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IT Asset Tracking and Helpdesk Software? 82

MJanofsky asks: "I am the IT guy for a new, smallish non-profit organization. I won't always be able to be in my office to access information about our a users machine or to get the word that there is an issue somewhere. What I am looking for is something similar to the likes of Numara Track-It!, but it is very cost-prohibitive despite having all of the features needed. What it needs to include is integration of the HelpDesk and Asset Tracking parts (i.e. a user submits a ticket with equipment associated to it via a web interface and when I view it, I get the option to view the profile of the equipment), it has to be able to use bar-codes, be web-based, and ideally under $300. It would also be nice to have auditing via the network, and remote-control features but those are in the 'if it has it, great' category. Do Slashdot readers have any suggestions in their endless wisdom?"
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IT Asset Tracking and Helpdesk Software?

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  • by SaidinUnleashed ( 797936 ) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @10:53PM (#15942696)
    OneOrZero [oneorzero.com] is what the college I worked at last year uses, and I was quite impressed with it. FOSS too.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I also use OneOrZero at my place of work. In fact I implemented it because it was so good. I'd previously run it at another job.

      I've not had any complaints, and it's incredibly stable (we run a LAMP config for it).
  • At work we use Clientele by Epicor. It's an old version though, not sure what the newest one has in it but probably close to what you need.

    At the place I worked before that I built a custom system that was all web-based, if you're small enough and have the available skill-set that might be a good option.
  • Don't use Track-IT! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We use Track-It! and let me tell you, it's a piece of crap.

    If you use keyboard shortcuts to speed up your data entry, it only saves about half your changes, and the remote control package locked up a lot of machines. The schema in the database sucks, all your users have to be entered as "workstations".

    I'm so fed up with it, I'm trying to convince my boss to let me write a replacement.
    • We use track-it only for the remote control functionality and I absolutely hate it. It has to easily be the worst remote control package available. I used to think I hated Novell's.... No longer. Besides it looking horrible, if you hit a ctrl key or the windows key it will make that button stuck on the client. Sometimes I just have to get up and walk to the server because I can't read what I need off the screen. I've tried to get my boss to let us switch to VNC but he says he doesn't trust free softwa
      • I used Track-It and would not recommend it. It is unweildy , slow and not easily configurable. Remember, plan for expansion early so it never comes back to haunt you.
      • You may want to try Dameware Mini-Remote from www.dameware.com. I user it instead of the Track-IT Remote and it works great in out enterprise. We do use Track-It Helpdesk and I must admit that I don't understand why other users have had so much trouble with it. We have 11 offices in 7 states and I implemented Track-IT without any trouble. It runs smoothly and has never locked up our machines.
    • by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan DOT stine AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:34AM (#15942967) Homepage
      Seconded.

      My boss and I worked on getting it set up for the upcoming school year. We were on phone with tech support about every 30 minutes because we didn't know about mundane minutae for turning on option X or why module Y wouldn't work. The manual is written in clear English, but it doesn't really say how to do much.

      If only it was free software, we could fix it, but it isn't, so it will continue to have bugs such as the UTC bug, and the "i don't feel like saving what you type if you tab to a field, rather than use the mouse" bug.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by belthize ( 990217 )
      Yep ... same here. I'm on the 'management' side. My lead windows admin kept saying, the next release blah blah blah will be better. I finally said enough, throw it away. We just ended up writing our own scripts for Linux,OS/X and Windows to populate a mySQL db with all the info (name,owner,cpu,mem,age,arch,os,patch level, sofware packages etc). The scripts run by the clock or at boot, dump to files and then the db snarfs them in. Simple and functional.

      For helpdesk we just use
    • by plopez ( 54068 )
      I concur, for the reasons stated above.
    • by RingDev ( 879105 )
      The network guys in my company use Track-IT and they don't seem too displeased with it. I used Test Track Pro from Seapine for my software (feature/defect) related tracking. And I absolutely love it. The price was insignificant (I think $750 for 3 licenses with support), their support is amazing (I've submitted questions on friday afternoons and gotten answers before I head home for the day), and the product is rock solid, easy to use, and highly configurable.

      -Rick
      • by dloflin ( 110712 )
        How can you call $750, "insignificant"? That's a hefty chunk o cash there, for which I would have to get approval & justify spending - so if I turn out to not like the product, I'm screwed, it's all I'll get.

        It's attitudes like yours that are the reason software IS so expensive!!
        • by RingDev ( 879105 )
          Uhhh, $750 is a drop in the bucket. For example, the leasing application we use, if we want the developer to implement a new feature for us, it is a minimum of $10,000 for just the assessment and planning. Most feature implementations have a final cost of over $50,000.

          Think of what $750 really is. If you have a small software company, let's say 4 developers, 4 customer support people, 4 sales staff, a trio of managers, an accountant, a CEO, and the mean salary is $50,000/year. That means the cost per employ
    • OK, I have to use Track-It and am certainly no big fan, but your post is just B.S. In 4 years I have never had a problem with any data entry being saved, remote control has never locked up any machine I've used it with and users most definitely DO NOT have to be entered as workstations. You may be right about the schema sucking as database access is quite slow and I suppose that would contribute. I have no problem seeing this product get bashed, but come on .....
    • I am the Track-IT administrator for our Helpdesk and was able to install and configure the application on our applications server, link to the database on our SQL server, and install the client on 13 technician's PCs in about 2 hours with no problems. We have used Track-IT for the past year and have recently renewed our subscription. I am pleased with the service and support that Numara software (Track-IT's owner) has provided us. I have attended free seminars provided by Numara software and have been tr
  • Did you check on Sourceforge.net for any such projects? I know there are a bunch of trouble-ticket/helpdesk items as well as asset tracking (sone for helpdesks to keep trak of units in the process of being fixed.



    I know being a non-profit can have it's own problems (multiple departments / funding sources), I'm rolling our own though I've started with assets (general) and eventually will expand it.

  • by rbanzai ( 596355 ) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @11:07PM (#15942734)
    I built a simple asset/inventory tracker and trouble ticket combo in FileMaker. It works fine in small environments. It's nice to be able to pull up a serial number and see the history of a piece of equipment, who used it, what problems it has had, etc.

    Recently someone got fired and refused to return their laptop. I hopped on the system pulled up the serial number, date of purchase, date it was transferred to the employee, etc. Should make the lawyers happy.
    • Filemaker actually has a lot going for it. Easy to use plus you can sync with filemaker mobile on a handheld with a barcode reader. For remote polling I would start with MSIA and integrate a SNMP query tool(take your pick depending upon your scripting language) If you are not familiar with SNMP start playing around with getif.
  • Help Desk (Score:5, Informative)

    by g35force ( 996569 ) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @11:12PM (#15942749)
    Help Desk Reloaded (www.helpdeskreloaded.com) has trouble ticket, and basic asset managment. Its a free PHP MySQL app. It does not have remote control of end users desktop built in however.
  • by mysticgoat ( 582871 ) * on Saturday August 19, 2006 @11:13PM (#15942750) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps you have done this already: check with your CEO and grant writers about asking Numera to donate a license and service agreement to Track-It as a charitable contribution.

  • by DA-MAN ( 17442 ) on Saturday August 19, 2006 @11:25PM (#15942788) Homepage
    Check out IRM [stackworks.net], a free application that does everything you asked for and more.

    From the website: "IRM, the Information Resource Manager, is a powerful web-based asset tracking and trouble ticket system built for IT departments and HelpDesks. It keeps detailed information about each computer, as well as providing a trouble ticket system, an FAQ system, and a Knowledgebase. All elements are interwoven into a seamless web application."

    This can be used to track machines, port switches, software on the machine and tickets. You can create custom fields and make them pull down or allow people to enter their own txt. It's good stuff, and 100% free.

    Demo: http://budgester.homeip.net/~irm/irm/ [homeip.net]
    User: Tech
    Pass: tech
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      We found GLPI [glpi-project.org], a fork of IRM, to be much more flexible and useful. It's not very polished, but it's got a very solid base and our small office (200 desktops) used it with great success.
      • Went to the site, and if you click on nearly any link, the page's language magically changes to French, and it displays

        dmin | ©2002-2006 INDEPNET Sauf mention contraire, les documents publiés sur le site sont placés sous licence libre Creative Commons BY-NC-SA Site développé avec SPIP, un logiciel libre écrit en PHP sous licence GNU/GPL.

        And that's it. No downloads, no documentation, no links except (References, License, Forum) work.

  • We use Clientele at my work too, an older version. I'm ready to implement their new version which is now called ITSM (IT Service Management).

    In my opinion, it seems like they put way too much muscle behind the software when it really isn't doing anything that complex. Their support is top notch though.
    • In my opinion, it seems like they put way too much muscle behind the software when it really isn't doing anything that complex.

      Care to elaborate? Are you saying it has too many features, or that it runs too fast? Or that it has huge hardware requirements?

  • SysAid (Score:3, Informative)

    by Juhani ( 51089 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @12:17AM (#15942929)
    You can check out SysAid. They have a free version if you wish. And it has a remote control feature.
  • What I need is the features of Track-It (tickets, sub tickets, help database, issue tracking, self help/faq generation) but I also need things for a service department (time tracking, parts and most importantly INVOICE GENERATION).
  • Have a look at OCS Inventory NG [sourceforge.net], it's an asset tracking system. It can also integrate with GLPI [freshmeat.net], which is a helpdesk system. They're FOSS. I'm thinking of giving them a go at the non-profit where I work. It looks pretty cool, the only thing that bothers me so far is the shoddy translation.
    • look at my post further up. We use them both and they work extremely well. If you need tips or help, drop me a mail at theolein at gmail dot com. I've even written a custom installer for the OSx client.
    • by BigUX ( 64121 )
      My Vote too. I use OCS and GLPI to make Inventory and Trouble Ticketing (I also use RT for this one too, but I am evaluating the chance to have only one software for it). Regarding OCS having a few glitches in some windows clients (beats me why it "grabs" all processing power to it), you can make your domain logon script force the inventory of all computers in your network. With GLPI you can even connect each MAC address to a Switch port (by hand of course), nonetheless ...it's a Dynamic Duo !
  • My IT company uses Avalon Business Systems' Avalon Management Suite [avalonbusiness.com]. It handles ticketing, asset tracking, and a whole lot more (client database, scheduling, accounting, vendor integration, etc.). It's all web-based and real-time. I'd highly recommend checking it out.
  • OTRS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @04:44AM (#15943388)
    I can't help with asset tracking, but at work, we use OTRS [otrs.org] to manage our entire IT support ticketing system. Multiple queues, complete email integration, LDAP support, and a host of other features make it one heck of a solution. Oh, and it's free :)
    • I used to work for a company IncentraSolutions, which used OTRS to manage hundreds of customers, nationally and internationally.

      Providing customer support was the core of their business. Incentra used OTRS by dozen of reps, 24/7.
  • I created a decent SQL schema for our asset-tracking system, which has basic fault and maintenance logging for computers, but is more geared towards managing our licensing. Currently there's no front end and I do all the work using SProcs and views. Lesson here is: building such a system is more complicated than you think, and you will most likely fall into scope-creep!

    That said, does anyone know a way of automatically detecting software packages installed on a Windows PC?
    • That said, does anyone know a way of automatically detecting software packages installed on a Windows PC?

      Check out PSInfo [sysinternals.com]

      "psinfo -s \\remote_computer" connects to the Remote Registry service (on by default on XP) and shows you the "Add/Remove Programs" list.
  • At my organisation, we went with two open source projects,OCS NG [sourceforge.net] and GLPI [glpi-project.org]. OCS NG is a client-server solution that uses a client, written in php, but compiled as an exe installer and running as a service on Windows (There's also clients available for Solaris, Linus and OSX), that collects information on hardware and software from the client computer (the source is avaiulable and you can edit it if you want). The OCS NG server collects the data from the clients via an xml-rpc call and sorts and stores them (
  • Software (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c_g_hills ( 110430 ) <chaz@ch[ ].com ['az6' in gap]> on Sunday August 20, 2006 @08:02AM (#15943689) Homepage Journal
    Where I work we use RMS ServiceDesk in conjunction with Centennial Discovery. The best feature of Discovery, when it works, is that it is able to discover network port attachments. You can create a hierarchy to represent buildings, floors, rooms, or whatever, and see at a glance what devices are where, as well as be alerted when a device has moved.
  • If you only have a shoestring budget in this arena, either you go with OSS, or do it yourself.

    It seems that all HD sofware companies are out to get as much $ as they can ( most often per seat... so your 300$ goal is not going to happen )

    And if you think track-it is expensive, ive seen a lot worse..
  • I trialled OTRS and while I thought it looked like a good system, there was some amount of work required to get it right for my organisation. We ended up buying an unlimited license for WebHelpDesk

    http://webhelpdesk.com/ [webhelpdesk.com]

    We've had it for just over a year, done 12,000 tickets, entered inventory for 150 sites and are pretty happy with it. It's not open source, but it is multi platform coming with easy installers for Win, Mac OS, Solaris and Linux. I've run it on Mac to trial and currently Win in producti

    • by KmArT ( 1109 )
      We made an almost identical decision a few years ago, between OTRS and WebHelpDesk. We have over 23,000 tickets and haven't fully implemented asset tracking, but have encountered very few problems, save a memory leak somewhere in the Linux version. I've also implemented this for a few remote sites (different organizations), and the multiple platforms it runs on is definitely a plus. It is definitely not cheap - you won't touch it for $300, but as someone else noted, there are no cheap commercial offering
  • is RT at http://www.bestpractical.com/rt/ [bestpractical.com] and RTx::AssetTracker at http://atwiki.chaka.net/ [chaka.net]

    RT is a very powerful open source ticketing system, and RTx::AssetTracker adds adequate asset tracking to it. You would probably have to do a bit of work to get it to work with barcodes (or just use a barcode scanner with the
    cursor on the right page - most just send standard keyboard type input IIRC).

    It's all open source, written in Perl, and really just works very well. And if it turns out to be inadequate, you'll le
    • by falzbro ( 468756 )
      Seconded. My company uses this and we're quite happy. We had already been using RT for trouble tickets, so we were quite happy to add the AT asset portion on. Definately check it out.
  • I highly recommend AdventNet ServiceDesk Plus (www.servicedeskplus.com). They have a version that is free for one admin, but I would be willing to be that as a non-profit you may be able to get a sever discount on additional seats as well. It is a wonderfully designed program, the interface is quite nice, and it is very stable and full-featured. Take a look at it (we use it where I work and it's been one of the best investements we've made).
    • by wik ( 10258 )
      A sever discount? Be careful, they might cut more than just the price. Ouch.
    • by Jjeff1 ( 636051 )
      I'll second that. I just sold their helpdesk solution to a school to replace a $30,000 copy of BMC Magic. You can add a custom field to handle bar codes to each asset item. It's priced per technician logon as a yearly subscription, though you still host it on your own servers. A 10 tech license is normally $2000 per year, though they have a 10% educational discount, perhaps something similar for non-profit. In addition to inventory and helpdesk, it also handles Purchase Orders and Maintenance Contracts.
      • And Active Directory integration, which is key in many companies. Import everyone in AD at once, passwords are synchornized, even supports multiple domains out of the box.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ZoomieDood ( 778915 )
      I just put in one of these ServiceDesk Plus installations. If you pay up front for an indefinite license, you get each additional license for $300, and with the first year, you pay a mandatory support fee for $60. Additional years are $60 ea.

      It's not a bad product, but tries to do too much well. It does do asset tracking, but cannot tie any new items of inventory you get as part of the PO process into your existing asset tracking database. It also requires you to drop any firewalls you may have up on in
  • The most pervasive one I've seen is RT [bestpractical.com].
     
  • Do any of these systems support barcode scanners?
  • These work well together. This will bust your budget a bit but it is good stuff. Footprints http://www.unipress.com/products.html [unipress.com] and Centennial Discovery http://www.centennial-software.com/ [centennial-software.com] FP runs on Window$ or Linux and is perl based. Discovery is sweet in that it will do what it's name implies. It will find hardware on your network (rogue AP's are a problem where I work). Check them out...:)
  • Download a Demo Version: http://www.download.com/Asset-Navigator/3000-2651_ 4-10374256.html [download.com]
    Limitations: 10 computer nodes, 1 admin account
  • Quite Happy With... (Score:3, Informative)

    by periol ( 767926 ) on Sunday August 20, 2006 @09:40PM (#15946095) Homepage
    Manageengine Servicedesk Plus [adventnet.com]. Reasonable licensing (and the free version might work for your company). Support is good, and asset discovery is automatic on your network (and easily linkable to users, who are also automatically discovered). So far, it's been an excellent program.
  • I've implemented... (Score:2, Informative)

    by krack ( 121056 )
    ... http://otrs.org/ [otrs.org] for ticketing, http://ocsinventory.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] for hardware tracking and http://glpi-project.org/?lang=en [glpi-project.org] for software license tracking.

    The ticketing and asset pieces aren't integrated and you might be able to get GLPI and OCS to work with a barcode scanner if the scanner will dump to a text field in the web page. I haven't had your specific needs but I thought I'd tout what worked for me, since I haven't seen them mentioned.
  • There is a software I am aware of that does exactly all this, and is right now taking off for the medical sector ....to be able to follow from start to finish all the demands for new materials etc.... also has a web based interface and easy to use master configuration UI fro seperating roles and groups for tracking. I think the link is http://www.gesco.info/forfaits_en.asp [gesco.info]
  • This is probably more of a solution for people who are already using drupal.

    The drupal [drupal.org] CMS, has a Light CRM module [drupal.org] which may provide an adequate helpdesk.

    I suppose you could build an assett management system with drupal's flixinode [drupal.org] module.

  • I have been using Liberum helpdesk (http://www.liberum.org/ [liberum.org]) to manage the helpdesk portion of my job. It's free, has a very simplistic interface for users, and can store requests into a knowledgebase if you choose to do so. The two+ years I've used it has proven it to be a reliable solution.
  • by ces ( 119879 )
    I'll second all of the endorsements for RT, OTRS, and IRM. We're currently using a combination of RT and IRM for our IT helpdesk and asset tracking needs though we're looking at converting over to OTRS from RT.

    However I think Kayako SupportSuite [kayako.com] might be worth a look. We're switching our customer support department over to it from Cerberus Helpdesk and it looks pretty nice. While it isn't FOSS the license cost is fairly reasonable ($500/year per server). It's all AJAX and PHP with source code so you can mak

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