Today’s Tickets_CAD has its origins back in Florida’s hurricane season of 2004. Back then, a couple of us – Arnie Shore as the software guy and Dick Cramer (RIP) as the experienced ESF-2 ham and dispatcher — were kicking ideas around re whether any software might have made life easier during the season’s peaks. And what should that software actually do?
Clearly, a CAD package made sense, but these were costly, typically in five figures with the needed options; nothing that the typically under-funded centers were prepared to spend, when competing against needs like transport, communications, gear, etc. Needless to say, volunteer operations were in even worse shape $$$$-wise.
We wanted it to be fully Open Source, allowing its users to revise it in order to accommodate any special local needs if they had the tech chops, which we expected that many would.
Thinking that some suitable IT ticketing applications, augmented by incident location information plus maps, might present the beginnings of a reasonable solution and avoid the problems of starting with that well-known beast, the blank screen.
A search through Open Source repositories surfaced several candidate, and PHP-Ticket looked like the best starting package. Adding location elements to the incident schema was no problem, but we needed maps and we saw no such capabilities that were free to use. But suddenly in 2005, here was Google announcing the availability of their maps API as though they had heard our prayers!
We rushed that product out the door via SourceForge, and a few brave souls raised their hands, installed it, and provided some much needed feedback. Many, many upgrades since then, with downloads and installations around the world attesting to that early vision.
A number of versions after its earliest releases, Andy Harvey showed up, noting that he had been working on something like this for use with his UK-based four-wheel emergency transport volunteer teams. Andy has been the author of almost all of the major improvements and growth in Tix’s capabilities for some time now.
From here on out? Stay tuned!!!!