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Abstracts - 12th Systems Administration Conference (LISA '98)

Request v3: A Modular, Extensible Task Tracking Tool

Joe Rhett - Navigist


Tracking tasks remains one of the most difficult issues facing any working team of administrators. Even with the implementation of commercial tools available today, e-mail and hallway conversations remain the standard for task management in many organizations; however, these make it difficult and time consuming to remain current on issues, and do nothing to summarize the long-term history of tasks and completion thereof.

Many commercial tools are available to handle task management, and most work quite well for stereotype models of their intended environments - development teams, help desk, etc. Unfortunately, these systems often have limitations which prevent their use (or a simple deployment) in a pre-existing, working environment. Other systems are difficult or time-consuming to use, and remain ignored in favor of task accomplishment. Few freely available systems provide the statistics to analyze productivity, generate statistics, and otherwise please management.

Request v3 was designed to provide the necessary essentials for modern task management: a selection of user interfaces, support for multiple database backends, flexible security controls, and extensive reporting capabilities. It runs cleanly in heterogeneous environments, including those that have a large installed base of Windows users. It includes command line, e-mail, and web interfaces, in addition to an Extension Interface which provides a simple way to access the Request system from other programs, scripts, or any custom interface one may create. The authentication, notification, data storage, and logging functions are processed within separate modules, allowing a variety of backend databases to be supported.

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Last changed: 27 Mar 2002 ml
Technical Program
LISA '98 Index