JMU Help Desk “Whiteboard”
I’ve worked at the JMU IT Help Desk since Fall 2013. In our old office we had a whiteboard on the wall in the call center where we wrote all of the daily announcements. We moved to a new building in the summer 2014 and we had to leave the whiteboard in the old building. We decided the best way to fill the role of the old whiteboard would be to build a site that could be updated by Help Desk supervisors. I took on this project and am currently working on implementing phase two. This is a desktop application built with GitHub Electron and powered by a REST API on the back end. The new revision also integrates other Help Desk tools, such as account management resources, and allows users to authenticate to three difference services using a single prompt. These services are outside of our management scope at the Help Desk, but all authenticate to the same Active Directory server. The application then stores these credentials in Keychain (Mac) or Credential Manager (Windows) for use at a later time. Credentials are removed upon closing the program so another user can sign in. The API server calculates the most up-to-date information for the application and compiles it all to JSON which is polled by the application. Whenever the application detects a change in information, it sends a push notification so the user so the user is still notified of the updates even if a different application is being used.
The user interface is quite simple. There are four main functions of the Whiteboard: Dispatch/Contact, Computing Alerts, Account Management, and Knowledge Base. These functions are organized on the left hand side of the application. Since Computing Alerts are also combined into the main screen with Dispatch & contact information, an additional icon appears at the bottom if a user clicks on “Authenticate & Read More” (which actually authenticates the user automatically, that’s annoying to sign in again every time). This additional tab has the protected JMU-Only information associated with the Alert.
If you’d like to learn more about how this application works, or are interested in developing a similar application to fit your needs, give me a shout and I’d be happy to discuss it with you!
This Work Copyright © 2016 Mark Adkins. All Rights Reserved.