Creating a SharePoint Helpdesk: Part 2

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Problem

I know how to create basic SharePoint lists to track information, but I would like create a dynamic workflow application for submitting and tracking helpdesk requests.  This is Part 2 of this series.

Solution

This is the 2nd part of a 3 part article in this series on Creating a SharePoint Helpdesk. If you missed the 1st article, you will want to start there.

In the previous article, we prepared 2 SharePoint Issues Tracking lists and configured the "Assigned To" column of the Helpdesk Progress list to select from the site group we created called "Helpdesk Technicians".

When the Helpdesk Manager reviews the request, they will assign the appropriate technician. When editing the request, they click the "Address Book" icon to display the technicians in the site group.

00 NoticeTechnicians

Once assigned, the technician gets an immediate notification of the helpdesk request. This is a function of the Issue Tracking list (and not the workflow). The email contains the content of the request along with the name of it ("Ticket #1 - corp\rfisch"), and a link to the SharePoint item ("View Helpdesk Progress").

10 Assignment Email

Refine the 1st workflow

Now let's refine the original workflow a little. Open SharePoint Designer 2007.

Then open the helpdesk site. Expand the workflow objects. You will see the workflow "Move Helpdesk Tickets". Expand that and there will be a few files.

Double click on the file with the "xoml" file extension. In this case, "Move Helpdesk Tickets.xoml".

20 EditWorkflow

This surprised me the first time I saw it. When editing a workflow in SharePoint Designer, the first screen is actually the second page of the configuration. To get to the 1st page, click the "Back" button at the bottom.

30 ClickBack

Change the workflow start options so that the workflow starts automatically when a new helpdesk request is made. Uncheck the first option and check the second option.

40 ChangeToAutomatic

Click Next. Now add a new step called "Remove From Initiate List". Click "More Actions".

50 MoreActions

Select "Delete Item".

60 DeleteItem

Click "this list" and select "Current Item". Click "OK".

70 ClickThisList

The Helpdesk Manager Notification

Now let's add a new workflow to the application. In SharePoint Designer, select "New", "Workflows" from the "File" menu.

Name the new workflow "Notify Helpdesk Manager".

Select the "Helpdesk Progress" list (What SharePoint list should this workflow be attached to?).

Use the "Automatically start this workflow when a new item is created" checkbox. Click "Next".

00 NewWorkflowNotifyMgr

Rename "Step 1" as "Notify Helpdesk Manager".

Add an Action. Select "More Actions".

10 MoreActions

Choose "Send an Email".

20 SendEmail

In the Action, click "this message".

30 This message

Click the Address Book icon and select the username (domain\username) of the Helpdesk Manager, or type it in. Then click "Add". Then "OK".

40 SelectHDMgr

Add a subject like "A new helpdesk ticket has been logged."

Before we edit the body, let's go get the URL of an edit form of a Helpdesk Progress list item.

Hold your mouse over the Title field of one of the existing items. Any one will do. Select "Edit Item".

50 EditAProgressItem

Now take the URL in your web browser and paste into a text editor. Notice the number after "ID=". In this case, the number is 3.

60 URLtoItem

Paste the entire URL in the body of the email. Then delete the ID number.

Notice where the red arrow is pointing below. I have deleted the "3".

Now put your cursor in that spot and click "Add Lookup to Body".

Keep the source "Current Item" and select "ID" as the field.

70 PlaceID

When you are done, the body will look something like this. Click "OK", then "Finish" to publish the new workflow.

80 IDLookup

After creating a new ticket, the Helpdesk Manager will receive an email that looks like this.

90 CheckMgrEmail

In the next article, we'll put the finishing touches on the application by adding a new workflow that automatically notifies the user that submitted the request whenever there are progress updates.

Next Steps
  • Read Part 1
  • Stay tuned for Part 3
  • Check out MSSQLTips.com for great information about Microsoft SQL Server.





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About the author
MSSQLTips author Rob Fisch Rob Fisch has worked with SQL Server since version 6.5 as a dba, developer, report writer and data warehouse designer.

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Article Last Updated: 2010-03-10

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