Initial Release - Latest Release 1/1/2016
Welcome to the all-new WN Help Desk Web 12.0. This is a complete re-write of the application from the group up with an all new database structure and an upgrade to the latest in web technologies.
First, since this is a complete database upgrade you will need to download the latest SQL Setup Script and DataConverter to setup a fresh database and to migrate your existing data to the new format. See the SQL Setup Script and DataConverter pages for details.
Latest Web Technologies
WN Help Desk Web is built in C# on the .NET Framework version 4.51. The core of the application is now a collection of RESTful web services. Our entire application (with the exception of the login page, the registration details page, and a few TBD admin pages) is written consuming these web services. This means you can easily write your own solutions against these same standards-based RESTful web services to add your own customizations. In fact, you could use our web services engine and backend database and build your own custom solution on top of that if you choose. To see the details about all the web services that are available log in as the TBD user and select the "RESTful Web Api Documentation" option from the TBD Options menu.
One major change with this complete rewrite is that we now no longer offer an option of using an Access backend database. We now only support a Microsoft SQL Server backend database. This was required to make use of the latest technologies for data access. That means there is no longer a Standard and Enterprise edition. Instead, you can now purchase only what you need by purchasing a license for the amount of help desk technicians and end users you wish to use. Our goal is to make this very affordable for small companies, while allowing larger companies to grow the size of their support staff and end users as needed.
WN Help Desk Web 12.0 makes use of the following web technologies:
- Microsoft .NET MVC framework written in C# using the .NET 4.51 framework.
- Bootstrap is now used for the responsive layout and for more rich user controls and a better user interface.
- Knockout.js is used for MVVM data-binding.
- SignalR is used to send messages from the server to connected clients. This allows multiple people to work on the same ticket while still being notified of changes made by other users. For instance, you could be working on a ticket and an end user can upload a new file or add a new comment and you will see that information refresh as you are working.
In addition to a newly-redesigned backend database, there are some great new enhancements that make WN Help Desk Web a more robust help desk solution. For instance, you can now create an unlimited amount of "Custom Field" layouts using our GUI custom field layout builder (available from the TBD Options menu) to create custom field options for users, assets, and help requests. For example, you can create custom forms to collect specific types of requests such as a "user access" set of custom fields for requesting access to network resources, or a "new employee" set of custom fields for specific questions you may wish to ask when a new employee account is requested. This new custom fields option should make the software endlessly customizable for your environment and your various request needs.
We have also moved to a new Data Migration framework behind the scenes, so this will be the last version of WN Help Desk Web that will require an SQL Setup Script for updates and a DataConverter to migrate changes. In fact, you can create an empty SQL Server database, point the WNHelpDesk connection string in the Web.config file to that new empty database, and WN Help Desk Web will build the entire database structure for you when you start the application. This will allow us to add features in the future without the hassle of manually updating your database and running a DataConverter.
We have made every effort to keep the familiar layout of the software you already know, but using the latest technologies these interfaces are now much more powerful than before.
One other major difference from previous versions is that you now no longer need to specify a file upload location. All files are now stored directly in the SQL Server, which makes for better performance and simpler management, as well as an easier configuration.
If you are ready to get started please download the latest SQL Setup Script, follow the instructions on that page for creating the new database, and use the latest DataConverter to migrate your current data to the new database. We are very anxious to hear any feedback you have. Please let us know if we've missed some errors and we'll get an update out as soon as possible.