Managing resource information in GLPI
GLPI's Management features let you keep tabs on contacts, suppliers, contracts, and documents. A supplier is similar to a contact, although the term has a special meaning. A supplier is a person you buy equipment from, so an entry in the supplier list can link directly to an item in the inventory. This way, when you view the details of an item in the inventory, you automatically know who you bought it from and how to contact the supplier.
Contract entries can refer to actual contract documents, as well as details on the warranty, expiration date, renewal costs, and so on. Contracts are also linked to items in your inventory and to the supplier that issued the contract. Also, you can attach a scanned document so that you can generate the actual contract anytime in electronic form.
The Documents module is a universal module with many uses. A document can reference a support ticket or a contract, or it can simply be an important paper you want to preserve. In my case, I find it very useful to scan all documents about contracts, maintenance, and invoices. Another useful characteristic of documents is the ability to attach files, such as screen captures and spreadsheets, to support tickets.
The Tools feature provides access to a variety of support information. GLPI divides the Tools section into the categories Notes, Knowledge base, Reservations, and Reports. An optional fifth category called OCSNG  lets you import data from another application. Notes can be either personal (viewed only by the author) or public. Only super-admin users can add public notes.
A knowledge base is a FAQ (Frequently asked Question) list, and you can create your own FAQ on any topic. My strategy is to add FAQs after observation of support tickets. If a question is asked repeatedly, either by the same group of people again and again or by different users, I add it as a new FAQ.
A reservation is a request for loanable material. At the library of UCy, we use reservations to share loanable laptops and DLP projectors among our staff. Each staff member can reserve equipment and access a calendar to view the current set of reservations.
All users, regardless of access level, get to define some personal settings. To access personal settings, click the Settings link in the upper right corner of the application. In addition to your name, phone, email, and mobile phone number, you can define a preferred display language and set other parameters governing the way GLPI displays ticket information. Additionally, you can change your account password, as long as your account is not authenticated by an external source such as an LDAP directory.
GLPI offers seven types of reports. The default report is a list of the amount of items per category (e.g., 100 computers, 40 printers, etc.). A contracts report allows you to view equipment organized according to contract details, like date of purchase, warranty expiration date, begin and end dates, and more. A yearly report is an annual report on materials for one or more years. Hardware financial information is a summary for computers, printers, screens, peripherals, and networks. Other financial information is a summary for cartridges, consumables, and software licenses. The network report offers information about the network. Finally, a loan report summarizes past and future reservations for a specified user.
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