RT 5.0.1 Documentation

Query builder

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The Ticket Query Builder is RT's search engine. It lets you find tickets matching some (potentially very complex) criteria. There are loads of criteria you can specify in order to perform a search. Strategies for narrowing your searches to find exactly what you're looking for (and no more) are discussed below.

Newer RT versions also include a Transaction query builder, which allows you to search for specific changes or types of changes in tickets.

The Query Builder is the heart of reporting in RT, which is covered in the Dashboard and Reports document.

Basic Ticket Searches

Let's look for tickets in the "RT" queue (RT's bugtracker for itself) that have been resolved in the last year. (These examples assume it's currently mid June, 2015). To do that, we specify the search criteria (Queue is RT, Status is resolved, and Resolved after 2014-06-15) in the upper left hand section of the Query Builder.

Search Criteria

RT also has two meta-statuses, 'active' and 'inactive'. By selecting either of these from the status dropdown of the query builder, your search will include tickets in all active or inactive statuses without adding each individual status name.

The sets of active and inactive statuses for a queue are defined by the associated lifecycle. Active tickets are those listed for the 'active' and 'initial' configurations. Inactive tickets are those defined as 'inactive'. For the default RT lifecycle, for example, the active statuses are new, open, and stalled, and the inactive statuses are resolved, rejected and deleted. See docs/customizing/lifecycles.pod for more information.

After you select some criteria, you can click either Add These Terms to start to build your query.

Added Terms

The upper right hand side presents all the logic you have specified. This view is a nice way proofread your search: Have you captured everything you want? Are there things you'd maybe prefer to leave out for now?

You can continue to modify and refine your search, adding or removing criteria. For example, to see all queues and not just the RT queue, you click that part of the query and click Delete.

Delete Term

The updated search has just the remaining criteria:

Deleted Term

To run the search, click either 'Add these terms and Search', 'Update format and Search' at the very bottom, or Show Results in the submenu near the top.

Search Results

Customizing Search Result Fields

This is the default view of your results. However, like nearly everything in RT, it's configurable. You can select additional columns to appear in your results, eliminate columns you don't find useful, or reorder them. To start, notice that at the bottom of the query builder page there are two panes: Sorting and Display Columns.

Sorting and Display Columns

There is more than one option for Sorting so that you can break apart tickets with the same search values into a meaningful order. For example, let's say you start off by sorting tickets in a search by their owner. Since you've only specified to sort by owner, RT doesn't order the tickets owned by the same user in a meaningful way. This is where the multiple sort criteria comes in handy. You can use a second sorting criteria to sort within the set of tickets owned by a single user. For example, you could add a sort by due date to see tickets sorted first by owner, and then tickets with the same order are ordered by due date.

The Display Columns tab allows you to add or eliminate information displayed in the results of your search. NEWLINE indicates a line break, or new row, in how the results are displayed. NBSP for adding an empty column (such as what shows up underneath id in the following screenshot).

Here is a search with NEWLINE where it is by default:


Notice that the structure of the data that's displayed is stacked: Subject on top of Requestor, Status on top of Created, etc.. Because we're displaying a lot of information (10 fields for each ticket), having the NEWLINE is important for the results more comprehensible.

Here is that same search but without the NEWLINE:


The same pieces of information are now spread across the display next to one another, which can be harder to read. So when you tell RT to display a lot of columns, it's usually worth adding a well-placed NEWLINE.

Custom Field Searches

Users often add custom fields to tickets to capture additional important information. All of these fields can be searched in the Query Builder as well. Global custom fields will show up by default when you start a search. To see custom fields that are applied to individual queues, first add the queue to your search and you'll then see the custom fields appear in the bottom of the Add Criteria section.

For example, you might have a custom field named "Transport Type" with values like "Car", "Bus" or "Train". You can easily build a search to show just tickets with a Transport Type of Train for some time period by selecting those options in the custom field entry.

Custom Field Searches and Null Values

There is a special case if you want to search for tickets with no value, called a "Null" value, for a custom field. If you search for all tickets that do not have Transport Type set to "Car", this results in a list of tickets with Transport Type values of 'Bus', 'Train', and '(no value)'.

If what you intended was to show all tickets that have a value and that value is not "Car", you can clarify your query to get the correct results. To filter out the empty values, add the following to your search query:

    AND CF.{'Transport Type'} IS NOT NULL

Transaction Query Builder

Similar to the Ticket Query Builder, the Transaction Query Builder provides an interface to search for individual transactions. Transactions are all of the changes made to a ticket through its life. Each of the entries displayed in the ticket history at the bottom of the ticket display page is a transaction.

In some cases, RT users looking for a particular reply on a ticket will search in their email client rather than in RT because they will remenber getting the email with the information they need. On a busy ticket, it can be a challenge to find the reply from Jane some time this week. The Transaction Query Builder now makes that sort of search easy.

Basic Transaction Searches

In the example above, suppose you remember getting a reply from Jane in email on a ticket and you know it was in the last week. But it's been a busy week and Jane is on a bunch of active tickets, so you're not sure where to start. With the Transaction Query Builder, you can easily create a search to show all replies from Jane.

First find Creator, select "is", and type Jane's username. The "Creator" of a transaction is always the person who made the change. For a reply, by email or in RT itself, the person who replied will be the Creator of the transaction.

Next, for Created select "after" and type "1 week ago". RT will then automatically figure out the date 7 days ago and show you only results in the last 7 days.

Finally for Type select "is" and select "Correspond". Correspond is the name RT users internally for all replies on a ticket.

Run the search and you'll see all replies from Jane on any tickets over the last week. Note that you'll see all transactions you have rights to see, even if you aren't a watcher and possibly didn't get an email originally.

Including Ticket Information

When searching for transactions, you can also add criteria about the types of tickets the transactions should be on. In our example, we probably only want to see active tickets, so in the bottom Ticket Fields section you can select Status "is" and "Active". This will then filter out inactive statuses.

Learn More

To use the query builder to build and save reports, see Dashboard and Reports. For definitions of RT metadata, see Ticket Metadata.

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