Hi All,

It has been a little while, i have been quite involved with an Integration Project. With this project there was a requirement to add comments to a Work Item. The information is passed on from “System A” to “System B” via XML. Using PowerShell, extracting the XML contents is not too difficult, if anyone would like to dive into that a little bit, please let me know with Comments.

I decided not to re-invent the wheel, so some searching was in order, and I found the following post, this post gave the basics. However every time I tried to add additional comments, the comments were over-written and NOT replaced. Not quite the desired effect. So after some more checking and research and tinkering within the Service Manager, I discovered the following about comments.

When adding a Comment, there is adding of a relationship class, already mentioned in this post, however it also uses a GUID.


There is also another trick to adding comments within Orchestrator, this is discovered by trying to add a comment and then pulling all the available fields and looking at them. It is a small component which can be easily missed. The “Display Name” must also be the same GUID. So you might be asking how do we get the GUID?

Well, PowerShell can easily handle this for you.

$guid = [System.Guid]::NewGuid().ToString()

You simply use this a pre-cursor step and publish this data from “Run .Net Script”, so a sample would look like this.


Get-Object Properties

I pass on the ID Value I want to modify from another Runbook


Create Related Object Properties

I use an “Extended” class of comments needed for this project, principal remains the same.


I hope this saves  you some time and add some value.


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So recently, I had a customer ask me for the following as their previous incident management system had this functionality.

The customer wanted to be able to send an “Update Email” to a 3rd party from the SCSM Console with automatically placing the reference number into said email. They needed the functionality of sending to any email address. This was a requirement for the type of business they are in.

Please remember that I am by no means a developer. I was thinking of using System Centre Orchestrator, however for this simple requirement, I thought that it might be overkill. I am sure that in time, as the requirements grows and/or changes, System Centre Orchestrator will become a better fit. For this solution, I turned to my friend, PowerShell

I simply wanted to provide a clean interface for the customer to use. I follow a strict rule of KISS (Keep It Straight and Simple). With the PowerShell script, I provide two input fields.

  1. Email address of user for update to go to
  2. Update to be sent to customer.

The screenshot of what the window looks like

All of this was built in PowerShell with some from Sapien PrimalForms Community Edition to assist with the GUI part. The GUI is fully functional and tested. “Send Update” is responsible for sending the update to the specified person and the “Cancel” simply closes the form nicely and allows you to continue as normal.

PowerShell Code Below (SendEmail – Technet Gallery Download)

#region Script Settings
#<ScriptSettings xmlns="http://tempuri.org/ScriptSettings.xsd">
#  <ScriptPackager>
#    <process>powershell.exe</process>
#    <arguments />
#    <extractdir>%TEMP%</extractdir>
#    <files />
#    <usedefaulticon>true</usedefaulticon>
#    <showinsystray>false</showinsystray>
#    <altcreds>false</altcreds>
#    <efs>true</efs>
#    <ntfs>true</ntfs>
#    <local>false</local>
#    <abortonfail>true</abortonfail>
#    <product />
#    <version></version>
#    <versionstring />
#    <comments />
#    <company />
#    <includeinterpreter>false</includeinterpreter>
#    <forcecomregistration>false</forcecomregistration>
#    <consolemode>false</consolemode>
#    <EnableChangelog>false</EnableChangelog>
#    <AutoBackup>false</AutoBackup>
#    <snapinforce>false</snapinforce>
#    <snapinshowprogress>false</snapinshowprogress>
#    <snapinautoadd>2</snapinautoadd>
#    <snapinpermanentpath />
#    <cpumode>1</cpumode>
#    <hidepsconsole>false</hidepsconsole>
#  </ScriptPackager>

Import-Module 'C:\Program Files\Common Files\SMLets\SMLets.psd1' -Force

 #Generated Form Function
function GenerateForm {
# Code Generated By: SAPIEN Technologies PrimalForms (Community Edition) v1.0.10.0
# Generated On: 2013-11-14 09:08 AM
# Generated By: Fletcher

 #region Import the Assemblies
[reflection.assembly]::loadwithpartialname("System.Windows.Forms") | Out-Null
[reflection.assembly]::loadwithpartialname("System.Drawing") | Out-Null

 #region Generated Form Objects
$SendUpdateForm = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Form
$CancelButton = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Button
$SendUpdateButton = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Button
$UpdateTextBox = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.TextBox
$UpdateLabel = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Label
$EmailToTextBox = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.TextBox
$EMailToLabel = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Label
$InitialFormWindowState = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.FormWindowState
#endregion Generated Form Objects

#Generated Event Script Blocks
#Provide Custom Code for events specified in PrimalForms.
        Write-Host "Send Update"
        $to = $EmailToTextBox.Text
        Write-Host $to
        $from = "Servicedesk@bui.co.za"
        $emailbody = $UpdateTextBox.Text
$subject = @"
Update [ID]
$body = @"
        #$subject = "Update [ID]"
        #Write-Host $subject
        #Write-Host $body
        $smtpserver = "buiexc20.bui.co.za"
        #[string]$body = $UpdateTextBox.Text
        #$testcommand = "Send-MailMessage -To $to -From $from -Subject $messagencontent -Body '$body' -SmtpServer $smtpserver"
        Send-MailMessage -To $to -From $from -Subject $subject -Body $body -SmtpServer $smtpserver
        #Write-Host $testcommand


#TODO: Place custom script here

{#Correct the initial state of the form to prevent the .Net maximized form issue
    $SendUpdateForm.WindowState = $InitialFormWindowState

#region Generated Form Code
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 323
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 409
$SendUpdateForm.ClientSize = $System_Drawing_Size
$SendUpdateForm.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$SendUpdateForm.Name = "SendUpdateForm"
$SendUpdateForm.Text = "Send Update"

 $CancelButton.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

 $System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 182
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 264
$CancelButton.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$CancelButton.Name = "CancelButton"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 23
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 124
$CancelButton.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$CancelButton.TabIndex = 5
$CancelButton.Text = "Cancel"
$CancelButton.UseVisualStyleBackColor = $True


 $SendUpdateButton.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

 $System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 35
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 264
$SendUpdateButton.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$SendUpdateButton.Name = "SendUpdateButton"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 23
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 116
$SendUpdateButton.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$SendUpdateButton.TabIndex = 4
$SendUpdateButton.Text = "Send Update"
$SendUpdateButton.UseVisualStyleBackColor = $True


 $UpdateTextBox.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 35
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 135
$UpdateTextBox.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$UpdateTextBox.Multiline = $True
$UpdateTextBox.Name = "UpdateTextBox"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 103
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 290
$UpdateTextBox.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$UpdateTextBox.TabIndex = 3


 $UpdateLabel.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

 $System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 35
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 110
$UpdateLabel.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$UpdateLabel.Name = "UpdateLabel"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 22
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 359
$UpdateLabel.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$UpdateLabel.TabIndex = 2
$UpdateLabel.Text = "Please enter the information to be sent to intended recipient:"


 $EmailToTextBox.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0
$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 35
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 54
$EmailToTextBox.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$EmailToTextBox.Name = "EmailToTextBox"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 20
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 290
$EmailToTextBox.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$EmailToTextBox.TabIndex = 1


 $EMailToLabel.DataBindings.DefaultDataSourceUpdateMode = 0

$System_Drawing_Point = New-Object System.Drawing.Point
$System_Drawing_Point.X = 35
$System_Drawing_Point.Y = 27
$EMailToLabel.Location = $System_Drawing_Point
$EMailToLabel.Name = "EMailToLabel"
$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 24
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = 439
$EMailToLabel.Size = $System_Drawing_Size
$EMailToLabel.TabIndex = 0
$EMailToLabel.Text = "Please enter the email address of the intended recipient:"


 #endregion Generated Form Code

 #Save the initial state of the form
$InitialFormWindowState = $SendUpdateForm.WindowState
#Init the OnLoad event to correct the initial state of the form
#Show the Form
$SendUpdateForm.ShowDialog()| Out-Null

 } #End Function

 #Call the Function


Ok, so that is the PowerShell side done. Now, it is time to create the console task. This is a fairly straight forward exercise. There are only a few tips I would like to share. I used a shared folder for the scripts and then mapped the console task to the shared folder. Netivia Consulting has a great idea as well, I will be changing to PowerShell Remoting soon, great idea!!!!!

I have configured the PowerShell script to use a parameter, the ID of the Work Item, this is very easy to configure and ensure that the parameter is passed on. See below.

You will see that I used the "Log in action log when this task is run". That is where the Write-host in the PowerShell script becomes handy, the write-host lines are added to the Action Log.

Please feel free to use and modify to meet your needs.

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So, I am quite a keen user of PowerShell and System Centre Orchestrator. Ok, so I recently had a request from a customer that went as follows “I need DPM to alert me when tapes are ready to  be taken off-site.”

DPM does not seen to have this functionality out of the box within the Graphical User Interface (GUI). All is NOT lost, Data Protection Manager has a PowerShell component and i was sure i could figure out a way to get this to work within PowerShell. Sure enough a solution in the form of PowerShell was found, so using this as a base, I modified the PowerShell script to suit my needs. It was also slightly modified to use with System Centre Orchestrator. The custoemr also wanted some colour and wanted the result formatted in HTML. primarily for reading purposes and auditing purposes. PowerShell code below and link here.

Import-Module DataProtectionManager
$date = Get-Date -Format "M-d-yyyy"
$path = "c:\DPMOffisteTapes\"
$filepath = $path + $date + ".html"
#creates the folder if it does not exist
New-Item -itemType file -Path $filepath
$AllLibraries = get-dpmlibrary 
$AllTapes = Get-Tape -DPMLibrary $AllLibraries
$offistereadytape = $AllTapes | Where-Object {$_.isoffsiteready -eq $true}
$a = "<style>"
$a = $a + "BODY{background-color:Green;}"
$a = $a + "TABLE{border-width: 1px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;border-collapse: collapse;}"
$a = $a + "TH{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;background-color:GreenYellow}"
$a = $a + "TD{border-width: 1px;padding: 0px;border-style: solid;border-color: black;background-color:palegoldenrod}"
$a = $a + "</style>"
$offistereadytape | Select-object location, barcode , isoffsiteready|ConvertTo-Html -Head $a -Body "<H2>Offsite Ready Tapes</H2>" | out-file -FilePath $filepath

OK, so now we have the data in decent format.


So, with the more tapes that are ready, the more rows of data will be within the HTML.

Ok, so now we need to schedule the task. I know i could have used Task Scheduler and the like, however we have System Centre Orchestrator and with Service Management Automation available, more and more tasks will be automated. With this example, i decided to use Orchestrator.

So, I simply use a Monitor/Date Time to run the required activity at set intervals


I then run a DPM Script from the Data Protection Manager Integration Pack.



The filepath Variable is where the html (the full path to the html file) is written, this is especially helpful when sending the Email Message. (I know this can be done with send-mailmessage directly within the PowerShell code)


So there you have it, Some Orchestrator Magic with PowerShell and DPM.

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So, one of the consultants in the company I work at came to me with a strange request.

The request from the customer he was helping was the following. They wanted a way to connect to all the switches within their environment and then run some commands against the switch after connecting to the switch on port 23. Once the connection has been made, then some commands are run to get the current running configuration. Then export this to a text file.

So I found a basic script here. I have since taken this and modified and extended the script. I have added an array for the IPs to be checked. I have also added some checking prior to running any commands. I have added some testing.

First, we test the connection and see if the device is responding to pings. If the device is responding to pings, then test and see if the device is configured for telnet. So basically I am looking to see if port 23 is open. If port 23 is not opened, a log file is updated with the IP Address. If the device is not responding to pings, a log file is updated stating the IP of the “non-responding” device.

As an addition to the script, the files are then added to an e-mail which is sent to whomever you want to add. As part of the email process, a check is done and if an error is thrown, there is more information presented in the console to point you in the correct direction.

## PowerShell: Script To Telnet To Remote Hosts And Run Commands Against Them With Output To A File ##
## Overview: Useful for Telnet connections to Cisco Switches and other devices. Can add additional command strings
## Usage Examples: Add your environment specific details into the parameters below, or include when calling the script:
## ./PowerShellTelnetRemoteSession.ps1 "" "23" "admin" "password" "term len 0" "en" "enablepassword" "show interface"
    #[string] $remoteHost = "", 
    #[int] $port = 23,
    [string] $username = "admin",
    [string] $password = "",
    #[string] $termlength = "term len 0", #Useful for older consoles that have line display limitations
    [string] $enable = "en", #Useful for appliances like Cisco switches that have an 'enable' command mode
    [string] $enablepassword = "",
    [string] $command1 = "show run", #You can add additional commands below here with additonal strings if you want
    [string] $command2 = " ",
    [string] $command3 = " ",
    [string] $command4 = " ",
    [string] $command5 = " ",
    [int] $commandDelay = 1000
[string] $output = ""
## Read output from a remote host
function GetOutput
  ## Create a buffer to receive the response
  $buffer = New-Object System.Byte[] 4096
  $encoding = New-Object System.Text.AsciiEncoding
  $outputBuffer = ""
  $foundMore = $false
  ## Read all the data available from the stream, writing it to the
  ## output buffer when done.
    ## Allow data to buffer for a bit
    Start-Sleep -m 1000
    ## Read what data is available
    $foundmore = $false
    $stream.ReadTimeout = 1000
        $read = $stream.Read($buffer, 0, 1024)
        if($read -gt 0)
          $foundmore = $true
          $outputBuffer += ($encoding.GetString($buffer, 0, $read))
      } catch { $foundMore = $false; $read = 0 }
    } while($read -gt 0)
  } while($foundmore)
function Main
    param ($ip,$port)
  ## Open the socket, and connect to the computer on the specified port
  Write-Host "Connecting to $ip on port $port"

  $socket = New-Object System.Net.Sockets.TcpClient($ip, $port)
  Write-Host "Connected. Press ^D followed by [ENTER] to exit.`n"
  $stream = $socket.GetStream()
  $writer = New-Object System.IO.StreamWriter $stream
    ## Receive the output that has buffered so far
    $SCRIPT:output += GetOutput
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
        #Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
                $writer.WriteLine($command1) #Add additional entries below here for additional 'strings' you created above
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
                $writer.WriteLine($command2) #Add additional entries below here for additional 'strings' you created above
                Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
                $writer.WriteLine($command3) #Add additional entries below here for additional 'strings' you created above
                Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
                $writer.WriteLine($command4) #Add additional entries below here for additional 'strings' you created above
                Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
                $writer.WriteLine($command5) #Add additional entries below here for additional 'strings' you created above
        Start-Sleep -m $commandDelay
        $SCRIPT:output += GetOutput
  ## Close the streams

  #building file name
  $filename = "c:\switch\$ip - " + $timestamp + ".txt"
  $output | Out-File $filename  #Change this to suit your environment

#build the list of ips to be interegated 
$ips = "","",""

#building a file path
$timestamp = get-date -Format g | foreach {$_ -replace ":","."}

#building different file paths for different functions
$errortimestamp = Get-Date -Format o | foreach {$_ -replace ":", "."}
$errorfilename = "c:\switch\" + $timestamp + " - ERROR.txt"

#building different file paths for different functions
$blockedtimestamp = Get-Date -Format o | foreach {$_ -replace ":", "."}
$blockedfilename = "c:\switch\" + $timestamp + " - blocked.txt"

#looping through each ip in ip list
foreach ($ip in $ips)
    Write-host "Testing $ip"
    #test to see if device is responding to pings
	if (Test-Connection $ip -Quiet)
        #creating connection on port 23
		$t = New-Object Net.Sockets.TcpClient
		$t.Connect($ip, 23)

        #if it connects, runs the required function with the ip
		if ($t.Connected)
			. Main $ip "23"
        #script block for device responding to ping, but port 23 is NOT open
			$portblocked = "Port 23 on $ip is closed , You may need to contact your IT team to open it. "
            Add-Content $blockedfilename "`n$portblocked"
    #script block for NO RESPONSE
    	$errorfilename = "c:\switch\" + $timestamp + " - ERROR.txt" 
        Add-Content $errorfilename "`nCould not ping $ip" 

#displaying information on console
Write-Host "Build file list" -NoNewline
#getting file list to be emailed
$files = Get-ChildItem C:\Switch\ | Where {-NOT $_.PSIsContainer} | foreach {$_.fullname}
#pausing script
Start-Sleep 3
Write-Host "`t" [File List Built] -ForegroundColor "Green"

Write-Host "Sending Email" -NoNewline

#building checks for sending emails

#no error

#replace as needed
$to = "<to>"
$from = "<from>"
$smtpserver = "<smtpserver>"

    Send-MailMessage -Attachments $files -to $to -from $from -Subject "Network Config backup - $timestamp" -SmtpServer $smtpserver -ErrorAction Stop
    Write-Host "`t [Email Sent]" -ForegroundColor "Green"
    $ErrorMessage = $_.Exception.Message
    if ($ErrorMessage -ne $null)
        Write-Host "`t [Unable to send Mail]" -ForegroundColor "Red"
        Write-Host "There was an error: $ErrorMessage" -ForegroundColor "Yellow"

Start-Sleep 3
Write-Host "Removing Files" -NoNewline
$files | Remove-Item
Write-Host "`t [Files removed]" -ForegroundColor "Green"

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I have found a great for load testing SCSM with Incidents. The script uses SMLets to generate Incidents and you can then gauge how your system would handle the load you are planning within your Production Environment.

I will not go into the detail of the script as this blog post does a great job of explaining it. SO this got me to thinking about other Load Testing you could perform. The most common Load Test is with Incidents. However, i decided that another good load test would be Service Requests. What is nice about this load test, is that it uses a Management Pack which I have included in this post. The Management Pack contains a Service Request Template with a Manual Activity added as the first Activity. This will allow you to test Service Requests and well as Activities, which would in turn, test any workflows or runbooks that you have configured.

For my environment, i have additional runbooks which are also triggered when Manual Activities are completed or when Review Activities are completed. So with this Load Test script it also test my runbooks and other workflows.

Remember, to set a different Implementer for the Manual Activity to allow the runbooks or workflows to be triggered off correctly. Remember, no Manual Activity Implementer or if the implementer has no email address, your emails will not be triggered correctly. Below, is a breakdown of the script I am using.


#SMLets is needed for the script to work
Import-Module SMlets

#the number of Service requests to be created
$SRCount = 10

#the delay between attempts
$delay = 10

# Display Start Time
$StartTime = get-date
Write-Host "Started"
Write-Host $StartTime
Write-Host "-------------------`n"
Write-Host "Creating Service Request"
Write-Host "-------------------"
$i =1

while ($i -le $SRCount)

#Variable / Class Setup
$srClass = Get-SCSMClass -name System.WorkItem.ServiceRequest$
$srprior = Get-SCSMEnumeration -Name ServiceRequestPriorityEnum.Medium
$srurg = Get-SCSMEnumeration -Name ServiceRequestUrgencyEnum.Medium
$ararea = get-SCSMEnumeration -Name ServiceRequestAreaEnum.Other

#building your own SR Title
$title = "Fletcher Load Testing $i - " + (get-date)

#Service Request Arguements
$srargs = @{
Title = $title;
Urgency = $srurg;
Priority = $srprior;
ID = “SR{0}”;
Area = $ararea;
Description = “Created by Script”

#Create Service Request
New-SCSMOBject -Class $srClass -PropertyHashtable $srargs

#Get Projection &amp; Object for Created Service Request
$srTypeProjection = Get-SCSMTypeProjection -name System.WorkItem.ServiceRequestProjection$
$SRProj = Get-scsmobjectprojection -ProjectionName $srTypeProjection.Name -filter “title -eq $title”

#Get Template
$template = Get-SCSMObjectTemplate -DisplayName "Load Test SR Template"

#Set Template
Set-SCSMObjectTemplate -Projection $SRProj -Template $template
$SR = Get-SCSMObject -Class (Get-SCSMClass -Name System.WorkItem.ServiceRequest$) -filter "Title -eq $title"
$SRName = $SR.name
$SRTitle = $SR.Title
Write-Host $SRName " - " $SRTitle

# Pause before creating next SR
Start-Sleep -s 5

#getting the above created Service Request
$ServiceRequestToUpdate = Get-SCSMObject -Class (Get-SCSMClass -Name System.WorkItem.ServiceRequest$) -Filter "Id -eq $SRName"

#get the Realted Child Manual Activity
$ChildActivities = (Get-SCSMRelationshipObject -BySource $ServiceRequestToUpdate | ?{$_.RelationshipID -eq "2DA498BE-0485-B2B2-D520-6EBD1698E61B"})

$get the ID Value
$MAIDToUpdate = $ChildActivities.targetobject.values[9].value

#getting the MA Class
$Class = Get-SCSMClass -Name System.WorkItem.Activity.ManualActivity

#getting the "Active" Status
$StatusActive = Get-SCSMEnumeration -name ActivityStatusEnum.Active

$Activity = Get-SCSMObject -Class $Class | ? {$_.ID -eq $MAIDToUpdate}

#setting MA to Active
Set-SCSMObject -SMObject $Activity -Property "Status" -Value $StatusActive

#showing current status
Write-host $MAIDToUpdate " is now " $StatusActive
$i +=1
Start-Sleep -s $delay

# Display End Time
Write-Host "_______________________`n"
$EndTime = get-date
Write-Host = "Finished"
Write-Host $EndTime
#End of Script

The script can also be downloaded from the Technet Gallery here.

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I have previously done a post on CIreson IT Asset Management. However the people at Cireson have been very busy with new features to be added to their ITAM (IT Asset Management) tool.

Cireson Asset Management: New Feature Highlights

After recently releasing the newest version of the Asset Management app for Microsoft System Centre (Features Press Release), this post goes a little more in depth to explain some of the amazing features included in this latest release. Always striving to make life easier and more productive for those who use and implement SCSM, they put a lot of thought into the features clients asked for and updates everyone was clamouring for.

Highlighted below are a few of notable enhancements, including the Cireson full Asset Catalogue, Location to IP Awareness, Contract Management and Reporting.

The full Asset Catalogue found within the Cireson Asset Management app allows users to define standard hardware types, as well as information such as model, manufacturer, and price. With access to a comprehensive yet simple and informative page view with all the relevant information in one place, users can better manage the standardization of asset types no matter what the scale of the organization.

Location to IP Awareness is now also an incredibly exciting feature. This function tracks where hardware assets exist, and also allows for hardware to location awareness based on IP address – information which is provided by System Centre 2012 Configuration Manager. This is a great example of how Cireson works to utilize all System Centre components in order to provide the most insightful and rich experience possible.

Expanding on the extensive Contract Management capabilities of the Asset Management app, the new version boasts the ability to perform full contract management with different types of contracts that relate to various software and hardware assets under management. Support and maintenance contracts, leases, and warranties represent the main areas of contract management. Highly unique to the Cireson app is the ability to manage contract status via a built-in SLA engine, with notifications upon near breach or expiration of a contract’s end date.

In addition, the superior reporting functions of this new version allows for comprehensive reporting based on asset data from the data warehouse and cube reporting engine within Service Manager. These rich out-of-the-box reporting solutions cover contract, hardware asset, license, and software asset reports, amongst others.


Other enhanced capabilities of the Cireson Asset Management app now include, app metering data tracking against software asset types to understand installation vs. utilization vs. purchased count, and over 250 brand new features that make the System Centre Service Manager experience better than ever before.

For more information, videos, and overviews relating to Cireson Asset Management for System Centre, visit the app store at www.cireson.com.

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So, let’s ay you have invested the time and gotten System Centre Orchestrator up and running in your environment and you have the product performing some day to day tasks and it is working well. However, now you want start using SCO (System Centre Orchestrator) to start performing end user focused tasks like Password Reset, add users to groups or even disabling of users or server testing as part of first line support.

All of these tasks can be completed within orchestrator, however exposing them to the end user can be a little tricky. It can be done, the “native way” of performing this within the System Centre Suite is to use System Centre Service Manager with the Service Manager Orchestrator Connector and then prompt the user for information and kick off runbooks. This particular scenario works well if you have System Centre Service Manager in place, and a future blog post will cover the idea of “adding a user to an Active Directory group” as part of a Service Request. There are a few challenges around this. Firstly, you need SCSM (System Centre Service Manager) and some time and patience to test the connectors and runbooks and to create the correct templates and ensure that Workflows with SCSM are configured correctly within SCSM. Like I have said previously, this solution works and it works well!!!

In reality though, not everyone has SCSM in place, many of my companies customers are in the progress of migrating to SCSM and these systems are still in testing or QA or UAT, whatever the case may be, they are NOT in production YET! However, these companies still want this the functionality listed above. Yes, there is a way!!!

Enter EUPSCO, the full name is End User Portal System Centre Orchestrator, and as the name suggests it creates an End User Portal for System Centre Orchestrator. This allows the IT Department to create the required runbooks, to for example, ping a server or reset a password or disable an account. This creates the “Menu”, called “Services” within the End User portal. Once this is completed, the end user can then order from this menu and get the required results without the need of having to contact the IT Department. This particular tool is very easy to install and the guide is easy to follow. The End User portal requires NO Silverlight and as such, it is compatible with most browsers. I have personally tested with the IE, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, all working without issue.

The application also reads from Active Directory, this helps with your reporting line allowing a Manager of staff members (Determined by “Manager” in Active Directory) to log requests on the behalf of his/her staff members, so now +a manager can log a request to reset the password of his/her staff member. The application also allows for approvals. So each service can have an approver, the service allows for a runbook to be triggered if an Approver’s input is needed, with mine, I simply kick off a runbook, which sends an email to the approver with a link to the End User Portal and his/her requests allowing him/her to approve or deny the request.

There are a few key variables which are passed onto the runbook to allow the automation to be easier. The How To’s on the EUPSCO page cover these nicely. This Forum Post also covers these options. Just to make it a little easier, the primary ones are as follow. (please note that these are case sensitive)

1. TargetUserId

2. ApproverUserId

3. ServiceName

This should help your organization adopt System Centre Orchestrator more easily.

A BIG thank you goes out to the People at ITQ for the System Centre Orchestrator End User Portal

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