Installation

Installation of OrchardCollaboration is pretty simple. In the first run of OrchardCollaboration, you will see the following installation page.

Here you must provide the instance name, enter password for the default admin user, select the database engine plus its Connectionstring (Some database engines like SQL Compact doesn’t need Connectionstring). Although, Orchard supports several database engines, we recommend using Sql Server. If you just want to test OrchardCollaboration, SQL Compact is the simplest choice.

The latest field is installation recipe. OrchardCollaboration recipe automatically installs necessary modules, select default theme, configure the menus and create basic data.

Installation takes from 30 second to few minutes, and after that, you will see the OrchardCollaboration User-Dashboard.

By default, it shows ticket summaries, and activity-stream. (If you are familiar with Orchard CMS, You can customize it using custom widgets).

Create a new Project

Creating a new project is pretty simple. In order to do so, you can click on the “Projects” menu in the top toolbar.

Here you can see the list of the projects that you have access to them. Click on the “Create New Project” button.

In the  “Create New Project” page, you can enter the Title and Description of the project as well as select the Owner of the project. Owner is the person or group who is responsible for coordinating the project. In simple words, Owner has the maximum level of authorization on the project. By clicking on “Save”, the project will be created and you will be navigated to the Project Dashboard.

In the project dashboard, you can have an overview over the latest activities in the project.

Create new users

On the top navigation bar, click on the Operators.

 Then in the operator list page, click on the “Create” link.

 The link will navigate you to the “Create user” page of the “Orchard Admin Dashboard”. Tel, Mobile and SkypeId fields will be used to integrate with Skype. In case of having values,  anywhere in the OrchardCollaboration, you can make a call with the user by just clicking on him/her name. The “Tags” field is important in workflows. It can be used by workflows in order to branch based on the user Tags.

        Here there are a bunch of roles too. By default, OrchardCollaboration uses the Administrator, Operator and Customer roles. The other roles can be used, in case you want to use CMS features of the OrchardCollaboration.

Changing Basic Data

In order to change the basic data such as Business-Units (Groups), Ticket Types, Ticket status, etc, you must first navigate to the Orchard Admin Dashboard.

In the Orchard Dashboard, in the top left corner, there are “Business Units”, “Ticket Status”, “Ticket Types”, “Ticket Services” etc links.

 Please note that you need BasicDataPermission in order to be able to change the basic data. By default, users with Administrator role have this permission.

Grant access to a Project

Changing the people who have access to a project is easy. You just need to navigate to the project, and then click on “People” link in the toolbar.

Here you can grant new Business-units or Operators to have access to the project. In this page, you can not grant customers to access the project, instead you must invite them to the project from the customer list.

Create new discussion

People who have access to a project, can create new discussions in the project.

Here you can specify the title of the discussion, its content and the people who can access it. (Here the business units and users are limited to the ones who have access to the project).

After creating the discussion, you can attach files to it, comments on it, follow it, change the people who have access to it etc.

Project activity-stream

For each project, users can see the activity stream per project. Activity-stream of the project is available in the toolbar of the project-dashboard. Each user can see the activity-stream of the items he/she has access to them.

Wikis

Each project has its own wikis. Wikis contains Folders and wiki items. Each folder can contain sub folders and wiki items.You can customize the access of users or business-unit to any folder or wiki item. Also you can create related tickets for wiki items.

Create new folder

In the wiki section, users who have edit access to the project can create new Folders.

You have the option to specify the parent folder and the people who can have access to the folder.

Create new wiki item

Creating a Wiki item is similar to creating a folder. The “Add Item” link is available on the toolbar of wiki section, (in case of having the necessary privilege). For each item, you can specify the Title, Content, container folder and people who can view it. After creating a wiki item, you can upload necessary files to it too. (Or create related tickets).

Customers

In the top toolbar of the OrchardCollaboration, there is “Customers” link which points to the list of customers. In the customer list, you can see the customers and their activities, the project they have access to them, create new Customers, or invite them to existing projects.

Ticketing system

Ticketing system is one of the main parts of OrchardCollaboration. You can navigate the tickets search page using the “Tickets” link in the top link-bar. Ticketing system has the following features:

  • Email Ticketing
  • Dynamic Email Templates
  • Automatic & customizable Email replies
  • Automatic Email notification
  • Custom ticket forms, custom ticket fields
  • Add watchers to tickets
  • Automatic ticket assignment using workflows
  • Commenting & discussion on tickets
  • Create/relate tickets to the other items in the system
  • Unlimited level of tickets
  • Flexible mechanism to assign/share tickets
  • Full support of custom workflows by providing necessary Activities
  • Search & Filters on tickets
  • Tickets Dashboard
  • Activity-Stream

Configure Email ticketing (IMAP client)

Enabling the IMAP Client is pretty simple. By enabling it, the system will automatically create new tickets for incoming emails. If you have experience in Orchard Workflows, you can customize the workflow that is used to create tickets for incoming emails, otherwise, you can rely on the default workflow provided by OrchardCollaboration. In this post, I describe how to configure IMAP Client.

Automatic ticket assignment using workflows

OrchardCollaboration provides several workflow activities that can be used to automatically create/assign ticket to different agents/ business-units. using the following activities, you can check different properties of the ticket, and based on that, assign the ticket or create a new tickets or run any other workflow activities.

Check User Tag

This activity can be used to check whether the creator user of the Content has a specific tag or not. The output of activity is boolean (“Yes” or “No”). This activity helps you to branch the workflow based on the user.

Priority Branch, TicketType Branch, Service Branch

These activities can be used to branch the workflow based on the properties of the ticket. For example, Priority Branch, branches the workflow based on the priority value of the ticket.

Using Email Templates in Workflows

The following activities uses the email templates to send emails.

Send Ticket Email

This one can be used to send an email related to a ticket.

Send Permission Email

This one can be used to send an email related to a new generated access record.

Send Email To Followers

This one can be used to send email to users who follow the Content related to the workflow.

Using Orchard tokens, email templates can be bound to properties of the Content or ticket which is related to the workflow. It helps you to send informative customized emails to your users.