Requesting Input from User About an Incident

Requesting Input from User About an Incident

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This question came up on the forum recently, so I thought I would blog about it so it got a little more visibility.  This should be a pretty common thing people need to set up.

Here is the original question:

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Hi,
I have noticed the 'Request user input' task on the incident form.

When using this how can you notify the affected user that their input is required?

The scenario below would be ideal.

Analyst fills in the 'Request user input' box and the affected user receives an email with the input required. From the email the user can do one of the following:

a. Reply to the email which informs the analyst that this has happened with the details from the affected user.

Or

b. The email has a link to the end user portal where the affected user can enter the input required which is then updated into the incident and informs the analyst this has occurred.

Is this possible? If so what is the best approach?

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For SCSM 2010 the best way to do this is to do the following:

1) Create a notification template following the instructions provided in this blog post.  Your notification template should tell the user that additional information is requested from him/her and then provide a link to the Self-Service Portal.

2) Now you need to add a new rule to the Incident Event workflow.  Go to the Administration workspace.  Expand Workflows and select the Configuration view.

3) Select the Incident Event Workflow Configuration item in the view and click the Properties link in the Task pane.

4) In the rules dialog that comes up click the Add button.

5) Click next on the Welcome screen.

6) On this screen provide a name for your rule and select ‘Updated’ from the drop down.  Click Next.

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7) On this screen you need to set the Changed From criteria to “Status Not Equal ‘Pending’”.  ‘Pending’ is the status that an incident is set to when you click the Request Input From User task in the incident task pane.

You also need to set the Changed To criteria to “Status Equals ‘Pending’”.  Then click Next.

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8) You can optionally apply a template in this case but you probably dont need to.

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9) Here, select ‘Affected User’, ‘Email’, and the template you created in step #1 and click Add.  Click Next.

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Click Create.   And then Close.

Keep in mind that for Beta 2, the self-service portal does not yet allow the end user to update the incident.

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  • Hi please i would like to find out if there was any consideration for branch office implementation of SCSM especially where i have very bad and poor links (WAN LINKS to the branches)

  • @Chibunda - will people be using the main Service Manager console there or just the self-service portal?  If just using the portal that should be fine since it is accessed through a browser, the amount of data being transferred is relatively small, and the user will be relatively infrequently using the portal.

    If you are going to have users using the main Service Manager console over slow links you may want to consider using a Terminal Services server.  We recommend that configurtion for network links with latency greater than abou 150 milliseconds.

  • Thanks Travis, think that is fine how do we cater for locations with a different language other than English, like French and all.

  • @Chibundu - The "International Release" of Service Manager will be released this month.  It will have an additional 10 languages including French.

  • Any ideas why I can not select the status pending?

  • In specify event criteria there is no PEDNING Option

  • I'm also trying to work out for the notification template, what you need to insert so the message the technician typed asking for user input comes up for the end users?

  • @Saad & @Richard:

    Pending is a substatus of Active.  You need to expand active and then select Pending.

  • @GiantGuineaPig:

    In the Insert dialog, first expand Incident on the left.  Select Has Analyst Comment on the left.  Then select Comment on the right.

  • This works well for the first request on a job but if you have to ask for a second piece of information then the user will get an email with both the first and second request combined.

    Eg. Request text 1; Request text 2

    Does anyone have a way around this problem?

  • Travis, I would also like to echo Michael's question. Is there a way to display in the notification only the most recent update in the action log? When I use Has Analyst Comment > Comment, not only do I get all the updates in the action log, but they are not in chronological order. So the most recent update gets buried in the middle. This is not useful for updating the user about his or her incident. I've seen this issue brought up in the forums before. I know you ghave a ton on your plate but I was just wondering if there has been any progress on this particular issue.

  • @Michael - you can put a <Group></Group> tag around the property you want to repeat.

    Unforunately as @wolverangel points out there is a bug that will render these in essentially random order.  That's fixed in SP1 though.

    I'm going to provide a better solution to this whole problem in the "resource kit" I announced a little while ago.

    blogs.technet.com/.../coming-soon-system-center-service-manager-resource-kit.aspx

    Stay tuned!

  • Hey Travis,

    I'm trying to implement this, but this seems to only target the default Incident class. How can we target an Incident extension class? Are these configurations stored in an un-sealed MP that I could edit?

  • @Tim -

    An incident extension class is really just an extension of the incident class.  Whenever you select the incident class you should be able to use any of the extended properties you defined on the incident extension class as though they were properties of the incident class.

    Maybe I'm not understanding your question though... ?

  • @Travis

    Interesting. I see what you are referring to now. I'm still a bit unfamiliar the way everything is tied together. A while back when I went to create an Incident template, I used our Incident Extension class, and I've been under the impression that I'm required to target that class to get our custom fields, which doesn't appear to be the case.

    None of our workflows in the Incident Event Workflow Config will kick off. Example: Run when an new incident is created, no criteria specified, no template to be applied, send this email template to the create by user. Workflow > Status doesn't show it running/ran/scheduled/failed. Because of this, I was confirming my thinking that I needed to target our Extension class. And yes, it's enabled :)

    Any Ideas?