The Issue submission process is by far the most impactful setup process within Issuetrak. This is where all of the fields needed to collect, organize, and present information are placed to allow your workflows to process smoothly. Once configured, it is possible to re-configure the issue submission screens as the needs of your organization change.
This article will help direct you through the various processes needed to create and maintain your issues and issue submission processes.
Before we enter Issuetrak and start adding or changing settings, you will need to know what information to gather in order to process your issues. It is a good idea to draw a layout so you can visually see what fields you want to place on the screen and determine what additional information you would like to gather.
- There are several required fields needed to create any issues, such as Enterer, Submitter, and your Issue Types. Do you need additional fields or need to provide additional information to users?
- What Issue Types and associated Subtypes do you need to record?
- Is there any additional information that can be placed into fixed fields to gather and present data, rather than having to be present in your descriptions or notes?
Terminology and Functionality
There are 3 main methods to submit issues in Issuetrak, more information about these methods is provided later in this article:
- Manual submission by a user logging into the site and clicking on “New Issue”.
- Sending an email to a mailbox configured to process messages into issues within the site.
- Using the API to push issues from a separate application or form into Issuetrak in order to be processed.
Regardless of the method by which they are submitted, there will be specific information from this initial submission needed in order to process the issue.
It's best to be familiar with several terms going forward:
|Pre-Submit Form||If enabled, when a user clicks on "New Issue" a simpler submission screen appears that will ask the user for basic information and to select an Issue Type or Template, based on the setting selected.|
|Issue Types||Descriptive categories such as Product Support, Customer Relations, Shipping, IT, Operations, Administration, etc.|
|Subtypes||Detailed sub-categories of specific issue types and higher-level subtypes.|
|User Defined Fields||Custom fields that can be added to Issuetrak by administrators to allow additional information to be provided.|
|Issue Forms||Allows you to customize the information displayed on different Issues Types, as well as the required fields that apply to those Issues Types.|
|Issue Templates||When an issue is submitted, Templates will pre-define appropriate information and values for those issues, such as the Subject, Description, Issue Type, Subtype, Priority, Email Distribution List, Attachments, etc. They also allow you to pre-define the necessary workflows involved, such as the Assigned To, Next Action, Tasks, etc.|
Overall Issue Submission Customization Flow
Step 1. Gather information
- Decide what information each issue should collect. This will help you determine what fields and features will need to be configured later.
Step 2. Plan layout
- Determine where you would like specific fields, text, logos or images to be placed.
- (Optional) Determine if you want to use the Pre-Submit screen for users.
Step 3. Setup Issue Types and Subtypes
- Issue Types are tied to Issue forms to change what content and fields are displayed.
Step 4. Build User Defined Fields
- These will largely be determined by the planning decisions you made in the earlier stages.
Step 5. Create Issue Forms
- Using HTML encoding you can add images, links, buttons, and text to your Issue screens. This is where the layout for each issue type is determined and what fields are required.
Step 6. Associate Issue Types with Issue Forms
- Each issue type is associated with a particular issue form.
Step 7. Create Issue Templates
- These will make issue submission easier and more intuitive. During the process of creating issue templates, you can pre-populate some of the fields with suggestions of information that users should include when they submit an issue.
Issue Submission Methods
As noted above there are 3 main methods that an issue can be submitted. Each of the submission methods has a large number of permissions and limitations on their utilization. It is recommended to read their supporting articles for details and the limits involved.
Direct login and submission
This method is used when a user (via either an Agent or an End User account) logs into the site and clicks on the New Issue button in the top left of the screen. From here they will be prompted to fill out the information in order to submit the issue. If the user has the permission Can view and select from Issue Templates when submitting issues, then they will see a dropdown where they can select an Issue Template with pre-filled fields or tasks added to the issue, which can ease the issue submission process.
If the Pre-Submit Form is enabled, then a simplified issue submission screen is initially provided and prompts the user to select an Issue Type and/or an Issue Template, depending on the option selected, once selected the screen will refresh and the Issue Form or Template selected will appear.
This submission method is used when a user sends an email to a mailbox configured to process issues into the site.
Our Incoming Email Overview article goes into more detail on exactly what permissions and capabilities are available with Incoming Email.
The API is used when an external application directly pushes data into the site for issue submission and updating. The API is used to allow an external application to interface with Issuetrak to automate or integrate processes. The API does not just cover issue submission- a large part of our application can be integrated with an external application using the API.
The API requires a developer to create application code to facilitate the translation of data from the external source to and from Issuetrak.
There are several questions that should be asked during the information gathering process that will help determine what changes are needed for later steps of editing Issue Forms and Templates.
- What are the needs for the form you are creating?
- There is a default Issue Form that is created with your site. Does this pre-built form fit your needs?
- What needs to change?
- What needs to be added?
- Think about mapping your process flow. What do you envision this will look like?
- Draw a rough sketch of how you would like the issue screen to appear.
- Are there notes to the user?
- Are there images?
- Are there links or buttons?