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:
There is a separate tutorial for the Administrative functions provided in the Administration Guide.
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 versionDir is the content subdirectory ("ptweb" or "ptdev") of the ProblemTracker workgroup 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 buttons 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.
The first thing you will do is report a bug. To do this press the "Add" button located in the button bar. You are presented with a page where you can enter information about the problem you'd 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 press "OK". The new record is added to the ProblemTracker database. Note that ProblemTracker is now ready to add another record, the Status Area 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" button located in the button bar. You are presented with a page where you can define a query. In this case, we'd like to find all problem records for the product "None". Just select "None" from the Product pulldown, and press 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 buttons allow you to perform an operation on the record. Press the "View" button. 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 buttons 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 through an organization's development process. For the purposed of this tutorial we will assume that development process supported by the sample database. When first entered, the state of the record is set to "Reported", meaning that it hasn't been decided what to do with it. At some point, a decision is made to go ahead and 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 button 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 Assignee field to yourself. Then press the OK button.
To verify that you are the assignee, press the Home button 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 press the View button 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, press the Home button on the Button Bar and located 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 button to locate the desired record. Once you have identified record, press the Task button (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 button on the Button Bar).
The "Task" button 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. 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 button in the Button Bar.