OTRS (originally Open-Source Ticket Request System) is a service management suite that comprises ticketing, workflow automation and notification, along with a wide range of customizable features. It is used by IT service management, customer service and corporate security help desks to better structure their communication and tasks.

OTRS: ticket overview
Original author(s)Martin Edenhofer[1]
Developer(s)OTRS AG[2]
Initial release2001 (2001)
Stable release
6.0.24 / 31 October 2019 (2019-10-31)[3]
Written inPerl/JavaScript
Available in38 languages[4]
TypeTrouble Ticket System

OTRS History

In 2001, OTRS was created as an open source help desk ticketing software. The free platform was well-accepted by the open-source community and flourished as companies adapted OTRS to their needs. While the free version of the software has since been renamed to ((OTRS)) Community Edition, downloads continue to be available and an active community of open-source users share knowledge through a community-focused website.

In 2015, a new version of the software, known as OTRS Business Solution, was launched. This version was designed for professional users who needed additional support, configuration and features. Like the free version of the software, this too has undergone a name change and is now known as OTRS.

Today's OTRS is a fully managed service management suite, meaning that service and support are bundled with the securely-hosted software product. It is used by more than 170,000 companies worldwide, and the framework contains over 500,000 lines of code.

OTRS Group

OTRS GmbH was originally founded in 2003 by André Mindermann and Burchard Steinbild. In 2007, the company became OTRS Group, also known as OTRS AG, which is the German equivalent of a corporation.

OTRS AG remains the source code owner of OTRS. The OTRS Group is located in Germany and has five subsidiaries worldwide, including OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS ASIA Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS Asia Ltd. (Hong Kong) and OTRS Do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil). OTRS AG is listed in the Basic Board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

STORM powered by OTRS

OTRS was used as the backbone of a cyber-defense system, known as STORM powered by OTRS. The system uses the OTRS ticketing platform to facilitate quick responses to cyber-attacks. The processes used are configured by a team of OTRS AG experts who have deep skills in the cyber-defense area. This is a growing area of business for OTRS AG since cyber-attacks continue to top the list of risks identified by the World Economic Forum.

OTRS Technical Notes

Since its beginnings OTRS has been implemented in the programming language Perl. The web interface is made user-friendly by using JavaScript (which can be switched off for security reasons). The OTRS web interface uses the Template::Toolkit rendering engine to dynamically generate the HTML output of individual frontend modules. This approach allows the underlying logic of the OTRS frontend modules (written in Perl) to remain separate from the presentation of each module's user interface (served as HTML to the user).

Originally, OTRS supported only the use of a MySQL RDBMS for use as the webserver database. Support has since been added for PostgreSQL, Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server, and MariaDB (a community-developed fork of MySQL). OTRS may be used on many UNIX or UNIX-like platforms (e.g. Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, etc.) as well as on Microsoft Windows.

The scalability of OTRS systems may be increased by using mod_perl for the Apache Webserver or by separating the database and web server systems, allowing a large number of simultaneously working agents and high volumes of tickets.

In UNIX and UNIX-like environments OTRS can make use of system programs such as the mail transfer agent Postfix to provide email functionality but this should only be considered in limited circumstances in which the possible pitfalls are clearly understood and deemed inconsequential such as cases where there exists limited or no internal corporate email infrastructure. If possible it is always advisable to integrate OTRS with an enterprise's existing email architecture which requires close coordination and planning with the responsible IT representatives. If for some reason implementation constraints make this impossible, you must at the very least request action taken by your organization's DNS provider to configure a DNS 'A' record for the target host which validates the host as an authoritative domain server. A less desirable option, (and more likely to cause issues) would be configuring a DMARC record that allows an exception in normal conformance standards for emails sent from your server, but any far-end (receiving) email server may still bounce the incoming traffic depending on the server configuration.

There are many OTRS free and paid 'add-ons' available through OTRS commercial support services and independent developers to expand the platform's functionality.

See also


  1. Schürmann, Tim (April 2011). "Die freien Ticketsysteme RT und OTRS" [The free ticksystems RT and OTRS]. Linux-magzine (in German). 4. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. "OTRS Homepage". Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  3. "Releases - OTRS/otrs". Retrieved 16 November 2019 via GitHub.
  4. "IT Service Management Software". OTRS.com. Archived from the original on 25 May 2018. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
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