Feature #17656


Zendesk Replacement

Added by scott voth 4 months ago. Updated 3 months ago.

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Hi Colin - I installed "Hesk" which is open course and totally free. It uses PHP and MySQL, which may make it easy to make little changes if needed. Here is a link - I couldn't quite figure out how to get email configured, but I'm sure the dev team could help with this. I made you an admin of the site. I will send credentials as a one time secret. Maybe we should get Boone to look at the code base and see if it is a worthy candidate?

Files (3.05 MB) scott voth, 2023-02-14 08:52 AM
Actions #1

Updated by Raymond Hoh 4 months ago

Hi Scott, while it looks like you can download Hesk from their website, I couldn't find the source code for Hesk online. Their license doesn't look like it is open source: However, we can use Hesk as long as we do not remove their footer links.

While searching for alternatives, I came across FreeScout, which is another Zendesk alternative. The source code for FreeScout is available on Github and is licensed under the GPL v3.0. Server requirements also use PHP and MySQL. Might be worth testing out as well.

Actions #2

Updated by scott voth 3 months ago

Thanks Ray. I will check out freescout. Attached is the code base that I installed for Hesk.

Actions #3

Updated by scott voth 3 months ago

There are three helpdesk apps set up at -
  • Hesk - not open source but free - pretty straight forward
  • Freescout - open source, requires inexpensive, life-time licenses for modules. I'd like to like this one, but find it confusing, maybe because more modules are not installed
  • OSticket - open source, full featured, easy to understand

All three are PHP and MYSQL based.

Each has a knowledge base and canned responses. It looks like a file dump of Zendesk tickets could be inserted into a table, so we wouldn't lose data.

Colin - I set up an admin account on each of these for you. For Hesk, your username is Colin. For the others, it is your Brooklyn College email address. Click on forgot password, and you should be able to reset password to your liking. If it doesn't work, let me know - the email client I am using is a little wonky.

If anyone else wants an admin account to check these out, let me know.

Actions #4

Updated by scott voth 3 months ago

I added another possibility - WSDesk. It is a WordPress plugin with a basic and premium version - The premium version has all the features of the others, and has an import from Zendesk option as well.

I installed the basic version here - It seems the basic version only lets you see your own tickets, but premium version probably is more robust.

Colin - I made you an admin - Just click on lost password and you should be able to get in.

Actions #5

Updated by Colin McDonald 3 months ago

Hi Scott, thanks for the legwork identifying these candidates and getting testing going!

I've poked around a little (will continue to do so) and feel similarly about them. When in doubt, it feels right (both for overall Commons ethos and potentially retaining control/flexibility later) to favor open source over paid/private solutions, i.e. osTicket and Freescout over Hesk and WSDesk.

It helps that I didn't see a ton of functionality distinction between them, either, though I'll have to test a fair amount more before saying for sure. osTicket is interesting because at first glance it seems a bit outdated, but if you look at the feature list they've thought of plenty:

(Visually and functionally, it kind of reminded me of Redmine -- good or bad, I'm not sure! But it might get the job done.)

I agree we could try to build out Freescout more, but even their paid modules structure is a bit offputting and confusing, not to mention hard for testing.

I wonder if one of the most important factors here is how well each of these can take an import of all our old Zendesk tickets so we don't lose them. Have you looked into that at all yet, or would you be up for seeing how that might go?


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