The Self Service Portal

The Self Service Portal

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Hi folks, my name is Dan Boldo and I’m a Program Manager Lead in Service Manager. I’m also the PM owner of the Self-Service portal, and in this first blog post (ever :-)), I’d like to share information on that feature. As you might have noticed, the portal was removed from Beta 1 and we noted that it will reappear in Beta 2. Behind the scenes, we reviewed both the value of the original portal and how it was implemented. The conclusion was a difficult one that required going back to the drawing board. And so we spent several months rebuilding the portal from the ground up, while leveraging great feedback from our TAP customers.

When we went back to the drawing board, we focused on a few high level goals that drove all design decisions. For example, keeping things simple meant using lots of defaults and requiring minimal input from users. It meant using a “wizard like” experience for collecting data from our end users. We also had to keep the focus very sharp to ensure we’d be able to finish the work in time for Beta 2. That meant making painful cuts (e.g. removing the approval process from software provisioning) and limiting our scenarios to the areas that matter most. Having said that, I’m very comfortable and even proud of the scenarios we were able to support. When the design phase was complete we had the following scenarios:

• View global announcements

• Search and view knowledge articles

• Create service requests

• View request status

• Password reset (using ILM v3)

• Software provisioning (using ConfigMgr 2007 SP1/R2)

When you combine these scenarios into our final design, you get the following home page which makes them ‘real’ and accessible:

SCSM_portal_home_page

We decided to build the self service portal as an ASP.NET webpage, using web parts to enable the different scenarios. We think this makes it easier for folks to write additional web parts or to customize the ones we ship out of the box. We also reached out to external Microsoft Partners to see what value-add they were able to generate for folks who wanted additional functionality (think of this as add-on’s). One dream of mine has to do with having a strong sense of community among the folks who own and operate the Self -Service portal. By that I mean that I’d love to see folks write their own web parts and then share them with others, enabling a library of web parts that expand on our core scenarios and enable new ones. To me, having folks build on our portal infrastructure is a huge benefit. Using our web parts as ”working samples” will help make this process easier.

Now you have some background on what we did behind the scenes and what we intend to enable. As always, your feedback is very much appreciated and I look forward to sharing the results with you when Beta 2 ships. I hope to write additional posts in the meantime that give an overview of both the user experience and portal internals.

Until next time, cheers – Dan

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  • PingBack from http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/windows-server/news-from-microsoft-management-summit-2009/

  • How to deploy/implement this Self-Service Portal?

    I tried SCSM, but I can't see Portal.(

    Where can I read about this?

  • I have just upgraded from the beta to the rc release and I am having issues with the software deployment process - I followed the admin guide for setting it up and everything seems to work fine except that SCCM does not ever get a collection with a advertisment on it.  I also had this working in the beta version - although the process would never complete all the way from SCCM - now nothing goes to SCCM.  I also see the following error in the event logs. Any ideas???

    Error -

    - System

     - Provider

      [ Name]  Health Service Modules

     - EventID 33880

      [ Qualifiers]  49152

      Level 2

      Task 0

      Keywords 0x80000000000000

     - TimeCreated

      [ SystemTime]  2010-03-22T21:17:47.000000000Z

      EventRecordID 6094

      Channel Operations Manager

      Computer slc-vm-scsm.glg.local

      Security

    - EventData

      Microsoft.SystemCenter.ServiceManager.SoftwareDeployment.InstallSoftwareWorkflow

      4542e69a-8868-298f-339e-3ded994bc944

      System.NullReferenceException

      Object reference not set to an instance of an object.

      at Microsoft.ConfigurationManagement.ManagementProvider.WqlQueryEngine.WqlConnectionManager.Connect(String configMgrServerPath) at Microsoft.SystemCenter.ServiceManager.SoftwareDeployment.InstallSoftwareWorkflow.InitializeSCCM() at Microsoft.SystemCenter.ServiceManager.SoftwareDeployment.InstallSoftwareWorkflow.Execute(ActivityExecutionContext executionContext) at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutor`1.Execute(T activity, ActivityExecutionContext executionContext) at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutor`1.Execute(Activity activity, ActivityExecutionContext executionContext) at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutorOperation.Run(IWorkflowCoreRuntime workflowCoreRuntime) at System.Workflow.Runtime.Scheduler.Run()

  • When trying the "Request Software" link on the end user portal, I get teh message "Unable to load portal ActiveX Control.  I have installed the portalclient.msi from the setup folder. When I did the msi, nothing really showed as happening, so not sure if it worked or not.

  • Hi. Is is possible to use the web portal such that we as a service provider can use it to ask customers for more information; and for our customers to provide updates to us?

    Thanks

  • I used Authoring Manager to extend Incident Management Pack adding an extra relationship ( Requester ), Is there any way to reflect this change on the Self Service Portal and provide Requester as a new Input field, or I have to build my ASP.Net Site using the APIs of the Service Manager ?

  • Hesham, I don't know of a way to do this, but I would like to know as well. This is a common request. However, you may want to create a new post asking, and see what we could come up with.

  • Hello Dan,

    Is there a way to allow the users to state the Impact on a given ticket when opening a ticket via the web portal? I realize that the users do have the ability to choose "Urgency" but giving them the ability to choose the Impact will be very useful in our situation.

  • Hi Dan,

    I am currently looking at how to introduce a web page into the SM Webportal, so users can Update the information on their incidents (and it will be registered in their action log).

    I guess I will have to learn how the user authentication is done, to integrate my page in that model, and also how to connect to SM from .NET - I already did a test from PowerShell with SMLets, but do not know right now how to do it from .NET.

    I would appreciate any insights or directions on how to start it, and how to do it in the least intrusive web with the current Webportal. Thanks!

    Carlos

  • I cannot see any Top Knowledge Base Articles on the Portal Home Page. Is there a special setting to make these display for users?

  • Have you set the field Expiration Date for a future date?

  • Just installed and testing SCSM, and I noticed your screen shot is a much polished style for the Web Portal.  is your version Sharepoint integrated?  How do i acheive this same style?

  • This is a typical lie by microsoft! The portal looks nothing like what is posted here.

  • All Ir's are not refelecting in enduser's portal. Any Idea on this and also can you please let me know if there is any possibility to all or remove IR's from endusers portal.

  • Dear

    Can you please let me know what is the bandwidth utilization of self-service portal SCSM2012 on client

    Thank you