The goal of this chapter is to walk you through the basic operations using ProblemTracker. This tutorial assumes that the product has been installed, and you are using the default database that was installed. If your ProblemTracker Administrator has customized your installation of ProblemTracker, you may find that there are differences between the procedures described here and what you are working with. In this case, use this tutorial as more of a guideline to using the system.
In this tutorial you will:
To use ProblemTracker, start your web browser and go to the following URL:
where servername is the TCP/IP name of the host where the ProblemTracker server software is installed, and workgroup is the name of the ProblemTracker workgroup (e.g. "pteval") you wish to access. If you are not sure where ProblemTracker was installed on your network, please ask your ProblemTracker Administrator.
You are presented with the login screen. Enter your username and password to log in. If you are using the sample database, enter the username "dev_mgr" and a password of "dev_mgr".
After logging in, the first screen you will see is your ProblemTracker homepage, which is typical of all the ProblemTracker pages. Please spend a moment to become familiar with it:
Note the icons in the Button Bar. Depending upon how your ProblemTracker Administrator has set up your account, you may see fewer or perhaps more buttons. Each button allows you access to a basic ProblemTracker operation. If you are using the sample database, you should have access to all but the Administrative functions.
On any ProblemTracker page, this Context Sensitive Help icon will be present in the upper right corner. Click on this icon at any time to get detailed information from the Help Guide about the page displayed.
The first thing you will do is report a bug. To do this press the Add icon located in the button bar. You are presented with a page where you can enter information about the problem you would like to report. In the Product field, select the a product (if you are using the sample database, just select "None"), enter the string "My first record" in the Description field and click on the Add button to save the new record. The new record is added to the ProblemTracker database. Note that ProblemTracker is now ready to add another record, the Status Bar shows you the record number of the last added record. Make a note of this record number as you will need it later.
Now that we have a record in the database, let's try doing a query to find that record. To do this, press the Query icon located in the button bar. You are presented with a page where you can define a query. In this case, we want to find all problem records for the product "None". Just select "None" from the Product pulldown, and click on the Run Query button. Note that since all the other fields are using the value "*", any value in these fields will match our query.
The page that appears displays the results of the query. Note that in each row displayed, there are three icon buttons (View, Task, Edit). These icons allow you to perform an operation on the record. Press the View icon. The contents of the record you defined are displayed. Press the OK button to return to the query result page. The Edit, Task, and View icons in the button bar also allow you to perform an operation on a record, however, you must enter the record number to do so.
Now try pressing the button labeled Format For Printing. This causes the same query result page to be reformatted to take up less space (the buttons are removed and a smaller font is used). This format is often more convenient for printing reports. Press the button labeled Format For Editing to return to the previous query result page.
Now let's refine the query. Press the OK button on the query result page - you should return to the query page. Now enter the string "My first record" in the Description field and press the Run Query button. This time only those records that contain the specified string are matched in the result.
Once a problem record is entered into ProblemTracker, it can be tracked as moves through an organization's process. For the purpose of this tutorial we will use the development process supported by the sample database. When first entered, the state of the record is set to "Reported", meaning that someone needs to review the record and make a decision about how to process it. At some point, a decision is made to fix the problem and the state of the record is set to "Scheduled". Once scheduled, the record is advanced to the state called "In Development" and the problem is assigned to an individual to handle.
To give you a feel for how this all works, let's change the state of the record to "In Development" and assign it to you. Press the Edit icon in the Button Bar and enter the record number you wish to modify, in this case the record that you added earlier.
The Edit page should be displayed. Set the Status field to "In Development", and the Assigned to field to yourself. Then click on the the Update Fields (OK) button.
To verify that you are the assignee, press the Home icon in the Button Bar. You should now have at least one record assigned to you listed on your home page. You can also verify your changes by clicking on the View icon in the Button Bar and entering the record number.
Once an individual has fixed a problem, they should indicate that this is the case in ProblemTracker. To do this, click on the Home icon on the Button Bar and locate the task (record) you wish to complete. If you don't see it on your home page (it only displays 20 records), use the Query icon to locate the desired record. Once you have identified record, press the Task icon (a blue check mark) that is either located on your Home page, on the Query result page, or on the Button Bar (you must enter the record number if you use the Task icon on the Button Bar).
The Task icon presents a form that allows you to enter any information appropriate to the task you have completed, and automatically advances the record state to the next state in the process. It also automatically resets the assignment as defined by your ProblemTracker administrator, indicating that it is ready to handled by another individual for the next step of the process.
Select the transition called Mark Fixed and click OK. Enter a description of the fix, and then press the OK button. A confirmation page will be displayed and will note to what state the record was moved and to what user the record was assigned. Note that depending upon your original query, the record may or may not appear in the query summary because the state and assignee fields have changed.
When you are done using ProblemTracker, you should log off the system. Logging off is a good practice as it prevents other users from mistakenly accessing ProblemTracker from your computer and performing actions under your user account.
To logoff, press the Logoff icon in the Button Bar.