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Building a web request portal for client self-service. Part 1

Having a web request portal for clients and staff to lodge requests, submit support tickets, and browse information is a part of the modern business.  Service catalogs, web request portals, and self-help sites have come a long way in recent times, and are increasingly being used for the whole business, not just for IT related issues.  Think enterprise service portal - not just IT helpdesk.

 

The web portal for the latest release of HelpMaster gives business a great platform to design and host a web request portal for staff and clients.

In order to help you get going, here's some brief information and tips on how to get started.

 

Introducing the new HelpMaster objects

 

HelpMaster v17 introduced a number of new concepts and features that are used in building a web request portal. 

 

These are:

  • Request Catalogs
  • Control Sets

 

Together these combine with the existing concept/feature of Job templates to create a flexible and powerful web self-service portal.

 

Request Catalogs are top-level web objects that are groupings of Job Templates.  Think of a Request Catalog as a container of Job templates that are grouped together into business functionality. 

 

Common Request Catalogs would be:

 

  • IT Helpdesk / Service desk
  • Facilities Management
  • Human Resources
  • Legal and Financial
  • Security and Incident Management
  • …etc.

 

They represent different functional areas of the business.

 

Inside each Request Catalog is a number of relevant "Job Templates" that the user can select from.  These job templates are used to capture relevant details about the job type, and contain all of the business logic and workflow that will be used for the job life-cycle.  The new Control Sets may be used to create "forms" that are used to capture specific information for a given context.

 

Here's some screen-snaps of the web portal in action, and how the different HelpMaster objects link together to form a great web request experience for users.

 

web service catalog request portal for the it help desk

 

The default job templates can quickly be improved by linking them with relevant "Control Sets".  These are the "smart forms" that HelpMaster uses to capture user data.   Add one or more "Control Sets" to each Job Template for a rich data-capture experience.

 

Here's an overview of these objects

 

web portal service catalog design objects

In the next post, we'll look at practical ways to building a web request portal, and some of the best-practices involved.  (hint - it's all about communication)

 

In the meantime, read about these features in the helpfile, post something here, or contact PRD Software for further information.  Better yet - start designing your web portal and start thinking about service delivery with your team.


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