Open sourced version of a simple help ticket system that we use at BIG Folio and NextProof
h1. Welcome to BIG Help
Welcome to BIG Help. BIG Help is an open-source help ticket system that can be used by consumer-focused web companies. BIG Help is designed to be a simple (and free) alternative to online services such as "HelpSpot":http://www.userscape.com/products/helpspot/ and "Kayako":http://www.kayako.com/.
BIG Help is based on the support app we use at "BIG Folio":http://www.bigfolio.com and "NextProof":http://www.nextproof.com (we make stuff for photographers). It's worth noting that BIG Help is not a bug-tracking system like Lighthouse or Fog Bugz.
h2. Current status
BIG Help is currently live and in production at BIG Folio. You can "see it in action on our help page":http://bighelp.bigfolio.com.
h2. Required gems
h3. The config.yml file
The config.yml file contains settings about your app and company. You should edit this file with your information. When BIG Help starts, these values are loaded into the AppConfig hash and used in the layouts, views, and email methods.
h3. The home and contact pages
The root of the app is routed to /help/index, which renders the /app/views/help/index.html.erb file. This is designed to be a general entry point for your customers. Personally, I like to present customers with FAQs or a Wiki before letting them submit a ticket. If that's not your style, you can change map.root to route to help/new (in config/routes.rb).
You should do the same for the contact page.
h3. Signup area
BIG Help uses the restful-authentication plugin for support staff access. When you initially fire up the application, you can create new support user accounts by going to /signup. Obviously, once you have created your support accounts, you'll want to turn off signups. You should do this by: 1. Comment out the /signup route in config/routes.rb 2. Uncomment the redirectbackor_default('/') line in the users controller (new action) 3. Restart your app
I'm sure there are better ways to do this, but it works for me. YMMV
h3. Ticket key
When a customer submits a support ticket, they are presented with a unique 8-character "key" or "token". The key can be used to look up their ticket later. If you'd like the change the length, you'll find it defined in the Ticket model file (app/models/ticket.rb).
h2. I'd like to thank the academy ...
BIG Help wouldn't have been possible (or at least not as cool) without the following great projects/plugins/gems: