Category SCSM

4th book published (Service Manager 2016)

On March 2nd I became a 4 time author. With several talented co-authors we published the Microsoft System Center 2016 Service Manager Cookbook. It was great to work with the co-authors and I would like to thank each of them for their hard work. The co-authors are:

  • Microsoft MVP Anders Asp
  • Microsoft MVP Andreas Baumgarten
  • Microsoft MVP Steve Beaumont
  • Service Manager/System Center expert Dieter Gasser

It was an honor to work with them. Also a shout out to Microsoft MVP Sam Erskine for writing up the foreword and helping with the technical review. Last I want to thank Rafael Delgado who also was a technical review on the book. This book is an update to the Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Manager Cookbook. In this new book you will read the new updated recipes for 2016, how to upgrade from 2012 R2 to 2016 and about the new HTML 5 portal.

Official book description:

System Center Service Manager (SCSM) is an integrated platform that offers a simplified data center management experience by implementing best practices such as Incident Management, Service Request, and Change control to achieve efficient service delivery across your organization.

This book provides you with real-world recipes that can be used immediately and will show you how to configure and administer SCSM 2016. You’ll also find out how to solve particular problems and scenarios to take this tool further. You’ll start with recipes on implementing ITSM frameworks and processes and configuring Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Then, you’ll work through deploying and configuring the HTML5 Self-Service Portal, configuring Incident and Problem Management, and designing and configuring change and release management. You’ll also learn about security roles and overall Microsoft SCSM 2016 administration.

Toward the end of the book, we’ll look at advanced topics, such as presenting the wealth of information stored within the Service Manager Data Warehouse, standardizing SCSM deployments, and implementing automation.

What you will learn:

  • See a practical implementation of the ITSM framework and processes based on ITIL
  • Deploy and configure the new Service Manager HTML5 Self-Service Portal along with Service Catalog design and configuration
  • Get to know about Incident, Problem, and Change Management processes and configuration
  • Get to grips with performing advanced personalization in Service Manager
  • Discover how to set up and use automation with and within Service Manager 2016
  • Work with Service Manager Data Warehouse
  • Find out what Security Roles are and how to implement them
  • Learn how to upgrade from SCSM 2012 R2 to SCSM 2016

The book can be ordered here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5FL2SK

I also want to call out this is the 4th book that I have authored or co-authored. Here is a shot of all 4.

I have also been fortunate to be a technical reviewer on 5 other books. Here is a shot of them.

These books have all been on System Center products. I am stepping into a new era. Be on the lookout for more of a focus on cloud based solutions and know there is exciting stuff coming in the near future!

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Tool for Logging outgoing SCSM email issues

Recently I was working on a Service Manager project and outgoing email was not working properly.

The SMTP channel was setup properly. I ran a telnet session and attempted to send an email via telnet. Well the telnet session would connect just fine to the Exchange server but then would disconnect as soon as I tried to run some telnet commands.

I knew this was odd as I have never seen this before. There must have been an issue on the Exchange  server or a policy to disconnect telnet sessions.

I needed a better way to troubleshoot this issue before I went back to the Exchange admin.

I ran across a freeware tool called SendSMTP that was a huge help.

The tool can run somewhere and send emails via a GUI or even via command line.

This tool also does not install the .exe just runs right from a folder on the server so it is portable and can be removed easily after you are done testing/troubleshooting.

It also lets you specify many settings such as host, authentication, timeout and more.

The reason this tool is super helpful is because it has some built in logging.

As you can see in the following screenshots you can set the logging levels you want.

SendSMTP1
After you test sending an email you can either view either of the two log files
by clicking on View Log or by clicking on the Log tab.

SendSMTP2

I loaded this tool on the SCSM server and then tested sending an email both anonymously and using authentication. Both failed.

Because of the logging I was able to determine that the connection keeps being reset by the Exchange server as there are some access denied issues.

You can see the log as shown on the tools Log tab in the following screenshot.

SendSMTP3

I was able to give this directly to the Exchange admin for further troubleshooting. 🙂

I wanted to share this on my blog as this tool might come in useful for someone else as well.

You can download SendSMTP here:

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New Productivity Software Suite for Service Manager

Two good friends of mine Microsoft MVP Marcel Zehner and Dieter Gasser‘s company ITnetX has recently released a Productivity Pack for Service Manager. This is great news because these guys and their teams know Service Manager inside and out. They have been building apps for Service Manager for some time and I have even been using some of them.

This new software suite introduces many new components that fill several existing gaps in Service Manager. The suite has a paid version and also offers some components for free. So what’s in this new suite? Let’s break it down.

ITSM Portal – The itnetX ITSM Portal is HTML5 and is a fast and intuitive alternative for the out-of-box SCSM Self-Service Portal. It allows end users to browse your IT Service Catalog, create new requests, view and update open requests, and work on activities as part of ITSM workflows.

The full suite also includes the following components:

  •     Advanced View Editor
  •     BillableTime
  •     Checklist Activity
  •     CMDB Visualizer
  •     Desktop Alert
  •     Power Print
  •     PowerShell Activity
  •     PowerShell Tasks
  •     PowerShell Workflows
  •     Preview Forms
  •     Send Mail
  •     SMA Connector

Here is a list of the free components:

  •     Advanced View Editor for SCSM FREE
  •     Advanced Console Search for SCSM FREE
  •     Billable Time for SCSM FREE
  •     Clone User Role for SCSM FREE
  •     Email Template Tester for SCSM FREE
  •     Entity Explorer for SCSM FREE
  •     MPB Maker for SCSM FREE
  •     Send Mail for SCSM FREE
  •     Update Transfer for SCCM FREE

I use the email template tester and advanced editor, in almost every Service Manager deployment I do. I am especially excited about a few of the components, these are:

CMDB Visualizer for SCSM lets you visualize any object that lives in the CMDB including its relations to other objects.

ITnetX1

PowerShell Activity for SCSM introduces an activity which runs custom PowerShell scripts. Scripts are stored in the CMDB and are triggered from PowerShell Activity within your processes. PowerShell Activities can be used just like you use runbook activities and add them to your Service Request, Change Request, and Release Record templates

ITnetX2

and the suite has an SMA Connector for SCSM!

I recommend you go check out this new software suite. Here is the link:

http://bit.ly/1P27Tlf

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SCSM HTML5 Portal Prereq Script

This has to be the shortest blog post I have ever done. 🙂 Well here it is.

Out on the deployment article for the SCSM HTML 5 portal here https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/mt622142.aspx you will see there are a number of prerequisites that are needed before you can install the portal. A while back I made a simple PowerShell script that can be used to install all of the HTML5 based Self-Service Portal prerequisites. I thought it might be good to share it.

SCSMHTML5SSPPre-reqs

Here is the link to download the script:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SCSM-HTML5-Portal-Prereq-ddeb504a

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All Work Item Assigned/Reassigned Notification

A few years ago I posted a blog about work item assignment/reassignment notification options in Service Manager. Here is the link to that previous post:

SCSM Assignment/Re-Assignment Notify Options

Recently I modified the management pack for the last option #4 “Community Work Item Assignment/Reassignment Notifications”. The Community Work Item Assignment/Reassignment Notifications management pack is originally from here: http://scsmsource.blogspot.com/2011/04/work-item-assignmentreassignment.html.

The management pack has been modified to include more work items and a notification template was created. This management pack now has one notification template to modify and will send out notifications on assignment and re-assignment for all work items. Work items it includes are:

  • Activity Assignments
  • Change Request Assignments
  • Incident Assignments
  • Problem Assignments
  • Release Record Assignments
  • Service Request Assignments

The notification template is generic so that it will fit all cases. The web link that is referenced in the notification template should be modified depending on the portal used in your Service Manager deployment.

Verified Service Manager Versions:

  • Service Manager 2012 SP1
  • Service Manager 2012 R2 (tested up to UR9)

Management Pack Name:

All.WorkItem.Assignment.Workflow.Library.xml

Version:

7.0.6555.1

Notification Template File Name:

All Work Item Assigned To Notification Template.html

Description:

Importing this Management Pack, will create 6 custom workflows:

6 workflows

The workflows cannot be modified in the Service Manager console. They can only be modified in XML in the management pack. They can be viewed in Service Manager at Administration\Workflows\Status.

And 1 new notification template:

  • All Work Item Assigned To Notification Template

Every time a work item gets assigned or re-assigned to someone, it will send the “assigned to” person an e-mail. The notification template looks like this:

all work items notification template

Feel free to modify the notification templates as you see fit after you have imported the management pack. The .html file for the notification template is also included for easy editing outside of Service Manager.

You can download this solution here:

https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/All-Work-Item-AssignedReass-96fe40c7

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Customizations in the Service Manager HTML 5 SSP

Microsoft has released a great blog post about customizations that can be done to the Service Manager HTML 5 self-service portal. This article covers the following areas:

  • Title
  • Logo
  • Colors and Tiles
  • Icons
  • New sidebar link

In the article they talk about what is supported and what is not for customizations. They key is that if you make unsupported customizations be sure to back up your customizations. This is because they might be overwritten when an update rollup is applied and Microsoft will not guarantee those customizations will stay intact. This is no big deal if you back your customizations up as you could simply reapply them after an update rollup.

Here is the link to Microsoft’s blog post on this:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/servicemanager/2016/03/15/basic-ui-customization-in-new-self-service-portal-html5/

Now I am writing this blog post for few reasons. #1 There are other customizations that have been blogged about by the community that are not included in Microsoft’s article. #2 I want a central location to document all of the customization articles out there. #3 I am using this as a way to document some of the customizations that I have made for later reference.  Here is the list:

Customising the Service Manager HTML5 Portal

This a blog post on general customizations of the HTMK5 portal.

By System Center MVP Steve Beaumont: http://www.systemcenter.ninja/2015/12/customising-service-manager-html5-portal.html

HTML5 Portal: Search Query!

This covers changing the Refresh box to Search and adding text to the search input box.

By Ryan Ephgrave:

http://www.ephingadmin.com/service-manager-html5-portal-search-query/

HTML5 Portal: Larger Description Text Box

This covers making the text box on forms larger. I know this is a common ask. This is a great blog post to bookmark.

By Ryan Ephgrave:

http://www.ephingadmin.com/service-manager-html5-portal-larger-description-text-box/

Display “Must Vote” by the side of the user name on Change Request Activity in the portal

This can be done by doing following changes in Views\MyActvities\ActtvitiyDetails.cshtml (addition & removal) –

<div class=”name col span_6″ style=”padding:1px;”>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.Name</div>

<div class=”name col span_6″ style=”padding:1px;”>Must Vote</div>

<div class=”status col span_6″>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.Status</div>

<div class=”comment col span_7″>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.Comment</div>

<div class=”voted col span_6 grey-text”>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.VotedBy</div>

————————–

<div class=”name col span_6″ style=”padding:1px;”>@reviewerItem.Item1</div>

<div class=”name col span_6″ style=”padding:1px;”>@reviewerDetails[“MustVote”]</div>

<div class=”status col span_6″>@decision</div>

<div class=”comment col span_7″ style=”padding:1px;”>@reviewerDetails[“Comments”]</div>

@if (!reviewerItem.Item2.IsEmpty())

{

<div class=”voted col span_6 grey-text”>@reviewerItem.Item2</div>

}

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/systemcenter/en-US/8c3af275-820d-4663-8165-46364d6e0040/new-html-5-portal-change-control-user-to-approve-info?forum=portals&tduid=(bbc82b3a96d3ba9c69f8efad24f74430)(256380)(2459594)(TnL5HPStwNw-5ocTrJtqN7jv7JWlYxWHgQ)()

NOTE: When looking for the code to change search for:

@foreach (var item in formData)

Customizations By System Center MVP Steve Buchanan:

GENERAL

clip_image001.png

In the Web.config file change

<!– Customizable fields starts here –>

FOR TITLE CHANGE:<add key=”CompanyName” value=”Buchatech Self-Service Portal”/>

FOR PORTAL LOGO (COMPANY LOGO) CHANGE: <add key=”CompanyLogoLocation” value=”../Content/images/System Center_Cloud_Logo_Transparent.png”/>

FOR NUMBER CHANGE:<add key=”ITPhone” value=”562-309-4042″/>

FOR EMAIL CHANGE:<add key=”ITEmail” value=”support@buchatech.com”/>

You will notice on my side menu I do not have email address and instead of an IT phone number I have “Service Desk Contact Info:” and my Powered By logo and text are custom.

clip_image002.png

To change these go to:

C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Views\Shared

And modify the Sidebar.cshtml file.

Find “<div class=”side_nav_bottom”>” and modify:

<div class=”side_nav_report”>

<div>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.PoweredBy :</div>

<img src=”~/Content/images/PrivateCloud_logo1.png” alt=”Private Cloud” style=”max-width: 12em;” />

<br /><br />

I COMMENTED OUT THE DEFAULT TEXT HERE:    <!–<div>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.CantFindSolution</div>–>

<!–<div>@Resources.SelfServicePortalResources.ContactUs</div>–>

I ADDED MY OWN TEXT HERE:     <div>Service Desk Contact Info:</div>

</div>

<div class=”row side_nav_phone”>

<span class=”icon-Phone icon-pos icon icon-medium”></span>

<span class=”icon-text icon-text-pos”>@System.Web.Configuration.WebConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“ITPhone”]</span>

</div>

<div class=”row side_nav_mail”>

<span class=”icon-Mail icon-pos icon icon-medium”></span>

<span class=”icon-text icon-text-pos”>@System.Web.Configuration.WebConfigurationManager.AppSettings[“ITEmail”]</span>

</div>

NOTE: Company logo image works best as 32×32.

NOTE: Powered by logo image works best as 36×26.

All images should be stored in: C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Content\images

ICONS

In C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Content\CSS you have to edit the main.css file.

In this file find the [class^=”icon-“].icon-medium{ section.

Here you will see all the font icons. You can add the font icons you want to be available for use in the portals CSS. In the following screenshot I have highlighted the fonts I have added.

Iconsinmaincss

As stated on the Microsoft blog post you can find the icons that will work with the portal here:

http://modernicons.io/segoe-mdl2/cheatsheet

In the following section I will mark the font icon placement in custom links in blue. This way you can see how they would be used.

SIDE BAR LINKS

In my portal I added some custom sidebar links.

2016CustomlinksonBuchatechSSP02

In C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Views\Shared

Modify the Sidebar.cshtml file.

In the file under “<div class=”side_nav_bar col side_menu”>”

I added the following:

<!– Custom IT Portal Link Begin –>

<div class=”row side_nav_IT Portal” accesskey=”I” tabindex=”4″ data-toggle=”tooltip” title=”IT Portal”>

<a href=”http://portal.buchatech.com” target=”_blank”>

<font color=”white”>

<span class=”icon-PreviewLink icon icon-pos icon-medium”></span>

</font>

</a>

</div>

<!– Custom IT Portal Link End –>

And

<!– Custom Change Calendar Link Begin –>

<div class=”row side_Change Calendar” accesskey=”C” tabindex=”9″ data-toggle=”tooltip” title=”Change Calendar”>

<a href=”http://portal.buchatech.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/Lists/Change%20Calendar/calendar.aspx” target=”_blank”>

<font color=”white”>

<span class=”icon-CalendarWeek icon icon-pos icon-medium”></span>

</font>

</a>

</div>

<!– Custom Change Calendar Link End –>

In the file under “<div class=”side_nav_bar_expand col side_menu”>”

I added the following:

<!– Custom IT Portal Link Begin –>

<div class=”row side_nav_IT Portal”>

<span class=”icon-PreviewLink icon-medium icon icon-pos”></span>

<span class=”icon-text icon-text-pos”><a href=”http://portal.buchatech.com” target=”_blank”><font color=”white”>IT Portal</font></a></span>

</div>

<!– Custom IT Portal Link End –>

And

<!– Steve Change Calendar Link Begin –>

<div class=”row side_nav_Change Calendar”>

<span class=”icon-CalendarWeek icon-medium icon icon-pos”></span>

<span class=”icon-text icon-text-pos”><a href=”http://portal.buchatech.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/Lists/Change%20Calendar/calendar.aspx” target=”_blank”><font color=”white”>Change Calendar</font></a></span>

</div>

<!– Steve Change Calendar Link End –>

Here is the Microsoft link for adding sidebar links:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/techlazy/2016/03/13/service-manager-new-html5-portal-basic-customizations-55-new-sidebar-link/

COLORS LOOK AND FEEL

Custom Buchatech look and feel:

clip_image004.png

Default look and feel:

clip_image005.png

For colors of the portal you can use the Microsoft method the main.css. Link here for this: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/techlazy/2016/03/13/service-manager-new-html5-portal-basic-customizations-35-colors-and-tiles/

For me I created a file named custom.css here C:\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Content\CSS and placed my custom CSS in this for the colors. The portal will see there is a custom.css file and apply whatever is in it. If you do the same be sure to back it up. Here is the CSS I put in the custom.css file:

.top_bar {

background :black

}

.top_bar .anouncement_count {

width: 1.5em;

background-color: #d2d2d2;

height: 1.5em;

border-radius: 50%;

position: absolute;

top: 5px;

right: 6px;

text-align: center;

}

.btn:hover {

background-color: green;

cursor: pointer;

}

/*media all*/

.btn {

background-color: black;

border: none;

color: white;

padding: 0.625em 2em;

margin-right: 1.5em;

font-size: 1.25em;

}

/*media all*/

[class^=’icon-‘].icon-fill {

color: #f00;

}

.vertical_list .list_header, .my_reg_container .list_header{

background: black;

}

/*@media screen and (min-width:1024px)*/

/*.main_body .side_nav_bar .row, .main_body .side_nav_bar_expand .row {

height: 4em;

position: relative;

background-color: red !important;

}*/

/*@media screen and (min-width:1024px)*/

.main_body .side_nav_bar .row:hover, .main_body .side_nav_bar_expand .row:hover {

cursor: pointer;

background-color: #777!important;

}

div[style*=”background-color: rgb(37, 95, 133)”]

{

background-color : blue !important;

}

CUSTOM ERROR MESSAGE

You can have the portal give a custom error message when an error occurs. You need to modify the Error.cshtml file in \inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\Views\Shared.

<hgroup>

<h1>Error.</h1>

<h2>An error occurred while processing your request.</h2>

</hgroup>

Here is an example :

clip_image006.png

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Cannot Edit SCSM 2012 R2 UR9 Exported Management Pack in Authoring Tool

I recently ran into a problem where I could not edit a SCSM 2012 R2 UR9 Exported Management Pack in the Service Manager Authoring tool.

When I tried to open my exported MP in the authoring tool it is looking for this file:

Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring.mp

version:

7.5.3079.442

I got this error:

clip_image001.png

Click to enlarge image

The Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring.mp file

does exist in the authoring tool directory here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft System Center 2012\Service Manager Authoring\Library

but it is an old version of the Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring.mp file.

The authoring tool has not been updated with the newer management pack files yet. To work around this I opened the exported management pack in Notepad ++ and I searched for the referenced MP “Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring”.

It should find a section like this:

<Reference Alias=”UIAuthoring”>
<ID>Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.UI.Authoring</ID>
<Version>7.5.3079.442</Version>

Here I changed <Version>7.5.3079.442</Version> to <Version>7.5.1561.0</Version> and saved the MP.

7.5.1561.0 is an old version that is what the authoring tool is using.

After that I was able to open the MP in the authoring tool.

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Service Manager vs. ServiceNow

I am often asked how does Service Manager compare to ServiceNow. I don’t have a solid canned response for this. I often respond that you really have to compare System Center to ServiceNow because you get the entire suite when you buy System Center not just Service Manager. Also it would be a bad decision to not consider using the other components such as Operations Manager, Orchestrator, and Configuration Manager given the tight out of the box integration with Service Manager and these components.

With ServiceNow you get an ITSM solution but have to pay additional monthly fee’s when you want to add on other functionality such as automation, event management (monitoring), CMDB, or asset management. With System Center you get all of this for the price of System Center and you simply have to turn and configure the additional functionality you want. One more point is that many organizations own and utilize Configuration Manager and or Operations Manager and will often already own the licensing they need to deploy Service Manager.

On December 9th 2015 System Center MVP’s Chris Ross and Pete Zerger held an awesome webinar on System Center + Cireson vs ServiceNow. This was a must see webinar. It covered the often asked about topic of “Service Manager vs ServiceNow“.

These guys did a great job covering the topic. One of the most important areas they covered was Real-world Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Comparison. TCO is one of the top data points that matter to businesses when they are considering a new ITSM solution.

In this blog post I am going to look at some of the key topics that stuck out to me from the webinar in regards to Service Manager vs ServiceNow. Keep in mind that these comparisons also include Cireson’s software.

One of the setbacks for some organizations on going with Service Manager is that they believe there is no cloud option for it. That is wrong Service Manager can be deployed in Azure cloud. Also there are a couple of companies that have a SaaS offering for Service Manager. The following graphic looks at the different types of Service Manager deployments and their options.

clip_image001

This first chart looks the numbers of the TCO of Service Manager vs ServiceNow if you don’t already own the System Center ECAL licensing.

clip_image002

You will notice that over a 5 year period System Center including Cireson and Azure is lower TCO over ServiceNow. Wow. If this did not include Cireson or Azure the TCO of System Center would be even lower compared to ServiceNow.

This next chart looks at the TCO of System Center vs ServiceNow if your organization already owns the ECAL licenses or has an Enterprise Agreement (EA) with Microsoft.

clip_image003

This has even deeper savings compared to the first chart. Now remember this includes Cireson software and having Service Manager deployed in Azure.

This chart looks at the TCO of System Center vs ServiceNow with System Center being deployed on-premises.

clip_image004

Again the TCO savings with System Center goes even lower. This chart still includes Cireson with System Center. This does not include the cost of the data center fabric storage, VM’s etc… which would typically already be in place before deploying System Center.

The following table compares feature sets of System Center and ServiceNow.

clip_image005

Notice ServiceNow does offer features such as automation and system management but they come at an additional monthly cost. One more item to point out from this slide is that System Center offers functionality that ServiceNow does not such as enterprise and cloud backup through Data Protection Manager and Virtualization and Private cloud Management through Virtual Machine Manager and Azure Pack. ServiceNow does offer Event Management it requires an additional purchase and plugin install.

So I pulled out information from the webinar that stuck out to me. There is much more information in the webinar and context behind each of the charts I included in this blog post. I recommend you watch the full webinar. You can watch the entire webinar right here:

System Center + Cireson versus ServiceNow: A Head-to-Head Comparison from Team Cireson on Vimeo.

NOTE: Below is a link to another blog that covers Service Manager vs ServiceNow.

http://blog.navantis.com/reduce-it-spend-and-increase-performance-choosing-the-right-it-service-desk-tool/

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Patch Management Integration with Service Manager & ConfigMgr

Back in November I presented a session on automation at MMS 2015 with Natascia Heil. The session was “Real world Automation with Service Manager and Azure Automation”.

As a part of this session Natascia Heil demo’d how to patch servers in SCCM via Service Manager! Essentially she was able to create a change request in Service Manager pulling in a software update and device collection into the change request and then Orchestrator talked to SCCM to apply the patch to the server.

This is awesome because it brings ITIL into the patching process and gives you a way to document applied patches and who applied the patch.

As a follow up to our session she has published a step by step post on the solution from the demo, the files used in the demo, and a complete video demoing the solution. This is another example of great community involvement in the System Center space as well as the kind of content you will see at MMS. Thanks Natascia for sharing this with the community.

Watch the video here:

Visit her blog post here:
https://systemcentertipps.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/orchestrator-2012-start-server-patching-from-service-manager/

Download the solution files here:
https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Patch-servers-with-SCSM-20ff1c66?tduid=%281b41a0287eb092bdef4fbcdd40d042b0%29%28256380%29%282459594%29%28TnL5HPStwNw-P.Z5y4TYC73yMs5ovpkyAA%29%28%29

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SCSM HTML 5 Portal Hotfix (KB3124091)

On December 11th 2015 Microsoft released a hotfix for a bunch of issues with the new SCSM HTML 5 portal along with some new features. Here is the link to this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50362

In this post I will explore some of the new features in PART 1 and describe my experience applying the hotfix in PART 2.

PART 1

New features include:

Nested enumeration lists are now supported inside the Request offering forms

NOTE: This was a feature I asked for and I am very happy to see this. When I setup Service Manager notifications I typically pull in the portal URL for certain things such as request offerings or work items. This makes it really easy for the end user to reach what they need right from an email. Below I will show some examples of what the direct links look like.

Portal now allows you to share and access different objects inside the portal with direct URLs. You can refer individual items inside the portal with following URL formats –

Request Offerings:
https://[website_name]/Home/Makeform?BMEID=[bme_id]

NOTE: Notice in the screenshot I am linked directly to http://scsmportal.buchatech.com/Home/Makeform?BMEID=41778bb9-78f9-c21d-6fcc-000069f87c13 vs the default http://scsmportal.buchatech.com/Home/Makeform. I could send someone this link and bring them directly to the RO.

Without Direct Link Direct Link
 SCSMSSPHF1  SCSMSSPHF2

NOTE: Notice the two following screenshots show a direct link for an Incident and Service Request. These do not contain the side navigation of the portal.

Incident type requests:
https://[website_name]/MyRequests/RequestDetails?type=IncidentRequest&id=[incident_id]

SCSMSSPHF3

Service Request type requests:
https://[website_name]/MyRequests/RequestDetails?type=ServiceRequest&id=[service_request_id]

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Manual Activities:
https://[website_name]/ MyActivities/ActivityDetails?type=ManualActivity&id=[manual_activity_id]

Review Activities:
https://[website_name]/ MyActivities/ActivityDetails?type=ReviewActivity&id=[review_activity_id]

Help Articles:
https://[website_name]/KnowledgeBase/article/[id_of_knowledge_article]

Fixes include:

  • Affected user and Created by user is getting set to the service account
  • Query type form element is not working for the Incident and User classes
  • Request Offering forms are failing to load if a Query type form element is part of the form
  • Username token is not passing values to the mapped field
  • Cancelling request form does not work
  • Text is overlapping for long strings inside the list in the middle pane
  • Related activities inside My Requests always show state as active
  • Filters inside My Requests and My Activities is not working for some languages
  • Announcement is showing “Invalid Date” in Expired Date column for some languages
  • Comments in the request are using incorrect class
  • Required (mandatory) restriction is not working on query type form element
  • Query form element allows multiple selection even when it is configured for single item selection
  • Scroll bar does not work on some lower screen resolutions
  • Double scroll bar appears while browsing Help Articles
  • Some areas of portal are not rendering in Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • My Activities shows 0 instead of removing the notification sticker when no activity is in progress
  • With SSL enabled, the browser regularly prompts the message “Only secure content is displayed” with a button to “Show all content” while browsing the portal
  • “Added by” inside the action logs show domain\username instead of the display name of the user

NOTE: There are some outstanding issues. The Service Manager team is going to have the remaining issues fixed with the next Update Rollup release.

PART 2

My Experience:

In this post I will describe my experience applying the SCSM HTML 5 Portal (KB3124091) Hotfix.

I first took a complete backup of my SelfServicePortal directory and stored this somewhere safe. This directory can be found in <DRIVE>\inetpub\wwwroot\SelfServicePortal\.

Downloaded the hotfix and ran the executable on my portal server. This was an easy click through of a wizard. There was no errors with this.

After this completed I verified that the hotfix was applied by checking for Hotfix for Microsoft System Center Service Manager R2 Self Service Portal (KB3124091) in Programs and Features>Installed Updates in Control Panel.

NOTE: I noticed that when the hotfix was highlighted it did not have an option to uninstall.

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I then restarted my portal server.

When the server came backup I went to access my portal and was receiving the following error.

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From the image you can see that it was basically telling me I did not have any Service Offerings. This was not true. I went to my Service Manager to double check and make sure that my Service Offerings were still intact and they were. I saw it was looking for the Service Offerings in the Offerings.cshtml file.

Next I went to my backup in SelfServicePortal\Views\Home and copied the Offerings.cshtml file to SelfServicePortal\Views\Home on the portal server. I ran an iisreset from an elevated command prompt after that my portal was working again.

First thing I did was check my navigation as I had a custom navigation link and it was still there along with my custom look and feel. See the following screenshot.

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Even though the home page of my Service Catalog was working when I clicked on anything such as My Requests, Help Articles, my Service Offerings I received messages that these things were missing. See the following screenshots with the errors I received.

My Requests erroring out:

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Help Articles erroring out:

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I started fixing these one by one by copying in the source files from my backup. Everything was broken so I decided to copy in all the folders from backup in the SelfServicePortal\Views folder to the portal server. I then ran an iisreset checked the portal and everything was working.

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NOTE: I did not copy over _ViewStart.cshtml or Web.Config.

So the point of this post is backup your old SelfServicePortal directory before you apply the hotfix. And after you apply the hotfix you may need to copy the subfolders from the SelfServicePortal\Views folder if you run into errors.

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