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Hi all,

 

It has been almost a year to the day since my last blog post. I don't have any earth-shattering knowledge to share but want to mention a small Remedy app I just posted. You can find it here: Remedy Definition - Data Exporter

 

I created this little app (if you can really call it that) almost 10 years ago when I wanted a way to quickly export .arx files. My intention shortly after building it was to post it to the ARSlist or then BMCDN (BMC Developer Network) which we now know as the BMC Communities. There was just one feature that never worked exactly right and I never really focused on fixing (see Help with runmacro and Application-Parse-Qual-L). With the help of the Community I was able to finally get the record query feature to fully work and post this app.

 

Hopefully you will find this app as useful as I have for many years. Unfortunately exporting data will not work in the Mid Tier so you'll need an install of the User Tool to full take advantage of it.

 

Check this one item off the to do list...

Jason

 

Relevant to:

Remedy AR System

Remedy ITSM

 

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Julien Boisserie posted the picture below in his blog post En quête de satisfaction 2015. It resonated with me very much and I have to reshare.


UserExperience_2.jpg


I think this picture speaks volumes about design (or actually bad/inefficient design). So many times myself and other developers focus too intently on a problem, enhancement or feature and don't step back to look at the larger picture. We think "man, we nailed this. It is going to work awesome and people are going to love it!" Then shortly after implementing, a trail around the solution starts to appear. We spent time and effort working on the solution for what? If customers are going around what we implemented then we likely missed the mark


Now to be my own devil's advocate, code cannot account for everything and sometimes things need to be left to governance and/or policy & procedure. That needs to be weighed in as part of the discussion when coming up with a solution. Do we need a technical solution or a governance solution? Many times my team has been asked to create solutions to address people problems with technology. Guess what happened? Basically the picture above. No amount of technical design was going to replace having a police officer there.

 

I mention this with Product Managers and my fellow developers in mind whether they are customers, partners or BMC. We might be building the most awesome thing to us but if the customer doesn't think so then we wasted our time and the customer typically gets frustrated or maybe even worse, lose respect for us because we overlooked the obvious holes that they easily found.

 

In the case that technical solutions cannot/should not account for all customer behaviours then there needs to be sufficient documentation as to how to use this thing, what is the recommended practice and why did we even develop this thing / why does it work this way. Admittedly I don't think it is reasonable to literally have these things in the image above. That is the physical, common-sense world where anybody over the age of 5 should realize that solution is there to keep me from getting hit by a fast moving bus. For us we are making tools to help our business be relevant in its industry. Businesses are much more complex than crossing the road.

 

Jason

 

Relevant to:

BMC Remedy AR System

Using Communities


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Hot Keys, get your Hot Keys here!!! pt 2 - Dev Studio

 

Hello again.  It has been a little while since my last post.  I took a little break from blogging and have scaled back my Communities involvement some.  Work has been keeping me busy doing the most Remedy development I have done since we started an ITSM implementation about 2 years ago.  I am sure I'll blog some details later but for now I wanted to leave a few tips.

 

A Few Dev Studio Hot Keys

I love hot keys.  Development moves faster and is more efficient when you can keep your hands on the keyboard.  So with that I present a few to navigate around Dev Studio in a mouse-less fashion.

 

CTRL + F6

Pressing CTRL + F6 at the same time will give you a context menu of the current open objects (Editors in Eclipse terms) to choose from.  Simply hold CTRL and then press F6 to quickly move between open objects.

CTRL_F6.png

Press F6 once to and release CTRL to toggle between objects.  You can go back and forth between two objects similar to ALT + TAB in Windows.  If you continue to hold CTRL press F6 repeatedly you can move the selection between any object listed.  Also you can use the up and down arrow keys to select the object you want.

 

Here is an example CTRL + F6 video.  At first I toggled between objects and then repeatedly pressed F6 to select a specific object in the list.

CTRL + E

Similar to CTRL + F6, CTRL + E brings up box of open objects.  However this one allows you to type and filters as you type to limit the list.  It is like super CTRL + F6.SuperE.png

CTRL_E_1.png

CTRL_E_2.png

This is very handy when you have a lot of objects open.

 

CTRL + F7

Pressing CTRL + F7 at the same time will give you a context menu of "view" you have open.  This isn't to be confused with Remedy form views.  The context is Eclipse and views are what the different tabs/sections are called.  For example AR System Navigator, Outline, Properties, Forms/Active Link/Filter object list windows.

CTRL_F7.png

Toggling behaviors the same as toggling with CTRL + F6.

 

Here is an example CTRL + F7 video.  I used the mouse for the first two actions in order to minimize the AR System Navigator and Object List View (I usually work with these minimized to give me more space to work in).  After that my hands never touched the mouse.  I was able to open the Escalations view and perform a search for workflow with the word "test" in the name.  After that I navigate between some fields on the form and then inspect properties of the last field selected.  My hands were on the keyboard the whole time.

 

ALT + Arrow Keys

I use this one all day long.  It is one of the first shortcuts I discovered in Dev Studio and one of my favorites.  Using the ALT + right or left arrow keys you can go forward or backwards between open objects like in a web browser.  It could be considered redundant to CTRL + F6 however it feels a bit more natural and familiar since I commonly use this same technique while surfing the web.

 

Often I will switch between to workflow objects to compare Actions, Run If qualifications, Execution Options, etc.  In the example video you can see how quickly I bounce between to objects to compare them.  All I was doing was holding ALT and alternating between the left and right arrow keys.

**********************************************************************************

There you go.  A few tips for Dev Studio that hopefully will help with your development.

 

Relevant to:

Remedy AR System


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Change Request, I said move forward!

 

Have your customers ever asked why doesn't a Change Request (CRQ) automatically move forward when the last Planning in Progress (PiP) task is closed?  A CRQ moves from Implementation In Progress to Completed when the last Implementation task is complete. Why only in one phase?  My customer were perplexed by this.  Did BMC get lazy with PiP?

 

Adding to the issue we had a situation where a Task Implementers (TI) (somebody without Change Coordinator role) completes the last task in the Plan & Schedule phase but the Change Coordinator (COO) is not alerted that the CRQ is back in their court.  There is a notification out of the box that will alert the COO when the CRQ goes to Schedule For Review (SFR) BUT the TI can’t push the Next Stage button because well, they are not a Coordinator.

 

At this point I can see a few people might be thinking “wait a minute…”

  • “Just because the last task in PiP status is closed doesn’t mean there might not be another task added before the Implementation stage. Say in Scheduled for Review status.”
  • “Why doesn’t the TI just send the COO an email when they complete the last task?”
  • “Why doesn’t the COO just keep an eye on the change they are responsible for?”

 

A Little Backstory

Those are valid questions.  However they do not apply to our organization.

 

The first bullet: the only thing left after the tasks are completed in PiP is for the COO to set/validate the Scheduled Start/End Dates, perform a quick check that necessary documentation is there and push forward to Schedule For Approval (SFA).  Sure there is a very minimal chance that a task could be added however it is very unlikely in our organization.

 

The second and third bullets: the concept of Task Implementers was completely new in our environment when we rolled out CM 8.0.  Quite frankly it was unwelcomed.  In our home grown CM system everybody in a Support Group had the same access to the CRQ. Culturally this separation has been resented on both sides.  The TI resent it because they have less access than they did in the old system and feel subservient (please don’t ask why we don’t just give the Tis the COO role, it’s political).  The COOs resent it because not only do they need to do their own work but have to be responsible for changes other people are working on.  Mix resentment of losing access, having to do more work and loss of functionality (because our home grown system had all sought notifications and automation) in with a pretty high change volume and we have a decent number of CRQs in limbo between the TI and the COO.

  • “Why do I need to send an email? Why doesn’t the system do it?  I did my part.”
  • “We have too many open changes to keep looking at them and digging down to see when tasks have been completed.”

 

Resolution

We have a fix!  (ITSM 8.1)  Our crackpot team of Remedy developer, after hour and hour of research have found what it takes to solve this issue (for us).  ONE NEW FILTER!  When the last task in the Plan & Schedule phase is completed this filter:

  • Moves the CRQ from the PiP status to SFR
  • Triggers the out of the box notification to the COO that the CRQ is ready for review.

 

Here it is:

  • Saved a copy of 'INT:CHGTMS:CRQ:EventReceiveLastChild_TaskComplete'
  • Modified the Run If slightly
  • Modified the first Set Fields slightly

CRQ_MoveFromPiP2SFR.jpg

 

The most difficult part was identifying what the right Task Event Code is so the filter triggers at the right time.  With a little help form some BMC Community friends (List of Task Event Codes between Tasks and Change) we found the right code and things are working great!

 

 

I hope this helps others add a touch of automation and helps avoid CRQs sitting waiting for the Change Coordinator to realize they need to do something with it.

 

Jason

 

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Welcome to AR System / ITSM 8.x!  Users can schedule reports.  Or can they?

 

I was excited when I first found that scheduling of reports would be included in AR System 8.0.  So cool!  We have been waiting years for this.  Many of us have come up with alternatives workarounds to schedule a reoccurring report.

 

I have scheduled a few personal reports for myself an until last week I though everybody could schedule a report.  That is until I received an incident from a user that stated the Schedule button is disabled for him in the AR System Report Console.  This certainly can't be right.  Since I am an admin I never gave it a second thought, the buttons is enabled for me. Off to the 8.1 documentation I go: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/ars81/Scheduling+reports.

 

Well look at that "Only administrators and sub administrators can schedule reports" (NOTE: the 8.0 documentation is currently missing this info)

5-11-2014 2-19-38 AM.jpg

 

Looking down the page in the comments there is some discussion regarding what it takes to allow users to schedule a report.  I tried what was noted.  While that did enable the schedule button it wasn't a complete solution because a blank page loaded after clicking the button.  Fortunately this Community rocks!  Mohammad Rehman had run into this and shared the solution.  We made some slight modifications to his steps when implementing the recommendations.

 

The Solution

1. Go to Roles form and search for Role name "Job Scheduler" in the "AR System Job Scheduler" application.

Role_JobScheduler.jpg

2. Map the role to "Reporting User" group for the production state.

Role_ReportingUser.png

3. Go to User form and assign the "Reporting User" permission to the user(s).

4. Login to Remedy and verify the user now has permissions to publish/schedule web reports.

 

Using the steps above you still need to give access to each user that will be scheduling reports.  If you want to give scheduling permissions to a large number of users and do not want to touch all of the User records a variation that I quickly tested is to change the "Reporting User" Group to a Computed Group and map the Group Definition to a group that your users are already a member of.  In this example I mapped to Task Users with the thought that most Support Staff are in this group but most non-Support Staff are not (of course your system could be setup differently).

Group_ReportingUser.jpg

 

Have fun enabling your users to schedule their own reports!

Jason

 

Relevant to:

BMC Remedy AR System

BMC Remedy

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Remedy is great!  We can customize it to do what we want.  Life is good.  What?  What is this documentation you speak of?

 

Of course we document our changes.(?)  The addition of Overlays has helps from the old days when we had to work with different object naming conventions to differentiate what we created, what BMC created and what BMC created but we modified.  Often we need to document our custom and modified objects (now overlaid) outside of the system.

 

What is the best way to get a list of objects outside of the system?

 

The the other day I was creating a Working List in preparation to export.  The plan was to do a little magic with Log Parsing Utilities and 'Extended' find and replace in Notepadd++ to get to just a list of objects.  Then I remembered Dev Studio has a copy feature.  It is called "Copy Name"  that means singular right?  WRONG!!!

 

Selecting multiple objects, right clicking and choosing Copy Name will select the name of all selected objects.

 

An Example

Below I created a Working List of objects related to CHG:Infrastructure Change however copying works from:

  • Active Link, Filter, Menu, etc. object list
  • Applications
  • Packing Lists

 

'Base' is unchecked so I am only getting a list of objects we have created or overlaid.

WorkingList.jpg

 

 

Just select some objects, right click and select Copy Name.

WorkingListRightClickMenu.jpg

 

 

Then just paste into the text/word editor of your choice.

ObjectNamesPasted.jpg

 

It is just that simple.  No need to perform .def file parsing magic.

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This one isn't Remedy related but more on topic of BMC SocialThe addition of a new gamification system shook things up on the BMC Communities last October.  Things are running much smoother and now that we are settled in I am seeing some more discussion about "how do I level-up with the point system?"  Here is what I have found to help build points and reputation.

 

  • Help others by replying to Discussions.
  • Use the Communities to get answers to your questions.  Post a Discussion (as a question) when you need an answer.
  • Post your Ideas for enhancing BMC's products and the even BMC Communities.
  • Proactively post knowledge bits that help you and will probably help others (like I am doing with this blog Index of Jason's Tip Blog Postings).
  • Post tools and documents you created that help you do your job and will helps others do their job.
  • Have fun and engage in the social atmosphere such as in Off Topic.
  • Rant when appropriate (yeah, I'll list this).  Sometimes the Community needs to keep BMC (and others) in check.  Of course don't use this bullet too much and it probably helps to build some reputation first.
  • Follow people... and people will follow you when you do those things listed above.

 

In Summary

Basically be a good member of the Community.  Most of the top Communities members (according to the point system) do not do it for the points but to be helpful and engage with like-minded people.

 

For more information read Reputation & Points System Explained

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I am kind of cheating today.  I am linking to a document I created a while back and the majority of the info was actually content provided by Mohamed Hassan.  Still I think it is something many of us scratch our head thinking "how am I going to provide an direct access URL using the SHR:LandingConsole?"   Please read Direct Access URL to INC, CRQ & TSK using SHR:LandingConsole to find out how.

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A good g33k keeps their hands on the keyboard right?  The mouse slows us down.  WUT had hot keys (AKA shortcut keys) but they are dead in the browser.


NOT SO I SAY!!!

 

Most of them are still there, just a modified a little.  Some of my favorites:

  • CTRL + ALT + ENTER  -  Executes a Save/Search.  Just like ALT + ENTER in the User Tool
  • CTRL + ALT + F3      -     Change form to a search mode (even works as desired when form is displayed in SHR:LandingConsole)
  • CTRL + ALT + F2      -     Change form to a new mode (""    "")
  • CTRL + ALT + H        -     Displays the Status History
  • CTRL + ALT + F6      -     Toggles between results and details panes
  • CTRL + ALT + L        -     Clear All

 

There are more that can be found in the documentation: https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/public/ars81/Shortcut+keys+for+BMC+Remedy+AR+System

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The Tip

Sometimes you need to know the Request ID of a record.  I am not talking about the ticket number generator number but field 1.


CTRL+ALT+H is your friend.

 

Incident

StatusHistoryINC.jpg

 

Change Management

StatusHistoryCRQ.jpg

 

Why do I need to know this?

This is the number that you will see often when looking through approval logs.  Also if you are searching for approval detail signature records you might need this number (see: Re: Pending Approvals).

 

If you are searching through workflow logs you will find a mix of the field 1 Request ID and the request number that is visible to your users.

 

 

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