9 min read

Open Source Ticketing Systems Explained: Everything You Need to Know

January 20, 2023

According to HubSpot, around 86% of service teams say having a help-desk system improves their productivity. Additionally, among high-growth service teams, 51% are reliant on help-desk systems. 

If you’re in search of a ticketing system, many organizations are turning towards open source ticketing systems to help manage their customer service and internal tasks. 

But what’s the appeal of open source ticketing systems?  

Keep reading for an overview of open source ticketing systems, a glimpse into their benefits and limitations, and practical advice for deciding whether an open source ticketing system is right for your business. 

What is an Open Source Ticketing System?   

An open source ticketing system is a software application designed to help organizations manage customer support requests, issue tracking, and other similar tasks. These systems are based on open source technology, meaning the source code is freely available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute. 

The system allows users to create, assign, and track work requests. It is used to manage customer service requests and incidents and is especially useful for companies that need help with an influx of support issues and organizations that want to manage many projects and tasks. 

The Advantages of an Open Source Helpdesk Ticketing System 

Open source customer service software can help reduce costs, improve flexibility and offer more features to customers than proprietary systems. 

  • Low cost: One of the most significant benefits of using an open source ticketing system is that it is typically much more affordable than a proprietary solution. This is because open-source software is free to use and can be customized to meet an organization's specific needs. 
  • Flexible: Because the open source code is accessible, it can be modified easily to suit the specific needs of the users or company. Functionality improvements and debugging are simple to implement and customize. 
  • Easy integrations: Organizations can use the system with other tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software to create a more seamless workflow. Additionally, some open-source ticketing systems can be extended through plugins and extensions, allowing users to add new functionality as needed. 

The Limitations of an Open Source Ticketing System 

Like most help desk support solutions, PHP ticket systems streamline and scale customer service, but they come with their unique benefits: 

  • Flexible: Because PHP is open source, the ticket system allows for flexibility and accessibility across the entire team. Anyone can access the source code and make necessary adjustments. 
  • Easy-to-Use: PHP is considered simpler than other scripts, so even newcomers to the coding world can easily master PHP in a few days and read, retrieve, edit, add, and delete data in different modules in your PHP help desk on a programmatic level. 
  • Simple Integrations: Most PHP ticket systems possess an Application Programming Interface (APIs) that makes integrating with other applications, tools, CRMs, and portals simple. 
  • Low Cost: Most PHP ticketing systems are free. While they don’t possess the identical advanced features as some paid ticketing systems, PHP ticket systems still possess advanced capabilities and low or no cost. This is especially useful for smaller businesses. 

How to Implement an Open Source Ticketing System 

Despite potential disadvantages, many organizations still choose to use online ticketing systems. There are a few key steps that you can take to help ensure that the process of finding and implementing a system is as smooth as possible.    

  1. First, it's essential to research different open source ticketing systems to find one that best meets your organization's needs. There are many different options available, so it's vital to evaluate each system's features and capabilities to ensure that it will meet your organization's requirements. 
  2. Once you've selected a system, it's important to ensure that you have the necessary technical expertise in-house to set up and maintain the software. If you don't have the required resources, you may need to hire a consultant or developer to assist with the implementation. 
  3. You should also establish a plan for the support and maintenance of the system. As mentioned before, open source ticketing systems may not have a dedicated support team, so it's essential to ensure that someone within your organization is responsible for providing ongoing support and troubleshooting any issues that may arise. 
  4. Finally, be prepared to invest time in testing and customizing your open source ticketing system to confirm that it works as expected and meets your organization's needs. Open source ticketing systems have many benefits and can be a cost-effective solution for managing customer support and issue tracking. Still, it does require effort to set up and maintain it. 

Of course, it’s possible that an open source help-desk ticketing system will not possess the functionalities that your business needs, and that’s OK. There is a multitude of ticketing systems out there that can work. 

Open Source Ticketing Systems: Conclusion 

Open source solutions, with their low cost and flexibility, are great for small organizations but lack features that larger companies need. And while proprietary systems can be expensive, they also tend to offer more functionality and flexibility than their open source counterparts.  

Looking for an online ticketing system with all the features a business of any size needs?  Sign up to try DeskDirector! 


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