Product Reviews

Help for the Help Desk: Track-It! 5.0

Keep track of support requests with one of these packages.

I chose to use the Standard edition of Track-It! 5.0, which is Blue Ocean's most recent release of their help desk and asset management application. I was very excited about getting Track-It! up and going because I had heard good things about it, mainly from an engineer and manager who had used it in a company that built and supported custom computer systems. Coming from a background that was strictly 8-to-5 phone and e-mail support for software, I was anxious to see how Track-It! would fit into my support department.

The first thing I noticed about Track-It!, after the very smooth installation, was that it just looked and felt great. It was the leather upholstery and heads-up dash that drew me in. I was so busy being enchanted with the color-coordinated client and Web application (which is automatically installed, unlike some applications), that I almost forgot to look at the features of the product, which were plentiful.

First, because it is an asset tracking application first and foremost, Track-It! begins with an inventory of the workstations that are to be tracked within the organization (this is similar to NetSupport TCO, also covered in this roundup). An add-on called Track-It! Remote allows remote control access to the workstations; licenses have to be purchased separately. After the workstations are set up, technicians can be added. One of the things that I really like about Track-It! is its ability to customize the application layout, such as colors, and also the data itself. By providing user-defined fields throughout each section and a thorough reporting mechanism, Track-It! is able to immediately extend its functionality.

Two other features that might benefit a help desk environment—especially one like mine, where the support department often catches many internal tasks—are Purchasing and Training. Purchase orders can be added directly into the application, and the ability to add and report on any piece of information pertinent to a vendor makes follow-up calls and e-mails, when equipment is backordered, so much faster. The training feature is designed to create and assign training courses for technicians and other employees. In a technical environment with certification and training material costs, having this information ready for reporting would be ideal for a support department manager; so, too, would the Library feature, which allows the tracking of loans of assets, such as laptops and handheld units.

Track-It! 5.0
Track-It!’s Web interface has a clean, modern look. (Click image to view larger version.)

All in all, Track-It! is a great looking product that provides Web capabilities out of the box and several standard features that help desk technicians can put to immediate use. It is well documented and straightforward so the learning curve is almost non-existent. Track-It! impressed me with its attention to some of the tasks that a help desk environment can often be involved in but rarely recognize as such, like ordering of equipment. In future releases, I can imagine seeing some level of project management that would bridge the gap between the standard work order and the company's other asset—the engineer's time.

About the Author

Rodney Landrum is an MCSE working as a data analyst and systems engineer for a software development company in Pensacola, Florida.  He has a new book from Apress entitled ProSQL Server Reporting Services.

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Reader Comments:

Mon, May 18, 2009 azoz ples

ples

Mon, Aug 11, 2008 Pawan Solanki Delhi

I purchased track it 5.0 software for my help desk call monitoring and I wants to bind my user database directly to this software but I do not know the procedure. how can I do this which will make my work easily.

Wed, Jan 18, 2006 Fire Dept User IA

Boy, if you think version 5.0 is bad, don't EVEN go to 6.5!! Much worse, support is non-existant if you don't pay big $$$; hot fixes and patches are only for paid support!!

We started with version 4, which was great (Blue Ocean). Once Intuit took over, it went down the toilet; Nutara (or whoever has it now) is just as bad or worse --if that's possible.

Tue, May 17, 2005 angry user NY

this thing sucks, it made my computer really slow. Audit32.exe -just end the task, no more problem

Tue, Jan 25, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

I also agree with the other people here. I can't stand Track-it. The auditing is the part we need the most and is the worst part of it. I have 300 PCs to audit and only about 75 of them actually get audited. I tried calling Blue Ocean but there are of no help.

Wed, Jun 30, 2004 Steve Anonymous

We've had an odd problem pop up here in the enterprise: all the Windows 2000 pc's lose the ability to run Internet Explorer or open Control Panel if they are audited, until we turn off the Print Spooler service. Any idea what that's about?

Sun, May 2, 2004 carla texas

karla from Florida is a skank

Tue, Apr 6, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

Frequently gets records merged. Causes havoc with running other programs when TIREMOTE services are installed. It just plain bites. Get something else!

Tue, Feb 3, 2004 Another Software Tester Anonymous

Upgraded from 5.0 to 6.0. Nothing improved except the design. It's a piece of junk.

Tue, Feb 3, 2004 Software Tester Anonymous

SLOW & UNSTABLE
It's the worst software I've every seen. It has so much bugs and depends too much on NT network cofiguration. Only the domain administor can install the Track-it Web. Plus, the technical support are not good enough to answer the technical support.

Wed, Nov 19, 2003 Todd... WHATever! Anonymous

Here are some FACTS for the holier than thou Todd. This is the findings of a fresh install of their "latest and greatest" 6.0 version, with their latest SP. Note: I am only addressing the inventory piece.

1. Some files error out on import attempt. Should not happen.

2. After importing, the before and after PC counts do not match. I.E. I had 25 in the DB, I import 12, thus I should have 37 right? Nope 32. Where did the other 5 go... la la land? They didn't error out according to the log.

3. Several of the default reports have headings with no data, but should.

These same 3 problems existed in 5.x. These same 3 problems were reported when we suffered thru 5.x, and still have not yet been fixed. We wasted $$$$ on this product. It's junk, period.

Mon, Nov 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

I've seen better, much better.

Thu, Oct 2, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

We just purchased 6.0 Standard edition and the canned reports double up on system information. You total counts are inaccurate. Awful. The tiwsmgr.exe (remote auditing tool) doesn't work on all our systems (even though the OS are the same). So far I hate this software and I should have returned it before the window of opportunity for returned closed. I would only recommend this product if you were allowed to "test drive it" before buying!

Thu, Aug 28, 2003 Nikki & Kim Anonymous

We love Track it! We use Track it 5.0 enterprise and have never had any major issues with it. Each function works for us the way that is says it should. We have called technical support a few times on some issues and they have been helpful. We think that it is a very good product for all of the components.

Tue, Jul 15, 2003 Todd Anonymous

We use 4.0 and will be upgrading to 6.0. This user rating system is completely flawed. After reading the "reviews," it's apparent that most of the reviewers barely have a grasp of the English language. I recommend that MCP Mag eliminate this particular user rating system from its website.

Tue, Jul 8, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

P.O.S.

Tue, Jul 1, 2003 yessa Anonymous

TrackIt is garbage.

TrackFree... almost free. Only 50 workstations can be audited.

Sun, Jun 22, 2003 ms2u Washington

We had no trouble auditing all PCs, but have been very disappointed with the canned reports. And - for asset management - it is clearly PC-oriented. No good way to manage printers, routers, switches, etc.

Wed, May 28, 2003 Karla Florida

This product is the worst software I've ever seen. Not only does the audit not work most of the time, when it does work it doesn't track all of the installed software. The remote desktop feature (extra cost) has never worked. Even though our manual said that we had 1 year of free support, when we called for support, we were informed that they changed their policy to only provide 30 days. We didn't even have the thing installed and running in the first 30 days of purchase. DON'T BUY THIS!!!!!!!

Mon, May 19, 2003 Kaman Anonymous

Complicated interface. A lot of 'features' for check-box comparison, but does NOTHING well. A waste of time.

Thu, Apr 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

TrackFree is a look-alike and given away. Look on download.com under "help desk software" or "trackfree"!

Mon, Feb 24, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

"For the price, there is nothing better on the market. " LOL!

Free is better: AIDA32

Mon, Feb 17, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Very easy to install and does exactly what it promises. I had a few issues retrieving audit data and support was very helpful. For the price, there is nothing better on the market.

Tue, Jan 28, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Garbage

Tue, Jan 28, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Do a search for AIDA32... it's free and does a better job

Tue, Jan 14, 2003 Anonymous Anonymous

Nothing but trouble - brings server to a halt on a reguliar basis. Avoid at all costs

Mon, Jan 13, 2003 Tim Anonymous

We upgraded from 4.0 standard to 5.0 Enterprise hoping to get some new features and a better database (flat to SQL). Why is it that this thing is SOOOOOOOOO slow now? Audits don't work worth a crap and the 'Sync' feature for PDA's stinks cause on the PDA it uses outlook tasks but doesn't rename the outlook fields. I wish I stayed at 4.0.

Wed, Dec 4, 2002 David Anonymous

I have to agree with most of the people here. My major complaint is The audits only seem to work somtimes. We have our system set up to audit every PC at login. Out of 400 Pc's only 325 have been audited. Some PC's audit everytime and others never get audited, Some get audited for a few weeks then stop for no reason. Blue Oceans is of no help.

Mon, Nov 18, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

what a piece of crap. it takes about 45 seconds to open over a 1GB backbone.

Sun, Nov 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

a melange of poorly designed features and a feeble database structure

Thu, Sep 19, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Terrible Terrible Terrible. Enerprise version is NOT a relational database. Thus, duplicates all over. When this was addressed with support, they said to NOT USE THE TRACKIT INVENTORY INTERFACE. Support doesn't even recommend using their own product!!! Said we were better off opening it in SQL manager.

Wed, Aug 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

My company upgraded from Trackit! 3.0 to 5.0 Enterprise, and it's a world of improvement. I ran into a bug with the remote client install on our Win98 workstations (I wanted it to run as a service with a local password), but their tech support helped me iron it out pretty quickly. And I also had the problem with the audits, but after running the hotfix, which tech support gave me ahead of its release at my request, all was well. I like alot of the features this version offers, but I'd like to see more. For example, I'd like some sort of applet that allows the web module to run remote sessions, and I'd like the audits to run even faster, but that can wait for the next version. I'd also like the front end to be a bit more flexible, though I'm not complaining. All in all, I'd say that Trackit 5.0 Enterprise is a pretty darn good product and speaks to a company that is really getting a handle on their market's needs.

Wed, Aug 21, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

We are loyal Track-It! users and have to say that in their defense, all products have service packs and hotfixes. My Windows XP machine has about 50 hotfixes applied to it. After service pack 1, most of the issues were resolved and you really cant get a product with this kind of functionality anywhere else. Support has been great when we had problems but I admit a little slow on general usability questions. I imagine that will get better as the upgrade period passes. The standard version is a flat file system which is cheaper but we went with the Enterprise version which runs on MS SQL 2000 server and we never have data problems. We love it!

Mon, Jul 29, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Truly a nightmare product. They don't even use a relational database!!! There are flat table sin use. This is straight form THEIR support staff, not my rantings. We have had numerous bugs, some of which have yet to be installed. Support is terrible. If they know the answer, they reply. If they don't they ignore you leaving you in la-la land until you call up to complain.

Mon, Jun 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Track-It! 5.0 is terrible. We demoed 4.5 and decided that it was pretty good and decided to go ahead with it. What we god was 5.0 and it hasn't worked right from the get go. I count it's serious showstopper bugs in the dozens. This is a very bad show for someone who's supposed to sell the most popular inventory software.

Wed, Jun 19, 2002 T. Heisler Anonymous

I would like to off my opion of Track-It 5.0 to your users. After being a loyal user of Track-It 4.0 our company went ahead and upgraded to 5.0. It has been nothing but headaches. And yes your review that the install is flawless is correct. But the problems comes when you try to use the hardware and software audit piece. Did your reviewer notice that there has been two Hot Fixes for this product two weeks after its release and a third is on the way. That is because the QA department went on vacation before they did the release. I am hopeful that Blue Ocean with make the necessary changes to make this product a winner like Version 4.0 was.

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