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Up until today I always believed that DWP Catalog questions could only be mapped to a single workflow variable. Like this:

The way to relate a question to a variable in DWP Catalog Question Designer it is to click the plus + next to a Process Question and that results in a new question with the name of the Process Question/Variable in orange text.

 

It is possible to place several variables plus some static text into a single mapped field in the Create Incident (or other element) in the Workflow Designer and that results in a concatenated sting of text in a field. Like this:

However, it is also possible to click that plus + again in Question Designer and add a second question linked to the same variable. Like this:

It is even possible for both (or more) questions to have the same name and label, as in the example above.

This is what happens when the end user submits the request from DWP:


However, only the FIRST question answer is pushed into to variable.


However, I checked this with John Gallagher and he has shown me that if you want to MULTIPLE answers to the a field you could do this:

 
Here we use
"$.questionsAndAnswers[0:3].value" for the path.

[0:3] is the number of answers, it will show up as comma separated with square brackets but you could tidy it up as well.

So it seems that it is possible to map multiple questions to a single variable and use the output as a comma separated string mapped into a single field of the fulfilment ticket.

Naji Abdallahi

DWP Catalog Context Key

Posted by Naji Abdallahi Employee Jul 23, 2020
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I recently got asked what the Context Key in DWP Catalog workflow variables does:

John Gallagher gave me this useful info:

When you add a required input variable with Text data type or Record data type, the context key for the process is set automatically.

A context key gives a business reference to a process instance and can be used as an identifier for a process instance. When you look at the process instance in the Manage Process dashboard, you can quickly identify the process instance, and you can relate the process instance to the business use case. For example, an Approval Process that has a context key as HPD0002340 indicates that the Incident request HPD0002340 started the Approval Process.

  • If a process instance has multiple required input variables, the first input variable is used as the context key.
  • If a process does not contain any required process variables of data type Text or Record to start the process, a context key named instance is automatically added at the process run time. The context key is displayed in the Manage Processes dashboard.
  • If you have multiple required input variables and you delete the input variable that is used as the context key, the context key is assigned to a next suitable input variable.            

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/helixplatform/defining-the-application-business-logic-through-processes-851870240.html#Definingtheapplicationbusinesslogicthroughprocesses-process_variable_types

 

Some of that is more specific to BMC Helix Platform than to DWP Catalog workflow editor. See Managing processes by using the Manage Processes dashboard - Documentation for BMC Helix Platform 20.02 - BMC Documentat…

 

So I tested in DWP Catalog by submitting this request:

It uses this workflow:

The question Access Level is mapped to variable Response 2 which is the Context Key. In this case the text “Administrator” was selected from a dropdown by the end user.

 

In View process in the Service Request report, this is what is shown:


Not necessarily very useful in troubleshooting, but it does make sense and once we know this we could drive the data that gets mapped into that variable.

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This is a summary of the presentation I made on Friday19th June entitled "BMC Education Hot Topic Webinar: CMDB - Creating New Attributes

 

For further information see the BMC docs pages:

Best practices for extending the data model - Documentation for BMC CMDB 20.02 - BMC Documentation

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/ac2002/planning/planning-to-extend-the-data-model

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/ac2002/planning/planning-to-extend-the-data-model/methods-to-extend-the-data-model

https://docs.bmc.com/docs/smartit2002/adding-custom-fields-to-the-asset-view-908203287.html

 

Guidelines for adding attributes and subclasses

If you decide to add attributes or subclasses, follow these guidelines:

  • Perform the work using the Class Manager, an API program, or the cmdbdriver command.  Modifying the BMC Configuration Management Database (BMC CMDB) data model requires more than just editing a form, and you might break some functionality. You can use BMC Remedy Developer Studio to modify field layout and labels.Important

    Never make those changes directly on class forms using BMC Remedy Developer Studio.

  • Because a CMDB gets its value by sharing data among applications, make your extensions as widely useful as possible, so that they can meet multiple needs. Avoid extensions that narrowly cater to one application, even for high-volume uses.
  • Do not create classes more than five database join levels deep. For information about the classes that use joins, see How CMDB data is stored in Remedy forms

Determine whether you want to store configuration data or lifecycle data for the CI in the new attribute. You must add a new attribute to a class to store only configuration data about a CI. To store lifecycle data for a CI, you must add a field on the AST:Attributes form that is installed by BMC Remedy IT Service Management version 8.0 and later. For more information on Adding data to AST:Attributes in relation to CIs,

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This is a summary of the presentation I made on Monday 4th May entitled "BMC Education Hot Topic: Are your customers “Collaborating” on their service requests?"

 

For further information see the BMC docs pages:

Collaborating with users on service requests - Documentation for BMC Digital Workplace Advanced 20.02 - BMC Documentatio…

User accounts, groups, and permissions for BMC Digital Workplace Catalog - Documentation for BMC Digital Workplace Advan…

Enabling service request collaboration - Documentation for BMC Digital Workplace Advanced 20.02 - BMC Documentation

 

A video demonstrating the use of the collaboration feature made by my BMC colleagues can be found here: Collaborating on service requests in BMC Digital Workplace 19.02 - YouTube

 

 

A user who submits a service request can add other users as collaborators to the request, so the collaborators can view and comment on the initial request. Collaborators can also cancel the service request if required. Collaboration on service requests is useful when a user creates a request that impacts other users or if the user will not be available when the request is fulfilled. For example, Allen is an analyst at his company. Allen and five colleagues from his department work in the office room where an office printer is installed and connected to the corporate network. 

  • One day, Allen wants to print a document, and he realizes that the quality of the printing has diminished. Allen opens BMC Digital Workplace and creates a service request about the printer that needs to be fixed. To the service request, he adds a collaborators group that contains his five colleagues who share the same office room. If Allen is out of the office when the IT department starts processing the request, the service request's collaborators can answer questions from the support team to help process the ticket.
  • When Allen created the ticket, he did not know that Jane (who is part of the collaborators group Allen had created) had already requested the printer service in BMC Digital Workplace. When Jane created the service request, she did not add collaborators to her request. Because Allen had added Jane as a collaborator to his request, she could cancel his request with the comment that she had already created another request.

 

Manually adding collaborators and collaborator groups to a service request

  1. In the BMC Digital Workplace end user console, view the details for an existing request.
  2. Click Options > Add/remove.
  3. In the Collaborators dialog box, add available individual users and user groups as collaborators.
    The service request is shared with the selected users and groups when the Collaborators dialog box is closed.

Collaborator settings

End users can configure the Collaborator settings in the user profile preferences in the BMC Digital Workplace end user console.

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While teaching the DWP Catalog Admin course Education COURSE page - BMC Helix Digital Workplace 19.x: Fundamentals Catalog Administering – Part 2 - BMC Software  I get asked some questions that require a long answer :-)

 

Here is how to get a Service Action that is launched from My Items on the My Stuff tab of DWP to add the originating CI to the Affected Asset field in Smart IT:

 

1. Make sure that the user you are going to test with has a USED BY relationship to a suitable CI (like a laptop) in the CMDB. Here I have associated a CI named MacBook Air UK-432432-MMann with a user called Mary Mann, and I used the Asset form in Smart IT to do so:

2. Next, I have made sure that the DWP Catalog is configured to use this integration (see DWP Catalog: Leveraging BMC Asset Management ) by clicking on the cogs icon in DWP Catalog Admin site:

3. Configure one the OOTB Asset Groups to include the class of CI you want to show in DWP in My Items. Here I have added BMC_ComputerSystem

class to the Computers and mobile devices Asset Group:

4. At this point you should be able to login to DWP as the user (Mary Mann in my example) and see the CI in on the My Stuff page, listed under Computers and mobile devices:

5. Now is the time to create the Service Action. Name it, and set the Asset Mapping to include the CMDB class you want it to apply to. Here I have selected BMC_ComputerSystem, and I could have added additional conditions, such as Primary Capability or Manufacturer of the CI.

6. Create a Workflow and add a Service Broker Context variable:

as well as three Text variables for RE ID, Description, and CI Name:

7. Add the elements and link them in chain:

  • Create Incident With Identifiers I'm using With Identifiers because I plan to update the incident later in the flow.
  • Get Incident By Identifiers, which retrieves the AR System Request ID of incident.
  • Build Input Set, which exposes 2 fields that I cannot get to with the Create Incident With Identifiers element.
  • Set Entry to update the incident it just made with the Create incident With Identifiers element.

8. Configure the elements:

    • Create Incident With Identifiers needs the Connection Id and Login inputs mapped as normal:

The Summary could be just the CI Name, or something more advanced like this:

Map Notes to the Description variable, or maybe add the URL (http://SmartITServer:9001/smartit/app/sbrequest/ or http://SmartITServer:9001/smartit/app/sbrequest/ depending on RSSO) to the Request ID for support staff, then a line break and the Asset Name variable, like this:

I suggest using an Incident Template to set the Service, Urgency, Priority, Reported Source and Incident Type, and then map the Template Name to that template:

Correlation Id should be mapped to General>Correlation ID

    • Get Incident By Identifiers needs the Connection ID again, and Incident Number mapped to Activities>Create Incident With Identifiers>Output>Incident Number

    • Build Input Set needs to have Key1 mapped to "HPD_CI" with Value1 mapped to CI Name and Key2 mapped to "HPD_CI_ReconID" with Value 2 mapped to RE ID variable.

    • Set Entry needs the Connection Id mapped, then "HPD:IncidentInterface" in the Form Name, and Request ID mapped to Activities>Get Incident By Identifiers>Output>Request Id, and Field Values mapped to Activities>Build Input Set>Output>Inputs

9.Save the Workflow and make sure it is linked to the Service Action.

10. Create a Questionnaire with a Text Field questions mapped to the CI Name, RE ID, and Description variables. You can label, and hide these as appropriate for end users:

11. In the Question Designer, click on Actions:

and Add an action triggered on Open Questionnaire that locates the CI by Reconciliation Identity in the AST:BaseElement form, and maps Name to CI Name and Reconciliation Identity to RE ID.

12. Save the Action, and the questionnaire, and mare sure that the Workflow and Questions are linked to the Service Action, and that it is Active.

13. Test by logging into DWP as the person with the Used By relationship to the laptop, and submitting the Service Request:

14. Log into Smart IT and locate the incident that got created (and instantly updated) to verify that the Affected Asset has been correctly added to the ticket. Click on the Affected asset to drill into it.

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I got asked a question about this on a BMC Education training course Education COURSE page - BMC Helix ITSM 19.x: Fundamentals Administering - Part 2 - BMC Software

 

The issue is that Task Phase enforcement does not seem to work correctly at the Review phase. This is due to how the OOTB approval process is working, so I have summarized a couple of workarounds in the attached video.

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I made this video to help me teach the differences in Row level permissions models in ITSM. The two options are "Support Group" and "Support Group and Company".

 

It is a walkthrough of how row level permissions work pre 9.1.0, followed by a walkthrough of 9.1.02 permissions onwards. I use AR Reports to avoid having to show hidden fields in the form, and to try and clarify exactly how the permissions end up the way they do.

 

See Row-level security - Documentation for Remedy IT Service Management Suite 18.08 - BMC Documentation for 18.08 version documentation on these new rules.

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