Attention: I don't maintain the Helpdesk::Mail System any longer. If you want to jump in and take over maintainership: do so!

What is the Helpdesk::Mail System?

The Helpdesk::Mail System is a Perl application intended to assist Helpdesks and Support Centers in organizing their email communication with their customers. Especially if there is one email address (for example <support@yourdomain.com>) and several people who reply on those emails and answer questions, Helpdesk::Mail can come in handy.

But Helpdesk::Mail is not just another webmail application, one can assign a "user-id" for a mail (for example an account number) to track down how often one user asks for help (and what your coworkers answered), plus an additional "Knowledge Base" feature: if your customers ask the same questions over and over again, you can save the answer in the Knowledge Base and prefill a reply with this answer, just by typing in some keywords and click on a link. (Of course, there's a public interface to this Knowledge Base, too, so your customers can search for answers on their own, if they want - and if you filled the Knowledge Base with answers :-) ).

How does it work?

Emails coming to your support email address are piped into the parser.pl script, parsed into several parts and stored in a database. Attachments are stored in a user-defined directory. An additional autoresponder can send out auto-generated replies to the incoming emails, telling the sender for example that their mail has been received or when your office hours are. Support workers can now connect to the system and read the mail via browser. The main page list all new incoming mails and all mails that one support worker has decided to handle (see below).

On the mail reading page, one can read the mail (of course), assign a user id to this mail (either by entering it in the textbox or by selecting it from several pre-defined user-ids like "info", "spam" a.s.o), reply, forward or trash the mail or search for an appropriate answer in the Knowledge Base. Additionally the support worker can "take" the mail out of the pool of incoming mails, so that the others won't see it anymore, or pass the mail on again to the pool.

When replying on a mail, one can select if this reply should be saved in the Knowledge Base, too. When forwarding a mail, one can select if the original sender should get a notification message about the forward. Additionally, outgoing messages can be GPG-signed. (All outgoing messages are BCC'ed to your email address again by default.)

One additional feature is that outgoing messages get a special subject, which indicates who of the support workers replied or composed the mail, so that incoming replies on this mail will be easily identifyable to other support workers. Plus, if it was a reply on a mail and you assigned a user-id to this mail, another reply with the intact subject line will get this user-id to.

If you decide to save a mail in the Knowledge Base, it will be parsed and split into "Question" and "Answer", based on the quote string "> ". Knowledge Base entries will not be visible on the public interface until you edited it (because you won't likely want to publish questions and answers directly) and published it. Each Knowledge Base entry can be edited again and again and, of course, trashed.

What do I need to run it?

How does it look like?

Just a few screenshots:
Main Page
Read Page
Reply Page

What does it cost?

Nothing, it's freely distributable. But remember: it may work alright, but it's still in development stage.

Changelog

Changes in 0.6 Changes in 0.5 Changes in 0.4 Changes in 0.3 Changes in 0.2a Changes in 0.2

Where can I get it?

helpdesksystem-0.6.tar.gz (2001-04-29)
helpdesksystem-0.5.tar.gz (2001-03-12)
helpdesksystem-0.4.tar.gz (2001-02-14)
helpdesksystem-0.3.tar.gz (2001-02-06)
helpdesksystem-0.2a.tar.gz (2001-02-05)
helpdesksystem-0.2.tar.gz (2001-01-31)
helpdesksystem-0.1.tar.gz

Can I help you ...?

Sure, I always need a helping hand.

The TODO list: