Service Manager can email analysts when a work item is assigned to them or re-assigned to them. Assignment/re-assignment notification is a common requirement most Service Manager projects. To set this up is not an easy task. This is a topic that has been blogged about already and there are several solutions out for this. Some of the solutions to this are complex and some are simple. I wanted to blog about this covering all the solutions in one place along with the pros and cons of each. The idea is that this will help someone that needs this setup in their Service Manager to make an informed decision on what will work best for them. The solutions are:
1. Custom notification workflow on incident assignment or re-assignment
Pro: Works well once put in place.
Con: This one is difficult to for the average user to setup. It also is challenging to customize if you want to do further customization with it. The setup consists of creating a management pack that sends notifications based on the assignment change and configuring that MP with the GUID of the email template that will be used. You have to be comfortable working in XML and able to run SQL queries to complete the setup. Most IT pros just want to install configure and go.
2. Cireson – free SCSM Notify Analyst app
Pro: Great free app. Easy to install and configure. Cireson makes great tools so you know it works well.
Con: There is a free version and a paid for version of this app. The free version only works on Incidents and Service Requests. If you need Assignment/Re-Assignment on other work items you can purchase the full version. I don’t really think that having to purchase a paid version is really a con unless there just is no room in the budget. The paid version includes many more features. You can read about it here: http://www.cireson.com/scsm/cireson-notify-analyst-app/ .
3. Using SCOrch to send assignment/re-assignment notifications
Pro: Orchestrator is a powerful tool. Configuring the notification workflow in Orchestrator will give you flexibility and run outside of other SCSM workflows.
Con: This requires you to be familiar with Orchestrator and have it deployed in your environment. In most cases Orchestrator should be deployed alongside Service Manager anyway. At some point Orchestrator will be needed to accomplish something that just can’t be done directly in Service Manager. With that being said this gives you something else to maintain and another point of failure. If something happens to the runbook no more assignment/re-assignment notifications until it is fixed.
4. Community Work Item Assignment/Reassignment Notifications
Pro: Free. Easy to install. Simply import the management pack. Works well. This covers incident, activity, change request, and activity assignment/re-assignment notifications.
Con: If you need to modify the workflows this has to be done in XML. You have to use the email templates that are loaded with the management pack. If you want to use other email templates with the workflows this has to be done in XML.
Out of these solutions I lean towards Cireson’s SCSM Notify Analyst app as the first choice and when there is no more room in the budget I opt for the Community Work Item Assignment/Reassignment Notifications as the second choice.