Navigation And Usage¶
OTRS has a modular structure. All of its objects, lists, widgets and overviews are configurable components, but the configuration should be done in the same manner. This chapter explains the general usage of the OTRS agent interface.
The agent interface acts as a dashboard for the agents. This is a complex screen where most of the actions are accessible.
On the left side of the screen, there is a sidebar called the organizer. The organizer sidebar contains the personal settings of the current agent and shortcuts to business object lists. The items of the organizer sidebar can be customized in the Personalization menu. This organizer sidebar is hidden by default when using OTRS with a mobile device.
Hovering the mouse over a business object list icon in the organizer sidebar opens a preview of the according business object list.
At the top of screen is the header bar that has the most important menus. This part of the screen is visible on every page.
The main menu, accessed by the three horizontally stacked lines on the left side of the header bar, contains links to the most important screens within the system.
In the center of the header bar, the notification menu, the search field and the action menu can be found.
- Clicking on the bell icon will show the currently unread notifications. There is a Show All button that opens the notification list from which you can select any previous notification.
- Clicking on the magnification glass icon will display a search bar, allowing you to search for everything in the system.
- Action menu
- Clicking on the plus icon will open a menu to create new business objects.
Below the header bar, the breadcrumb bar is located. This helps to easily identify where the agent currently is, and it can also display toolbars or actions. The breadcrumb bar consists of two rows, and both rows have icons on the left and right sides.
The first row of the breadcrumb bar contains the breadcrumb itself, which acts as a path indicating the current place where the agent is. On the right side of this row, the screen configuration is located. This part of the breadcrumb bar can contain buttons for navigation between business objects as well as a back link to return to the business object list.
The second row of the breadcrumb bar can be different for business object lists and business object detail views.
- For business object lists, the second row of the breadcrumb bar can contain export and bulk actions on the left side; filter presets, filter possibilities and pulse mode are on the right side.
- For business object detail views, the second row of the breadcrumb bar can contain the Actions menu and a Scroll To menu related to the business object; the column layouts and a button to show or hide the sidebar of the business object detail view are located to the right.
These features and actions are displayed only if the selected business object list or business object has such a menu.
The screen configuration is accessible via the gear icon. Every screen has such a menu. The configuration settings that are available depend on the screen that is being configured.
The same configuration screen can be used for all column layouts.
Select the layout you want to edit in the top of this screen. Next, the widgets of the current screen can be added, removed or rearranged. Any widget can be added multiple times. Each widget has its own settings.
For large screens, different column layouts can be selected. On small screens or in the mobile view, only the one column layout is available. The position of the widgets can be customized in the screen configuration settings.
Some business object detail views, like the detail view for Tickets, can contain a sidebar on the right side of the screen. This sidebar can be toggled from the breadcrumb bar.
The content area of the screen can display a dashboard, business object list or business object detail view. These screens can contain a list of business objects or multiple widgets. The number of the widgets and the content of the widgets depend on the screen that the agent currently sees. Every widget can be customized by using its widget configuration settings.
In the bottom right corner, the chat bubble is displayed. The chat bubble is always visible on top of any other elements to give quick access to Chat.
All components in OTRS are called business objects. Business objects can be:
- Knowledge Base Articles
- Customer Users
- Statistics and Reports
- Other similar objects
The business objects have list views and detail views. The views have a similar structure and user experience.
Business Object Lists¶
The business object list displays a configured set of data containing business objects.
If there are more items, a note at the end of the list informs the user about how many more items there are that cannot yet be displayed. By scrolling down, the business object list automatically loads more items until the end of the list is reached. The visible size of the list is remembered for reloads and navigation.
The page breadcrumb indicates the total number of found business objects depending on the filter criteria for the business object list.
The business object lists periodically check on the server side for data updates. For the list updates, default mode and pulse mode are available. You can activate this mode by clicking the pulse icon in the breadcrumb bar of business object list.
In default mode, new items that have to be shown in the currently displayed list are not shown immediately. A notification on the top of the business object list informs the user that new data is available. Clicking on this notifications refreshes the list and shows the list with updated data.
In pulse mode, updates to an item displayed in a business object list are applied immediately. The business object list will be refreshed periodically, including newly added or removed items. The rows associated with the affected objects are highlighted for a short time to indicate a change. If the update affects an item that is no longer to be displayed in the current list, the corresponding item is highlighted in red, and after a few seconds, it will be removed from the list.
The columns of the business object lists are sortable. Clicking on any visible and sortable column replaces the current sorting criteria and re-sorts the data based on the column’s data. A sorted column is indicated by a small arrow at the top of the column.
The business object list can support exporting and editing of multiple objects at once. The export feature allows a user to export one or more objects selected in the business object list, and the bulk edit feature allows the user to edit the properties of the selected objects at one time.
To export the objects:
- Select one or more object in the business object list.
- Click on the download icon in the breadcrumb bar.
- Add, remove or rearrange the columns and select the export format.
- Click on the Download File button.
To edit the properties of the objects:
- Select one or more object in the business object list.
- Click on the pen icon in the breadcrumb bar.
- Change the properties of the selected objects.
- Click on the Execute Bulk Action button.
The business object list supports inline editing of objects. Not all properties can be edited inline.
To edit a property of an object:
- Hover the mouse over the property value in the list and wait for the popover field.
- Change the value of the property.
- Click on the Save button.
It is possible to select all objects that are currently visible in the list. To do this, select the checkbox in the table header.
If the list contains more objects than could be displayed, the non-visible objects are not selected.
To select all objects that are currently not visible:
- Scroll down the list to display all objects.
- Scroll up and select the checkbox in the table header.
The table header will display how many objects are selected.
The business object lists have a screen configuration and a non-permanent configuration that can be set by using the filter functions. The screen configuration of a business object list can be configured using the cog wheel icon in the upper right corner. The non-permanent screen configuration is never saved or synchronized, but allows for the saving of named filter presets.
In the screen configuration, the columns displayed in the business object list can be added, removed or rearranged. The list can be sorted and filtered, and the number of results to be displayed can be selected. This number of objects will be loaded the first time the list is displayed and for each time the list is scrolled down.
The filter section allows users to manage which filters are applied and to narrow the list of business objects. It is also possible to save a configured filter setup as a filter preset. The saved filter preset and the filter section are available using the filter icon in the breadcrumb bar.
New filter presets can be created and existing filter presets can be updated or deleted.
To create a new filter preset:
- Click on the New button.
- Configure a filter setup by adding some filters.
- Enter a name for the filter preset.
- Click on the Save button.
When a filter is selected, a new filter field will be displayed to select another filter. There is a huge list of possible filters, and there is no limitation for the number of used filters. There are filters that use a text input field and other filters that have a drop-down list to select only one or multiple options.
The filters can be removed with the trash icon next to the field.
Business Object Detail Views¶
Clicking on an object in the business object list opens the detail view of the object. The detail view remembers the context of the business object list. If you go back to a business object list from a detail view, the business object list is opened again and the object is highlighted, if it still exists.
The business object detail view has an Action menu in the breadcrumb bar. The number of actions depends on the configuration and the type of business object. Each action opens a dialog in the right side of the screen, which contains a form for the selected action.
The content area of the business object detail view consists of widgets that hold the main content. The widgets can be displayed in one, two or three column layouts. The number and type of the widgets depend on the displayed business object and can be customized in the screen configuration.
Use the Scroll To menu in the breadcrumb bar to jump quickly to the selected widget. This menu contains all widget names that are visible on the screen, and it has the same layout as the widgets that are configured in the screen configuration.
Each widget has a header with the name of the widget and a chevron icon to collapse or expand the widget itself. The Select Preset option shows the configured and named filter from the Filter section. Finally, the widget configuration is located in the right side of the header.
The content of a widget can be a table, a content area, or can consist of multiple content cards.
Most of the widgets have a filter possibility to narrow the results displayed in the widget’s content. The filter options can be shown or hidden with the filter icon.
The widget filters work in the same way as the business object list filters. The widget filters also support filter presets.
The widget configuration is accessible via the gear icon. Every widget has such a menu, and the content of this setting depends on the widget.
The following configuration options can be available for the widgets. The configuration options depend on the widget. The fields marked with an asterisk are mandatory.
- Widget Title
- Here, the default name of the widget can be changed. If a new name is entered, this name will be displayed in the header of the widget.
- Hide/Show Columns
- In this list, columns which should be visible in the widget can be selected. This applies only if the widget content is displayed in a table form.
- Show Lists
- In this list, cards which should be visible in the widget can be selected. This applies only if the widget content is displayed as content cards.
- Sort List
Here, order criteria and the sorting for the content of the widget can be selected.
Some widgets support only one sorting criterion, while other widgets can support up to three criteria. If more criteria is available, you can add a new one with the + Add New Sorting link until the sorting limit is reached.
- Filter List
Here, filter criteria for the content of the widget can be selected.
Any available filter options can be selected at the same time. You can add a new one with the + Add New Filter link.
- Number of Results
- Here, the number of entries that will be loaded the first time the list is displayed and for each time the list is scrolled down can be defined.
As you can see, working with the agent interface is quite easy and intuitive thanks to the modular design of OTRS. The next chapters explain the special features and usages available to the specific business objects.