RT 4.4.1 Documentation

Customizing/Articles introduction

Articles

Articles are a way of managing stock answers or frequently asked questions. Articles are a collection of custom fields whose values can be easily inserted into ticket replies or searched and browsed within RT. They are organized into classes and topics.

UI

The user interface to Articles is available from the Articles menu. Admin functionality can be found under Admin -> Articles. Once configured, articles will become available for searching on the Reply/Comment page on tickets. There are "Configuration Options" to make Articles available on ticket creation.

For the Articles menu to be visible to your Privileged users, you must grant Privileged the ShowArticlesMenu right globally (Admin -> Global -> Group Rights). You may grant the right as selectively as you wish if, for example, you only want a certain group of your users to use articles.

Basics

You will need to make some decisions about how to organize your articles. Articles will be organized into one Class and multiple Topics. They will use Custom Fields to store their article data. These Custom Fields can be configured on a Class by Class basis. Classes can be made available globally or on a per-Queue basis.

Organization

Classes

Classes are equivalent to RT's queues. They can be created by going to Admin -> Articles -> Classes -> New Class. Articles are assigned to one Class. When you create Custom Fields for use with Articles, they will be applied Globally or to a Class, like Custom Fields are applied to a Queue in RT.

A common use for Articles is to store frequently used replies for requestors, like troubleshooting steps or how to sign up for a new account. When you insert Article text, you may or may not want to include the Article name and summary, in addition to the content, when inserting the Article in a reply. You can control this behavior on the Class configuration page.

Classes need to be Applied, just like a Custom Field, by using the Applies To link on the Modify Class page (Admin -> Articles -> Classes, select the class to modify). You can apply them globally or on a queue-by-queue basis.

Topics

You can also use Topics to organize your Articles. While editing a Class, there is a Topics tab for Class-specific Topics. You can create global Topics from the Global tab under Admin.

When editing Topics, type the name (and optionally description) of the Topic, and then click the button at the appropriate location in the Topic hierarchy. This should allow you to build a tree of Topics. This tree of Topics should show up when creating or modifying articles in the class. These can be arbitrarily nested.

Global Topics will be available for all Articles, regardless of their Class. Articles can belong to both global and Class-specific Topics.

Article topics can be set from the Modify screen for the article -- simply select as many topics as you desire from the list at the bottom of the screen.

Custom Fields

Articles don't have a single "body" section for each article. Everything is a custom field (except for name, summary and some other basic metadata). So to put information on an Article, you need to create some custom fields to hold the Article body and other data. When you create these new Custom Fields, set the Applies To field to Articles.

Once you've created your Custom Fields, go into your Classes, click on Custom Fields, and add the Custom Fields you want to each Class. Alternatively, use the Applies To link from each Custom Field.

Creating Articles

You can create an Article from scratch by going to Tools -> Articles -> New Article and then picking which Class to create the Article under. You must have a Class to assign the new Article to. The Summary, Description and Custom Fields will all be searchable when including an Article and you can control what Custom Fields end up in your Ticket from the Class configuration page.

Extracting an Article

You can extract the body of a ticket into an article. Within RT, you should now see an "Extract to article" button in the upper right hand corner of RT's UI when working with tickets. When you click that button, RT will ask you which Class to create your new Article in. Once you click on a Class name, the Ticket's transactions will be displayed, along with a set of select boxes. For each transaction, you can pick which Custom Field that transaction should be extracted to. From there on in, it's just regular Article creation.

Including an Article

When replying to or commenting on tickets or creating tickets, there is a UI widget that lets you search for and include Articles in your reply. (They're editable, of course).

Articles can be included by searching for them, knowing the Id of the article, using the Article Hotlist and using the Queue-specific dropdown.

Queue-Specific List of Articles

You can use Topics to organize a set of Queue-specific Articles. Simply create a global Topic called 'Queues' and then create Topics under Queues named after each of your Queues. Within each Queue-named Topic, create some Topics and then assign Articles to those sub-topics. This creates a hierarchy like this:

Queues \-> General \-> Topic 1 \-> Topic 2

If you are replying to a Ticket in the General Queue you will be offered a choice of Topic 1 and Topic 2 along with the searching. After choosing Topic 1 or Topic 2, you will be given a list of relevant articles to choose.

Alternately, you can now implement this by applying a single Class to your Queue and using the "Article Hotlist" feature described below.

Article Hotlist

The Modify Class page has a checkbox labelled "All Articles in this class should be listed in a dropdown of the ticket reply page". If you select this for a Class, a dropdown will be available on the Ticket Create or Update page which allows users to quickly include Articles in this Class.

The Class needs to be set up and Applied for the dropdown to appear (see "Classes").

SelfService Interface

If you grant the Unprivileged user group the right ShowArticle, they will get a Search box at the top of their interface. This allows users to look through your Articles for answers to questions before creating a Ticket.

Configuration Options

ArticleOnTicketCreate

Set this to a true value to display the Article include interface on the Ticket Create page in addition to the Reply/Comment page (Create.html in addition to Update.html).

HideArticleSearchOnReplyCreate

On Ticket Reply (and Create if you set the above config var) RT's Article system normally displays a search box and an include box (for inputting an article id) and configurable dropdowns of Articles. These can be configured using Global Topics or on the Class page.

If you set this to a true value, RT will only display dropdowns and hide the search boxes.

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