Posts Tagged ‘SCSM’

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.

2014-04-03_07-51-37

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.

2014-04-03_07-58-27

Get-Object Properties

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

2014-04-03_07-58-58

Create Related Object Properties

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

2014-04-03_08-01-08

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>1.0.0.1</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>
#</ScriptSettings>
#endregion

 param($ID)
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
#endregion

 #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.
$SendUpdateButton_OnClick=
{
        Write-Host "Send Update"
        $to = $EmailToTextBox.Text
        Write-Host $to
        $from = "Servicedesk@bui.co.za"
        $emailbody = $UpdateTextBox.Text
$subject = @"
Update [ID]
"@
$body = @"
$emailbody
"@
        #$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
        $SendUpdateForm.Close()

 }

 $CancelButton_OnClick=
{
#TODO: Place custom script here
$SendUpdateForm.Close()
}

 $OnLoadForm_StateCorrection=
{#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
$CancelButton.add_Click($CancelButton_OnClick)

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($CancelButton)

 
 $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
$SendUpdateButton.add_Click($SendUpdateButton_OnClick)

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($SendUpdateButton)

 $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

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($UpdateTextBox)

 $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:"

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($UpdateLabel)

 $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

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($EmailToTextBox)

 $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:"

 $SendUpdateForm.Controls.Add($EMailToLabel)

 #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
$SendUpdateForm.add_Load($OnLoadForm_StateCorrection)
#Show the Form
$SendUpdateForm.ShowDialog()| Out-Null

 } #End Function

 #Call the Function
GenerateForm

[/code]

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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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.

Script

#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 & 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 " - " $SRTitle
#$SRName

# 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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Cireson have recently released an new enhancement to the Service Manager console called the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App. This particular application is very easy to install. To install the application into the console, it is simply a case of importing a few management packs and some XML files and DLL files. This is very easy to do and the installation instructions provided by Cireson are very simple and easy to follow as with all Cireson add-ins I have worked with in the past.

In order to get the full benefit from the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App, I would highly recommend that the Configuration Manager Connector be enabled within your environment. However, this is NOT a necessity. Within my environment as I run mine as a Lab, it is not always possible to have all the connectors enabled all the time. I was very easily able to configure my workflows (come with the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App) to work and pull in the required information.

A sample of my workflow configuration is below. The workflows and settings for the Cireson SCSM Asset Management App are found under the Administration Wunderbar and then settings as with all Cireson applications.

There are settings for both Software and Hardware Collections.

Software

image

Hardware

image

A little lower down on the Hardware tab, this is where the Configuration Manager Connector would add a tremendous amount of value as you can reference different  value to be used as a Hardware ID. So, if you had the Configuration Manager Connector enabled, you could reference a Serial Number or Asset Tag. However, it is perfectly feasable to reference Principal name.

image

Under the “Miscellaneous”  tab, is where the logging is configured, which is amazingly helpful for troubleshooting.

image

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So, Cireson has been hard at work to fill a few gaps present within the Service Manager space. Cireson has created an application called My Active Work Items to bring all information assigned to your user token in one place. For Service Manager 2010, you could create the Work Items assigned to Me view. This was a good start for SCSM 2010 and this continues to work with SCSM 2012. However, with SCSM 2012, there are a few shortcomings of this view. The Work Items assigned to Me, it only shows some very limited information and this view cannot be edited.

image

Please make no error, this view is helpful and can provide the required information. It is still context driven on the right hand pane.

But now, enter My Active Work Items. Below is a screenshot to give you an idea of how it looks. I will then look at individual aspects.

image

If you have multiple work items of the Same type, For example, Incidents, they will be grouped together. In the Screenshot below, I have created 2 incidents to demonstrate this.

image

the pane below the “My Active Work Items” provides all information needed about the highlighted work item at a glance.

SNAGHTML46c3381

All the other features associated to the Highlighted work item are available as a right click context item. I will show a few examples below.

Incident

SNAGHTML4742dcd

Review Activity

SNAGHTML47bf7d2

Problem

SNAGHTML48cb49c

Change Request

SNAGHTML4a035f5

Also note the “My Active Work Items” context menu which allows easy to the creation of any type of Work Item.

image

The installation and configuration of My Active Work Items is very simple and quick. The installation instructions provided are clear and concise and the settings, found under Administration –> Settings can be easily tweaked and changed to suit your needs.

If you have looked at my previous Cireson Group Assign post, you will see that the AD Groups leveraged within that Service Manager application can be leveraged again.

SNAGHTML4b3dd06

All in all, Cireson have a great application with My Active Work Items and I would highly recommend it for any Service Manager 2012 installation. It also work with Service Manager 2012 Service Pack 1.

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I have always heard complaints from some of the analysts in my company about having to install the Service Manager Console on their machines and then complaining about having to learn a new application.

So, I went searching around and found a great application called Cireson SCSM Web Console, this allows analysts to update Incidents via a newly designed web portal for Analysts. Since the console is designed in HTML5, the web console is browser agnostic. This face also helps some companies to adopt this as it allows analysts to use all types of devices to update incidents.

The guide provided to install the application is Comprehensive and easy to follow. Just make sure you do all the steps. I have added some screenshots of errors I got along the way, trying to “jump the gun” and see the new Web Console in action.

“Issues and Errors” I ran into, all of which are easily fixed.

Server error in ‘/’ Application

image

This error is pretty much self-explanatory, I tried to open the console before the Cireson Management Pack had been imported. A simple fix, import the Management Pack.

image

Again, this looks intimidating. This is very easy to fix if you look at error. When you are going through the installation guide, it is very easy to miss a step. Like this, when configuring the web.config file with Active Directory Connector information, it is very easy to find the space for the DN Name of your domain. When the above happens, it is simple a case of not adding the full DN for a DOMAIN CONTROLLER.

But now, onto the console in action. Just one side note, for now the Cireson SCSM Web Console handles only incidents, I have heard that plans are in progress for the Cireson SCSM Web Console to be extended to include Service Requests and potentially Problems, WOW!!!!!!

The Cireson SCSM Web Console is really easy to navigate and very easy to understand, anything you can do in the actual console, you can do on the Cireson SCSM Web Console. So, if you make the Cireson SCSM Web Console publically available, your Analysts can update from anywhere with any device as the Web Console is NOT dependent on Microsoft Silverlight.

As you can see below, the Web Console is very nicely put together and gives you all the information you need at a quick glance.

image

You can click an incident to open it and you will be presented with some detailed information regarding the incident as can be seen below. You can also “Edit Incident” from the Web Console to update it.

image

From the top Level Tabs, you can see you access all the information you could regarding Incidents

image

Below are screenshots of each “Section” from the Top Level Menu”

Incidents can also be LOGGED from the Web Console, displaying all information from your SCSM Implementation

image

The “My Team’s Incidents” leverages the groups and information provided during the installation of the Web Console and provides a consolidated view of the Incidents assigned to the “Support Group” to which the currently logged on user is a member and this works very nicely with Cireson SCSM Group Assign

image

The “All My Incidents” View provide a view of all incidents assigned to the currently “logged on” user.

image

The “All Incidents” view provides an overview for all incidents within your Service Manager environment. By default, only active incidents are shown, you can select the checkbox to show resolved incidents.

image

The “Search Incidents” views allows you to search via a number of different fields, making it really easy to find any incidents you are looking for.

image

The “Configuration Items” view is the representation of the CI Items within the organization on the Web Console.

image

The Cireson SCSM Web Console is a great addition to your Service Manager environment. It allows incidents to be updated quickly and easily from any device. I would highly recommend it.

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So one of the biggest issues I have with Service Manager is actually user based as seems to be quite difficult to teach the concept of this for some strange reason. So, as a work-around I have created views that cater for the issue I am about to discuss.

The issue is as follows, when a Work Item gets re-assigned to a new Analyst, 99% of the time, the associated Support Group does NOT get changed. Let’s take the following example.

An incident is logged and is automatically assigned to the “Service Desk” team, now an analysts investigates the incident and determines that the incident actually belongs to a member of the “Network Team”. So, typically, the “Assigned to” person is changed and the new analyst will get an e-mail stating that a call has been assigned to him/her. However, the incident now reflects the following

Analyst : Network Analyst Thumbs up

Support Group : Service Desk Thumbs down

So basically, if you were to have a queue or view that shows up all incidents assigned to the “Network Team”, this incident would not show up however the analyst has received and e-mail stating that an Incident has been assigned to him/her, it can of course be found by using “Assigned to Me” View.

There is a solution here. Enter Cireson and their fantastic applications for Service Manager. SCSM Group Assign allows the extended functionality of selecting the required Support Group and then NARROWS the list of Analysts to that specific group. This ensures that BOTH the Support Group and Analyst are changed at time of re-assignment, making the creation of views and Queues a lot simpler and then ensures that your views based on Support Group are 100% accurate. The solution extends the context pane and adds a “Assign Analyst by Group” option

image

What SCSM Group Assign allows you to is the following (this is my test lab), you will however get the idea.

Below is a screenshot of the groups that I have created within Active Directory to “illustrate” my different Support Groups. You will see a few groups.

1. For all analysts

2. To represent different support Groups (I have called them Tier 1,2 and 3, as this is the vanilla experience with SCSM)

image015

Ok, so below is a screenshot of a re-assignment using the new “Assign Analyst by Group” option. For this example I have used “Tier 1”. Note how the “Analyst” selection is limited to only 2 Analysts as per my groups earlier. Namely Analyst 1 and Analyst 2.

Tier1-group assign

The next screenshot depicts the same process only to “Tier 2” this time. This time the selection is limited to Analyst 3 and Analyst 4.

Tier2-group assign

The re-assignment is logged in Service Manager in the exact same way as any analyst assignment. This is an extension of the capabilities of Service Manager.

I would highly recommend SCSM Group Assign for any Service Manager installation.

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