Codeless configuration: How HP Service Anywhere simplifies ITSM

An visual guide to Workflows in the new SaaS version

 

By Bob Darroch, Porfolio Manager, HP SaaS ITSM

 

Making changes to your IT Service Management (ITSM) solution has typically required someone with a programmer’s knowledge of JavaScript. To configure your system, someone would have to be familiar with the coding language and the system’s unique language extensions, as well as understand the data structures of the application itself. It was a non-intuitive and inflexible process.

 

With the release of Service Anywhere, a new SaaS version of HP IT Service Management (ITSM), administrators can now use a graphical interface with drop-down menus, “wizard” step-by-step processes and drag-and-drop functionality to simplify back-end changes to data fields, forms, rule set and work flows. The intention was to make it easy enough that administrators don’t need to be programmers—in fact, process owners themselves could make the necessary changes to make the IT Services team more efficient and effective.

 

The changes are most evident in the Workflows. This guide reveals how to set up IT service workflows.

 

Why workflows

With the high rates of turnovers in many enterprise IT service teams, it is important to have a clear way to establish consistent processes for every ticket, from creation to closure. Service Anywhere uses workflow diagrams with easy-to-follow graphical representations of how each phase transitions to the other phases.

 

Workflows are displayed as part of every ticket (Fig. 1) below the necessary form, if any, so that anyone on the Service Desk can quickly identify the ticket’s current phase—in this case, “Categorization”—and see how it fits in within the overall workflow.

 

Fig1.jpg

Fig. 1

  

Editing workflows

You can quickly identify existing workflows listed in standard table format with sortable columns and select one for editing, or copy it as a foundation for a new workflow.

 

Automatic transitions are represented by small gear icons, while plain arrows represent manual transitions.

 

In this example (Fig. 2), a “Major Review” phase is being created. You can simply create a new phase by clicking on an existing phase and dragging the cursor to an open area on the screen. 

 

Fig2.jpg

Fig. 2

 

Phase details are defined in the fields at the bottom of the screen. Setting the type of transition (Fig. 3) is as straightforward as selecting it from the drop-down menu.

 

Fig3.jpg

Fig. 3

 

Similarly, the phase can be named by selecting the phase and filling out the fields below. Within the phase, you can define the form that is used. By providing a different form, you are able to emphasize to the user what specific information is important at that point during the workflow.

 

Fig4.jpg

Fig. 4

 

In order to trigger the automatic transition, a Condition must be set using the Condition Editor (Fig. 5). Specific forms that have been previously created are associated with each phase in the workflow activity. In this workflow, the automatic transition occurs if in the CurrentRecord form, the value in the “Major Incident” field is set to “True”.

 

Fig5.jpg

Fig. 5

 

Exits must also be set for the new phase. For example, after the Major Review phase is complete, the ticket can either be manually transitioned to “Closure” or return to the “Investigation” phase—but only if the User has Expert authorization (Fig. 6). This condition is created using standard Boolean modifiers.

 

Fig6.jpg

Fig. 6

 

These steps make it simple to quickly build out an entire workflow without JavaScript, based on existing forms and rule sets.

 

Rule sets

Rule sets appear within a workflow’s activity, establishing processes for business rules and what actions the IT Service Manager tool will perform. Rule sets are categorized by , whether it is on entering the phase, exiting, initialization, display, on update or after a successful update (Fig. 7).

 

Fig7.jpg

Fig. 7

 

Creating rule sets is performed through simple-to-use setup wizards, which present a range of options:

  • Auto Open Task
  • Clear Fields
  • Create Activity Record
  • Launch URL
  • Require an Activity Upate
  • Run JavaScript
  • Run a Wizard
  • Save and Exit
  • Send HTML Email
  • Set Field
  • Set Field from Number
  • Set Mandatory Fields
  • Validate Date
  • Validate Text/Number
  • Validate Against List

 

Rule sets are pre-set by HP in Service Anywhere, which will create and update the software with additional rule types as customers identify what they need. Enterprises can also create their own rule sets through javascript programming, although HP’s aim is to reduce this requirement.

 

Rule sets have a plain-English description (Fig. 8) so administrators don’t have to reverse-compile a JavaScript code title to know what action the rule performs.

 

Fig8.jpg

Fig. 8

 

Fig. 9 provides an example of “Send an HTML email”. Conditions are created using Boolean expressions, with pre-set drop-down menu options to define what actions take place, including what HTML email template is to be used, what is to be sent to recepients (“CurrentRecord”) and which recipients are to receive the email (“Members” of the “Assigned Group”).

 

Fig9.jpg

Fig. 9

 

Explore Service Anywhere for yourself

Service Anywhere has been created to put more control in the hands of administrators, by making it simple to establish and manage the processes that IT service desks use to efficiently and effectively track tickets.

 

Want to kick the tires? Get access to the Share Trial version here to try out the administrative functions, including learning more about the new Data Tool and Forms functionality.

 

To read more about Service Anywhere, visit the product page.

 

 

Comments
SAWTechi | ‎12-13-2012 09:01 AM

Hi,

 

I am just running the help link for HP Service Anywhere. This is good....

But where can i find the exclusive Java script guide and the programmers guide for HP Service AnyWhere tool? I need to refer them to understand how java script is coded in HP SAW..

 

Thanks...

 

Honored Contributor | ‎03-18-2013 02:24 PM

SAWTechi,

 

 

There is already a thread on this topic posted in the Service Anywhere community:

 

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Service-Anywhere-Q-A/Programmers-guide/m-p/5991847

 

Basically, with Service Anywhere, the main goal is to simplify the configuration. Most of the work that needs to be done can be accomplished using the UI tools: Table Editor, Form Editor, Workflow Editor, etc.

 

There is a document for advanced configuration requiring scripting and this is available from the help system.



Brindusa Kevorkian

Service Anywhere R&D

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