Is there a maximum number of open tickets in the program? There is no absolute limit, but Outlook and Exchange starts slowing down more and more: especially in view changes. Therefore we don't recommend more than 1000 open tickets, but we have seen customers successfully handling up to 10 000.
Below the kalmstrom.com CEO and Systems Designer, Peter Kalmstrom, explains why Folder HelpDesk can manage many open tickets. Peter has been working on client-side addons for more than 15 years.
Among his previous projects was building the Skype add-ons for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. He successfully designed and managed those up to a daily measured volume of around 50 million users, as well as passing the quality requirements at Microsoft, Mozilla Foundation and Google, all of which were heavily focused on performance.
Here is Peter's explanation of how the architecture helps Folder HelpDesk to support extensive use with many tickets:
"At first when we started building Folder HelpDesk more than 13 years ago, we made some design choices to make sure performance would always be really good. Those choices still benefit the product today.
There are several possible bottlenecks in any client-server solution and here is how we have dealt with them in Folder HelpDesk.
- Slow server performance" we recommend that you use an MS SQL server for this solution to maximize performance. However, the user interface never waits for a write or read of the SQL server. That is always a background operation in Folder HelpDesk. The main user interface always runs out of each user's Outlook.
- Slow client performance" we do a lot on the client to mazimize performance. For example we pre-load the next new item to be created in memory. Thus when the user clicks the "New Item" button the the ticket is only displayed, neither loaded nor rendered.
Also no database reads occur on item opening, so that the user never have to wait more than a few milliseconds for the actual form to display so that he/she can start filling out the information.
- Slow network connection between server and client: in Folder HelpDesk we make a very clear distinction between the open tickets and the closed ones. The open tickets are stored in the database and in the local mailbox of the current user, again to maximize performance.
Once a ticket is closed it is removed from the mailbox and only stored for statistics in the database. The parts of Folder HelpDesk that the user normally interacts with is always stored locally on the client computer, so that a slow network is effectively hidden from the user experience.
- Slowing down Outlook: since our product is built into Microsoft Outlook, this is always a concern for us. We realize that any delay in the regular Outlook work (mail, contacts and calendar etc.) will cause our users to spurn the product.
Therefore we have moved as much as possible of the actual processing into another thread, so that Outlook is always responsive. We have made it our highest goal never to slow down Outlook in any way. "