Program Control Panel
The administrators control panel is used to navigate the administration section and deal with questions.
Figure 2 : Control Panel Screen Shot
Once the program has been installed and setup, point your browser to the Question_admin.cgi file.
Login using the Username and Password you entered during setup. Upon successful login you will be presented with the programs summary below two rows of Administration "Buttons". The summary will show you the current counts on the different aspects of the program that records activity counts. You can reset these counters to zero at any time by pressing the relevant reset link.
Figure 3 : Program Summary Screen Shot
Next is the Change Pass function link. This will change the password for the administrative user of the program. Remember what your minimum password character requirement is. If you don't have at least that many characters in it then the program resizes your input username and password. If your not careful, you will lock yourself out of the program! The program ships with a default minimum of six characters.
Figure 4 : Change Password Screen Shot
Program Configuration Settings
The third standard administrative button is Settings. This is where you change the program configuration settings. There are several options on the Settings page. Some are optional , some are required. Most are equipped with an alert message that pops up when the option description is clicked. The alert message will describe ion detail what the selected option is used for. The required parameters must be correctly filled in for the program function properly. Once you have chosen your settings , press the button at the bottom of the page "Update Configurations" . If at some stage you muck up the settings, at the top of the page you will find a link that when pressed , will restore all settings to their default values.
The final button of the top row is "Exit". This will log you out of the administrative program. Once you are logged out, no program functions are accessible until you log back into the program.
Clicking the Website button will open a new browser window with your websites front end displayed. This is the page visible to your website visitors. The aesthetical appearence of the page depends on the values you enter in Settings. To utilize it, simply call the script by linking to the full URL,
After all fields have text entered, the form is processed by Perl then re-displays itself with a successful submission message. If you prefer to have the visitor redirected to a custom "Thank you" page, then you can enter the URL to the "Redirect" field via the "Admin Settings" page.
Figure 5 : Front End Screen Shot
In the second row of administrative function links, click on the one labeled Submitted Questions. This will return a single page that lists all questions submitted to the program. Each question is displayed on the left, with actions on its right. The left side of the display for a question will show the name, email, date and content of each question submitted. NB. unless you have set the time offset options in the Settings to suit your local time, the date is G.M.T set by your server. The right hand side of the screen contains your response options.
Respond With : To send a reply to the submitter, select a template to use ( if you have not yet created any templates, a "Blank response form" will be your only option) , and press the button labeled "Prepare". The next screen will contain the name and email address of the submitter and the content area will contain the contents of the template. The special markers in the content area will be replaced with the relevant data. Of course you can customize the response by editing the content.
Forward : To forward this question to an associate for perusal, enter your associates email address and press the second button labeled "Prepare". The next screen will contain the forwarding template ( which can be edited via the "Admin Settings" page ). Again, this content area can also be edited and the special markers will be replaced with the relevant data.
Figure 6 : Viewing Questions Screen Shot
In the second row of administrative function links, click on the one labeled Answer Templates.
You may create as many templates as you like. Each will need a title and some content. Each template can contain any or all of the markers, in any order.
Once you have created templates, they will be listed in a table at the top of the same page. From left to right, the table displays : Number of times each particular template has been used, name of the template ( also defaults as the subject of the email ) , links to either
delete the templates.
The use link allows you to use the template to answer questions that have NOT been submitted via your web site. Clicking on use will display a form asking you to fill in the receiver's Name, email, question and the date the question was received. The receivers email address is the only required field. The markers in the contents area will be replaced by the information you enter in the afore mentioned fields.
Click the edit link to reset the counter for this template or edit its content. This allows you to add / move or remove markers.
The delete link allows you to permanently delete the selected template. As is the case with all deletions, you will be asked to confirm your request on the following page.
Figure 7 : Creating Templates Screen Shot
This powerful program does a lot more than just help you answer questions. You can store and purge prepared Answer Templates, choose whether or not you should be notified by email each time a question is submitted, customize the front end by adding header and footer text in the settings page, view or delete submitted questions and a whole lot more, forward questions to associates for perusal. Below are detailed descriptions of each administrative function.
The Forwarding Template can be edited from the "Admin Settings" page. It is used to send the question to an associated to request help. This template also accepts all special markers. The only required field when forwarding a question is the receivers email address. To forward a question, from the "Submitted Questions" page, enter the email address of the receiver and press the button labeled "Prepare".
Deleting questions and templates.
From the list of current questions ( "Submitted questions" ) you will see button labeled "Delete". Clicking on this button initiates the deletion process. The next page will ask you to confirm your wish to delete this individual question.
Deleting individual templates can be achieved by clicking on the Delete link from the "Answer Templates" page. Deleting a template also deletes the counter for this particular template.
Figure 8 : Deletions Warning Screen Shot
Purging the databases
Purging the selected database, will completely and permanently remove all entries within that database. There are two databases this program feeds off. The "Submitted Questions" database and the "Answer Templates" database.
Purging the "Submitted Questions" database will remove and delete all submitted questions. You might want to employ this function after answering each question.
Purging the "Answer Templates" database will remove and delete all Answer Templates you have created.
In either case, you will be presented with a confirmation screen asking if you are sure you want to permanently remove all entries. See figure 8.
Resetting the counters
On the Summary page of the administrative interface, click on Reset next to the counter you want to reset to zero. The counter will be reset to zero. There is NO confirmation screen. To reset the counters for each template, from the "Answer Templates" page, click the Edit link and enter a number in "Current Count" field. Enter 0 ( zero ) to reset to zero.