UPOINT:: CGI Scripts:: @1 Helpdesk XP v3.20

Please note that you might see something weird if there are many users testing this script at the same time.


This is the latest Helpdesk XP Version 3.20. It is written in PHP and requires MySQL. It has many more features as requested by our existing customers. The old Helpdesk XP Version 1.20 is available here for free.

An intelligent web-based helpdesk system which does not use the conventional open/closed ticket management. Instead, it adopts a more effective ticket sorting/ranking method on top of a new "closed ticket" feature. This script uses MySQL database and can handle thousands of tickets without any slow-down of performance. This script has been officially tested with more than 1,5000 tickets (consisting more than 5,000 messages) without a single ticket posting or file uploading error.

What's New:

Configure your own tag pairs
- The tag pairs :q: & :/q:, :b: & :/b:, :u: & :/u: and :i: & :/i: added.
- You can pre-configure your own tags. For example, when you enter :b: in your message, it will be automatically replaced with <b>.

- The tag pairs can be configured to insert images.

Insert FLASH animation into your messages
-  Configure your tag pairs to insert FLASH codes. For example, when you enter :service: into your message, a piece of codes is automatically inserted to display the Flash animation below.

Insert Flash Animation

Click to view demo

 - Ability to post image icons on messages. More than 50 available predefined icons. You can add more if you like.

Quote of the Day
- Added auto-stamping of quote of the day (can turn off) to each message posted by administrator. Currently the quotes.txt file consists of 125 quotes of various subjects.



Other New Features
1) Improvements:

- Added an email CC field.
- Added "Bulk Email Reminder" to remind customers to read the unread messages.
- Added "Individual Email Reminder".
- Added attachment indicator. The image icon appears next to the subject when the ticket has attachment(s).
- Multiple file upload.
- Enable upload of files with the same file name.
- Added "Show Unread" link - view only tickets with unread messages.
- Improve bottom navigation link.
- Message numbering - for easy references.
- Host stamping.

2) The "closed" status: Administrator can now force-close tickets. Closed tickets are grayed out and ranked the lowest. If subsequent messages are posted to closed tickets, the tickets will be re-activated.

3) Flagging: can be used to mark tickets. However, it does not affect the ticket ranking. Use "priority" marking if you want to rank the tickets highest.

4) Multiple pages: Messages are now listed in multiple pages if the ticket has too many messages.

5) Better search engine: Now you can search the entire ticketing system. In the earlier version 1.2, only the first message is searched.

6) New ticket: Administrators can now initiate new tickets. In the old version, only the visitors can initiate new tickets. I.e., Helpdesk XP can fully replace ordinary emails.

7) Time adjustment: Date-stamping can be adjusted if your server time is X hours faster/slower than your local time.

Sorting & Ranking of Tickets:

Unlike other helpdesk scripts, we do not use "Open/Completed" to segregate tickets. Instead, a more efficient sorting method is adopted.

Since Helpdesk XP Version 2.01, closing of tickets (in other products, this is usually done by changing the tickets to "Completed" and removing them off the main list) is not needed although it can be done. Past tickets are automatically placed at the bottom of the ticket list while newest tickets are placed on top. Also, active tickets (old tickets with subsequent replies) are again moved to the top. Here is an example:

Sorting order:

Order of sorting (from top to bottom):
        priority >> new entry >> re-entry >> replied >> closed
Tickets marked by the Administrator as important - always placed at the highest position in the list.
new entry New tickets submitted by visitors.
re-entry The visitor posted a subsequent (follow-up) message in responding to the reply made by the Administrator earlier.
replied The Administrator has replied the ticket.
closed This is useful in forcing a "new entry"/"re-entry" ticket to close. For example, the customer might have replied just to say thank you and you do not want to further reply to the ticket, yet you wish to turn off the RED status.
Message flagging. It does not affect the ranking of tickets.

Why you need this:

  • So that older tickets are placed at the bottom/back pages. When you wish to clear them off the list, simply click "last" to jump to the last page of the list. Then mark those tickets you want to clear and delete them.

Searching & Filtering:

  • You may search for tickets. Searching will be done on the visitor's name, company, ticket number, messages ....
  • Searching can be based on a selected category (such as searching only the tickets under the "Technical" category).
  • The search feature also acts as a filter. The staff from the Billing Department might want to view only the tickets under the "Billing" category. In this case, all the following actions will be performed under the "Billing" interface until the view is switched back to "Show All".

Multiple Users:

Helpdesk XP supports ONE Master User and unlimited number of sub-Administrators (referred to as "Administrator"). The Master User may assign Administrators under a protected web-based interface.

If Mary Stevenson logged in and replied a ticket, her full name will be printed on the message. When James Eden logged in and made a subsequent reply to the same ticket, his full name will be printed on the message too. This way, everybody knows who have said what.

Please note that the email notification (if turned on) will only be sent to the Master User (not each individual Administrator). Master User shall view the email (with the visitor's message) and forward the email to the Administrator in-charged.

Ticket Numbering & Changing of Category or Subject:

Assigning a ticket number:

  • You may define the ticket categories and the numbering formats. The default are: Billing, Inquiry, Suggestion, Technical and Other.
  • Tickets of different categories are numbered differently. For example, BLxxxxx for Billing, IQxxxxx for Inquiry, SGxxxxx for Suggestion, TNxxxxx for Technical and OTxxxxx for Other.

Changing the category of a ticket:

  • Sometimes you might want to change the category of a ticket. For example, the category selected by the visitor is "Technical" when he is asking about the payment arrangement. In this case, you might want to re-categorize the ticket under "Billing" (so that the staff from the Billing Department may attend to it).
  • After re-categorizing a ticket, the ticket's number will be reassigned. In the case above, the ticket might be changed from "TN00128" to "BL00207".
  • An email will be sent to the visitor informing him of the changes (including the old and new ticket number).

Changing the subject of a ticket:

  • The subject of an existing ticket can be edited. This will not affect its status or ticket number.

Handling of long subjects:

  • Long subjects are automatically truncated to prevent the HTML tables from going too wide.

Have the Message Been Read?

After a ticket has been replied by the Administrator, it will be displayed in bold under the admin control panel. It will change back to normal font once the visitor has read it (not affected if it was read by the Administrator). Wow! Now you can tell whether your messages have been read by the visitors!!!

List of Email Addresses:

When a visitor submits a new ticket, the script will search through a text-based file in the "db" folder for his email address (as submitted). If the address is not found, it will then write the email address into it. If found, nothing will be done. Every few months, Administrator may then import the list to a third-party mailing list program.

Email Notification:

When a new ticket is posted: An email is sent to the Master User. This can be globally turned off (less annoying if you have many inquiries everyday). No email is sent to the visitor.

When a ticket has been replied by the Administrator: An email is sent to the visitor. The email includes a one-click link to his ticket. If this link is lost, visitor can also login manually (provided that he knows the ticket number and password).

When a subsequent message is posted by visitor: An email is sent to the Master User informing him of the subsequent message.

When a ticket is re-categorized: An email is sent to the visitor informing him of the new ticket number.

*** All email formats above are separated and highly customizable.


Edit the files "header.tmpl.php" and "footer.tmpl.php" to give Helpdesk XP a special theme. The codes will be placed immediately after the <body> tag (for header.tmpl.php) and before the </body> tag (for footer.tmpl.php).

If you want to give each interface a different look, you may go one step further by editing other template files. There are all together 14 HTML templates and 4 email templates.

A CSS file "main.css" is used. So you can change all the font easily.


- File uploading can be done by both the visitors and the Administrator.

- Each message can support multiple file attachment.

- Uploaded files with *.cgi/ *.pl / *.php will be automatically converted to *.txt extension so that they are readable and not executed (for security reasons).

- All uploaded files will be properly archived. The files will NOT be overwritten when files with the same names are uploaded (even under the same ticket).

- Clicking the attachment link will open the file in a new window.

- File size of the attachment is shown.

- When a ticket is re-categorized, the related attachments will also be renamed.

- The attachment upload feature has been officially tested more than 1,000 times without a single incidence of file corruption.

Deletion of a ticket:

Deleting a ticket will also delete all the related messages and attachments hence leaving no junk files behind (even if the ticket was earlier re-categorized).

Link Handling:

  • All HTML codes entered into the message field will be converted to normal text.
  • All strings with the following text will be automatically converted to links:
    - strings that contains "www."
    - strings that contains "http://"
    - strings that contains "http://www."
    - strings that contains an @ followed by at least one dot

Hidden Remarks:

An editable and deletable hidden remarks field is included. Only the Administrator can see the remarks under this field. This field is searchable.

Security & Other Features:


  • Helpdesk XP is highly secured. You can post messages that contain usernames, passwords and other highly sensitive information provided that the "db" folder is kept outside the root directory. The "db" folder is for keeping all data files as well as the login info to the system.
  • You should not upload sensitive information as attachments (although it is hard to guess the download URLs) since the folder is inside the root.

Visual Confirmation (CAPTCHA):

  • If you wish to integrate visual confirmation (CAPTCHA) into @1 Helpdesk XP, we recommend the free bbAntispam. It is a smart textual CAPTCHA, which challenges site visitors only once (using cookies to remember), and then disappears. To install, no database required, no graphical libraries required, just insert one line into the helpdesk script.

Other features:

  • Automatic date & host address stamping on each message.
  • Required field and email address validation upon ticket submission.
  • Ability to add/delete/edit Administrators and to change the master password from the web-based Master User interface (note that this is different from the Administrator interface).
  • 4 page links: first, previous, next and last.
  • Visitor's particulars are shown on top of the ticket.

Compatibility & Capacity:

  • No known bugs. Compatible with mod_security, suexec, phpsuexec etc (info for server administrators only).
  • We have tested this script with more than 1,000 tickets with each ticket containing an average of 7 messages. A few of the tickets contain more than 400 messages. No problem !


  • Installation is rather standard. Configuration is done under the lib.php file.
  • Cookies are used to identify the visitors and Administrators. Do not install the script twice under the SAME domain name (no problem for same server but different domains) or you might have problems with the login.
  • Full installation details available at Help Center.

Requirement for @1 Helpdesk XP v3.20:

  • PHP + MySQL
  • No SSI needed.

Purchase: Version 3.20 (PHP + MySQL)

Price: USD49.95 + Life free upgrades & support

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