FAQ

Polar Help Desk FAQ Categories

  1. Top FAQ
  2. General FAQ
  3. Installation FAQ
  4. User Interface Customization FAQ
  5. Users FAQ
  6. Active Directory & NTLM Integration FAQ
  7. Incidents and E-mail FAQ
  8. Service Level Management (SLM) FAQ
  9. Knowledge Base FAQ
  10. Reports FAQ
  11. Licensing FAQ

Top FAQ

I cannot install Polar Help Desk because installation error appears. What is the problem?

There could be several causes for this problem, depending on error which is received:

  • If installation is interrupted with error: “The specified service already exists” you should do the following:
    • Go to Start > Run and type Regedit
    • Find the registry entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Services
    • Find Polar Help Desk Scheduler service folder there and delete it
    • Restart your computer
    • Start installation of Polar Help Desk
  • If installation is interrupted and error in error log is following “An exception occurred during the Install phase. System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: Exception from HRESULT: 0×80005000.”
    It means that an invalid directory path name was passed to the IIS (Internet information services) when choosing virtual directory during installation.
    Do not enter backslash ( \ ) or some other symbols that cannot be accepted as pathnames, try just entering default value: PolarHelpDesk and it should work.

What settings do we need to change in order to have the help desk system capture and send notifications?

You need to setup your POP3 settings.

Go to Administration Desktop > E-mail Automation > POP3 and fill all the fields in this form. Note! “Enable Receiving e-mails through POP3″ must be checked.

I believe E-Mail notification allows us to define the collection of POP3 emails and convert them to incidents automatically?

If you want to receive incidents via email, and send notifications to your support representatives, you need to use “Email Automation” feature.

You need to define valid POP3 server information (for receiving emails), and SMTP server information (for sending notifications).

E-mail notifications are defined by using Service Level. There are three default service levels- bronze, silver and gold. Gold service level sends all possible notifications and the other two send only some of them.

The users have been imported from the AD and IIS setup to disallow a non access and use windows integrated instead. When they load the login.aspx page their user name is correctly populated domain\user but the password field is blank. Can this field be populated so I can auto submit the form on load?

To do this you first need to enable the NTLM:

  1. Please go to the Control Panel – Administration Tools – Internet Information Services.
  2. Find the virtual folder where Polar Desk is installed and browse for the HTTPRequestNTLMLogin.aspx. It should be on this path: PolarHelpDesk – CommonDialogs – HTTPRequestNTLMLogin.aspx.
  3. Right click on this file and select properties. Once the dialog is opened, go to tab File Security and click on the Edit button in the Anonymous access and authentication control. Once the dialog is opened deselect all the check boxes you see except the “Integrated windows authentication” check box. Apply the changes and close the Internet Information Services window.

Now, when you go to the Login page, you will notice that your windows login name is already set as the username. Provided that this username also exists in the Help Desk database, all you need to do is click the login button.

Note that this is only required for AD authenticated users. You can still create users with short domain names. Only, PHD will not be able to authenticate these users through AD. Also, users can still be imported from AD without DOMAIN/Username. This is done by omitting method=”AddDomainPrefix” from Translation Table.

The menu on the left side of the screen is showing as text only. What is the problem?

There could be several causes for this problem.

  • Internet explorer web controls are missing. Check if webctrl_client folder exists in c:\inetpub\wwwroot (this is default directory). If it doesn’t exist to to Polar Help Desk installation directory (default is c:\program files\polar\polar help desk\) and open folder setup\application and there you should find webctrl_client folder and copy it to wwwroot folder of your web site and give internet user appropriate permissions to access it. If folder already exists in wwwroot directory just give internet user appropriate rights to access it.
  • Internet explorer security settings prevent menu from showing. You should go to Tolls->Internet options, find tab Security and add Polar Help
    Desk site to Trusted sites list.
  • Firewall is blocking access, try disabling firewall to check if that is the problem.
  • Internet information services default path is set to Polar Help Desk virtual directory and it appears as Polar Help Desk installed in root of a web site and that is wrong because Polar Help Desk cannot work correctly in root of a web site. To change default path go to Control Panel->Administrative tools->Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab Home directory and set it to root of a we site (usually c:\inetpub\wwwroot). It shouldn’t point to Polar Help Desk directory.
  • ISAPI filtering enabled on your web site which prevent Polar Help Desk from working correctly. To check/disable it go to Control Panel->Administrative tools->Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab ISAPI filters and try removing them and see if it works now.
  • IP restrictions are enabled on your Internet information services. Go to Control Panel->Administrative tools->Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab directory security and disable IP address and domain name restrictions and see if it works now.

Can I setup Multiple Service User Roles? I am trying to make it so some service users would use one template and others use another that I select. I want to set the template defaults and direct each user to a specific template.

Yes, you can achieve such functionality with Polar Help Desk software. We have prepared a How-to Guide to help you in accomplishing it.

Is there any way to allow a group of services users to see each others incidents?

Yes, it is possible to have service users, from the same business unit, to see each other’s incidents. You will need to adjust the service user role to achieve this functionality.

I have problem with installing PHD on my computer (software is Windows server 2003 Standard, SQL Server 2000 SP3, .Net 1.1, not created ASPNET user acc in SQL server).

To add ASPNET user account to your database, please follow these steps:

  1. Click on your “Security” folder of your database.
  2. Right-click on “Users” folder and choose New Login.
  3. In “Database user – New” window in “User name” text field type “(SERVER_NAME)\ASPNET”
  4. In “Login name” click the “…” (Browse) button.
  5. Now you have “Select Login” window, click the “Browse button” that will open “Browse for Objects” window.
  6. From Object’s list check the “(SERVER_NAME)\ASPNET” user, after confirmation with “OK” button on last two dialog windows, your ASPNET user should be in “Login name” text field.
  7. In “Database role membership” check db_owner and db_accessadmin checkboxes
  8. Click OK button.

After this procedure, open new IE window, and try to run Polar Help Desk, if error persists, you should restart the web server by running the command ‘iisreset’:

  1. Go to Start – Run;
  2. Type ‘iisreset’ and run it;
  3. When the web server is restarted, try to access the Help Desk again.

What are the steps to upgrade from version 4.x.x.x to the latest version?

  1. Go to Download section of our web site.
  2. Log in using your existing username and password.
  3. Click to download the latest version of Polar Help Desk.
  4. After the download, please follow these steps:
    • uninstall the product (the database is never deleted or damaged during uninstallation so all of your data will be saved and you can safely perform an uninstall);
    • backup the database;
    • install the new version of the product and choose the existing database during setup (the one you have backed up earlier).

Note: during the upgrade process your data will be saved.

General FAQ

What is Polar Help Desk?

Polar Help Desk is a service management software designed to help you refine and accelerate the process of tracking, resolving and auditing incidents (calls) by sustaining the best practices for operating and implementing IT service support in companies.
As a web based software solution it is accessible at any time and from any place in the world.

Who should use Polar Help Desk software solution?

Polar Help Desk is intended for small businesses who need to organize or improve their customer support. It facilitates the adequate service delivery to the end-users whether they are external or internal customers.

Can we integrate Polar Help Desk with our support email address?

Yes. You can integrate Polar Help Desk with your support POP3 email address and automatically create incidents from the email. If your service user prefers the email communication, one may do so, while your support staff retains the benefits of systematic incident tracking and management over the help desk software.

Your website says that the support is offered during the normal support hours and since you are in Europe so how would that work for us?

Support is provided during regular working hours – US Eastern Standard Time.

How can I send in feedback of a feature request for a future version of Polar Help Desk?

We greatly appreciate any suggestions for new features. Please submit feature requests through our online Help Desk. Our software engineers review these reports regularly and consider them when planning future product releases.

Can I try Polar Help Desk before I buy it?

Yes. Full functional version of Polar Help Desk is installed here. You can also download Polar Help Desk with one named license for free from our web site.

How can I purchase Polar Help Desk?

The easiest way to purchase it is to place your order online.

How do you deliver your products?

Polar software products are only available via ESD (Electronic Software Download).

How can I report a bug in the application or an error in the documentation?

Please submit bug reports, documentation errors, and feature requests through our Help Desk. Our software engineers review these reports and do their best to address these requests in the next product release cycle.

How many customers have purchased helpdesk?

Polar Help Desk has been on the market for over four years, helping hundreds of companies provide online customer service or build a support center for their own employees.

The company itself has been successfully developing software applications and components for the past ten years.

The list of our selected customers can be found here.

What is the version number of the latest release?

You can see latest version number on our site at left side under Current version.

Where can Polar Help Desk Help files be found?

All guides in a single zip archive
Administration Guide
Support Representative / User Guide
Installation guide

These files are also part of the installation package.

System requirements for PHD : Browsers, OSs, DB Management systems….
Does Polar Help Desk support other web browsers than Internet Explorer? For example: Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox?

The current version of Polar Help Desk does not support other browsers, Microsoft internet explorer only, however we do plan to support other browsers in the future versions.

We can recommend you the following alternatives for your Firefox users:

  1. You can use Polar Help Desk Email Automation feature and convert incoming emails to Incidents. Your Firefox will not have to use our interface but only their email client to send you requests.
  2. You can easily create a new Help Desk interface for your customers and tide it with our Help Desk DLLs

What are system requirements for the correct installation of Polar Help Desk?

  • OS: Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows XP
  • Web server: Windows® 2000 (IIS 5.0) or Windows® XP (IIS 5.1) or Windows® 2003 (IIS 6.0)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework Version 1.1
  • MS SQL Server 2000 or MS SQL Server 2005 Express or MS SQL Server 2005

Does it support Oracle or Microsoft Access database?

Oracle and Microsoft Access is not supported, unfortunately. Polar Help Desk supports SQL Server database engines.

Hosting
Is the software hosted on your Servers or should we get our own domain and host it ourselves?

Polar Help Desk can be hosted on your server. However, at the moment, we can offer you “Polar Help Desk Hosting – Beta free”, which is currently free, but as soon as it goes out of beta the prices will be published at www.polarsoftware.com. If you are interested to use our beta product “Polar Help Desk Hosting – Beta free” feel free to contact our sales representatives at our Help Desk or using email at sales@polarsoftware.com

We are a web hosting company and we would like to offer your product to our users?

Yes, we are offering special pricing plans for web hosting companies. For more details, please contact us through the email: sales@polarsoftware.com or our online Help Desk.

Installation FAQ

Issues during installation

I cannot install Polar Help Desk because installation error appears. What is the problem?

There could be several causes for this problem, depending on error which is received:

  • If installation is interrupted with error: “The specified service already exists” you should do the following:
    1. Go to Start->Run and type Regedit
    2. You need to manual delete Polar Scheduler Windows service from disk and from registry:
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Polar ServiceDesk Scheduler
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Polar ServiceDesk Scheduler
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\Eventlog\Application\Polar ServiceDesk Scheduler
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Eventlog\Application\Polar ServiceDesk Scheduler
      
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Assemblies\C: |Install_directory|Services|Polar.ServiceDesk.Scheduler.exe
      
      HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Installer\Assemblies\C: |Install_directory|Setup|Utilities|Polar.ServiceDesk.Scheduler.exe
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Enum\Root\LEGACY_POLAR_HELP_DESK_SCHEDULER
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Services\Eventlog\Application\Polar Help Desk Scheduler
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet003\Services\Eventlog\Polar.HelpDesk
      
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\Root\LEGACY_POLAR_HELP_DESK_SCHEDULER
    3. Restart your computer
    4. Start installation of Polar Help Desk
  • If installation is interrupted and error in error log is following “An exception occurred during the Install phase. System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException: Exception from HRESULT: 0×80005000.” It means that an invalid directory pathname was passed to the IIS (Internet information services) when choosing virtual directory during installation. Do not enter backslash ( \ ) or some other symbols that cannot be accepted as pathname, try just entering default value: PolarHelpDesk and it should work.

I can’t find any information in the Web Site field on the Create Virtual Directory screen of the installation. What do I need put in to the Web Site field?

The web sites available should be listed in the first combo box on the Create Virtual Directory screen of the installation. The web sites listed are the ones available on the web server on the machine where you started the installation. You should choose one of the web sites from the combo box and proceed with the installation. If there is no web sites listed there, please check if you have Internet Information Services (IIS) installed on that machine.

Issues after installation

After installation Polar Help Desk doesn’t work. What is the problem?

There could be several causes to for this problem, depending on error which is received:

  • If you have MDSE installed you should install free Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express. To install it follow this procedure:
    1. Uninstall Polar Help Desk
    2. Download and install .NET Framework 2.0 from here.
    3. Download and install Microsoft SQL 2005 Express from here.
    4. Install Polar Help Desk
    5. Go to Control Panel->Administrative tools->Internet Information Services
    6. Find PolarHelpDesk in directory tree
    7. Right click on it and go to properties
    8. Find tab ASP.NET
    9. Under ASP.NET version choose version 1.4432 and click OK and try to run Polar Help Desk
  • If error is “Server Error in ‘/PolarHelpDesk’ Application. System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: Login failed for user XY” then you should follow this procedure:
    1. Click on your “Security” folder of your database.
    2. Right-click on “Users” folder and choose New Login.
    3. In “Database user – New” window in “User name” text field type “(SERVER_NAME)\XY”
    4. In “Login name” click the “…” (Browse) button.
    5. Now you have “Select Login” window, click the “Browse button” that will open “Browse for Objects” window.
    6. From Object’s list check the “(SERVER_NAME)\XY” user, after confirmation with “OK” button on last two dialog windows, your XY user should be in “Login name” text field.
    7. In “Database role membership” check db_owner and db_accessadmin checkboxes
    8. Click OK button.
    • After this procedure, open new IE window, and try to run Polar Help Desk, if error persists, you should restart the web server by running the command ‘iisreset’:
    1. Go to Start->Run.
    2. Type ‘iisreset’ and run it.
    3. When the web server is restarted, try to access the Help Desk again.
  • If error is something like “Parser error” and under Version information on the bottom of the page there is Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0; ASP.NET Version: 2.0 then solution is following:
    1. Go to Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Internet information services
    2. In directory tree find Polar Help Desk virtual directory (default is PolarHelpDesk)
    3. Right click that directory and go to properties
    4. Find tab ASP.NET
    5. Under ASP.NET Version choose 1.4322
    • After this procedure, open new IE window, and try to run Polar Help Desk, if error persists, you should restart the web server by running the command ‘iisreset’:
    1. Go to Start->Run.
    2. Type ‘iisreset’ and run it.
    3. When the web server is restarted, try to access the Help Desk again.
  • If after typing Polar Help Desk URL (default is: http://localhost/polarhelpdesk ) you get “You are not authorized to view this page” then you should do the following:
    1. Go to Control Panel->Administrative Tools->Internet information services
    2. In directory tree find Polar Help Desk virtual directory (default is PolarHelpDesk)
    3. Right click that directory and go to properties
    4. Find tab Documents
    5. Add default.aspx to default documents list
  • If you get “Page cannot be found” error and you are running Polar Help Desk on Windows 2003 then you should try the following:
  1. Try restarting the web server and open the application in the browser again. You should restart the web server by running the command ‘iisreset’. Go to Start – Run. Type ‘iisreset’ and run it. When the web server is restarted, try to access the Help Desk again.
  2. If that does not work – go to the c:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322 and run ‘aspnet_regiis.exe -i’ in the command line. Then restart the web server and try again.
  3. If this does not work either, please perform these steps:
    1. Open Internet Information Services (Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Internet Information Services), expand the master server node (that is, the ServerName node), and then select the Web service extensions node.
    2. In the right pane of Internet Information Services, right-click the extension that you want to enable. In our case, this is “ASP.NET v1.1.4322″.
    3. Click to select the Allow check box.
    4. Restart the web server by running the command ‘iisreset’.
    5. When the web server is restarted, try to access Polar Help Desk again

I am unable to login and the screen flashes and I end up back at the login screen again (no error message is given).

Here the list of possible causes for this error:

  1. It is possible that your IIS server is not configured correctly. The session appears to expire immediately. Try to check the session length for the particular web site.
  2. Try changing the Application pool settings from the default pool to the some other pool (you can also create another pool).
  3. Internet Explorer blocks JavaScript – check Internet Explorer JavaScript settings

I have installed the new version of Polar Help Desk and I get the following message after trying to go to the url: Server Error in ‘/helpdesk’ Application. Security Exception Description: The application attempted to perform an operation not allowed by the security policy. To grant this application the required permission please contact your system administrator or change the application’s trust level in the configuration file.

Here is a list of things you should check:

  1. This problem might be caused with by IIS caching mechanisms. Please restart the web server by running ‘iisreset’ in the command line and try again.
  2. Check on your Application Pool settings (IIS). Try to change those settings temporarily to see if help desk will work.
  3. If you are running SharePoint on the same server and same site, create a new site for Polar Help Desk and install it on that separate site

The menu on the left side of the screen is showing as text only. What is the problem?

There could be several causes for this problem.

  • Internet explorer web controls are missing. Check if webctrl_client folder exists in c:\inetpub\wwwroot (this is default directory). If it doesn’t exist go to Polar Help Desk installation directory (default is c:\program files\polar\polar help desk\) and open folder setup\application and there you should find webctrl_client folder and copy it to wwwroot folder of your website and give internet user appropriate permissions to access it. If folder already exists in wwwroot directory just give internet user appropriate rights to access it.
  • Internet explorer security settings prevent menu from showing. You should go to Tolls->Internet options, find tab Security and add Polar Help Desk site to Trusted sites list.
  • Firewall is blocking access; try disabling firewall to check if that is the problem.
  • Internet information services default path is set to Polar Help Desk virtual directory and it appears as Polar Help Desk installed in root of a web site and that is wrong because Polar Help Desk cannot work correctly in root of a web site. To change default path go to Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab Home directory and set it to root of a web site (usually c:\inetpub\wwwroot). It shouldn’t point to Polar Help Desk directory.
  • ISAPI filtering enabled on your web site which prevent Polar Help Desk from working correctly. To check/disable it go to Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab ISAPI filters and try removing them and see if it works now.
  • IP restrictions are enabled on your Internet information services. Go to Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Internet information services and in directory tree find Default web site and go to properties. Find tab directory security and disable IP address and domain name restrictions and see if it works now.

Currently none of the buttons work. Clicking the ‘new incident’ just makes the screen flash and then it returns back to where you were. Clicking on ‘print’ has the same effect. I can raise incidents using the menu so I know that the back-end of the system is working.

It looks like the pop ups are being blocked on your client computer. It might be that security level is too high. You should check your browser for that as well as settings on Windows XP if you are using them.

When I connect to the server I have Polar Help Desk running on and from inside our network everything looks fine. However, when I connect from outside the network (via MS ISA Server) the menus don’t display correctly. There are no images, just text.

The problem is in the way the internal web site was published through the Microsoft ISA Server. You should create a Destination Set for the internal server that exposed Polar Help Desk to the web publishing rule. I needed to add webctrl_client folder into the same destination set and everything works fine now.

The installation of PHD completed successfully but when I launched the program I see the number of incidents in parentheses in the left window column but the detail window on the right does not show them. When I entered a new incident it appears in the detail window.

  1. As the view filter (found in the upper right corner of the Help Desk desktop) is set to 30 days by default, it is possible that the incidents are older and thus are not displayed. You should try changing the time filter to “All time” and see if the incidents appear.
  2. It is also possible that you are not a member of the group that the incidents are assigned to and therefore are not able to see them.

Other

How can I purge the database?

We advise you to create a new, empty database. This is far simpler than purging the old one.

How can I reinstall my Polar Help Desk release without losing my data?

You should do the following:

  1. Uninstall the product. The database is preserved.
  2. Backup the database!
  3. Download the new version and install it. During installation choose to use the existing database (the one you backed up) and proceed with the database upgrade (if necessary).
  4. Finish installation.

How to upgrade Polar Help Desk to latest version?

You should do the following:

  1. Go to Download Release section of our site.
  2. Log in using your existing Username and Password (you got them when you first purchased Polar Help Desk).
  3. Click to download the latest version of PHD.
  4. After the download, please follow these steps:
    1. Uninstall the product. The database is preserved.
    2. Backup the database!
    3. Download the new version and install it. During installation choose to use the existing database (the one you backed up) and proceed with the database upgrade (if necessary).
    4. Finish installation.

Note : during the upgrade process your data will be saved.

What database do you recommend to use with Polar Help Desk?

Polar Help Desk supports SQL Server database engine. For its best performance we recommend MS SQL 2005 Express which is free and it can be downloaded here.

How can I backup Polar Help Desk?

You only need to backup your database. You can setup a backup and maintenance plan for SQL Server Enterprise manager.
If you are planning on making a backup copy of your database and restore it later on here is what you need to do:

  1. Open your SQL Enterprise manager
  2. Right click on your database and choose All Tasks > Backup database
  3. On the Backup dialog choose Database complete
  4. Add a file in the destination box and click OK
  5. You should make a safe copy of this file.
  6. In case you need to restore this database over the existing one here is what you need to do:
    1. Open your SQL Enterprise manager
    2. Right click on your database and choose All Tasks > Restore database
    3. Select From device option
    4. In Select Devices dialog choose your backup file

Process of backup is similar to SQL Server Management Studio Express if you are using SQL 2005 Express Edition.

How can I use automatic login in Polar Help Desk?

http://localhost/PolarHelpDesk/AutomaticLogin.aspx?Username=USERNAME_HERE&Password=PASSWORD_HERE

For example the address for polar support site would be: http://support.polarsoftware.com/helpdesk/AutomaticLogin.aspx?Username=USERNAME_HERE&Password=PASSWORD_HERE

User Interface FAQ

Does Polar Help Desk support custom fields?

Custom fields are not supported in the current version of Polar Help Desk however it uses a system of Incident Templates. Incident Templates allow you to select predefined values that will be selected for each element on Incident Form. For example you can disallow your customers to see Group field and these Tickets will be assigned to the group that is defined in the template. Each role can have permissions to see different templates (e.g. your customers could see one set of templates and your employees other).

Can we adjust login page so it will incorporate in our website style?

Yes, you can

How can I put my company logo on the login screen?

We recommend that you add it to IncidentManagementDesktop\DesktopLeftMenu.aspx file.
You can add it above the line containing the following, so the new code would look like this:

< uc1:TopMenuRight id="TMR" runat="server" >

< /uc1:TopMenuRight >

If you wish to add a logo on the Login page please go to: Administration Desktop > General > View > Welcome Message and add a tag like this somewhere in the HTML source:

< img src=”logo.jpg” >

We sincerely advise you not to modify other pages since you could damage the software core functionalities. Furthermore you will encounter problems when upgrading to new version since the new version will not contain the changes you made. Therefore I encourage you to contact us with your interface requests. Your requests will be considered and we will be adding all features that can serve all customers.

Is there a way to modify the main login screen to remove your company information and the generic login information for Admin, Support and User?

You can change the welcome screen by exporting language file, editing it in a way you want it to be and then importing it again into Polar Help Desk. To export/import language file go to Administration and click on Language management.

When you export language file into xml, open that xml file in text editor (notepad) and search for string “Welcome to polar help desk”, string is there and you can change it.

These are the detailed steps:

  1. Export the language you want to upgrade (or change) to an XML file.
  2. Edit the XML file by changing this string:
    <data id="LogIn_WelcomeLabel_Text"><value>Welcome to Polar Help Desk</value>
  3. Instead of “Welcome to Polar Help Desk” put your desired welcome message. It is very important NOT to change the tag because it contains information of the language which will be updated later.
  4. Import changed XML file the same way you would create a new language. Put this language as your default language and save the changes.

Our company information and link to our site cannot be moved. Also this way you can change any other text value in Polar Help Desk. We strongly advise not to modify other pages since you could damage the software core functionalities. Furthermore you would encounter problems when upgrading to new version since the new version would not contain the changes you made.

Is it possible to disable or remove the registration button at the login screen?

You could remove the register button on your helpdesk system by modifying the LogIn.aspx file:

  1. Open LogIn.aspx and find the lines containing:
    <TD class="psFormCell"><asp:button id="ForgottenPasswordButton" runat="server" CssClass="psButton" Width="144px"></asp:button>
    <asp:button id="RegisterButton" runat="server" Width="80" CssClass="psButton"></asp:button>
    </TD>
  2. To hide the register user button place an exclamation mark in the first line like this:
    <!TD class="psFormCell">

This way your users would not be able to self register but would need you to do the registration for them.
If you also enable the e-mail automation mode (without automatic user registration) the users that send an e-mail to your support site, and are not registered, would not be able to open an incident, nor using web interface nor e-mail. If they sent an e-mail to the support site it would be put on hold. You could also add some text to the login.aspx file to notify the unregistered users that they need to send an e-mail and some information or whatever might be necessary in order to open an account.

Can the helpdesk have multiple client interfaces?

Every customer has its own credentials that he uses to access the Help Desk through his/her web browser. At login he/she can see only their incidents and not the issues from other companies. However, if you would like somebody to have a possibility to see other incidents you can also set this up by modifying the permissions in the Administration Desktop.

So this all depends on your needs, using Roles you give different permissions to each group. If you would need some help in setting this up to tailor your requirements please let me know and I will be happy to assist you.

Active Directory & NTLM Integration FAQ

How does Active Directory Integration work in Polar Help Desk?

Using Active Directory integration you can import your users from the Active Directory using the LDAP protocol. When import operation begins, Polar Help Desk will match the usernames in the database with the ones in the Active Directory. If user is not found in the database, it will be imported/created. If user already exists in the database, he will be ignored. Based on the LDAP filter you can control what type of users will be imported. This is useful if you need to import one group of users to a specific Polar Help Desk group/role. Also, you can specify what user information will be imported. The integration with AD is manual; you can import your users with their passwords and usernames. Once you import your users from AD to Help Desk you cannot synchronize passwords. After you import users from the Active Directory, you can set Polar Help Desk to use integrated windows authentication (NTLM). This way users on your company network will be automatically logged in based on their username. Users are imported in format DOMAIN\Username. This is the full username that also matched one given by the integrated windows authentication (NTLM).

Active Directory Synchronization

The integration with AD is manual; you can import your users with their passwords and usernames. Once you import your users from AD to Help Desk you cannot synchronize passwords.

In the options screen you can enable the active directory authentication. How to setup the LDAP string?

For authentication simply set the path to the location within AD tree from which to start searching for the users. Note that users with the same username must exist in the Polar Service Desk.

How do I enable NTLM authentication?

To enable the NTLM, you need to go to the Control Panel > Administration Tools > Internet Information Services. Find the virtual folder where Help Desk is installed and browse for the HTTPRequestNTLMLogin.aspx. It should be on this path: HelpDesk > CommonDialogs > HTTPRequestNTLMLogin.aspx.
Right click on this file and select properties. Once the dialog has opened, go to tab File Security and click on the Edit button in the Anonymous access and authentication control. Once the dialog opens deselect all the check boxes you see except the “Integrated windows authentication” check box. Apply the changes and close the Internet Information Services window.
Now, when you go to the Login page, you will notice that your windows login name is already set as the username. Provided that this username also exists in the Service Desk database, all you need to do is click the login button.

When we import users, how does the Help Desk know what group or groups to place the users in? Can it tell by the group membership from AD?

When importing from AD you must specify Destination Group since every user in Help Desk must have at least one group defined. Based on the LDAP filter you can control what type of users will be imported. This is useful if you need to import one group of users to a specific Polar Help Desk group/role. Also, you can specify what user information will be imported.

How can I setup the translation table? I made this but it is complaining about it.

<translation version="1">*
<translate from="User Logon Name" to="UserName"/>*
<translate from="Description" to="Description"/> *
<translate from="mail" to="Email"/>*
</translation>*

Sometimes IE implementation of the text area tag in the HTML adds trailing line feed characters. Please make sure you delete these otherwise the .xml will not be accepted by the parser. We are working on improving this system and will attempt to remove manual .XML scripting from the Polar Service Desk.

Assuming that you are importing users from the AD, here is an example about how it is done:

(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=User)
(givenname=*)(sn=*)(mail=*)(sAMAccountname=*))
<translation version="1"><translate method="AddDomainPrefix"
from="sAMAccountname" to="UserName"/><translate from="sn"
to="LastName"/><translate from="givenname" to="FirstName"/>
<translate from="mail" to="Email"/></translation>

Note that you will need to enter username and password for the administrator account if sAMAccountname is to be extracted properly

Can I import different fields from active directory?

Different fields can be imported from the active directory. This is done through the Translation Table. In Translation Table you can specify which fields from the AD will go into which fields in the Polar Help Desk database.

Incidents & E-mail FAQ

Scheduler is not working/no mails are received. What is the problem?

There could be several causes to for this problem:

  • In Polar Help Desk go to Administration->Email Automation and test your POP3/IMAP settings. If test fails then your settings are probably wrong and you should check them.
  • In Polar Help Desk go to Administration->Scheduler and Enable scheduler
  • Go to Start->Run and type Services.msc and check ih Polar Help Desk Scheduler Service is started, if not, start it.
  • Go to Polar Help Desk installation directory (default is c:\Program Files\Polar\Polar Help Desk) and open directory services and edit schedulerConfiguration.xml file. Scheduler URL should look like this: http://localhost:80/PolarHelpDesk/SchedulerTrigger.aspx where PolarHelpDesk is name of virtual directory in which Polar Help Desk is installed. If you have SSL encryption on your web site scheduler URL should be changed to http://localhost:443/PolarHelpDesk/SchedulerTrigger.aspx
  • Firewall is blocking access; try disabling firewall to check if that is the problem.
  • Another web site is running on same port as Polar Help Desk, you should change Polar Help Desk web site port into something else.
  • If error in Event Viewer is the following: ‘Scheduler failed to execute trigger: ‘http://localhost:80/polarhelpdesk/schedulertrigger.aspx’. Error description: The remote server returned an error: (400) Bad request.’ you should download .NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 from here and install it.
  • If error in Event Viewer is one of the following:
    • ‘Scheduler failed to execute trigger: ‘http://SOMETHING/SOMETHING’. Error description: Invalid URI: The hostname could not be parsed.’
    • ‘Scheduler failed to execute trigger: ‘http://SOMETHING/SOMETHING’. Error description: The underlying connection was closed: The remote name could not be resolved.’
    • You should open C:\Program Files\Polar\Polar Help Desk\Services\schedulerConfiguration.xml in some text editor change your scheduler URI because it is invalid. Note that file path might be different if you installed Polar Help Desk in some other directory. By default, Polar Help Desk will use this URL to trigger the Scheduler: http://localhost:80/PolarHelpDesk/SchedulerTrigger.aspx where ‘PolarHelpDesk’ is name of Polar Help Desk virtual directory selected during installation.

E-mail are being received in Polar Help Desk only after clicking on “force scheduler”. How to solve that problem?

  1. Please go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Administration Tools > Services and find Polar ServiceDesk Scheduler. Check if the service is started, if not, start it. The scheduler runs emails check every 5 minutes.
  2. Go to Polar Help Desk installation directory (default is c:\Program Files\Polar\Polar Help Desk) and open directory Services and edit schedulerConfiguration.xml file. Scheduler URL should look like this: http://localhost:80/PolarHelpDesk/SchedulerTrigger.aspx where PolarHelpDesk is name of virtual directory in which Polar Help Desk is installed. If you have SSL encryption on your web site scheduler URL should be changed to

    http://localhost:443/PolarHelpDesk/SchedulerTrigger.aspx.

  3. If that won’t help then you should go to Control Panel > Administrative tools > Event Viewer and see if Polar Help Desk Scheduler is throwing any exceptions, if it does please send us complete error info so we can give you further assistance.

We would like to have it setup so if a certain user emails our support@email.com email account, then the system automatically sets up a support incident and potentially automatically assigns it to a certain service person (and potentially notifies the service person at the same time by email), is all of this possible via templates etc.?

Therefore, after sending an email the application opens a new incident for this user. If this is a new user (email address not in the database) than the new user is first created and an incident is opened on behalf of this user. If a customer replies to an email that was sent from the Help Desk then this is recognized as a part of the previous incident and it is added to the conversation history. The level of automation can be set up in the admin part of the product. Email notifications are also sent to the customer as well as the support technicians. So, after a customer has opened an incident your support team (or any other group – depending what you set up in the preferences) would receive a notification. Time when the notification is sent and the recipients of the notification can be configured from the admin center.

How often does Polar Help Desk scheduler check for mails?

It checks for mail every 5 minutes by default.
You can change this setting in this file:

c:\Program Files\Polar\Polar Help Desk\Services\schedulerConfiguration.xml (this is the default location).You have to change this setting: interval=”5″

The intervals are expressed in minutes.

Do not change any other settings or scheduler will not function properly.

How can I turn the notifications in Polar Help Desk?

You have to choose the notifications you want to be sent to help desk users. By default none of them is selected but you can configure Polar Help Desk to send many combinations of notifications. The notification rules are defined in a currently selected default Service Level.
To change this “Bronze” Service Level you should go to Administration Desktop > SLM > Service Level and open “Bronze” in an edit popup. On tab “Notifications” choose notifications you want to be sent to your users and support personnel.

Different notification rules can be defined per each Service Level. Notifications about an Incident will be sent according to the service level defined for that Incident.
You will also need to enable email sending. The email sending can be enabled from Administration Desktop > SMTP Server settings. Specify all the required fields and make sure you have checked Enable E-mail Sending checkbox.

Is it possible to customize the email subject and body text of the notifications?

In the current version of Polar Help Desk it is not possible to customize the email subject and body text of the email notification that is sent to customers and support technicians. However, you can customize (i.e. set in the preferences of the system) when the notification will be sent and to who (which group of users).

Can notifications be sent once certain priority ticket is received?

After a customer has opened an incident your support team (or any other group – depending what you set up in the preferences) would receive a notification. Time when notification will be sent and recipients of the notification can be configured from the admin center.

In order to manage Polar Help Desk, I would like to understand the different between all incident statutes.

An incident will change statuses during the course of its lifecycle. Various users will change the status of the incident from New status all through to Closed status. Every status has a state so that you can have better visibility and control over the lifecycle of specific incident. This state is used so that you can measure the time it took to start working or the time for solving the incident which is important for SLA time measurement.

There are two possible states in Polar Help Desk:

  1. Accountable – This state means that the responsibility for the incident is on support staff. The counted time in this state is used to see how much time it has take from the beginning to the end of giving the support to a customer. The SLA time is active in this state.
  2. Not Accountable – This state means that the responsibility for this incident isn’t on support staff, it is on a customer that has opened the incident (e.g. support staff is waiting for his response or confirmation for good issue solving). The time for giving the support to the customer is not counted in this state. The SLA time at this state is inactive, so no priorities will increase to a higher level in this state by themselves.

Here are the descriptions for every incident status and its state in Polar Help Desk:

  • New – All new incidents and the ones that are reopened get this status. The state for this status is Accountable.
  • In Progress – The incidents where support staff is working on a solving the issue. The state for this status is Accountable.
  • Waiting – The incidents where support staff is waiting for feedback from customers. This state for this status is Not Accountable
  • Resolved – This incident is solved but the support staff is waiting for the customer to answer if the solution suits him. The state for this status is Accountable.
  • Completed – This status have all the incidents that are solved. The state for this status is Not Accountable.
  • Closed – This status is used for incidents that were completed. The state for this status is Not Accountable.

How can I turn off e-mail notifications that Polar Help Desk sends me?

If you would like to turn off the e-mail notification from this (Polar support) helpdesk as our customer, please click on My profile on the left menu of the help desk desktop. A user popup will open. Please uncheck Receive E-mail notifications. You will no longer receive e-mail notifications.
Elsewhere, if user has Admin privileges he should follow:

ADMIN -> SLM -> Service Level -> Notification and turn off the notifications.

Polar Help Desk is not automatically escalating incidents when the time limits are exceeded. How often should this be occurring, and what could be preventing it from escalating incidents?

First of all, you will need to check Working Hours for your Service Level. Incidents will only be escalated during Working Hours for your service level. Incident also will not escalate while it is in Not accountable Statuses (Waiting and Resolved Status).

Is there any way for the Polar Help Desk to automatically refresh the incident page so that support representatives can see when new incident (new e-mail) is created?

You cannot adjust the refresh rate in Polar Help Desk. This can only be done by pressing the refresh button and if a support representative makes an update to the incident.

Service Level Management (SLM) FAQ

Since the version can do SLA’s can we set the working day / working week so that elapsed times are reflected properly? Finally can you set the time taken to resolve a fault on the actual fault to look at the time support staff actual took to do work, rather than they opening and closing faults with no real indication of the work that was actually involved?

The time label is not showed on the incident (but you can see in the conversation history every step of the incidents life), however there are reports that are generated and will allow you the see the average time needed to complete the incident for example, among others.

What are Business Units?

Business Units are primarily used for Service Level Management. Based on a Business Unit, a Service Level can be determined for the incident. Also, by selecting View Incidents Associated with User Business Unit in the Roles part, you can allow users to see all incidents that are created by users who also belong to this Business Unit. Note that only users in Business Unit who have this role will be affected. This means that if a user A is not in group B, but is still in the same Business Unit as the user who created the incident, he will be able to see the incident. This way one can allow a customer who belongs to the same company to see all incidents opened for their company.

Could you provide more details on the escalation? In the Priority Escalation tab, one can find the option to set the SLA Time Limit. When does this time out happen? Is it like the incident remains with status “New” for so much amount of time then the escalation mail is triggered?

The priority escalation time is in form of hh:mm (for example, 0:3 is 3 minutes).

  • If an incident stays in an open status (new or in progress) for that amount of time it escalates to a higher priority (if the incident had low priority it escalates to medium)
  • If you wish to send notifications to service user and/or current Assignee and/or all group members to which the incident is assigned, you need to select that in the notify if SLA exceeded (you can use CTRL + left lick to select multiple options).
  • Also, you have an option to notify, for example, only current assignee if SLA exceeded specified time for one priority and, for example, current assignee and/or service user for some other priority.

When I try to delete a service level the system just tells me I can’t delete it? I have no use for Gold, Silver or Bronze, yet they cannot be removed?

Service Levels cannot be deleted. We are working to remove the delete buttons from toolbars of all the items that cannot be deleted.
You can rename and change the existing service levels to meet your needs. If you really need to delete these service levels, we can help you delete them from the database so in that case contact us.

How can a Service Level be deleted manually?

  1. Here is what you need to do:Find the Default Service Level. On the service level form, the field Default Service Level is checked for only one service level while for others it is not.
  2. Remember or write down the Default Service Level name. This is the one service level you will not delete. If you want some other service level to be the default and you want to delete the current default, change it now.
  3. Delete all SLA-s that include the service level you are going to delete.
  4. Open the Polar Help Desk database and find the table “ServiceLevels”. Delete all the rows except the one with the “Service Level Name” which you wrote down.Please be sure to backup the database before doing this.

Knowledge Base FAQ

We’d like to have the employees do some self service for simple things. Does your system provide a database for self service lookups/answers to the employees?

Polar Help Desk does include a self service. We call that part Knowledge Base. Here you can post your FAQ, internal procedures, documents or anything else you want to display to your employees.

Where are knowledge base articles being stored?

Knowledge base articles are stored to Help Desk database. If you decide to integrate this system with other systems you will be able to do so by simply querying the database. We are also preparing new API interface that will allow you to easily work with the data stored in the helpdesk database.

Do you plan to add a feature where specific Knowledge Base article can be restricted to certain groups or users?

We do have plans to add this feature. You will be able to give permissions over each Knowledge Base Item to Groups of users. So you will be able to give permissions to see new products (articles, folders) to your Customers and Employees, and permissions to see old products (articles, folders) to your employees only.

Reports FAQ

Can I create my own reports?

Currently you cannot add your custom reports but this feature will probably be added to next versions. We are very interested in your opinion, so if there is a report that you miss, send us your suggestions and we will be adding all usable reports you suggest.

Can we create reports against SQL?

Since we provide you with open database structure and open data base information you could create your own reports using Crystal Reports or Microsoft Report Server or some other tool to create your own reports.

I am getting the following error when trying to run reports. I’ve given the aspnet user full permissions to reportsdesktop folder, and read permissions to entire polarhelpdesk folder (Server Error in ‘/PolarHelpDesk’ Application. A generic error occurred in GDI+).

Please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the “c:\Program Files\Polar\Polar Help Desk” folder (this is the default) and find the folder which is a virtual directory for your Help Desk, for example: “HelpDesk”.
  2. Inside that folder find ReportsDesktop\ChartImages\ folder.
  3. Right click the folder and go to Properties, Security tab. Give full rights to ‘Everyone’ for this folder.
  4. Save the changes and try again.

Licensing FAQ

What is the price of a new license of Polar Help Desk?

Please check the current pricing list with the cost calculator for your own combination of named and concurrent licenses. Special pricing for volume purchases, education customers is also available. For more information on Polar Help Desk pricing, please, call us.

I own an older version of Polar Help Desk. Can I upgrade to Polar Help Desk?

Yes. You can upgrade and transfer you data from Polar HelpDesk to Polar Help Desk. Please contact our sales department.

Do you offer educational pricing for Polar Help Desk?

Yes. The Education Edition of Polar Help Desk is available at a 30% discount to qualified educational end users. For more information, contact our sales department or post a query at the Help Desk.

We are a web hosting company and we would like to offer your product to our users?

Yes, we are offering special pricing plans for web hosting companies. For more details, please contact us through our online Help Desk.

How can I obtain a new license key?

You can download the new key from Polar Web Site using the login credentials you received during your online order.

How do I enter new license key?

Once you have obtained the new key, here is what you need to do to enter new key:

  1. Log in to your helpdesk as administrator
  2. Enter new license key on Administration Desktop and save it.

Are the named support licenses transferable?

Yes, the named licenses are transferable; you can add or remove users from named users list in anytime.

I have one named license. Does this mean that I can have one support person and as many users as I need?

You can have unlimited number of customers – service users. Users that are ‘only’ service desk users and do NOT fall under the 1 user in the license must satisfy 1 condition: they must be in Service Users Role (the group is not important). They can also be in any other role which only sees its own incidents and profile in the Help Desk left menu, and Knowledge Base Browse part.

The crucial difference between the ‘supporter’ and ‘non-supporter’ role is in the ‘Incident Management Desktop’ permission on Role Form – Items tab. All the users who have ‘Incident Management Desktop’ permission checked are counted in the concurrent license.

Your free maintenance plan, how long is this plan free?

The standard maintenance plan is not time limited. This also means you would receive minor upgrades and bug fixes for free. As we constantly work on the product, upgrades are released on a regular basis.

Standard vs. Premium Maintenance

All Polar products come with Standard Maintenance; this includes all bug fixes and all minor upgrades.

Premium Maintenance: This maintenance plan includes all the features of the standard maintenance in addition to the same day priority response, help via NetMeeting or Remote Assistance, priority bug fixes for your issues started within 1 week. The Premium Maintenance requires an annual maintenance fee: 20% of the license list price.

I am interested in understanding the details of your source code licensing (Our company is interested in the details of your source code licensing).

Polar Help Desk Source License was designed for companies that need to add additional features to our product only for internal usage. Practically that means that this license is tided with one physical location, further more this license prohibits any reselling and redistribution of our product in any form.

If this license is not being adequate for your situation, we are willing to discuss about that so that we can make a license that would suite your needs.

Can I purchase an additional license?

To purchase an additional concurrent/named license please follow the link and place your order for the Polar Help Desk , one concurrent/named license model.

We will then send you a new license key that you should use to have all your licenses activated.

What is the difference between named and concurrent license?

Here is the difference between the named and the concurrent license model:

  • Named license guarantees the user to login to the application at any time and from anywhere. Additionally, the number of simultaneous sessions is not limited for the named license user, meaning he can be logged in from different places at the same time.
  • Concurrent license allows you to add as many users as you like, all with logon access, but only N users can be logged on at one time. N is the number of concurrent users purchased.

Therefore, depending on your needs, you can choose one license or the other or any combination of the two models.

What does a free named license mean?

You can download Polar Help Desk with one named license free of any charges and you can use it commercially. More info is to be found here.

Should you need more licenses for your support representatives, you can purchase them at any time.

Polar Help Desk licensing models are based on number of Support Representatives (Technician), while the number of customers is not limited.

 

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