Tutorial: Create a custom support portal in 5 minutes

This short tutorial will show you how to create a support site in 5 easy steps using the open source NodePoint IT System. For this exercise, we'll assume you are the owner a company making furniture named FurnitureCo and need to have a ticketing system in place for customer issues.

1. The first step after provisioning a Windows or Linux host with the proper prerequisite requirements is to download NodePoint from nodepoint.ca and installing it. See the instructions manual for Windows or Linux for detailed instructions.

2. Once installed, you can access the site in a browser from localhost and you should see the initial configuration page. Read the options carefully and customize the instance to fit your needs. Since we'll be managing products, not projects, change the Type of items managed accordingly. You can also enable or disable components as needed. For now, we'll just need Tickets Management. Make sure you enter a secure password for the admin account:

3. Now that our instance is configured, let's create a product. After logging in as admin, click on the Products tab. Here we will add a sofa, along with a description and relevant image. You can use Markdown to add bold, italic and so on. Here is the completed product sheet:

4. While users can now file tickets against our product, let's create a custom form for it. Click on the Tools menu and go to the Custom forms section. In this form, we'll ask customers to enter a short title, a description, whether they are satisfied with FurnitureCo products, the color of the product they bought, and an email address where they can be reached:

5. Now that our form is ready, clients can now go to our support site, create an account, select the product they want to enter a ticket for, and fill our custom form:

From here, you can assign different access levels to your employees so they can modify and resolve tickets, enter the time they spent working on issues using the Time Tracking component, bill specific vendors using the Billing component, and auto assign themselves to products so they will be notified by email when new tickets are entered. You can add more products, forms, and even create a knowledge base with common support issues or product bulletins using the Support Articles component. You can customize the appearance of the site with CSS, integrate it with other products using the JSON API, link your Active Directory domain, setup background tasks using the Automation component, set conditions and actions using Ticket Routing, and monitor usage through graphs and statistics.

NodePoint is a free and open source solution that provides an easy way to create support sites, helpdesk portals and bug tracking sites, while being easy to use and fully customizable.