Quick Tip ! Automate it !

April 28, 2016


I am a big fan of automation , you improve efficiency by generating a consistent result fast.

But it needs to be worth it, you need a certain quantity of requests before the investment pays off.

Luckily we have these kind of environments in our partner portfolio.

Here we use the service manager portal not for the end-users but we present the portal to the first line helpdesk so they don’t have to escalate certain tasks to second line. All requests are automated by orchestrator runbooks.


And we are on 4874 completed request.


Simple math : about 10 minutes if the action is performed manually , this makes 48740 minutes -> 812 hours -> 101 working days saved, this time can be spent on tasks that create a real added value for the partner.


Gino D


SPN’s in Service Manager 2012

July 7, 2014


Recently noticed a warning in the operations manager event viewer of our service manager management server.

Now you’ll normally only notice this warning upon a restart of the “System Center Data Access Service”. The warning will not occur upon a reboot of the server.

Same for the datawarehouse server.

Now we notice that our service is running under a specific credential.

While the warning states that the SPN for the machine account fails to register. This should normally be a bug. See http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/systemcenter/en-US/5bc1c85a-1558-4ac3-8f07-412354e4b346/scom-2012-data-access-service-spn-not-registered?forum=operationsmanagergeneral.
This can be ignored.

Now let’s check the spn on the user account. The setup did not set the SPN’s automatically.

You need to manually add them using the setspn -a command

So you should have all service manager servers registered.
Check using setspn -l

Now I haven’t actually encountered some of the issues described in the following blog. But better save then sorrow.

Link : http://blog.scsmsolutions.com/2012/11/configure-the-kerberos-for-scsm-2012-spn-and-delegation/



Service Manager connectors OU property

June 2, 2014


Today we wanted to filter a number of server that are offered using a query on the portal site.

No worries , we can use the “Organization Unit” property for filtering.

So use an advanced search in order to verify the organizational Unit on the class “Windows Computer”

2 strange observations :

-> The class “Windows Server” does not return any result

But there are server CI’s present.

And the property of Organizational unit is empty for all computer objects.

The solution is to activate the Operations Manager CI connector as this will fill up the property, not very logic but reality.

Result :


Gino D

Cireson My Work Items

January 21, 2014


Now we check another added value by Cireson, the combined My work items view.

It allows for a combined view of all required actions for an analyst user.

Installation is easy , it’s a management pack that can be imported.

After import you’ll get additional info in the administration pane.

You can check the detailed installation instructions at http://kb.cireson.com/scsm-my-active-work-items-app-installation-instructions/

Now close and open the console and you’ll see and additional view : My Active Work Items

Modify the settings in order to verify AD group membership

Now let’s take an incident and assign it to a incident support AD group.

Our test user is part of this group and the items appear under his active work item view :

Now let’s do the same for a service request

Et voila …

Nice feature.


Quick Tip ! Create Dynamic forms in #ServiceManager

October 22, 2013


Recently I had a discussion with a collegue about the forms functionality in Service manager, while we both think this is a great functionality he was wondering if dynamic forms could be created.

Meaning the user selects item 1 and the following options are dynamically build depending on his / her choice. Too bad this is not possible.

But wait, it is ! Here’s how .

We recently had to use this functionality in order to workaround the limitation of presenting 2000 items on the user form. In one specific environment we have 20k users and allow the selection of the user by a query.

Unfortunately only 2000 items are shown and the search box is limited to the displayed results.

So here we go :

Here we have a form where the helpdesk can select a AD user

Now let’s say we want to add a searchstring for department so the helpdesk can selecting a user depending on his department. First we add a prompt

Then we need to modify the query result

You can also use the default token for the Portal user name, but here we use the Searchstring.

And verify the result

Okay now let’s create a query for the department in stead of a free text field. First Query :

Now modify the query for the user

And observe the result …

Step 1

Step 2

You have to push refresh in order to filter the results. But it works great. Can you image the possibilities ?


Customise Url for service manager portal

August 14, 2013


Today we create an alternative url for the service manager portal. In this case the portal is installed on 1 server.

1. Create an alias for the servername in DNS

So instead of SRVSCOR01.rdsolutions.local we’ll have helpdesk.rdsolutions.local

2. Create a new certificate with the correct name

Create the certificate from IIS

Portal Server -> IIS -> Server certificates -> Create domain certificate

Just follow the wizard.

3. Use the certificate in IIS

Make sure the cert is imported in the trusted root certification authority store on the client station.

Then select it in IIS on the portal server for SCSMWebcontentServer and Service Manager Portal.

Now modify the url in IIS for the Service Manager Portal, Application Setting.

To …

4. Now create an alternate access mapping in SharePoint

SharePoint Central Administration -> Application Management -> Configure Alternate Mappings -> Select the Service Manager Portal URL -> Edit Public URLs -> and update the alternate URL

And test as a normal user

Now let’s add some url forwarding so we can use http://helpdesk.rdsolutions.local in stead of https://helpdesk.rdsolutions.local:444/smportal.

Here’s how.

Verify the default IIS website is started and enable the Windows Authentication. In my case this was disabled.

Test the default website using IIS.

Now enable the redirection.

And test as normal user from a workstation.

Use http://helpdesk.rdsolutions.local

And observe … the result !

Okay .

Enjoy …

SA Application Approval Workflow

August 11, 2013

Today we install and configure the solution accelerator for the link between service manager and the config manager self service portal.
Download here : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29687
Now let’s install.

Install on Service manager management server.

Install on Orchestrator server.

Issue 1 on orchestrator

Solution :
Add user used in wizard to OrchestratorSystemGroup

Issue 2 on orcehstrator console.

And in service manager event viewer.

Add rb user to scsm admins

Ok ! Now for the configuration of the Solution Accelerator.
Create new template with class “Application Request”

Add one activity , a default review activity.

Save the template.

Now follow the wizard to create a new selection criteria ( found in administration )

Give it a name and select a template. Choose from the created Application templates.
Attention ! If you select a template without the review activity then you won’ t be able to modify the reviewer section later in the wizard.

Now you can select Applications , users or both

Modify the reviewer activity as wanted.

Set the selection to Production

Now logon to a workstation and use the normal CM application portal and request an app

The user can see the status of the request

The sync runbook runs every 30´, you can trigger it manually and then you’ll see the request.

Now you can see that the user ( in this case the line manager ) has a request activity assigned

Approve it.
Wait for the syncing and you’ll see the app gets installed.

You can see the Application request once completed in the service request view. ( it can no longer be found in the application request view )

Remember that the application requests are based on software approval in sccm so a second install will no longer create an Application request in service manager because the app has allready been approved in config manager.