1 2 Previous Next 20 Replies Latest reply on Aug 9, 2019 9:10 AM by Thomas Hammer

    Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?

    Thomas Hammer
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      Hello community,

      in the past (still the case with 9.1.0 I guess) it was not possible to create a second product catalog entry with the same product name and manufacturer combination. This forced us to be "creative" and change either product name or manufacturer to make it possible, e.g. a fat client software (BMC_Product) had the same name as its application (BMC_Application).

       

      With 18.05 we are facing the following change:

       

      - It is possible to use the identical product name and manufacturer to create additional entries in "PCT:Product Catalog" for different classes. This wasn't possible before.

       

      - It is not possible to use the identical product name and manufacturer to create additional entries in "PCT:Product Catalog" for same class, but with different categories.. This seems to be the same as before.

       

      Question: When did that change? Where can we find the documentation of this change?

      We are really not sure whether this is intended by design or a defect. We are not sure what the impact will be on ITSM modules, reporting, workflow and, most important, normalization.

       

      EDITED:

      The standard process flow of Normalization Engine might have an issue according to this page Normalization process - Documentation for BMC Atrium Core 18.08 - BMC Documentation

       

      There it says:

       

       

      NE does not seem to be class aware. Correct or incorrect?

      What about this issue? Normalization categorization values get set with wrong class during normalization job

        • 1. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
          Thomas Hammer

          Hi Peter Adams,

          do you or any other product manager have an answer to this question?

          Any help is highly appreciated.

          Thank you very much in advance

          • 2. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
            Thomas Hammer

            In the meantime we did further investigation on three different environments with three different versions of ITSM

            1) ITSM 8,1

            2) ITSM 9.1

            3) ITSM 18.05

             

            And guess what? All three have different workflows regarding this issue.

             

            Active Links

            PCT:PDS:Save_118_PdCat-N-ChkDup

            8.1

            Run If Qualification - ('z1D Char01' = $NULL$) AND ('z1D Action' = "CREATE-CAT")

            Set fields action qualification - ('Product Categorization Tier 1' = $Product Categorization Tier 1$) AND ('Product Categorization Tier 2' = $Product Categorization Tier 2$) AND ('Product Categorization Tier 3' = $Product Categorization Tier 3$) AND ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$) AND ('CategorizationSchemaKeyword' = $CategorizationSchemaKeyword$)

             

            9.1

            Run If Qualification - ('z1D Char01' = $NULL$) AND ('z1D Action' = "CREATE-CAT")

            Set fields action qualification - ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$)

             

            18.05

            Run If Qualification - ('z1D Char01' = $NULL$) AND ('z1D Action' = "CREATE-CAT")

            Set fields action qualification - ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$) AND ($CategorizationSchemaKeyword$ = 'CategorizationSchemaKeyword')

             

            As you can see in 8.1 a different value in only one single field would be sufficient to approve the entry.

            In 9.1 a different class or a different categorization did not help at all. The combination of Product Name and Manufacturer has to be unique over all classes and categorizations.

            In 18.05 the categorization doesn't matter As written in the initial posting you may create the same Product Name and Manufacturer with identical categorization in different classes.

             

            Filters

            CT:PDC:ChkProductIndex_015

            8.1

            Run if qualification - ('Product Name' != $NULL$) AND ('Product Name' != "BMC_UNKNOWN") AND ('Manufacturer' != $NULL$) AND ('Manufacturer' != "BMC_UNKNOWN")

            Set fields qualification - ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$)

             

            9.1

            Run if qualification - ('Product Name' != $NULL$) AND ('Product Name' != "BMC_UNKNOWN") AND ('Manufacturer' != $NULL$) AND ('Manufacturer' != "BMC_UNKNOWN")

            Set fields qualification - ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$)

             

             

            18.05

            Run if qualification - ('Product Name' != $NULL$) AND ('Product Name' != "BMC_UNKNOWN") AND ('Manufacturer' != $NULL$) AND ('Manufacturer' != "BMC_UNKNOWN")

            Set fields qualification - ('Product Name' = $Product Name$) AND ('Manufacturer' = $Manufacturer$) AND ($CategorizationSchemaKeyword$ = 'CategorizationSchemaKeyword')

             

             

            And again you can see the difference between 9.1 and 18.05 regarding categorization.

            In 9.1 a different categorization or class does not make any difference. The new entry with same Product Name and Manufacturer  will be rejected as a duplicate.

            In 18.05 it is possible as written in the initial posting to create an entry with the same Product Name and Manufacturer with identical categorization as long as you are using different classes.

             

            @BMC: Why did that change?

             

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
              Steve O'Leary

              Not sure why they did this, but glad they did. If we have a centralized Help Desk for multiple companies, we might Categorize an item, say a Switch, as one thing (Hardware, Switch, Managed) vs another company who might categorize it as Hardware, Switch, Unmanaged (note: using Managed and Unmanaged as examples because we have a situation in which one company manages their own hardware, whereas we manage another company's switches). Based on your analysis, we will probably overlay the code in 9.1 to work like 18.

               

               

              • 4. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                Thomas Hammer

                I fully understand your point.

                My concerns are twofold

                 

                - Communication that and why they've changed it to make it more transparent without surprises on user/customer side

                - Expected Impact on Interfaces, ITSM modules and mainly Normalization

                 

                Especially the latter might cause problems, at least the way it used to do its job until now.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                  Steve O'Leary

                  Oh, I agree with you 100%. This is not a minor change, at all. It also requires understanding and planning for large environments. There's much about the ITSM code that needs better explanations as to why they've done things in the way they've done them.

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                    Stefan Hall

                    If you want, the NE could be class aware

                     

                    Normalization and the Product Catalog - Documentation for BMC Atrium Core 18.08 - BMC Documentation

                     

                    If required, Normalization can be set to take into account the Class while normalizing the CIs by using a configuration parameter. To enable this, create an entry in BMC.CORE.CONFIG:BMC_CMDBComponent form with the following details:

                    ComponentId:com.bmc.cmdb.normalizationEngine
                    PropertyName:Normalize_Class_Sensitive
                    PropertyValue:1

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                      Thomas Hammer

                      Hi Stefan Hall,

                      yes, after time consuming research I've also found that documentation. But that is not the first thing user's will look for. And it does not solve the general problem, that customers are not aware of any change (from my point of view).

                      Isn't that very similar to the KB article link I've posted in my initial posting? So, starting with 18.08 it seems to be possible to make the NE class sensitive / class aware BUT

                      The issues seem to be that

                      • the standard setting is set to 0
                      • the setting cannot be changed before 18.08 except after applying a hot fix
                      • the workflow and the NE setting are not aware of each other. The workflow has been changed by BMC, but the NE settings will stay the same.

                      And again, without a clear communication you will not know about any change.

                       

                      So again my question: When and why did this behavior change and where has it been explained to the customers?

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                        Stefan Hall

                        Hi Thomas,

                        This option is available at least since version 9104, but you would have to ask special jars at support for it. Maybe it was a kind of test phase, I don't know.

                         

                        However, I am happy that the default setting for such a central function has not been changed.

                         

                        Otherwise, you're right, changes to central functions should definitely be better communicated. A good start would be to communicate them at all.

                        • 9. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                          Thomas Hammer

                          Hi Stefan Hall

                           

                          This option is available at least since version 9104, but you would have to ask special jars at support for it. Maybe it was a kind of test phase, I don't know.

                          --> Exactly this is an issue. Option does not work except additional fix

                          However, I am happy that the default setting for such a central function has not been changed.

                          --> Exactly this is an issue. Workflow has changed and duplicate entries can be created, but NE behavior is not synced. This might lead to problems mentioned in the KBA  Normalization categorization values get set with wrong class during normalization job

                          • 10. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                            Thomas Hammer

                            Stephen Earl isn't it a pity, that there's no comment from the BMC side?

                            • 11. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                              Gustavo del Gerbo

                              Hi all,

                               

                              I totally missed this Topic since I don´t check too often on the ITSM forum. Has this been posted in the CMDB forum I would have seen it.

                              Regardless, and to add clarity here, the changes where done on two products: PCT and NE.

                              The changes were intended to be part of one and the same, but been PCT and NE two different products each has it´s own testing, priorities, etc.

                              One change can exist with the other change. The fact that PCT can allow for multiple entries in different classes was something that was always planned, but never really developed. Since the change a bit after 9.1 GA was available, the change was incorporated to 8.1, but we could not incorporate to 9.1, but we incorporated to 9.x later. I believe in 9.1 SP2 the PCT change was already there.

                              The NE "Class Sensitive" change was first incorporated in 9.1 SP4 as a hotfix, and later on was made part of the release and documented.

                              The default was left at 0 so the impact to existing customer was none. If your environment requires this setting you can later change it to 1.

                               

                              Now, in regards to better notifications, I tend to agree. This particular setting was always planned for both product, but long since left behind. I´m not aware of what would be the best place to communicate this change, but I´m thinking that a post in communities with the explanation of this new feature would definitely help.

                              4 of 4 people found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                                Thomas Hammer

                                Thank you, Gustavo del Gerbo for your answer.

                                The reason for this forum was, that  the original issue was reported by people, who were wondering, why they were able to create the same product entry twice. The impact on the CMDB and NE part was detected while analyzing the several doc pages and KBAs.

                                 

                                If it's possible to create some sort of cross link, please tell me and I will do so.

                                 

                                I'm not convinced that your statement is true "One change can exist with the other change."

                                 

                                Because exactly this has been the issue we've detected with 18.05. The workflow did change, the NE setting did not.

                                As a result the duplicate product catalog entries were possible, but the NE did not work correctly anymore, for the "wrong" class (from NE perspective) was used.

                                3 of 3 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                                  Gustavo del Gerbo

                                  Hi Thomas, yes you are correct. If we allow the duplicate products in PCT and the NE setting is not set you will get errors in the Log mentioning that multiple products were found.

                                  • 14. Re: Additional Product Catalog Entry with identical Product Name and Manufacturer?
                                    Thomas Hammer

                                    New findings in 19.02:

                                    If you are using this option and configure the normalization engine according to the KBA it will work for manually created product catalog entries. It's possible to create the same product / manufacturer combination in different classes (only one per class).

                                     

                                    BUT unfortunately this does not work as soon as you will allow the NE to create product catalog entries. Then the duplicate entry is rejected.

                                    So this implementation seems to need extra work on the BMC side.

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