Support System Requirement
What we are missing is a support system with email client GUIs (Thunderbird, KMail, ...) for our support people.
The web-based GUIs like RequestTracker(RT), Bugzilla, PHProject, ... or Rich-Client GUIs depending on a database server in the LAN don´t work for us, since our support staff is distributed around the planet and does not necessarily have fast internet connections. (And we need support staff from around the planet to cover all timezones...)
Requirements for the support-system:
- Must be offline capable (support people must be able to draft and continue working on their tickets/emails offline, as they are now. Drafts must be saveable offline. (As is the case with Thunderbirds normal emails).
- Must have a rich editor that the people are used to (their email client)
- Connections between client and server must be encrypted
- Connections should work through standard ports (443, 993, 995)
- Emails should be indexed with a fulltext searchengine on the server and easily searchable on the client.
Current situation: We are currently using an IMAP server to distribute and coordinate the work, which works, but it likely only scales to about 4 people. We're currently experimenting with Thunderbird+QuickText, it really helps to speed up support.
We could need a Thunderbird Extension that enriches a Thunderbird postalbox (IMAP or POP3) with trouble-ticket functionality, adding buttons and context-menu entries and table-columns ... That Thunderbird extension should communicate the trouble-ticket management data with a central server (perhaps by automating RT/Bugzilla/Mantis/PHProject/phd or with a custom made Web-Service or perhaps even through IMAP), both in realtime if the connection is available or cached locally and synchronized afterwards.