual.

Assuming that you are in the right group to see the template, you will see Load defaults from template: above the ticket creation form. Choose the template from the drop-down list, and click on the Load button. You will see that the description is shown to the right of the button when you make a selection.

After clicking on the Load button, the ticket creation page is redisplayed, with the relevant fields pre-populated. In this example, you would replace HOSTNAME in the subject line with the hostname of the UPS being tested.

Complete the form and click on the Create button as usual.

TEMPLATES WITH CHILD TICKETS

For the second example, consider a data subject access request (DSAR). This is a request from a customer for details of the information the company holds on them.

Here, the person responsible for handling this request will raise an internal ticket, with themselves as the requestor, and with one child ticket for each team who has to run a report for their area of the business. Once each child ticket has been dealt with, the final report can be collated and sent to the customer.

Create a ticket for the main DSAR request in the General queue, with a subject of DSAR #12345 and a message body saying something like "Full details are in the usual secure location". Then, create 2 child tickets under it, in queues Team 1 and Team 2, with subject lines Team 1 DSAR: {SUBJECT} and Team 2 DSAR: {SUBJECT}, and message bodies saying something similar to the parent ticket. Resolve all three tickets.

Now that you have the set of tickets to turn into a template:

  1. Go to Admin - Queues, click on the queue, and then go to Templates - Tickets in the page menu.
  2. Under the Create a new template ticket heading, type the ticket number of the first (parent) ticket into the box and click on the Create button.
  3. Enter a category and description, and choose whether to show the originating template in new tickets, as before.
  4. Enable the Child tickets option, so that child tickets are included in this template ticket.

    You will see that an extra column, Child ticket fields, appears to the far right of the settings area.

  5. Make this template available to the Group 3 group (in this example, the team who process incoming DSARs would be the only members of this group). Do this by typing "Group 3" into the box under Groups and clicking on the Add group button.

  6. Select the appropriate template fields for the parent ticket, as usual. In this example we need at least Subject and Content.
  7. Select the appropriate template fields for the child tickets.

    By default, Queue, Subject, and Content are selected for child tickets. If Queue is not selected, the child tickets will all be created in the same queue as the parent, which we don't want in this case.

    When a child ticket is created as part of a template, the string {SUBJECT} is replaced with the parent's subject.

  8. Click on the Create ticket template button, as before.

If you now create a ticket using this new template, then you will see that two child tickets are automatically created, with subjects the same as whatever you entered but prefixed by "Team 1 DSAR:" and "Team 2 DSAR:" - and they will have been created in the relevant teams' queues.

AUTHOR

Andrew Wood

All bugs should be reported via email to bug-RT-Extension-TemplateTickets@rt.cpan.org or via the web at rt.cpan.org.

LICENSE AND COPYRIGHT

This software is Copyright (c) 2021 by Andrew Wood

This is free software, licensed under:

The GNU General Public License, Version 2, June 1991