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Summer vacations aren't slowing down the great content coming to you in our August newsletter. Read on!

This month, we cover the following topics:

BMC Helix Immersion Days | September 16-18, 2019, Santa Clara Marriott

Join us and discover how cognitive service management is imperative for your service management strategy. Sessions will include customer case studies and hands-on solution labs. You’ll gain a clear understanding of key service management issues and shared experiences from the industry professionals who have been there. Register Today!

19.05 release feature highlights

The 19.05 releases provided significant enhancements across the Digital and Cognitive Service Management product lines. Here are some of the highlights.

 

DevOps integration for Azure DevOps Services in BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management
You can integrate Azure DevOps Services with BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management. With this integration, when you create an incident in Smart IT, an Azure DevOps work item is automatically created, and the converse. For more information, see BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management 19.05 enhancements.

 

Improved web UI for better end-user experience in BMC Helix Chatbot
The BMC Helix Chatbot web UI works across all form factors. The progressive web UI includes new avatar for agents, better navigation for knowledge articles that are displayed in the chat window, and direct download of attachments from the knowledge articles. For more information, see BMC Helix Chatbot 19.05 enhancements.

 

Conditional execution of tasks in BMC Helix Business Workflows
As a case business analyst, you can define task sequences that are executed only if specific conditions are met. For example, you can define separate task flows for a full-time employee and a contract employee. The graphical task flow designer provides an easy method to add tasks, define conditions for task execution, and sequence them as required. Add tasks to the case template and define trigger conditions that trigger different task flow branches. For more information, see BMC Helix Business Workflows 19.05 enhancements.

 

Cognitive Search support in BMC products and for custom applications in BMC Helix Platform
The Cognitive Search Service is now included with the BMC Helix Platform for use in custom applications and other BMC products. You can perform cognitive search across BMC Helix Platform data and external data by using the natural language query. You can also use cognitive search to analyze data and handle data enrichment requests for data change events. For more information, see BMC Helix Platform 19.05 enhancements.

 

Validation utility for running Helix connector environment health checks in BMC Helix Platform Integration Service
BMC provides a command-line utility for running health checks. You can use this utility to determine if the environment for BMC Helix Connector Designer is set up correctly and to troubleshoot Docker-related issues. For more information, see BMC Helix Integration Service 19.05 enhancements.

 

Support for confidential questions in BMC Helix Digital Workplace Advanced
You can tag questions as confidential when you create questionnaires for services that originate from BMC Helix Business Workflows. This capability is useful while creating HR service requests that could contain confidential information. For more information, see BMC Helix Digital Workplace 19.05 enhancements.

 

Enhanced LDAP authentication in Remedy Single Sign-On
You can configure the LDAP page size and specify multiple Server Hosts for using LDAP in failover scenarios. For more information, see Remedy Singlie Sign-On 19.05 enhancements.

Remedy performance webinars

Missed our webinars about Remedy performance? You can check out the recording at your convenience.  Choose from any or all of the following webinars:

Remedy Developer Studio troubleshooting guides

Check out the latest troubleshooting guides that Support and R&D developed. The following links are are in the AR System version 18.08 documentation, but are also available for version 19.02:

Additional resources

Other issues of Hot Off The Press Follow to receive alerts of new issues

Connect with Remedy Webinar Series Information

Remedy and Discovery YouTube Channel Subscribe Now

Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes – Refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA).

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I believe true innovation can only happen when you completely immerse yourself to understand the challenges customers go through every day.  Empathetic listening requires to “seek understanding” - to be in your “customer’s shoes” in order to be able to truly see, taste, hear, feel, and smell what they experience every day.   This is a story of true innovation.

 

I recently have had the privilege of bringing BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management to market. Customers are able to effectively manage cloud services in a hybrid, multi-provider environment. It provides out-of-the-box solutions to address advanced service management challenges related to cloud services and to enable DevOps teams to work seamlessly with multiple applications.

 

So how did this truly unique and industry-leading innovation get brought to market?  It started one day when my team was tasked with solving a simple yet daunting problem statement:  how to deliver service management across multiple cloud services and/or providers seamlessly from a “single plane of glass”?

We poured through all of our information from various surveys about custom add-on ITSM applications our customers had built over the years investing their own resources. We found ticket-based integration with other systems to be a common theme. Many customers had built home-grown ticket brokering solutions using custom, non-scalable technologies. Instead of talking to these customers, we listened.  We heard that many of these “solutions” were back-end based extended workflows with hard-coded mappings which resulted in frequent failures and high frustrations. They made it clear that what they wanted was some way to “broker tickets” with pre-packaged integrations based on a modern extensible and modular platform. My team was excited, we were on our path to innovate this breakthrough solution.

 

We initiated a full series of roundtables with end-users and customers to hear their truth. Their ticket brokering was antiquated and cobbled with many different, disparate solutions. They needed to make sure they were not just doing a “rip and replace” drill to take out their existing solutions to replace it just for the sake of new technology. During these conversations, another common wish emerged: “if we could just link our ITSM and DevOps tools, our lives would be so much better.”  Our eyes lit up:  we found our “Eureka” moment.  The developers did not want to move out of the agile development tool and service management folks were frustrated by not being able to support at the speed of development and business needs.   We were delighted as we found our true innovation mission: deliver a seamless service experience across multi-cloud environments. Thus, BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management was born.

 

We have seen tremendous customer growth since our launch and the solution is extremely popular among our customer base. During the last 6 quarters, we have had 6 releases with pre-built, out of the box connectors and flows delivered. Guided by customer feedback, we have been pragmatic, nimble, and agile with our approach and have tweaked many dimensions along the way.

 

The emphatic and exciting industry reception certainly stems from our continued empathetic listening to our customers. Our team is able constantly and consistently delivers more and more value-added features.

 

Resources

For more information on BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management, please review:

http://www.bmc.com/it-solutions/multi-cloud-service-management.html

and CIO.com: “Enjoying Seamless Service Management Across Multi-Cloud Environments”

https://www.cio.com/article/3298677/cloud-computing/enjoying-seamless-service-management-across-multi-cloud-environments.html

For more information, read the BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management solution brief.

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Summer has arrived in the northern hemisphere and it's not just the weather that's hot! See below for the latest patches, education offerings and other updates.

This month, we cover the following topics:

Smart IT 2.0 Patch 2 available

Remedy with Smart IT 2.0 Patch 2 (2.0.00.002) was released June 28 and is available for the Windows and Linux platforms. This patch release contains product fixes and updates. Smart IT 2.0.00.002 supports MongoDB versions 3.6 and 4.0.9. However, BMC recommends that you upgrade to Smart IT version 19.02, because the latest Smart IT architecture does not require MongoDB. To download and install patch 2, follow the instructions provided in the Patch 2 for version 2.0.00 documentation. For the list of issues that have been corrected, see Known and corrected issues.

Learn about Smart IT recommended patches

Check out the BMC Helix Remedy and Discovery YouTube channel for Smart IT videos, including Recommended patches for Smart IT performance!  Don't forget to subscribe, so you are notified of new videos.

Pre-upgrade checks

Planning an upgrade? Check our recent blog post that covers the prerequisites you should consider ahead of performing an AR system platform upgrade.   This post covers prerequisites for performing and upgrade through the installer. It also includes prerequisite requirements when applying any patch or hotfix through D2P.  Understanding the prerequisites will help you avoid any issues, so you can experience a smooth upgrade.

New Education Courses and Certifications

There are four new ITSM-related courses available as Web Based Training (WBT) and Instructor Led Training (ILT).  These courses provide ITSM  application administers with architecture, application concepts,  and configuration best practices through hands-on exercises.   Corresponding online certification exams are available for each set of courses.  Click the links below for details:

MongoDB 3.4 going out of support in January

MongoDB 3.4 Support ends in January, 2020. Smart IT and BMC Digital Workplace versions earlier than 18.05 use MongoDB. BMC recommends upgrading to the 18.05 or later versions of Smart IT and BMC Digital Workplace, which do not use MongoDB. If you do not upgrade Smart IT and BMC Digital Workplace, you should upgrade MongoDB to version 4.0.9, or you can upgrade MongoDB to version 3.6. For more information on the impact of the end of support of MongoDB 3.4 on Smart IT and BMC Digital Workplace, see this KA.

Additional resources

Other issues of Hot Off The Press Follow to receive alerts of new issues

Connect with Remedy Webinar Series Information

Remedy and Discovery YouTube Channel Subscribe Now

Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes – Refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA).

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With May in the books, BMC has new releases out! Keep reading to learn more about the 19.05 and 19.02 Patch 1 releases and other great content.

This month, we cover the following topics:

Helix 19.05, Remedy Single Sign-On 19.05 and Remedy ITSM 19.02 Patch 1 versions released

The 19.05 releases of BMC Helix Digital Workplace, BMC Helix Chatbot, BMC Helix Platform, BMC Helix Integration Service, BMC Helix Business Workflows, and Remedy Single Sign-On are now available! Remedy ITSM Suite 19.02 Patch 1 is also available. If you did not receive the proactive notification emails and want to receive these notifications in the future, go to the BMC Support website, login, select My Support > Product Alerts (Proactive Notifications), and enroll.

 

We are pleased to announce embedded self-help with guided assistance in several of our products. Guided assistance helps you learn to navigate the product and to actively complete tasks. From the Self-help pane, you can start guided assistance, link to help topics, and watch videos relevant to where you are in the product and the work you are doing.

With the May releases, embedded self-help is available in the following products and components:

  • BMC CMDB
  • BMC Digital Workplace
  • BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management
  • BMC Helix Business Workflows
  • BMC Helix Platform
  • BMC Helix Integration Service

SelfHelpMenu.png

 

Critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability in Remedy Mid Tier

BMC Software has identified an unauthenticated Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability in Remedy Mid Tier. Mid Tier versions 9.1, 18.05, 18.08, and 19.02 service packs, and patches are affected by this vulnerability. Click here for more information and instructions on how to address this issue.

Smart IT troubleshooting guides

Check out the latest troubleshooting guides that Support and R&D developed. The following links are for Smart IT 19.02:

We also have these troubleshooting guides available for earlier versions.  To view an earlier version, open a Smart IT 19.02 documentation link, and then select the version from the Product version menu.

Did you know about Remedy Management Console?

Enhanced logging features are available in recent releases.  Within the Remedy Management Console, not only can you manage and enable logging across server groups, you can also display and view logs from any server in a server group.  See a demo and find out more from watching the video on our BMC Remedy Discovery YouTube channel, and don't forget to subscribe to get notified of more great videos!

 

 

Additional resources

Other issues of Hot Off The Press Follow to receive alerts of new issues

Connect with Remedy Webinar Series Information

Remedy and Discovery YouTube Channel Subscribe Now

Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes – Refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA).

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BMC Software announces the 19.05 release of Remedy Single Sign-On. This release delivers significant new functionalities that customers have requested, as well as various defect fixes.

 

Remedy Single Sign-On 19.05 highlights

 

Key features and changes include:

 

Enhanced LDAP authentication

You can configure the LDAP page size and specify multiple Server Hosts for using LDAP in failover scenarios.

 

Cross launch BMC Remedy Single Sign-On in nested iFrames

You can configure Remedy Single Sign-On authentication can to launch in nested iFrames.

 

Additional API endpoints for branding the login page

You can use API endpoints to brand your Remedy Single Sign-On login page.

 

Downloading and installing version 19.05 of Remedy Single Sign-On

 

To install Remedy Single Sign-On, follow our installation instructions at Downloading the Remedy Single Sign-On installation files.

 

Learning more about version 19.05 of Remedy Single Sign-On

 

For detailed information about the enhancements in this release, see the Remedy Single Sign-On release notes. For the list of known issues that have been corrected, see Known and corrected issues.

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BMC Software announces the 19.02 Patch 01 (19.02.01) release of Remedy IT Service Management Suite.

 

This patch release contains product fixes and consolidates the hotfixes that have been delivered for version 19.02 of the Remedy Action Request System, BMC CMDB, Smart IT, and Remedy IT Service Management Suite and its components.

 

 

Downloading and installing version 19.02.01

 

Remedy 19.02.01 is available for the Windows, Linux, and Solaris platforms. Remedy Smart Reporting is only available for the Windows and Linux platforms.

 

To download and install this patch, follow the instructions provided in the deployment instructions for version 19.02.01.

 

 

Learning more about version 19.02.01

 

For detailed information about the patch and the list of issues that have been corrected, see the following patch bulletins:

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Level 4 Autonomous DevOps with BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management 1905!!!

We can all debate whether we have Level 4 autonomous cars on our roads in the Silicon Valley, but I am happy to report that such an autonomous DevOps is now possible with BMC Helix ITSM and BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management (MCSM). Though our unique architecture already allowed you to configure MCSM to automate risk calculation for DevOps changes, we have dramatically enhanced capabilities for dynamic risk calculation. There is a lot in the release but I would like to highlight 2 innovative, big ideas as they came together over the last couple of cycles:

 

1 - Automatic calculation of deployment risk for DevOps Changes - MCSM now enriches incoming changes from Dev Tools with risk level based on-

 

a) Change implementation track record for dev teams

b) The criticality of Business/Technology Service

c) Other factors in external 3rd party systems e.g. unit test volume or success rate in unit/system test tool.

 

2- A brand new premium connector and flows for Azure DevOps - Starting to build out Jira like flows with the agile development tool from Microsoft called Azure DevOps (used to be called TFS)

 

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 10.43.49 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-06-03 at 11.19.13 PM.png

 

Need more information on BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management?

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This is going to be a small one.

 

Context

It is derived from an issue I debugged a while back, where user was getting issues while creating an Incident through integrations where they had mapped some custom app field values to the OOTB ITSM Incident module field values.

 

Issue

And after debugging, it was found that, the issue was, they passed the priority field value but did not pass the priority weight, and the system expected the priority weight also as the priority was passed and not computed. I do not have the exact workflows now to share that caused the issue.

 

Solution

However the solution was to not pass the priority or priority values.

Rather pass the Impact and Urgency values and let the system compute the Priority and Priority weight values.

 

 

Hope this small tip helps.

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If you have installed SmartIT and DWP on Windows using a MSSQL Server (with a single node) and using the default "Local System" account to run the Services, you may need to update the Windows installed Service to run against dedicated Windows Service Accounts instead of the default "Local System" and switch over to a MSSQL Always On (HA) configuration.

The following explains how to update the JDBC connection strings for these functions.

 

With the move away from Mongo, the applications utilize the JDBC driver for database connections.

 

When configuring ARS to use an always on Cluster (ar.cfg, SQL-Server-Always-On: T), ARS automatically adds the multiSubnetFailover=true parameter to the JDBC URL and the rest becomes transparent to ARS:

[database('data_source','username','password','com.microsoft.sqlserver.jdbc.SQLServerDriver','jdbc:sqlserver://server:port;database=DatabaseName; multiSubnetFailover=true;')]

 

However, this is not the same for SmartIT/DWP which need to be configured manually to apply the required attributes to the connection strings.

 

We add the second parameter "integratedSecurity=true;" for Windows Authentication e.g. Service Accounts

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/connect/jdbc/building-the-connection-url?view=sql-server-2017

 

Configuration Files:

 

The smartit.xml file "<SmartIT_Tomcat_Install_Dir>\conf\Catalina\localhost" directory contains references to the JDBC connection to the SmartIT_System and SmartIT_Business schemas:

Within this file there will be references to the JDBC database connection - (this is from a system connecting to MSSQLServer db):

 

                url="jdbc::sqlserver://mydbserver-011:1433;DatabaseName=SmartIT"

 

The dwp.xml file "<DWP_Tomcat_Install_Dir>\conf\Catalina\localhost" directory contains references to the JDBC connection to the DWP_System and DWP_Business schemas:

Within this file there will be references to the JDBC database connection - (this is from a system connecting to MSSQLServer db):

 

                 url="jdbc::sqlserver://mydbserver-011:1433;DatabaseName=DWP"

 

An Always On Cluster will have a listener configured for the active nodes, and this is the information we need to update in the URL connection strings.

The listener may also be using a different port than the underlying nodes, so this needs to be observed and updated in the connection string.

To configure for the listener, the updated strings would be:

 

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=SmartIT"

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=DWP"

 

The instanceName is optional in the connection string, and if not provided a connection is made to the default instance.

If wanting to log into the database using a Service Account, you add in the following attributes to the connection string in conjunction with updating the name/password combination in the XML to use the Service Account details (domain\user & password):

 

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=SmartIT;integratedSecurity=true"

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=DWP;integratedSecurity=true"

 

Timeouts can also be added to the connection strings if wanting to avoid queries waiting indefinitely.

 

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=SmartIT;integratedSecurity=true;queryTimeout=180"

               url="jdbc:sqlserver://alwaysonlistener:port;multiSubnetFailover=True;DatabaseName=DWP;integratedSecurity=true;queryTimeout=180"

 

A full list of options are available here:

Setting the Connection Properties - SQL Server | Microsoft Docs

 

Similarly, if wanting to update Smart Reporting the connection string lives in the web.xml file "<SmartReporting_Install_Dir>\appserver\webapps\ROOT\WEB-INF\" directory for a default installation.

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This month, we cover the following topics:

BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 patch 1

Patch 1 for BMC Digital Workplace 19.02  is now available. In addition to corrected issues, this patch includes an update that allows administrators to enable or disable the following features for end users:

  • Approver Details
  • In-app Notifications
  • Notification Settings for Requests
  • Priority Label for Requests/Approvals
  • Reopen Request
  • Request Again
  • Sign Out

For more information about the patch, see 19.02.01 - Patch 01.  For a list of issues corrected in the patch, see Known and corrected issues.

New videos and troubleshooting guide about Full Text Search

Check out the following new FTS (Full Text Search) videos recorded by BMC Support:

These videos show you how to perform both functions successfully.

Need more information about FTS? Support worked with R&D to release a new FTS troubleshooting guide, available within the BMC online documentation.  Use the following links to go directly to the details you need:

Latest Remedy hot fixes

REMINDER: We created a knowledge article that provides FTP locations for the latest Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes. To download the latest hot fixes, please refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA). You can always find this KA in the Additional resources section of Hot Off The Press newsletters.

 

Additional resources

Other issues of Hot Off The Press Follow to receive alerts of new issues

Connect with Remedy Webinar Series Information

Remedy and Discovery YouTube Channel Subscribe Now

Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes – Refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA).

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When you are creating a report the preview function in Smart Reporting will help you see what you are going to get, but can slow things down. Particularly if you are adding lots of columns and have not yet decided which filters you need to apply to your report.

 

You can take these two simple steps to temporarily turn-off the preview feature and speed up the refresh for column heavy reports.

 

Step 1. Go to your user profile, select Display Preferences and turn off Report Data Preview. That will stop the report refreshing whenever you add a field/column.

display-preferences.png

 

Step 2. When you want to refresh the report, you can make the refresh faster by setting the active row limit, this gives a preview of the report, but limits the records returned.

set-active-row-limit.png

That's it! You should find your report creation super charged!

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Welcome to the April issue of Hot Off The Press, our regular newsletter to bring you the latest news and information on BMC Digital Service Management products.

This month, we cover the following topics:

Remedy version 19.02 supports Java version 11

With the release of version 19.02, Remedy AR System now supports Java version 11, in addition to Java 8.  For the first time, Remedy AR System can also be used with OpenJDK (version 11 only) in addition to Oracle Java SE.  Note that if you upgrade your Java version to 11 after you install AR System version 19.02 on the same server, you must update the server configuration to avoid server start-up problems caused by -XX:+UseParNewGC remaining as a JVM option.  For more information on the configuration changes needed to avoid server start-up problems, see the following documentation topic: updating java paths after upgrading java.  For detailed information about all compatibility aspects of Remedy AR System and ITSM applications / Smart IT, please see Remedy ITSM Suite Compatibility 19.02.

BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 includes a revamped user interfaces and other enhancements

BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 is now available and has exciting new features based on customer feedback. Check out the What's New in BMC Digital Workplace blog to learn more.

Self-solve resources are available 24/7

The BMC Support team is providing you with lots of new self-solve resources. You can use these resources to solve your problems faster, and also to receive proactive product support information. For more information visit and bookmark Remedy ITSM: Support What's New.

BMC Analytics end of life in March 2020

As previously communicate in our Statement of Direction,  BMC is planning to End of Life both BMC Atrium Dashboards and Analytics and BMC Analytics for BSM. After March 2020, BMC will no longer provide BMC Analytics for BSM in the cloud.

Update to MongoDB migration utility for Smart IT

Starting with version 18.05, Smart IT no longer uses MongoDB for storing social data. If you are planning to upgrade from Smart IT 2.0 or earlier to version 18.08 or 19.02, get the update to the MongoDB migration utility attached to this BMC Communities post.

Looking to get started with Smart Reporting?

Here are a few resources to learn more about Smart Reporting:

Additional resources

Other issues of Hot Off The Press Follow to receive alerts of new issues

Connect with Remedy Webinar Series Information

Remedy and Discovery YouTube Channel Subscribe Now

Remedy product line cumulative hot fixes – Refer to KA#000164912 (you must be logged into Support Central to view the KA).

 

 

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BMC is excited to announce general availability of the new Remedy 19.02 feature release with the following solutions components:

  • Remedy Platform 19.02  (incl. Remedy AR System, CMDB)
  • Remedy ITSM Applications 19.02  (incl. Remedy Service Desk, Remedy Change Management, Remedy Knowledge Management, Remedy Asset Management, Service Request Management, Service Level Management, and Smart IT UI)
  • Remedy Smart Reporting 19.02
  • Remedy Single Sign-on 19.02

The software for new Remedy version 19.02 is generally available for download via EPD for on-premise use.

For SaaS option, the equivalent BMC Helix ITSM 19.02 release can be requested from BMC by our SaaS customers.

 

This set of product/component releases is complemented by releases of BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management 19.02, BMC Helix Cognitive Automation 19.02, BMC Helix Chatbot 19.02, BMC Helix Business Workflows 19.02, BMC Helix Platform 19.02, and BMC Digital Workplace 19.02, which are integrated with Remedy / BMC Helix ITSM to deliver the industry's most comprehensive Cognitive Service Management capabilities.

 

With this blog, I'd like to share information about some of the enhancements of the 19.02 feature release with you. It is not meant to be a detailed discussion of each enhancement, but rather should serve as an overview of the key enhancements and values that have been delivered in this release cycle, and as a launch point to pages which provide additional detail. For a complete overview of all enhancements delivered in version 19.02, please review the Remedy ITSM 19.02 Release Notes page. I also recommend that you attend the upcoming  Connect with Remedy - Remedy 19.02 Feature Release Webinar on March 27, 2019, to get further insights into the new capabilities of the Remedy 19.02 feature release.

 

 

Key Release Themes of 19.02 Feature Release

With this 19.02 release cycle for Remedy / Helix ITSM, BMC continues to build out our leadership in cognitive ITSM capabilities. BMC sees the use of cognitive technologies as a huge opportunity to deliver better ITSM outcomes for our customers - not just incrementally better, but significantly better - and the market is just at the beginning of realizing the full potential of this new technology. With Remedy 19.02, BMC has further built out our capabilities to automatically assess the content of inbound emails using machine learning algorithms, so that the system can take the right steps without any human involvement. We are also delivering a "first" by using cognitive technologies to analyze ITSM charts in Remedy Smart Reporting.

 

The other long term strategic goal for our ITSM solution is to enable companies to work more effectively by aligning better with DevOps processes and leveraging some of the concepts of DevOps, Agile and Lean IT within the ITSM processes themselves. This is very much in line with new concepts introduced with ITIL 4, which was just released in its first phase (Foundation) on Feb 28. We are excited to introduce new functions to support concepts like Swarming, on top of the DevOps integration options we have available with BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management, which we have further improved in this release cycle as well.

 

Last but not least, we continue to build out our new User Experiences for ITSM (Smart IT) and CMDB. Having a good UX is essential for improved user productivity and increased user engagement with ITSM processes.

 

 

Cognitive ITSM Enhancements

Leveraging the existing Machine Learning service (BMC Helix Cognitive Automation) that is connected to Remedy at the platform level, BMC is continuing to implement new, valuable end-to-end use cases that make use of this ML service to boost Service Desk productivity. With this 19.02 release, Remedy can automatically analyze incoming email, and can not only register an incident with the appropriate incident template, but also automatically send an appropriate response. Such response could be a pointer to a knowledge article or to a service catalog item, in case the ask needs to be addressed via a service request. This reduces the need for manual activity around email-generated incidents.

 

In addition, the 19.02 version of Remedy Smart Reporting now has an exciting new feature called Assisted Insight. With the introduction of Assisted Insights, Smart Reporting is combining machine learning with human context to generate automated insights, such as smart data visualizations and natural language narratives. Users can get a deeper explanation of the data they are seeing, pointing out statistically significant observation. Users can also compare two data points on a chart to understand differences and/or correlations. In short, it's a very effective way to get deeper insight into the data.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 10.46.40 PM.png

 

 

Smart IT UI Enhancements

Smart IT - the new, innovative user experience for Remedy ITSM - has been enhanced in a number of areas in the 19.02 release:

Dynamic Provider Actions for Additional Record types

With release 19.02 it is now possible to use Dynamic Provider Action feature to automatically trigger the execution of Smart IT Provider Actions (custom Remedy server workflow) for change requests, work orders and tasks. You can define the trigger conditions for incidents via Expressions, which enable the system to automatically run custom workflow on the Remedy server and return information to the Smart IT view. This enables the implementation of use cases, for which Active Link workflow has traditionally been used for in the mid-tier UI.

Copy Change

With this new action, users can quickly copy an existing change requests. An easy to use user interaction gives users control what parts of the existing change requests should be copied over, such as tasks, documents, CIs, or impacted areas.

Screen Shot 2019-03-19 at 11.03.28 PM.png

New Default Configuration Settings

Remedy administrators now can define new default settings for the initial landing page that a user sees after logging into Smart IT, or for the Public checkbox used when users enter comments in the activity timeline

Knowledge Console Access with Viewer Permissions

Users with knowledge viewer permissions only can now access the Smart IT knowledge console.

Smart Recorder Improvements

Smart Recorder has been improved to better support the needs for service providers. It allows customers to configure new call log types, so that Frontline Service Desk agents can log various call-related scenarios without having to create an official ITSM record. Such scenario could include 'hang up' or 'call transfer'. In addition, Smart Recorder can now accelerate the logging of tickets against assets vs. employees. This includes options like restricting asset searches per user / site or automatically using the asset owner as customer after identifying the asset.

 

 

Swarming for Collaborative Customer Support

In our goal to help companies better align their DevOps centric activities & teams with good IT Service Management practices, BMC has been introducing new service management practices in our ITSM solution. One such practice is Swarming - a new approach to organize customer support resources and activities, which relies on the collective experience and collaboration of groups and reduced 'work in progress' than on individual assignments, queues and hierarchical layers (L1, L2, L2 support). ITIL 4 Foundation mentions Swarming as one of the new approaches of working in it's chapter about the Incident Management practice. For an overview of the Swarming, I can recommend  https://www.serviceinnovation.org/intelligent-swarming/ and BMC swarming expert Jon Hall's blog at Swarming Support vs Tiered Support: What’s the Difference?

With the 19.02 release, BMC is taking a first step at adding more functionality into the ITSM solution to support such collaborative activities. For example, users now have the option to use commands within the Chat function of Smart IT to get additional context about and helpful resource for a ticket - without having to leave the Chat window. See Chatting with other agents to resolve a ticket  More functionality for intelligent collaboration are expected to be added in future versions of our ITSM solution.

 

 

New CMDB UI Enhancements

With version 19.02, BMC is delivering the next set of capabilities in the new CMBD UI to transition the user experience from the legacy Atrium Explorer to the new CMDB UI. Users can now perform write operations in the new CMDB, such as creating or updating CIs, or editing service models by creating new relationships. If you haven't seen the new CMDB UI, which automatically comes with the CMDB upgrade, then you can get a quick glance at BMC CMDB 19.02: Viewing CIs and relationships in the CMDB Explorer - YouTube

For more information, please have a look at Stephen Earl 's blog and 19.02 enhancements - Documentation for BMC Atrium Core 19.02 .

 

 

BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management Enhancements

BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management is BMC's go-to solution for integrations of Remedy ITSM and Helix ITSM with external system, whether it's for ticket brokering, DevOps integration, ITSM system consolidation or other use cases. Version 19.02 of BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management now allows customer to automatically create records in Agile SW Development system (Jira) from Remedy work orders, and vice versa. There is now also new option to manually restart a failed transaction. Plus, the integration with SalesForce Service Cloud has been enhanced.  For more information, please see Pradeep Kumar's blog Dev and Ops in Harmony w/ BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management 1902 and 19.02 enhancements - Documentation for BMC Helix Multi-Cloud Service Management 19.02.

 

 

Administrative Enhancements

Version 19.02 introduces a number of new administrative and integration enhancements for the ITSM solution:

  • There is now a new CMDB archiving function, that extends the ITSM archiving function introduced in Remedy 9 to handle the specific needs of CMDB archiving.
  • BMC continues to consider REST API a key integration technology for the ITSM solution - across on-premise and SaaS deployments. With version 19.02, BMC now delivers Swagger specifications for BMC Remedy AR System REST, which makes it easier to understand REST API usage and syntax. Plus, BMC now offers new getField and getFields REST APIs to introspect form meta data.
  • There's now a much more powerful option to define approval rules for Knowledge Management. A number of new criteria (article type, language, site, owner, ...) can be used to define who needs to approve certain knowledge articles.
  • A much more powerful AR JDBC function now enabled customer to use database functions. This is particularly helpful for creating computed fields for Smart Reporting. Overall, the reporting capabilities of Smart Reporting have been enhanced further with update to the latest Yellowfin version, including, but not limited to, the option to create blogs with active charts to communicate the results of ITSM analytics.
  • Smart IT now has a few new configuration options, e.g. an option to set what Smart IT screen is the default landing page, or to set whether the Public checkbox for Activity Notes is checked or unchecked by default.

 

 

Remedy Platform Enhancements

While BMC considers the SaaS delivery model (BMC Helix ITSM) as delivering the best experience for our customers, because customers don't have to worry anymore about complexities of managing infrastructure, resource and solution upgrades, we continue to invest in solution capabilities to efficiently operate our software on-premise and to stay compatible with newest versions of infrastructure components (OS, database, ...).

With version 19.02, BMC now supports OpenJDK 11, enabling customers to continue to use a free Java version as platform for the Remedy software. In addition, for continuation, BMC continues to support Oracle JDK, both versions 8 and 11. For details about Java and other platform/version compatibility, both for Remedy AR System and ITSM applications, please see BMC Remedy ITSM Suite compatibility matrix - Documentation for BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite 19.02 .

Version 19.02 also introduced a new graphics library for Remedy Flashboards, delivers performance improvements for the Remedy archiving feature and RLS, and

For more information, please see 19.02 enhancements - Documentation for BMC Remedy Action Request System 19.02

 

 

I'd like to use this opportunity to thank the entire BMC product team for their hard work on delivering this release in time and with high quality. And I'd to thank everyone who's actively engaged in the BMC Communities. The Remedy community spaces - Remedy ITSM, Remedy AR System and CMDB - are the most active spaces in the BMC Communities, delivering immense value to the entire Remedy customer base and to BMC. Your contributions help to make this such a great place to hang out. Please note that BMC recently introduced a new community space BMC Helix, which focuses specifically on our Service Management solutions delivered as a Service (SaaS).

Special thanks also to the community members who have contributed ideas that we have implemented in this 19.02 release cycle. Looking forward to continue working with you on making sure that Remedy remains the leading ITSM solution and platform in the market.

 

And last but not least, if you like what we are doing, please send us positive feedback via the new in-app survey mechanism.

 

Peter Adams

Sr. Director, Product Management

Remedy

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The archive feature was introduced in 9.0 release of the BMC Remedy Platform in tandem with technology refresh of the platform.

This feature allows you a convenient way to periodically store data from a main form to an archive form, this reduces the amount of data accessed during searches for starters, directly benefiting end user operations. Clear benefit of following the data retention discipline allows you to stay true to the new [better] numbers you get for use cases as experienced by the end user.  The data retention policy allows you to meet compliance needs of having latest data in your main forms for the said period. In tandem you can further increase the benefit when it comes to database size, by moving archived data out to a file system.

 

If you intend to look at the archived data, looking at it through the lens of KPIs is a good place to start. At this time the intent would be to look at aggregated report instead of looking at each ticket. This should give an opportunity to ponder on the decisions already made [maybe budget allocations on certain service types / problem areas] and the results of these.

Full catalog of reports which carry KPIs are available out of the box here.

 

Just in case, you want to go beyond these 24+ KPIs and setup your own KPI, the place to start would be by creating flashboard variables as explained here.

 

If you have to have an operational report that goes across data which is in the main form as well as the data that is in the archive form, you would quickly do so by creating a semantic layer, as explained below:

 

Once you have the semantic layer created, publishing a report which goes over the live data and the archived data, can be done using steps below. The steps / query cited below, will give us a report of critical incidents since 01 Jan 2013 till date [here latest 18 months(retention period) data is in main form while rest is in the archive form]

 

 

Steps to create Incident Management report which goes across the live data and the archived data:

  1. Create a report on Incident Management view.
  2. Select required fields in the columns section eg; Incident ID, Summary, Priority etc.
  3. Select Required fields in filter section (Assigned Group, Submit Date etc.)
  4. Click on Add Subquery from left aligned navigation panel
  5. Select Subquery type as Union and Style as Advanced
  6. Select Data Source as AR System and View as Incident Management Archive from drop down list
  7. Now add all similar fields from Incident Management Archive view and map it with respective fields from master form query
  8. Add similar filters as the master query and Save the query
  9. Now Go to Filter’s Advanced Setting and select Subquery filter tab from the top
  10. From the dropdown select operator as Link Filter and define a link to Master Query Filters, This will ensure same filter values are applied on both queries
  11. Perform further formatting changes in the Report if required and then activate the Report

 

The query would look like below:

 

SELECT DISTINCT

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Incident Number`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Description`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Assignee`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Priority`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`ServiceCI`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Submit Date`,

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Last Resolved Date`

FROM `AR System Schema`.`HPD:Help Desk`

WHERE (

   `HPD:Help Desk`.`Assigned Group` IN ('Service Desk')

   AND `HPD:Help Desk`.`Priority` IN ('Critical')

   AND `HPD:Help Desk`.`Submit Date` BETWEEN '01/01/2013 12:00:00 AM' AND '02/28/2019 11:59:59 PM'

)

UNION

SELECT DISTINCT

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Incident Number`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Description`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Assignee`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Priority`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`ServiceCI`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Submit Date`,

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Last Resolved Date`

FROM `AR System Schema`.`HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`

WHERE (

   `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Assigned Group` IN ('Service Desk')

   AND `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Priority` IN ('Critical')

   AND `HPD:Help_Desk_Archive`.`Submit Date` BETWEEN '01/01/2013 12:00:00 AM' AND '02/28/2019 11:59:59 PM'

)

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Smart Reporting 1902 release has now capability to leverage entire set of RDBMS functions and it gives ability to achieve complex calculations and use-cases which were not possible in previous releases. More details can be found here

Speaking of Use-Case, One of the popular requirement was to calculate difference between two dates excluding weekends.

 

Well the wait is over now. This blog will walk you through the steps to calculate Incident Age Excluding weekends.

 

System Prerequisite :

AR Server version             - 1902 or higher

Smart Reporting version  - 1902 or higher

 

We are creating a complex formula from nesting multiple database functions and few arithmetic operation to get the results.

So I'll break it down the Native Database formula and then will see how we can define ARJDBC compliant SQL in Smart Reporting.

 

Here is the MSSQL formula (Native SQL) :

 

select cast(DATEDIFF(DD,'2019-01-01 12:00:00','2019-01-10 12:00:00')/7 as INT)*5 + 
cast(SUBSTRING('1234555123444512333451222345111234500123450123455',(DATEPART(dw,'2019-01-01 12:00:00')-1)*7 + (DATEDIFF(DD,'2019-01-01 12:00:00','2019-01-10 12:00:00')%7)+1,1) as INT)-1

 

This entire formula can be divided into 2 parts.

1 - Count Weeks

Calculate the number of weeks between dates, This can be done by (Number of Days/7) and next multiply it by 2, This gives you number of Working days in whole week.

Eg; 19/97 = 2.71

Since we need a whole number for this we can truncate decimals using Cast functions which gives me 2 whole weeks, We will deal with decimal points in next part. Now i can simply multiply this value by 5 which result number of working days in whole week. which is 10 in this case.

This calculates first piece of query -

select cast(DATEDIFF(DD,'2019-01-01 12:00:00','2019-01-10 12:00:00')/7 as INT)

 

2 - Calculate the leftover days

Now we need to calculate the leftover days which are not considered under whole week and then add it in the result of first part which gives you exact number of Working Days.

Remember we had truncated decimal places in first part, we need to get that part and convert it into leftover days, we have divided the value and truncated decimals now we need perform modulus arithmetic operation which do the division and returns remainder value added some further logic to get correct days.

 

Second part will calculate the leftovers:

 

cast(SUBSTRING('1234555123444512333451222345111234500123450123455',(DATEPART(dw,'2019-01-01 12:00:00')-1)*7 + (DATEDIFF(DD,'2019-01-01 12:00:00','2019-01-10 12:00:00')%7)+1,1) as INT)-1

At the end of formula we have subtracted 1 day to exclude current day, If you want to consider current day as well then remove (-1) arithmetic operation at the end of formula.

So consider the Dates passed in above query

Start Date - 01/01/2019

End Date  - 10/01/2019

 

Actual Date Difference - 9

Excluding Weekends - 7

 

Now lets see how we can define it in Smart Reporting

Essentially you need 4 database functions for this calculation

  1. CAST
  2. DATEDIFF
  3. SUBSTRING
  4. DATEPART

 

Make sure this functions are defined in Remedy Form and the create Freehand SQL calculated field to define these in similar order as Native Database formula with special Keyword DBFN.

 

Below is an example to calculate Difference between Submit Date & Last Resolved Date for Incidents.

 

dbfn('cast',dbfn('datediff','DD',`Submit Date`,`Last Resolved Date`)/7,'as int')*5 +

dbfn('cast',dbfn('substring','1234555123444512333451222345111234500123450123455',(dbfn('datepart','dw',`Last Resolved Date`)-1)*7 + (dbfn('datediff','DD',`Submit Date`,`Last Resolved Date`)%7)+1,1),'as int')-1

 

Here is the Output of Sample Report

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