Happy February. BMC is excited by the latest release of Remedy 9.1.04 (incl. Remedy AR System, CMDB, ITSM applications) and continues to innovate IT Service Management. This release brings some unique enhancements to the applications, which makes ITSM suite more intelligent and comprehensive.
In the past I had written a blog for custom process flow on Change Management, and now the new release of 9.1.04 provides ability to define approval rules for Remedy Change and Release Management, to help manage CIs with a people-approval capability.
Change and Release Management Overview:
BMC Remedy Change Management is closely aligned with standard ITIL service management processes. It works in conjunction with the BMC Remedy Approval Server and the other BMC Remedy ITSM applications. Using BMC Remedy Change Management in combination with these applications enables you to assess the scope of change, analyze the costs associated with change (in terms of time and expense), as well as perform impact and risk analysis.
Release Management is the process responsible for planning, scheduling, and controlling the movement of releases to test and live environments. Release management works closely with Change Management in making sure that applications are successfully deployed without compromising the integrity or availability of the production environment.
New CI Role based approval:
Prior to the 9.1.04 release, approval mapping in Change and Release Management was configurable for Individuals, Groups or Inherent Group/Role. We could configure approval mappings based on CI selection on the approval mappings form as “CI Type” or “CI Name”. This, when used for any particular approval phase like Review, Business, Implementation or Close Down, would trigger approval by Individual, Support Group or Inherent Group/Role.
Challenges without CI Role based approval capability:
- Organizations manage CI – People relationship (individuals, group) in Remedy, but cannot use it for determination of Change/Release approvers.
- The effort to setup approval mapping rules for each specific CI is very high and many considered customization as a next logical step, causing later upgrade challenges.
- High manual effort was needed to create multiple CI-based approval.
The new 9.1.04 provides the ability to make more personalized approvals based on the CI – People role relationship type, and is supported for Change and Release Management.
To see the changes, go to Application Administration Console > Custom Configuration > Change Management > Approval > Approval Mappings. You can also directly open the form via “APR:Approver Lookup”.
Approver mapping detail:
Individual: The approval is specific to a person with first and last name.
Group: The approval is based on the support group name.
Inherent Group/Role: The approval is based on the functional role and group specified on the Change form.
Starting with version 9.1.04, approval mappings can be configured for Individuals or Groups based on a CI Role. This is based on the CI - People asset relationship and helps manage approval explicitly by relationship type.
Individual Based on a CI Role: Approval can be based on the roles Approved By, Managed By, Created By, Owned By, Supported By, Used By for an Asset CI on people.
Group Based on a CI Role: Approval can be based on the roles Approved By, Managed By, Created By, Owned By, Supported By, Used By for an Asset CI on a support group.
Once the CI is determined that will be associated with a CI based approval, go to the People tab of the CI > Add button. Refer to the following link to see steps for relating people, organizations, and groups to CIs.
- This feature is explicitly not applicable for "People Organization" type CI-People relationship.
Select the People or Support Group that will be related to the CI based on Role, and all the roles that can be related to a CI for people will be shown in the approval mappings. We have selected a CI = Printer with the following relationships:
People: Manuel Ramirez > Managed by (Role)
People: Michel Dupond > Owned by (Role)
Support Group: Backoffice Support > Used by (Role)
When creating approval mappings, the following areas need to be considered.
- “CI Type” or “CI Name” - if not selected, the approval will be applicable to all the CIs
- Support Group - should have at least a user with the Infrastructure Change Approver functional role, otherwise approval will be skipped.
We created 2 approval mappings for “Group Based on a CI Role” (Used by) > Business Phase and “Individual Based on a CI Role” (Owned by) > Review Phase.
Submit a new Change Request then relate the CI that has people relationships and we will notice that the approval will not trigger for Manuel Ramirez, as the role has a Managed by relation with the CI. We see the approvals for the Backoffice Support group in the business phase and Michel Dupond for the Review phase.
- When relating a CI to a Change Request, it is essential to know that we must choose “Select a Relationship Type” = “Related To” or else the mappings will not trigger.
The CI gets related to the Change Request as Related to in the relationship type.
Approvals trigger based on the CI - people role for Individual and Group. Since Mary Mann has the Infrastructure Approver functional role, she was added as an approver for the Backoffice Support group.
When any modification happens to the CI with respect to the People who are related in the Asset then the approval mappings do not require any changes. It will generate the approval based on the Change / Release approval mappings for the updated People in CI. This saves time and efforts require to manage approvals from 9.1.04 for CI - people role based approval.
We can configure the approvals in a similar way for the Release Management application. The ability to configure approval based on a CI - people role based relationship helps reduce the number of mappings and customization, making things easier to manage and control.
Case-1: Group approval not getting attached to Change Request.
- Open the form “CTM:Support Group” and search for the Support Group.
- Verify at least 1 user has the “Infrastructure Change Approver” functional role under the “Roles Display” tab.
- Open the form “APR:Approver Lookup” and search for the Support Group.
- Verify the Assignment Availability is set to Yes.
Case-2: Approvers are not getting generated on any request. Example: All Change Request.
- Open “Application Pending” and verify any unprocessed records for Approval are stuck.
- Check and verify the approval plugin is running or not would require a restart.
- Check the armonitor file for the approval parameters.
Case-3: Incorrect approval signature getting attached to Change Request.
- This directs to validate the Change Approval Mappings from the form “APR:Approver Lookup” for that particular approval phase.
- You may want to review the approval debug and corresponding filter log with Signature that got attached to CRQ.
- Search for the signature id on the AP:Role form on the Member List field.
Here are some Knowledge Articles and Ideas that you might find helpful:
- 000146467 – Remedy - ARS 9.1.04 (SP4) Corrected issues/defects (AR System Suite)
- 000143398 - Impact Analysis Functionality not working as expected post 9.1 SP3 Environment
- 000141646 - Release Management - Clicking on View button on Manifest tab to open Activity Record is getting timeout.
I hope that you find this useful as an example on how to use the new CI Role-based approval. I welcome any comments, feedback and suggestions that you may have regarding this blog post. I also encourage you to use Ideas on BMC Communities to submit and vote on features that you would like to see in BMC Remedy ITSM.
You can find additional blogs like this at BMC Remedy Support Blogs