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Sometimes a ticket represents a complex issue or difficult request, and you may need to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. When this happens, it makes sense to create tickets for these smaller tasks, and associate them with the original ticket. RT provides a Depends On/Depended On By relationship for these cases. From the Links form of the new ticket, shown in Figure 3-8, enter the original ticket's number in the Depended On By field, and save your changes.
You can create this relationship from the other direction as well: on the Links form for the original ticket you can enter the new ticket's number in the Depends On field. Once this relationship is established, the parent ticket cannot be resolved until the child ticket is resolved. A ticket can have multiple parents and multiple children, which can be used to create arbitrarily complex and interdependent workflows.
The Depends On/Depended On By relationships are similar to the parent and child relationships. The practical difference is that RT doesn't enforce the relationships. With parent/child relationships, the parent ticket cannot be resolved until all the child tickets are resolved, but with Depends On/Depended On By relationships, either ticket can be resolved without the other.
Sometimes tickets are not directly related, but mention other tickets. For example, a ticket about email slowness might mention a ticket from earlier that morning about the Exchange server spontaneously rebooting itself. This is where the Refers to and Referred to by relationships come into play the email ticket would reference the earlier ticket. These relationships are bi-directional: when ticket A has a referred to relationship with ticket B, ticket B necessarily has a referred to by relationship with ticket A. RT maintains these relationships automatically, although it doesn't try to discover them for you. Figure 3-11 shows the Refers to relationship in the Links box on the main ticket page.
Figure 3-11. Refers to relationship
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