A Brief Introduction To BATTS

Using BATTS is not difficult, if you are familiar with the Unix command line. If you are not, I recommend buying (and reading!) my book to learn all about Unix. [1] BATTS was designed to work simply and interact well with other Unix programs. This tutorial, however, concentrates on basic BATTS features.

People and Customers

The point of a trouble ticket system is to better server your customers. Most customers are people who work for organizations, which may or may not be the real customers but who really pay the bills. BATTS embodies this division by having people and customers.

People have an ID number, with which you need not be concerned, a user name, a long name, an e-mail address, and the customer for whom they work. By default, there is a customer 'unknown' (which you can think of as unaffiliated) and one (by default 'internal', though you should have changed this) for employees of your organization. Let's say that your real name is "John Smith," and your e-mail address is . You may want your username to be the same as the user portion of your e-mail address; this is the default when tickets are submitted via the e-mail gateway. The command batts person-new me "John Smith" "me@example.org" internal will create a user with the short name of me, whose customer is internal. If you've changed the name of the first customer following unknown when installing BATTS, you will get an error if you try to use internal.

Note that person-new is a sub-command of the batts. In the rest of the examples, we will assume that the symbolic links have been installed, and that only the subcommand names need be typed. If you have not installed the symlinks on your system, imagine that each of the BATTS commands is prefaced by the name of the BATTS executable. Note also that the full name and e-mail address are surrounded by quotes. This is so that the system knows to treat each of these as a single item on the command line. This is shell quoting, and it is explained in almost any in-depth Unix tutorial.

As of the current release, BATTS does not distinguish between people who have access to modify tickets directly and people who can only submit tickets. If people should not have the power to modify tickets, they should not be given permission to run the BATTS executable, and should restrict themselves to the e-mail gateway.

A customer is similar to a person, in that there is a short name (the customer username (which is internal in the above example) and a long name, which should be the full name of the company. To create a new customer, the syntax is similar to the person-new, but slightly simpler: customer-new bigspender "Big Spender Enterprises". In this case, bigspender is the customer short name, and Big Spender Enterprises (again, quoted in the shell) is the customer's full name.

If you wish to change information about a person or a customer after having created them, several commands are available to do this. Check Reference I, BATTS Manual Pages for further information.



Think Unix, by Jon Lasser, Que. 2000. See http://www.cluestickconsulting.com/think-unix/ for more information.