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Help Desk Php - Why Choose a PHP Help Desk Solution?

browser compatibility open standards integration cost of ownership

Help desk software is a vital tool that allows the modern business to meet the needs of its clients. However, with razor-thin margins and an increased focused on corporate spending, companies have less to spend now than ever. The only acceptable solution to this new problem is to squeeze more value out of the budget dollars we do have. In light of that, let’s consider the power of a PHP help desk solution.

Web Accessibility & Integration

Perhaps the most important aspect of any help desk software is the online accessibility it offers as well as its ability to integrate with other Web-based technologies. In that vein, all solutions claim to be Web-accessible, and they are, as far as being able to login to a Web-based interface, and then log and track support calls. However, it is critical that we recognize the difference between a Web-based and a Web-enabled system, which are both Web-accessible.

Web-based vs. Web-enabled

A Web-enabled system is your traditional client-server setup that uses client modules to connect to a core technology. The benefit here is to the developer since it’s much easier to update. The downside for the user is that it requires client-specific software installation. A Web-based system, on the other hand, does not. For the users, that makes it much more flexible, scalable, and secure, and the system requires less maintenance. However, it’s a lot more work for the developer meeting the needs of multiple businesses. One of the great advantages to a PHP help desk solution is that it’s inherently Web-based.

Browser Compatibility

Since browsers server as the primary client for a Web-accessible help desk solution, it’s important that the software support all browsers, or at least as many as is practical. Few solutions are able to meet this lofty goal, and many that do, do so by forcing the client to download a plugin, which defeats the purpose of being Web-enabled. One of the great advantages to PHP is that browser compatibility is an aspect of the language itself. In other words, when you update the server to the newest version of PHP, the PHP help desk software now has compatibility with any new browsers or browser upgrades.

Open Standards

Another way we maximize our budget is by investing in software that is platform agnostic and built on open standards. In doing so, you free the company because it’s no longer tied down to a specific operating system or a specific database or software vendor. If a better offer becomes available, the business can make a lateral transition seamlessly and with little extra cost. The beauty of PHP is that it’s a free, open-source language, and it has a great deal of support in the open-source community.

Integration

Technology advances at a phenomenal rate, so unless we’re willing to abandon software investments at a similar rate, we need the power of integration. The power of PHP is that the developers design it to work on all known platforms and in all known configurations. When a new platform emerges, the developers update the core PHP language accordingly, and your PHP help desk now seamlessly has integration with the new technology.

Cost of Ownership

Most PHP help desks are free, but nothing in business is completely free. There is always a cost of doing business, the total cost of ownership. A popular alternative to PHP is Perl. Most Perl help desks are also free, but a PHP help desk typically has a lower cost of ownership because it has a much larger and diverse open-source support network. Another popular alternative is a J2EE system, which are every bit, and in some cases more, powerful than PHP and Perl. They’re also quite expensive and they have hidden costs, such as the lack of free tools and scripts.

Popular Free PHP Help Desks

• Astres – supports French as well as English
• Double Choco Latte – standalone or phpGroupware install
• eTicket Support – sophisticated electronic support ticket system
• Eventum – by the MySQL developers
• Help Desk Reloaded – best support for multiple techs on a single event
• Helpdesk Issue Manager – uses PHP with Postgres SQL
IRM (Information Resource Manager) – specifically designed for IT departments
• Mantis – bug and issue tracker
• OS Ticket – excellent lightweight implementation
• phpBugTracker – tiered design great for customization
• SiT! (Support Incident Tracker) – SLA-aware

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