#Cireson added value on System Center

October 16, 2013

Hello,

As you’ve probably heard Cireson has a number of addons on the system center service manager. Today we talk about some of them.

Additional information can be found on the cireson website here : http://www.cireson.com/app-store/

First up : The notify analyst solution.

In short : the addon allows notification of user / group upon assignment of workitems. Detailed information can be found here : http://www.cireson.com/scsm/cireson-notify-analyst-app/

Our ( free trial ) version had the incident and the service request notifications available.


Now let’s start with the creation of an incident template for the notification.


Add the required information for the email.


Select the newly created template in the incident settings page.



And test, assign an incident to a specific Analyst and verify the result.

You can verify the status of the workflow using the console.


… and the result



So there you have it, nice easy-to-use and does just what it says.

Second up : The Cireson web console.

Well heard comment , people like web consoles ( if they are fast and responsive and offer the same functionalities as a native console 🙂 ).

Cireson has an addon for the service manager console to be available as a web console. ( based on html 5 )

Install is pretty straightforward and well documented, and afterwards you get an additional settings button.


In the general settings we can define the AD Group that contains all the analysts who have access to the webconsole.

In the AD prefix we define a prefix that will be used for enumeration of Incident and service request tier groups.

Example we have “Tier 1” as a incident tier defined.



We also have an AD Group SCSM-Tier 1 containing several members.



Now if we start the web console we can assign an icident to a specific user after selecting the tier.

Unfortunately , this did’t work at first.Because … my language settings in IE were modified. I was using the dutch language.



Now if we start the “Assign to Analyst by group” button

We see that no users are available …



But if we rename the group to “SCSM-Laag 1” , logoff and try again …



Then we see it works as expected. A solution could be to use nested groups. ( Create an EN group and make member of the NL group etc. )

The rest of the console looks very promising. A lot of functionalities are available using the web console.



Also a very nice Search Work items tab can be used :



The only thing I am missing is the “send email functionality” on the portal … maybe a feature request 🙂

Overall a real added value for the service manager.

Enjoy

Gino D



Customise the self service Portal

July 17, 2013

Okay,

The self service portal of service manager 2012 is great but unfortunately it doesn’t look very sexy. So we’ll pimp up the portal by 3 actions :

  • Add icons and change look and feel
  • Add scroll bar for low resolution screens
  • Add languages for the end users

Let’s start with the look and feel.

Open the portal , select site settings.


Open look and feel.


Change title description and icon.


Result

Site theme can also be modified

Add icons to your service catalog , looks much better…


Add scroll bar for low resolutions workstations. ( otherwise normal user will not have the scrollbar in the portal )

Open Self service portal as sharepoint admin , Click site settings and modify master pages.


Download the file SMportalPage.master


Edit in notepad

Find the line </head>

And add this just before it:

<style>

body.v4master {

                height:inherit;

                width:inherit;

                overflow:visible !important; //!important to override the original theme.

}

body #s4-workspace {

                overflow-y:auto !important;

               overflow-x:auto !important;

                height:auto !important;

  }

</style>

Result should look like this


Upload the file as a new version to the library.


Done, check result as normal user. ( notice the scrollbar )


Download the required language pack for sharepoint doundation 201

http://www.microsoft.com/nl-nl/download/details.aspx?id=4731

And install




Perform the config wizard.




Now open the self service portal as sharepoint admin , open site settings


You should see language settings


Add alternative languages



Check the result as user



Woehoe success



That’s it … enjoy the result.




Exchange connector in service Manager

July 26, 2012

Hello,
Today we focus on the exchange connector in service manager. Available for the 2010 and the 2012 versions. Why would you need it ?
Wel it does some nifty things like :

  • Convert email to ticket without relying on an smtp server
  • Allowing updates of a work item using “reply” to email ( such as additions to the incident, approvals of the CR, closing of incidents etc. )

Now where can we find it ? Well that’s easy : http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=24957 ( 2010 version ) and http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29423 ( 2012 version )




First of all let me explain that the connector actually has an additional feature besides the ones described above. Image the following scenario :

  • Analyst requests user information using the default “request user input” button
  • The incident is put on status “pending” and a mail sent to the affected user
  • The default email templates allow you to add the analyst comment as a field however :
    • This will add all the analyst comments to the email and we only want the question posed by the Analyst. Furthermore the order in which the comments are displayed is not correct.I thought this was fixed since 2010SP1 but this is not the case.


I used the group attribute for formatting the comment list.


Now for this there is a second part of the connector solution allowing you to just send the question using an email template to the affected user.
First of all let me explain that all the info here has been provided by Travis in the document attached to the solution. Be sure to read it. This is just the hands-on test.

  • Import the attached SendEmail.mpb file


  • Add wanted item to list item Message Type. Use a new MP.


  • Create a new email template for your desired scenario.Select the newly created MP.


  • Insert the custom Message as variable in the Template



  • Create an incident workflow


  • Specify Criteria




  • Apply a template for setting the status to pending of the specific incident.


  • So far, so good ! Now for the tricky part. Export the Mp and Edit. Look for <UpdateInstance> and modify like explained.
Before After
<Criteria>
<Expression>
<And>
<Expression>
<UnaryExpression>
<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Pre>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>IsNull</Operator>

</UnaryExpression>

</Expression>

<Expression>

<And>

<Expression>

<SimpleExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/MessageType$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>Equal</Operator>

<ValueExpression>

<Value>{9f6d72ad-1bff-ca89-f619-8d50cd876576}</Value>

</ValueExpression>

</SimpleExpression>

</Expression>

<Expression>

<UnaryExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>IsNotNull</Operator>

</UnaryExpression>

</Expression>

</And>

</Expression>

</And>

</Expression>

</Criteria>

<Criteria>
<Expression>
<Or>
<Expression>
<And>
<Expression>

<UnaryExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Pre>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>IsNull</Operator>

</UnaryExpression>

</Expression>

<Expression>

<And>

<Expression>

<SimpleExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/MessageType$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>Equal</Operator>

<ValueExpression>

<Value>{9f6d72ad-1bff-ca89-f619-8d50cd876576}</Value>

</ValueExpression>

</SimpleExpression>

</Expression>

<Expression>

<UnaryExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>IsNotNull</Operator>

</UnaryExpression>

</Expression>

</And>

</Expression>

</And>

</Expression>


<Expression>

<And>

<Expression>

<SimpleExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Pre>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>NotEqual</Operator>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/Message$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

</SimpleExpression>

</Expression>

<Expression>

<SimpleExpression>

<ValueExpression>

<Property
State=Post>$Context/Property[Type=’SendEmail!IncidentSendMailExtension’]/MessageType$</Property>

</ValueExpression>

<Operator>Equal</Operator>

<ValueExpression>

<Value>{9f6d72ad-1bff-ca89-f619-8d50cd876576}</Value>

</ValueExpression>

</SimpleExpression>

</Expression>

</And>

</Expression>

</Or>

</Expression>

</Criteria>

The following has changed :

  • Added an Outer <Expression><Or>…. </Or></Expression>block to OR the following logical criteria together:
    • Message changes from IsNull to NotNull AND MessageType = some message type

      OR

  1. Message changes (Pre NotEqual Post) AND MessageType = some message type

Make sure to replace the GUID with your specific guid from above !!

  • Save the Mp and reimport.( Ignore the data loss message )



Okay ! Now let’s test !
Open an incident. Select the “Send Email” button and choose the correct template.


You’ll see the message attached to the action log.



Verify the execution of the workflow.

And verify the mail that the user recieves.


He hits reply and the answer is added to the incident. Make sure the ID is added to the subject in brackets […]



The incident is also put to active because of the template we selected in the exchange connector when “updating incident” applied.
Great feature and super work done by Travis.
I had some issues with the exchange autodiscovery service.

  1. The availability service url was incorrect in exchange ( pointing to /EWS in stead of /EWS/Exchange.asmx )

    This resulted in an error 405 ( Method Not Allowed ) in the connector.


  1. The exchange certificate was incorrect ( Netbios name in stead of FQDN )

    This resulted in an error 407 ( Proxy Authentication Required ) in the connector


Enjoy.
Gino D


Licensing on SC2012

April 16, 2012

Hello,
Today I post some additional information about the licensing of the system center solution as this is one of the recurring questions on our SC workshops.
Starting from April 1st the following information is applicable :

-> There are no more licenses requried for management servers, these are part of the ML

-> No more licenses required for SQL components , these are also part of the ML

-> Licenses are only available with SA
So you only need to buy licenses for the devices that you want to manage.
There are 2 categories. You can either license client OSE or you can license server OSE.

( OSE = Operating System Environment )
Let’s start with the client.
The following licensing formules are available :

Offering Components Included
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Client ML
  • Configuration Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager
System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection Manager Client ML
  • Endpoint Protection
System Center Client Management Suite Client ML
  • Service Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Orchestrator

Now for the server OSE.
The only available licensing formules are the System Center suites : Standard and Datacenter

Offering Licensed per Applicable for Components included
Standard Edition 2 CPU sockets Physical OSE + 2 Virtual OSE
  • Configuration Manager
  • Service Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Orchestrator
  • App Controller
  • Endpoint Protection
Datacenter Edition 2 CPU sockets Physical OSE + unlimited Virtual OSE
  • Configuration Manager
  • Service Manager
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Orchestrator
  • App Controller
  • Endpoint Protection

Examples

Datacenter ML Required Standard ML Required
1 one processor non-virtualized server 1 1
1 four processor non-virtualized server 2 2
1 two processor server with 3 virtual OSE 1 2
1 four processor server with 8 virtual OSE 2 4

So in plain English the licensing will depend on the virtualization rate that you will have implemented and will probably follow your Windows Server licensing ( Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter ).
Also remember the necesarry licensing for the service manager component. This has not been modified so :

-> Item is in the CMDB

-> Item has an OSE

-> Item is an OSI Layer 4 or above device ( no licenses are required for OSI Layer 3 or below )



Also remember that there are some good deals to be made if you already licensed one of the components with SA. More information can be found in the licensing FAQ.
Additional information :
http://download.microsoft.com/download/8/7/0/870B5D9B-ACF1-4192-BD0A-543AF551B7AE/System%20Center%202012%20Licensing%20FAQ.pdf
Also never hesitate to contact you trusted advisor for additional MS licensing information as it can become a grey area from time to time.
Regs
Gino D


Screencast – Automated Event Remediation using system center 2012 RC

March 30, 2012

Hello,

Today we explore the other possibilities for sharing knowledge with the community. So I proudly present : our first screencast!

Subject : Automated Event Remediation using System Center 2012 RC Solution.

A compliancy breach is captured by SCOM , the alert creates an incident in the Service manager CMDB and this triggers an automated remediation workflow executed by Orchestrator.

Enjoy the weekend.

Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp3_MV3oE_Q


Service Manager 2012 Portal issue

March 5, 2012

So .. The portal is installed but not working ! How come …
When we open the portal page as Service manager admin we see this …


After verifying the certiciate information I saw that a different Server name was used.



So test with the correct name in order to resolve the certificate error message.

Export the certificate …

And import it in the computer account …

… As trusted root certification Authorities.



Still … No resolution for the blank screen in the middle of the portal. So open the IIS portal and go to Application settings.

Modify the Portal Webcontent URL from the old value …


… To the correct name on the certificate.



Test -> OK it works.

So now for a permanent solution. Create a new certificate using the IIS manager. -> <ServerName> -> Server Certificates -> Create new self-signed certificate using the fqdn of the service manager server.

Link the newly created certificate to the portal site by right clicking the service manager portal and the SCSMWebContentServer in IIS and selecting “edit bindings” -> select the newly created self-signed certificate.

Now finally make sure the Portal Webcontent URL ( as described above ) uses the FQDN of the service manager server.

However if we retest using a norma user account ( no service manager admin ) then we recieve the same issue. How come …



In order to resolve open sharepoint administration site …



… Select “Manage web applications”



…Select the portal site and click user policy and add domain users Full read Permissions.



Now test ( as normal end-user ) -> Success !!



Enjoy …


Modify url end user portal

November 19, 2011

Hello,

By default the url for the end user portal in service manager is https://PortalServer.domain.suffix/Enduser, not really convient.

So we are going to modify the url to https://PortalServer.domain.suffix

How ?

Add the URL redirection component to your portal server. ( Add role service )


Select http redirection.

Click Install.

Open your IIS manager and select the SCSMPortal Site.

Now the select the HTTP redirect button on the right side.


Enable the redirection and select the option “Only redirect requests to …”


Apply and test !