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looking for suggestions on setting up a help desk / message system

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Hi all


Im trying to figure out the best approach to setting up a contact system that will:


Allow a user (Signed in or not) to fill out a contact form

With this type of set up -


They select a department

fill in a message block




The technician associated with the department selected will have something along the lines of

1 New message in their admin area


The technician responds


An email is sent to the original poster

saying - there is a response to you question

Click here yada yada yada


They click the link and go to the response


They have the ability to respond - close - etc...


The main question is


What is the best way to handle the messages back and forth so the trail is displayed from original message to final conclusion including everything in between?


Database? - Text file? or other ideas an how to go about doing it...

Hope it makes sense -

Thanks for any input.

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Thanks for the response.


I am looking at building my own for a few reasons

It will work the way I want rather than making something fit

I can (Might know) how to customize as I go

And last - to learn something new.


My question for MYSQL would be how to set up the message storage,

Would you just do 1 field for messages and keep updating that field for the responses back and forth or


A seperate table for the messages so each individual message is stored and linked to the user through an ID of sorts.


I dont expect a large amount of traffic as it is for a specialized site but you never know.

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