by Tom Adelstein
Related link: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/rtessentials/
When I see or hear people knocking Linux for not having applications, I think of Jesse Vincent's Request Tracker (RT). When I first found out about RT, I thought I had found a few hundred thousand dollars laying on the street. That's the amount of money I would have had to spend on a proprietary trouble ticket tracking system comparable to ones from "big" commercial shops.
Having used expensive trouble ticket systems, I knew of their complicated nature. I had seen the best ones and some bad ones. None of the people with whom I worked ever criticized the cost because they didn't think they could have done their jobs without a decent ticketing system.
RT proved itself a world-class product and it's free software. Many times I have wanted to have it running on a laptop to show people that open-source applications exist that compare in quality to the most expensive proprietary ones.
I found some vindication when "InformationWeek" ran a cover story with a top line that read:
"Hey, Yahoo, Disney's on the other line. Call you back." And below that, the lead says, "Open-source software, led by Linux, is barreling into big business. P. 38"
The cover had a big penguin dressed in a power suite and tie, pocketing a Blackberry and holding a cell phone to his ear. InformationWeek (Sept. 26, 2005)
You can find an interesting story about it HERE.
One of my favorite quotes from the article says:
"One line of code at a time, application by application, web server by web server, the data centers of a growing number of major companies are taking on a new personality, one that smells of the ocean and waddles when it walks."
Then this one hits home:
"If you missed the announcement of this industry-changing development, that's because it never went out. The deployment of open-source software is happening a project at a time, and many of them are never publicly discussed."
That's how I view RT. The best ticket tracking system available and yet hidden from the site of businesses because of an unsuspecting media. I have often wondered why every major magazine catering to VARS, CxO's and Enterprises hasn't covered RT.
Well, now O'Reilly has published an excellent book which should help get the word out about RT.
Thank you Allison Randal for making "RT Essentials" a reality. I immediately started devouring the material and found a rich source of content I didn't know existed. I have used RT for five years. Yet, I only mastered five percent of the product.
That shows me the terrific nature of RT. If I could accomplish as much as I have only using a small fraction of the product's capabilities, then I should have a great time implementing more.
I plan to let my friends and colleagues know about "RT Essentials". A few enterprise journalists need to review the book too. I'm certain if they had a clue about RT we could set aside the argument that no applications exist for Linux.