Web Help Desk

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Web Help Desk
Web Help Desk Screenshot.png
Technician Ticket Detail and Client Help Request
Developer(s) MacsDesign Studio LLC
Stable release
12.0.1 / July 23, 2013; 3 years ago (2013-07-23)
Written in Java, JavaScript
Operating system Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris
Type Web Application
License Proprietary
Website www.webhelpdesk.com

Web Help Desk is a web-based, help desk software used for tracking support requests for enterprises and educational institutions. While primarily used by Information Technology departments, the software is utilized in other support environments (Facilities Management, Human Resources, etc.). The software was written by MacsDesign Studio LLC, based in Fremont, CA. On July 25, 2012 the product was acquired and is now supported by SolarWinds.


Web Help Desk is proprietary software, with license and annual maintenance fees based on the number of support representative seats.



Version 1.0 release was in 1999 as a Macintosh only web application utilizing FileMaker Pro and Lasso and served using WebSTAR. At its release, it was the only commercial web-based help desk product available for Mac OS 9. Up to version 4.0, the application remained dependent upon Lasso as the programming language.

Version 4.0, released in January 2001, marked a new chapter in the development story with the transition to the PHP scripting language and MySQL as the database. Although the application was still available as a FileMaker Pro/Lasso solution, the option to run the application under open source projects on the newly available Mac OS X 10.0 provided the application with a unique niche in the fledging Mac OS X market.

In May 2001, Apple released WebObjects 5.0, freshly ported from Objective-C to Java, to the Mac OS X developer community. Web Help Desk development was moved completely over to WebObjects, with version 5.0 released in September, 2001. WebObjects 5.0 was also available for Windows and Solaris—this provided the first cross platform deployment opportunity for the Web Help Desk.[2]

The Web Help Desk [3] currently uses WebObjects 5.4 frameworks, and is typically run as a servlet in the Apache Tomcat servlet container, but can also be deployed as a traditional WebObjects application on Mac OS X Server.

The application uses several open source frameworks, including:

The Web Help Desk is notable as one of the earliest web-based help desk solutions[citation needed], and as one of the only commercial software packages using WebObjects as the development platform[citation needed]—the same server side frameworks used by iTunes and the Apple Online Store[citation needed]. The application is also notable as an example of how a small ISV successfully transitioned a niche, Mac-only, application into a widely distributed cross-platform solution.[4] It is used by Apple Inc., and other major technology, manufacturing, and media corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Time Warner Cable, as well as many major universities.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Apple Remote Desktop Resources
  2. ^ The Mac Observer
  3. ^ MyTestBox
  4. ^ "Apple's X Factor" CDW Solutions September 2003: 10
  5. ^ Web Help Desk client list

External links[edit]