Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Issue/Trouble Tracking Software

A series of presentations at the 2005 NAB show about IT in broadcasting (Radio World 6/8/2005 p. 34) got me to thinking. Why can't I apply some of the principles of software development and IT management to our station's operation? For my own benefit, if no one else's, I looked around for a lightweight trouble-tracking software package. I found a free personal version of Issueview, which allows you to track and organize equipment problems, feature requests, configuration changes and even project management. There are more suggestions in the above article in Radio World. The presentation on IT services management at the NAB show gave me a few ideas. Now, I don't mean to suggest that anyone should have their station staff jump through hoops submitting a trouble ticket or call a help desk to get a problem fixed; there may be some operations that are large enough to justify that, but most of the engineers I know wear ALL the hats. I do think this sort of software will be useful for recording what goes on at the station as far as repairs, installs and upgrades. I have so far not been very good about keeping those sorts of records, but maybe this software will make it easier. It looks promising to me.


John McMellen said...

I have been experimenting with using a script file on my local computer to pull data about what has been updated in the trouble ticket database and format it as RSS V2 XML. This could be served from my local computer or any web server and allow other staff members to subscribe to updates about issues they are interested in. I found example code on the Internet that demonstrates using Javascript and the Windows Scripting Host to pull data from an Access database.

John McMellen said...

I briefly looked at another ticket package called OTRS. Someone commented that it was simpler and easier to use than RT. It does look simpler to use, but I don't know about installing it.