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HelpSpot 2.4.0 Beta Group


#1

Hello All!

We’re working diligently on HelpSpot 2.4.0 and are looking for a few folks who would be interested in beta testing it when it’s ready (about a month or so).

If you’re interested in being part of the small beta we’re putting together please post your interest here. Make sure to add your email address in the email box so we can get in touch with you.

A few of the new features in 2.4.0 include:

  • Request check login to allow customers to review past requests
  • Support for searching against multiple Live Lookup URL’s
  • Improved email duplicate and stuck checks
  • Auto draft saving of request notes while typing
  • Support for secure SMTP servers
  • Support for per mailbox SMTP servers
  • Maintenance mode for performing upgrades
  • Dozens more bug fixes and features

Thank you for supporting HelpSpot!!!


#2

Gimme please :wink: I’m looking forward to it! There’s some features just in that list that I’ve been waiting for, and others (like auto draft saving) that I’ve been enjoying on various blogs in the new version of WordPress as a welcome addition that I will enjoy as much in HelpSpot!

On those user logins…are those all separate or can they be tied to an external auth. system like AD, if we have existing user databases?


#3

Right now it runs off it’s own password lookup table. Primarily because it groups them by emails not usernames (as the email is the username) which wouldn’t work that well as most external auth systems run off a username and we’d won’t have a good way of tying that to the emails really at least on HelpSpot’s end.

They way the database works though you could pre-populate the table and synchronize it if you wanted to set all the emails and passwords even before people actually submitted requests.

We’d like to get it hooked in with a black box type setup, but I think it needs to get some real world use first and then try and figure out the best approach for it once we have some feedback.

Also it’s only for looking up old requests, it doesn’t affect any other areas of the portal so most users will still never need it or use it.


#4

Actually your post has me thinking about this a bit more. I’m going to take a look at doing a black box authentication type. If there’s time I think we’ll try and get it in.


#5

Cool! I know you can get at the email address set in Active Directory so I think you could use emails as a username and still tie it into AD, although at that point it may make more sense (if the architecture is there) to use domain logon usernames names which may be shorter and easier to type. Or maybe both if that works; let people type their username and password or email and password, which would make it more user-friendly. We always put the AD username in the Customer ID field…so perhaps allowing authentication for tickets based on the Customer ID or email address fields would work? Just brainstorming…you usually come up with a better solution than I can think of anyway :slight_smile:


#6

I think we’ll switch it to be username based (or at least say username) if in black box auth mode. You could always use email if you want since you write the auth code, but most internal systems use the term username so that probably makes the most sense if we’re going to do it.

This black box function will be a bit different than the one for admin login as you’ll need to return to HelpSpot the email address since that’s what the history lookup is based on.


#7

Oh yes, I’m very interested as the looping email is driving me batty.

Rich


#8

Hi, Now it became really interesting, sign me up. A black box solution using the username from a LDAP server such as AD is great. (without needing to pre-populate user would also be nice). Perhaps in the future it could also be extended to admin logons.

If we can ‘bind’ specific AD groups to the different levels in helpspot like:
HelpSpot::Administrator = AD::Resource_Helpspot-Administrator
HelpSpot::Help Desk Staff = AD::Resource_Helpspot-HelpDeskStaff

  • users could be auto-created/removed and we could more automatic integrate with some kind of security model that probably already exist in the AD.

Of course it’s not possible to do this for all options and such (licensing in helpspot, assignment to catergories and so on), but it would be one small step closer integration - perhaps the implementation could be so general that it works with most LDAP servers?


#9

Great Johnny. No pre-population is necessary in the portal black box login.

Actually Black Box already exists for admin logons. It’s been in HelpSpot from day one. You can see the details here: http://www.userscape.com/helpdesk/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=8

For use with active directory here: http://www.userscape.com/helpdesk/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=138

Let me know if that’s what you’re thinking (may want to start a new thread for that though)


#10

Sign me up…looking forward to seeing the new updates/features!!
Thanks Ian!


#11

Hello Ian,

We would love to help test.


#12

Great, thanks Scott and Chris!


#13

As would I (be interested in beta testing).

Also, I don’t know if this is under development or not, but it would be extremely helpful to us if only registered users could post on the forums. This is a big help to determine “who is who” and check if they have a support contract. It’s a big issue for us when people get around support by posting to our discussion group - we respond, of course, because we want to be a responsive company - but running around answering anonymous postings when a paid tech support queue needs attention is a concern.

Thanks!


#14

Mark, I am curious…why have a forum then? If only registered users can post…why not just have them submit a support request and turn the forums off? Just curious.


#15

It’s a good point, David - my user base is primarily the sign community, which is a relatively tight knit one to begin with, and so “knowing” each other comes into play a bit. Also, it may be that I’m so used to having a forum where people register and then post (phpBB) - and come to think of it, that was born out of a need to control the spamming of the board - that I’m overreacting to the possibility of losing that feature. Maybe it’s not such a big deal after all and I just need to rethink it.


#16

Interesting. Makes some sense I guess. I personally don’t use the forums, so you’d know better than I. My past experience has also been with the phpBB type of forums that require registration, same as you. I suppose you could run that or bbPress or something along those lines if you want to require registration :slight_smile: Your software looks nice BTW, not that I have a personal use for it. If I ever get into the sign business I’ll keep you in mind…or let me know if you expand into estimates for IT consulting :slight_smile:


#17

Due to HelpSpot’s design where it doesn’t really know your customers it would be hard to build in that type of restricted forum, however, you could do it yourself. Several customers have modified the templates to force a basic auth login before a customer can access the forums.