Automatically Sending Notifications to Reviewers

Automatically Sending Notifications to Reviewers

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When a Review Activity becomes ‘In Progress’ in a given Change Request, you probably want to notify each of the Reviewers in the Review Activity that they need to review and approve/reject the Change Request.  This is fairly easy to do and in this blog post I’ll show you how.

First we need to create a notification template and then we need to configure the Activity Event Workflow to send the notifications using the notification template at the appropriate time.

To create the notification template, just follow the same general pattern as described in this blog post:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2010/01/28/inserting-links-to-review-manual-activities-in-notifications.aspx

or this one:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2009/09/28/creating-notification-templates-in-system-center-service-manager.aspx

Here are step by step instructions to create the notification template:

  1. Go to the Administration workspace to the Notifications\Templates view.
  2. Click Create Template in the task pane on the right.
  3. Enter a name for the template such as ‘Notify Reviewers When to Vote on Review Activity’
  4. Select the Review Activity class.
  5. Optionally choose a different management pack.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Check the Send as HTML checkbox.  Enter a subject, optionally substituting values using the Insert… button.
  8. Enter the body of the message using the Insert… button as appropriate.  One thing you will probably want to do is put in the hyperlink to the analyst portal and  pass the ID of the review activity in the URL QueryString.  It should look something like this.
  9. image
  10. A couple of notes on this:  Make sure you use the Work Item ID not the ‘Unknown’ (aka System.Entity) ID in the end of the QueryString there.  Of course you will want to use your own server name and port number in your template not ‘smdc.contoso.com:444’.
  11. Click Next
  12. Click Create
  13. Click Close

Now we need to configure the workflow to trigger at the appropriate time and use this notification template.

  1. First go to the Administration workspace to the Workflows\Configuration view.
  2. Select the Activity Event Workflow and click Configure Workflow Rules in the task pane on the right.
  3. When prompted for which class of activities to configure to select the Review Activity class and click OK.
  4. Click the Add… button.
  5. Click Next on the General screen
  6. Specify a name for your workflow
  7. Choose ‘When a Review Activity is updated’ from the Check for events: drop down.  Click Next.
  8. On the Criteria page of the wizard choose on the Changed From tab to trigger when the Status - Does Not Equal - In Progress.  On the Changed To tab choose when Status – Equals – In Progress.  Click Next.
  9. On the Apply Template page, uncheck the box to apply a template.  Click Next.
  10. On the Notifications page, select Reviewers from the drop down and select the notification template created above from the drop down and click Add.  Click Next.
  11. Click Create.
  12. Click Close
  13. Click OK.

I’ve also provided the MP here:

http://cid-17faa48294add53f.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/Examples/Microsoft.Demo.NotifyReviewers.xml 

All you need to do is import the MP and change the server name in the notification template (and maybe make the template more to your liking).

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  • I tested this procedure and to my surpise I get two emails from a new CR.

    First Status is changed from NULL to In progress (12:32:48 PM)

    then Status is changed from In Progress to Pending (12:32:48 PM)

    and lastly Status is changed from Pending to In progress (12:33:10 PM)

    Two emails is correct, because the status is changed twice to In progress.

    Is there any side effects if I change the rule to send an email when Status is changed from NULL to In Progress?

  • Hi Panu!

    What you are describing should not be happening and it is not happening in my environment.  Can you please try again?  The status changes for a reviwe activity should go from

    NULL -> Pending

    Pending -> In Progress

    If you are seeing the status changes behave the way you describe below consistently it is a bug and we should look at it.

    Thanks!

  • Hi Travis,

    I tried to implement this but when i workflow creation process, the notification templtae drop down came up empty. Please is there any reason why this is happening?

  • @Damilola -

    Can you please try creating the template again?  Check to make sure you are selecting the Review Activity class (step #4 in the first set of instructions) and then make sure you choose the Review Activity class again (step #3 in the second set of instructions).

  • Thanks travis, I created the template again during the workflow creation process.

  • I followed tested the procedure but i don't get any e-mails? Any clues please. thanks

  • @Damilola - please send me your MP and I'll take a look.

  • Hi Travis,

    Is it possible to send the voting results to the Assigned to User for the CR?

    Ozge

  • @Ozge Ozkaya

    Realistically no, that is not possible using just standard notification templates and workflows. You could write a custom workflow or use Opalis though.

  • Hello,

    Like PanuS I have also received 2 emails from my new CR.

    Was there a resolution for the issue?

    Thank You.

  • @SteveF -

    Can you please describe in detail what your subscription criteria is?

  • Sorry for the delay Travis.

    I had something go wrong over the weekend and lost some of the work I'd done!

    I've recreated it, and now it works as expected!?!

    This has worked a treat thanks!

    I've used this post so that when a new piece of equipment is ordered (which raises a CR) it gets passed to the budget holder to authorise the purchase then to the Tech Support manager to technically authorise it and then to our Admin team to order it. I created 3 activity event workflow rules as posted, to notify the three people but they all get 3 emails when the CR is raised and the subsequent steps are authorised. I understand on reflection that this is how it should work but I need it to do it sequentially.

    Would I need to use a custom workflow for this?

    Sorry if this is a silly question but I'm a bit of a newbie at SCSM!!!

  • @SteveF - Please provide more details...  the more specific you are the better I can help. :)

  • Hi Travis,

    any chance to add the CR Title and Description related to the RA/MA? - If just the activity will be sent the user has not enough details about what to do and needs to open the CR

    Thanks!

    Peter Forster, MVP Virtual Machine, Austria

  • @Peter -

    As you have discovered it is not possible to include properties of a parent work item in the notification template for the child.  A few options:

    1) When you create the RAs and MAs - include in the RAs' and MAs' titles, descriptions, etc. enough information so that the person being notified knows what to do.  This might require entering information in duplicate.

    2) Use a solution like this:

    http://garydavidson.net/?p=82