The Innovation Web Help Desk (WHD) is the main communications tool used between the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Innovation Program and innovators building innovations. WHD serves as the entry point for gaining access to the Innovation Sandbox Cloud and its services as well as for asking for help and or assistance in matters related to innovation from development to procurement and funding depending upon the innovation's relationship to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.
To get started, first you or your organization must be approved to use the Innovation Sandbox and its resources. To to seek approval for access, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with information about your project, your need for access to VA developed resources (data, servers) and your main point of contact for the activities that you wish to undertake related to the resources you need from the VHA Innovation Sandbox Cloud. When approved, your project will be assigned an "Innovation ID" number which is used as part of the resource assignments to you and your team.
After you have been approved for access, you start by signing up for a WHD account. This account provides you with direct collaborative access to the engineering staff that will support your efforts; such as obtaining access to VA developed code, VA sample data, information on other innovations using the Sandbox Cloud, access to VA VistA servers, access to VA VistA code and more. To register for a WHD account, press the "New Account button at WHD: http://help.vaftl.us. If you desire information and a step by step guide for registering for an WHD account, please see Creating an Innovation Web Help Desk Account.
Once you have your personal WHD account, the interesting part begins. Using your WHD account you can request access to Sandbox capabilities such as a collaboration wiki for your team, the use of virtual machines and virtual servers, the use of source code control systems, access and information about source code repositories within the sandbox and more. The first step in using the Sandbox Cloud itself is being assigned a username and password to the cloud. With the username and password, the baseline services become available to you as one of our supported innovators. The example of forming your first WHD service request is that of obtaining a new Sandbox Cloud Login (different than the WHD login) and the example is illustrated here: Entering an Innovation Web Help Desk Request.
Requesting other services are also menu driven in the same manner but the key to all services in the sandbox is that sandbox cloud login so get that in as your first request and join us as an innovator!