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Online customer Support System


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#1 darkangel

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 02:46 PM

Im a B.Sc.(I.T.) student studying in India. We have been asked to develop an Online customer Support System (Help Desk) for web based companies in any programming or scripting language. I have heard that PHP and MySql are the easiest.

I want it to use the Ticketing system. Here the end user will have to login and submit a ticket which contains his query and urgency level.

It should also support multi operators. The Administrator has a seperate control panel through which he can monitor the tickets and add/delete names of staff and departments. He should also be able to generate reports.
The end user should also be able to track his ticket and view all open and closed tickets submitted by him.


I have no prior knowledge of these languages but am hard working and willing to learn. can u recommend a good online PHP/MySql tutorial?

Are these languages good enough? or should i opt for ASP .NET? We have 8 months to develop a fully functioning software.

Is there anyone who can guide and help me in this? I would my extremely grateful since this project carries 200 marks.

#2 Buyocat

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:17 PM

PHP and MySQL will definitely do this job. Exactly how robust is this application supposed to be? At any rate, there are lots of online resources, though I would suggest a book by Peachpit press if you can find it and are willing to spend 30 bucks, as it is very helpful for picking up the language quickly. At any rate I would check:
php.net
[a href=\"http://www.php.net/docs.php\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.php.net/docs.php[/a]
smarty.php.net
[a href=\"http://us2.php.net/tut.php\" target=\"_blank\"]http://us2.php.net/tut.php[/a]
pear.php.net
[a href=\"http://pear.php.net/package/MDB2/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://pear.php.net/package/MDB2/[/a]
I don't know about these two but they probably have some tutorials
[a href=\"http://phpbuilder.com/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://phpbuilder.com/[/a]
phpfreaks.com (obviously I know about this one's forum)
Here is an example of a very feature rich bug tracking system, it may be a good example to work off of
[a href=\"http://www.mantisbt.org/\" target=\"_blank\"]http://www.mantisbt.org/[/a]

Anyway, I would again suggest a cheap book just to get started, as there are lots of little details that are easy to forget or miss. That said PHP is really an easy language, so you should be able to get a mock site up like the one you're describing in a few weeks. I believe the hardest part will be creating a decent backend for the administrators, but even that shouldn't be too bad. I would definitely start by learning how to do the basic stuff like name variables, print and include files. Then maybe spend some time fiddling with MySQL and a database. However I wouldn't worry too much about the mechanics behind the database because there are such great packages available on PEAR that will do that work for you. Instead concentrate on learning MySQL. There are really 3 sorts of queries that you'll use constantly and then a fourth which will most likely be used a lot as well. I didn't put any MySQL references because I don't know of any decent ones, I find the MySQL documentation over at MySQL.com to be confusing. However I have found that googling for MySQL at the particular query you want to make yields many results.

Using some of the packages I've linked you'll be left with the user system, ticket system and admin end to concentrate on. Best of luck, Buyo.
Looking for some easy-to-use tools?  Try these, https://sourceforge....jects/utils-php -- I made them myself.  They're distinct tools which are easy to understand and use.  See some examples uses at http://www.anotherearlymorning.com

#3 .josh

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 04:27 PM

is it supposed to be "live" chat? php cannot do this, as it is parsed on the server. Now what you COULD do is learn php/sql and throw in some AJAX (javascript methods).
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