RT4.0.5 article creation- classes and topic nesting

Howdy,

I haven’t found a lot of information about creating articles under RT4.0.5 with nested topics. I’ve recently installed this application, so I’m also not an expert. I’m not sure if I would be better served by instead setting up a wiki, and then just linking article items instead. Here is the problem:

I’ve created the class “Ops” for articles. This is the name of our group of staff. We are setting permissions for editing “Ops” related articles here. Also, there are other groups to be considered- this installation isn’t just for “Ops”. There will be other teams with their own articles.

Next, I created a tree of topics. Let’s say “Systems” and “Networks”.

Subtopics under “Systems” are “Hosts”, and then other overview topics like “Backups”.

Under “Hosts” are going to be articles containing host specific info, like a manifest article for backupsrv01, and another article for warranty information.

Then I get into article creation. I created a couple of custom fields called “Body” [wikitext] “IP Address” [ip address] and “Attachment” [one upload].

The problem I run into is that RT doesn’t seem to differentiate between different topic custom fields within a class’s sub-topics. I need to display IP address information for “hosts” articles, but don’t need to see that field for an explanation on our backup system. Am I putting the cart before the horse for managing different article formats?

It seems that the Articles feature of RT is limited to exactly one type of article format per class, regardless of how many sub-topics you have underneath that class. From my testing, I would have to create a class for every single article format type that I wish to use (host manifest, host warranty, service overview would now all be classes), which wouldn’t work well with having nested topics underneath. Then, my users would have to search for general keywords, because now they would not be able to drill down nested topics easily for topic specific information. Instead of drilling down through “Ops → Systems → Hosts → Warranties”, they would have to know to select the class “Warranties” to browse for host warranties, or know what keywords to search for. The last two options aren’t very desirable.

Classes make up the root of Article topic trees, but I can’t customize articles in topic sub-trees. That seems very wasteful, so I’m guessing that I’m missing something here. I looked up templates, but that seems to be related to ticket fields (see, I’m an RT novice here, really).

As I’ve read what few docs there are for the RT4.0.5 Articles feature, I would appreciate a kind explanation on how article forms, custom fields and topic nesting are intended to work. At this point, I’m not sure if I need to either completely change how I am structuring articles in RT, or I if I should instead install a wiki/dms and point topic related article related items to that as links.

William “Bill” Albertson

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Really, if someone could reply to this, even to inform me that I should fill out a feature request, that would be helpful. To restate, with goofy diagrams, what I was expecting:

Article Class: PJM
Article Class: QA
Article Class: Ops (group perms set here)
|—Topic: Systems
|—Sub-Topic: Monitoring Services
| |—Article: Introduction (Textbox)
| |—Article: How to request (Textbox, linktoform)
|—Sub-Topic: Hosts
|—Sub-Topic: BKP01
|—Article: HostManifest (Textbox, IP, and stat fields)
|—Article: HostWarranty (contacts, s/n and date fields)
|—Article: HostServices (Various svc fields, SLA links)

How it works so far, where it appears [toplevel Topic] = [Class] = [sole Article Format]:
Article Class: PJM
Article Class: QA
Article Class: Ops (group perms set here, and article format limited to one type per CLASS)
|—Topic: Systems
|—Sub-Topic: Monitoring Services
| |—Article: Introduction (Textbox)
| |—Article: How to request (Textbox)
|—Sub-Topic: Hosts
|—Sub-Topic: BKP01
|—Article: HostManifest (Textbox)
|—Article: HostWarranty (Textbox)
|—Article: HostServices (Textbox)

I hope this makes my dilemma a bit clearer. If we want multiple formats, then we need multiple toplevel Topics?

I expected to differentiate formats of articles under sub-topics. If my expectations were out of line, then I’d appreciate a reply from someone about how it is intended to be done, as the documentation on 4.0.5 article creation doesn’t really go into this.

My other option would be to fill up the Article Topic toplevel with all of the different article formats I (and others) would wish to use, but then we lose the ability for viewers to browse except by article format (and I wouldn’t see the point of topic trees).

Most of this article creation is intended to be self-service for multiple groups, so I would like to keep it as simple as possible, allowing users within their groups to create and format articles specific to sub-topic.

William “Bill” Albertson-----Original Message-----
From: Albertson, William (Rancho Cordova)
Sent: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:31 PM
To: ‘rt-users@lists.bestpractical.com’
Subject: RT4.0.5 article creation- classes and topic nesting

Howdy,

I haven’t found a lot of information about creating articles under RT4.0.5 with nested topics. I’ve recently installed this application, so I’m also not an expert. I’m not sure if I would be better served by instead setting up a wiki, and then just linking article items instead. Here is the problem:

I’ve created the class “Ops” for articles. This is the name of our group of staff. We are setting permissions for editing “Ops” related articles here. Also, there are other groups to be considered- this installation isn’t just for “Ops”. There will be other teams with their own articles.

Next, I created a tree of topics. Let’s say “Systems” and “Networks”.

Subtopics under “Systems” are “Hosts”, and then other overview topics like “Backups”.

Under “Hosts” are going to be articles containing host specific info, like a manifest article for backupsrv01, and another article for warranty information.

Then I get into article creation. I created a couple of custom fields called “Body” [wikitext] “IP Address” [ip address] and “Attachment” [one upload].

The problem I run into is that RT doesn’t seem to differentiate between different topic custom fields within a class’s sub-topics. I need to display IP address information for “hosts” articles, but don’t need to see that field for an explanation on our backup system. Am I putting the cart before the horse for managing different article formats?

It seems that the Articles feature of RT is limited to exactly one type of article format per class, regardless of how many sub-topics you have underneath that class. From my testing, I would have to create a class for every single article format type that I wish to use (host manifest, host warranty, service overview would now all be classes), which wouldn’t work well with having nested topics underneath. Then, my users would have to search for general keywords, because now they would not be able to drill down nested topics easily for topic specific information. Instead of drilling down through “Ops → Systems → Hosts → Warranties”, they would have to know to select the class “Warranties” to browse for host warranties, or know what keywords to search for. The last two options aren’t very desirable.

Classes make up the root of Article topic trees, but I can’t customize articles in topic sub-trees. That seems very wasteful, so I’m guessing that I’m missing something here. I looked up templates, but that seems to be related to ticket fields (see, I’m an RT novice here, really).

As I’ve read what few docs there are for the RT4.0.5 Articles feature, I would appreciate a kind explanation on how article forms, custom fields and topic nesting are intended to work. At this point, I’m not sure if I need to either completely change how I am structuring articles in RT, or I if I should instead install a wiki/dms and point topic related article related items to that as links.

William “Bill” Albertson

Information in this email and any attachments is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual(s) to whom it is addressed
or otherwise directed. Please note that any views or opinions presented
in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Company.
Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for
the presence of viruses. The Company accepts no liability for any damage
caused by any virus transmitted by this email.
All SGS services are rendered in accordance with the applicable SGS
conditions of service available on request and accessible at

Then I get into article creation. I created a couple of custom fields
called “Body” [wikitext] “IP Address” [ip address] and “Attachment”
[one upload].

The problem I run into is that RT doesn’t seem to differentiate
between different topic custom fields within a class’s sub-topics. I
need to display IP address information for “hosts” articles, but don’t
need to see that field for an explanation on our backup system. Am I
putting the cart before the horse for managing different article
formats?

Custom Fields are assigned per-class, not per topic.

It seems that the Articles feature of RT is limited to exactly one
type of article format per class, regardless of how many sub-topics

I’m not sure what you mean by “Article Format”.

you have underneath that class. From my testing, I would have to
create a class for every single article format type that I wish to use
(host manifest, host warranty, service overview would now all be
classes), which wouldn’t work well with having nested topics
underneath. Then, my users would have to search for general keywords,
because now they would not be able to drill down nested topics easily
for topic specific information. Instead of drilling down through “Ops
→ Systems → Hosts → Warranties”, they would have to know to select
the class “Warranties” to browse for host warranties, or know what
keywords to search for. The last two options aren’t very desirable.

There are global topics. It sounds like you want several classes and
global topics applied across the classes.

Classes make up the root of Article topic trees, but I can’t customize
articles in topic sub-trees. That seems very wasteful, so I’m guessing
that I’m missing something here. I looked up templates, but that seems
to be related to ticket fields (see, I’m an RT novice here, really).

As I’ve read what few docs there are for the RT4.0.5 Articles feature,
I would appreciate a kind explanation on how article forms, custom
fields and topic nesting are intended to work. At this point, I’m
not sure if I need to either completely change how I am structuring
articles in RT, or I if I should instead install a wiki/dms and point
topic related article related items to that as links.

Have you read the included article introduction docs?

-kevin

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