Documentation forWeb Help Desk

Plan your request types and tech groups

Request types and tech groups help you organize and route tickets to technical support personnel who can help users solve their problems. Take some time to plan and create these types and groups before you get started using Web Help Desk.

Plan your request types

Make a list of possible ticket requests you may receive in your organization and organize those requests into request type categories. This will help you create an initial group of request types so you can get started using Web Help Desk as soon as possible.

For example, if you provide help desk support for faculty and students at a college or university, your request types could include:

  • Blackboard
  • Classrooms
  • ID Cards
  • Passwords
  • College Network

If you provide help desk support for individual contributors, managers, and executives in a company or organization, your request types could include: 

  • Business Applications
  • Hardware
  • Security
  • Software
  • Telecommunications

As your help desk implementation grows, you can add additional request types as needed, and then map those request types to the appropriate tech groups.

As you plan your request types, use the following guidelines:

  • Hide internal request types from clients to avoid confusion. Some request types are used only by techs (for example, a request for a system to be shut down for maintenance).

  • Create client-facing request types that reflect the client's (and not the tech's) point of view. Name request types to reflect the problem or symptoms the client sees, not the solution or the underlying technical cause. Be sure to avoid specialized terms that clients would not know.

  • Use nested request types to subdivide broad parent categories. Request types can have multiple levels. Nested request types can be used to:

    • Provide more specific categories for reporting or categorizing FAQs.
    • Route tickets to different tech groups. For example, Facilities > Plumbing and Facilities > Landscaping could be routed to different tech groups.
    • Hide technical subcategories from clients. For example, a parent request type called Computer Problem could have nested request types to describe specific types of problems (such as VPN Connection Issue). These nested types are hidden from clients to avoid confusion. Techs can use them to provide more accurate reporting on the types of issues users encounter.
  • Do not make your system too complicated or granular. Create only the types you need to route and categorize requests.

    Users can have difficulty selecting a type when there are too many options, and choose a generic type such as Other. If in doubt, start with fewer types and add more if needed.

  • Before deploying the request types and tech groups in a production environment, test all request types in a QA or development environment. Verify that each request type is routed to the correct group.

If your needs change and you decide not to use a request type that is attached to several tickets, you can archive the request type. When a request type is archived, the request type and all associated tickets are hidden from your clients and techs.

Request type limitations

SolarWinds recommends using up to 2,100 request types for deployments connected to a Microsoft SQL Server database. If you exceed this amount, you will experience system performance issues and unexpected results with the dashboard widgets. Due to the maximum capacity specifications for SQL Server, the database software can only support up to 2,100 parameters for each user-defined function and stored procedure.

For deployments connected to a PostgreSQL or MySQL database, SolarWinds recommends using up to 3,000 request types. If you exceed this amount, you will experience similar results.

Plan your tech groups

Tech groups are optional. If you are providing technical support in small organization with just a few techs, you probably don't need to define tech groups. Without tech groups, each ticket is assigned to the lead tech for the ticket's request type.

If you are providing technical support for a large organization, corporation, or university, you can use tech groups to automatically route tickets to techs with the required skill set. Web Help Desk can assign tickets to group members using a load-balancing or round-robin algorithm, or you can route all tickets to the group manager or lead tech for manual assignment.

To address the immediate needs of mission-critical personnel (such as college or university faculty and staff), consider setting up a unique phone number or extension for these personnel. This helps you guarantee that these individuals receive immediate assistance rather than wait for their tickets to be channeled through the ticket assignment logic to the appropriate tech group.

Map request types to tech groups

After you plan your requests types and tech groups, create a list of request types you plan to use and map them to the tech groups who can support them.

The following table provides an example of groups mapped to request types.

Tech Group Request Types
Building Maintenance
  • Facilities > General
  • Facilities > Installation
  • Facilities > Clean Up
  • Facilities > Fixture / Office / Cubicle Repair
  • Facilities > Heating or Cooling Issue
  • Facilities > Light Bulb Replacement
  • Facilities > Plumbing Issue
Grounds Maintenance
  • Facilities > Landscaping Issue
Human Resources
  • HR > Benefits
  • HR > Benefits > 401K
  • HR > Benefits > Insurance
  • HR > Benefits > PSIP
  • HR > Employee Complaint
  • HR > New Hire Paperwork
  • HR > Personal Records