CSB Trouble Ticket System

The request tracking system described below has become an integral part of the Research Computing, Crystallography, and NMR operations associated with the Center for Structural Biology. It is therefore of great benefit for each person who is supported by one or more of these CSB operations to become familiar with this document and the system it describes.

What is it?

In December of 2002 we implemented an online support tracking system to handle all requests for computing support. We typically have between 20 and 30 separate issues that we are working on at any given time and it had become very challenging for us to keep track of them as a mixture of email, telephone, and in-person conversations. We wanted to make sure nothing slips through the cracks and this system accomplishes just that. In early 2004, this system was extended to cover the Crystallography and NMR operations as well. Each of these three operations now has its own Request Tracker "queue" (see below).

If you have a support request, you must log in to this web-based system (use your CSB login) and create a new "ticket", in the appropriate queue, that describes your request. A ticket is simply a serial number that is automatically assigned to each support request you make. The request itself and all other related information are stored in reference to this ticket number. The CSB staff will continually and automatically be notified of your ticket until it is completed. In addition, you can log in to check on the progress of all your current and past tickets and/or to add new information to an open ticket.

Besides the web interface, the system also has an email interface. As such, you will get updates via email when there is activity related to a ticket that you created. You can reply to these emails in the usual way you would reply to email and, as long as you don't change the subject or recipients of the email, your replies will be logged in the system as well as being sent back to the staff member(s) working on your request. In this way, email correspondence related to the ticket will be tracked along with the original request as well as any comments or recommendations made by staff.

Using the system

This system has both a web and email interface. However, you should always use the web interface to submit new tickets. You should also use the web interface to provide updates to currently existing tickets whenever possible.

The web interface is very simple and straightforward. Once you have logged in, you will see three links across the top that let you access three views of the system - one for viewing your currently open requests (this is the default view), one for viewing your closed requests, and one for submitting a new request. If you have open and/or closed tickets, they will appear in the corresponding views. Selecting the [Details] link next to a ticket's Subject will take you to that ticket. There is also a "Goto ticket" button and box which allows you to type in a ticket number for direct access to that ticket.

Submitting a new request consists of filling out a simple web form and selecting which queue the request belongs in. The available queues are:

  • nmr - Biomolecular NMR support system
  • support - CSB Computing support system
  • xtal - Macromolecular Crystallography support system.
  • resource - for Outreach interactions and use of shared resources

The rest of the information you must provide is similar to the information you would use to make an email correspondence - a short "Subject" that describes the issue at hand in a few words and a "Body" which contains the details.

Your <vunetid>@structbio.vanderbilt.edu email address is the address we have for you in the trouble ticket system by default. All email correspondence from the system to you will occur via this address. As mentioned before, it is OK to reply to these emails as long as you don't change the subject or recipients of the email. Email replies you make in this manner will still be logged in the system as if you had submitted them from the web interface.

If you have any questions regarding this system, send email to admin@structbio.vanderbilt.edu and someone will get back to you. Once you've read and understood the information above, you can use the link below to log in and submit or track tickets.

Log in to the CSB Support system now