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Hi, are there any plans to update the scheduled jobs feature or allow for actually service requests to be scheduled like you can in Supportworks?

He are often audited on certain tasks that our IT teams need to complete on a daily monthly or yearly basis, and the current version of Scheduled Jobs that creates simple activities just isn't fit for purpose. In the Supportworks there was a very good feature of being able to create a new incident or service request, and then save it as a scheduled job. Doing this gave the analyst an actual request with a reference number and a way to update the timeline with comments or attachments etc. This also made it very easy to quickly search for details within the request, which is not easy with activities in Service Manager. I'm very surprised you took this feature away when developing service manager as it was simple and effective.

You've recently added new features to the BPM activities, and is there any reason why the scheduled job activities wasn't developed either? If the above isn't possible, would it be possible to add more features to the activities templates feature that allow you to edit the outcomes to be able to raise a new request? If you could then specify what details were in that new request it would make life a lot easier. 

Please can you advise if there is any planned work for this as I'm sure other companies would benefit from the updates to scheduled jobs and activities. Thank you

Regards,

Andy Hodkinson

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+1 for this. 

We currently have to use Orchestrator (part of the Microsoft System Centre suite) to schedule an email to be sent to Hornbill, which then triggers a Service Request to be created. Although this does work, we're soon going to be switching Orchestrator off, so we're going to need another solution. 

Having the ability to create Service Requests on  a schedule in Hornbill would DEFINITELY be something we'd love to see. 

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+1 

I know there is the API Scheduler that can be used - not entirely user friendly if this is a realm one hasn't entered before - but usable... but if we had a Hornbill solution this will be far better.

Thanks,

Samuel

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@AndyHodkinsonPrincesIT

There are no plans at the moment to provide the automated scheduling of requests outside of what has been provided with the API Scheduler.  As the scheduling is already available on Activities/Tasks as part of the Activities UI, I would be interested to understand more about what people think is missing from Activities when it comes to using these for performing...activities.  

On Activities you can...

  • Create and schedule reports against the activities for auditing purposes
  • Activities can have attachments
  • Activities can be managed through calendar Views
  • Managers have views of the activities of their managed staff
  • Activities have reference numbers
  • Activities have templates
  • Custom Outcomes
  • You don't need a Service Manager license to work with Activities

One of the things that's not there which was mentioned, is the ability to collaborate on an Activity.

Service Manager was built from the ground up.  While some features that exist in Supportworks are not in Service Manager this was not a result of taking things away but rather starting fresh with a different approach.  I'm sure you will see many features in Service Manager that are not in Supportworks.  The great thing about Service Manager and the other Hornbill apps is that we are continually releasing new features.  Sometimes a few times within a single week.  We have hundreds of suggestions and planned changes that have come from customer feedback and we will continue to roll these out to let all of our customers take advantage of these new features.

Service Requests and the other ITIL related records each have their purpose.  Service Requests are predominately there as a way for customers to raise requests against the services that they are subscribed to.  For IT staff performing regular scheduled activities such as testing, server checks, and maintenance I see this much more fitting and aligned with the Activities. I would be interested in hearing more about what we can do to Activities to improve the use of these for performing regular tasks.

Regards,

James

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One of the main reasons that I think a scheduled Service Request works better for us than an Activity is that we can't see the activities UNLESS we look somewhere other than the list of requests if a stand alone activity needs to be completed.

The main bulk of all our analysts' work sits in the Request List. The fact that activities sits outside of this list means that people either forget to look for outstanding activities, or just focus on their request list first, and activities get missed. This is why we'd prefer all of our work to be encapsulated in a request ticket - with attached activities being a part of that ticket.

I do understand that we SHOULD probably be getting the analysts to make sure that they check the activities lists more often, but our reporting looks at numbers of requests and time spent on them rather than activities, so that is where people will be focussing their work. 

As has been mentioned before somewhere, maybe if the 'stand alone' activities could be shown in the request list, along with Service requests, Incidents etc then maybe this would make things easier for those of us who don't (for whatever reason) don't always get around to checking their activities lists? 

I have to say though - even after knowing the why's and wherefores about the current thinking about why a scheduled SR hasn't been made easier,  I'd still prefer that SR's COULD be scheduled a little easier - but only because that's how we use Hornbill!

 

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Hi @Paul Alexander

We will continue to look at ideas for this and appreciate the feedback. Looking at features that exist today, the right Hand Activity Panel might be the best answer for your analyst to keep an eye on their tasks.  This can always be open, even when you navigate away from the request list.  My personal experience with this is that separate view ensures that my activities are not missed by being buried in a long list of requests.  

image.png

 

Provided that each Analyst is using Chrome, they can enable Desktop Notifications for Activities/Tasks which I find really helpful to draw my attention to new activities being assigned to me.

image.png

I hope this helps,

Regards,

James

 

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On 3/22/2019 at 9:31 PM, James Ainsworth said:

On Activities you can...

  • Create and schedule reports against the activities for auditing purposes
  • Activities can have attachments
  • Activities can be managed through calendar Views
  • Managers have views of the activities of their managed staff
  • Activities have reference numbers
  • Activities have templates
  • Custom Outcomes
  • You don't need a Service Manager license to work with Activities

 

@James Ainsworth I think it would be useful to have a webinar or similar on the use of activities. I am sure we are underutilizing their capabilities.

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@AndyHodkinsonPrincesIT @Paul Alexander @samwoo If there is a desire to have Incident records created on a cycle, there is an option (albeit more long winded) in Hornbill and the Business Process Engine which you could explore and may work in some circumstances as a workaround for your requirements. 

1. You would need to have a parent ticket, which was running a business process which took care of the spawning of the scheduled jobs on a defined interval.

2. This parent ticket would need to be raised at the time of day, you wanted the scheduled jobs to occur.. i.e if you wanted daily back up check Incident raised each morning at 7am, you would need to raise this parent ticket at 7am, so that subsequent Incidents etc would reoccur at 7am on the following days. 

3. The Parent ticket could be assigned to a team which no one has visibility of, so not to appear in request list queues and cause confusion. 

4. In the process, the first step would be to add a human task, this human task MUST have an EXPIRY set.  The Expiry period is in effect the schedule period, so be in 2 mins, 1 hour, 1 day, 30 days, 365 days etc, it will be used to create the actual Incidents you want to appear. 

image.png

5. Task Configuration - I have included a manual outcome, which affords me the ability to cancel the process and any subsequent scheduled Incidents, by choosing this outcome to the task at any point and ending the process for the parent ticket. 

image.png

6. Decision 

In my example a use a decision to a) end the process if the outcome is manually chosen and b) follow a path if the task expires at the defined period. 

My b) bath then uses the free iBridge Utility to get the current day (this is optional but i am using this to only create a scheduled Incident on Week Days, not the Weekend)

image.png

7. Decision and Branching on the Day of the week

Week Day - I use a custom expression and the variable picker to evaluate the Output to the Integration node, if the day == Mon-Fri then this path is followed

image.png

If it is a working day, i follow this with the Automated Task > Request > Log Request > Log Incident

Here i can define the attributes for the daily scheduled Job which i want to occur - the assignee, team, service, catalog item etc - off which it's own business process and tasks can be linked.

image.png

Once the new Incident has been created and linked to the parent, the process creates a new Task and waits for it's expiry to occur again (daily, hourly etc), before looping back around this process, checking the day of the week and either creating another Incident (in my example if it is Mon-Friday) or if it is the weekend do the following:

Weekend

I use a custom expression and the variable picker to evaluate the Output to the Integration node, if the day == Sat-Sun then this path is followed

image.png

Once the process has determined it is a Sat / Sun it will follow this path, not create an Incident, but loop back to create a new Task with the same Expiry as above and will wait for it's expiry before going back around.

This process can be run and and will only end if you choose to exit the task using the manual outcome.   

This process would therefore create Incidents on the expiry schedule you have created and for the days of the week which you need it for.  

Obviously when using the Log Request operation it is very important to ensure your process in which it is called is correctly set-up, as to not create an infinite loop which will a) continue to create tickets b) impact  the performance of your instance. 

I have attached my process flow as an example if it is of any use, you can of course reduce the expiry period for testing purposes.

Steve

 

repeat.bpm.txt

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On 3/22/2019 at 9:31 PM, James Ainsworth said:

@AndyHodkinsonPrincesIT

There are no plans at the moment to provide the automated scheduling of requests outside of what has been provided with the API Scheduler.  As the scheduling is already available on Activities/Tasks as part of the Activities UI, I would be interested to understand more about what people think is missing from Activities when it comes to using these for performing...activities.  

On Activities you can...

  • Create and schedule reports against the activities for auditing purposes
  • Activities can have attachments
  • Activities can be managed through calendar Views
  • Managers have views of the activities of their managed staff
  • Activities have reference numbers
  • Activities have templates
  • Custom Outcomes
  • You don't need a Service Manager license to work with Activities

One of the things that's not there which was mentioned, is the ability to collaborate on an Activity.

Service Manager was built from the ground up.  While some features that exist in Supportworks are not in Service Manager this was not a result of taking things away but rather starting fresh with a different approach.  I'm sure you will see many features in Service Manager that are not in Supportworks.  The great thing about Service Manager and the other Hornbill apps is that we are continually releasing new features.  Sometimes a few times within a single week.  We have hundreds of suggestions and planned changes that have come from customer feedback and we will continue to roll these out to let all of our customers take advantage of these new features.

Service Requests and the other ITIL related records each have their purpose.  Service Requests are predominately there as a way for customers to raise requests against the services that they are subscribed to.  For IT staff performing regular scheduled activities such as testing, server checks, and maintenance I see this much more fitting and aligned with the Activities. I would be interested in hearing more about what we can do to Activities to improve the use of these for performing regular tasks.

Regards,

James

Hi James,

Thanks for the reply. A key features that our IT analysts have asked for would be able to update an activity like you would a timeline of a SR or IN. At the moment you only have the option to add comments when closing the activity. It'd also be very handy if there was an option to spawn a new request from an activity, and I know this is available from BPM activities, but not the scheduled jobs. Also, can you advise on how it's possible to add a reference number please as I can't see this any where on our currently open activities. Thanks

Regards,

Andy Hodkinson 

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4 hours ago, AndyHodkinsonPrincesIT said:

can you advise on how it's possible to add a reference number please as I can't see this any where on our currently open activities

While these can't be seen on the activities themselves when they are open for viewing, you can see the reference IDs from the activity list.

image.png

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On 4/8/2019 at 5:07 PM, James Ainsworth said:

While these can't be seen on the activities themselves when they are open for viewing, you can see the reference IDs from the activity list.

image.png

Hi @James Ainsworth apologies but how do I even add that column? I can't see any options to show this. Sorry if I'm just being blind :) Thanks

Regards,

Andy Hodkisnon

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On 3/26/2019 at 10:15 AM, Steven Boardman said:

1. You would need to have a parent ticket, which was running a business process which took care of the spawning of the scheduled jobs on a defined interval.

2. This parent ticket would need to be raised at the time of day, you wanted the scheduled jobs to occur.. i.e if you wanted daily back up check Incident raised each morning at 7am, you would need to raise this parent ticket at 7am, so that subsequent Incidents etc would reoccur at 7am on the following days. 

3. The Parent ticket could be assigned to a team which no one has visibility of, so not to appear in request list queues and cause confusion. 

4. In the process, the first step would be to add a human task, this human task MUST have an EXPIRY set.  The Expiry period is in effect the schedule period, so be in 2 mins, 1 hour, 1 day, 30 days, 365 days etc, it will be used to create the actual Incidents you want to appear. 

@Steven Boardman

Something which may make this suggestion more useful could be to have an 'Expire AT' option in the activity...so, rather than expiring in 24 hours or whatever, could an 'Expire AT 07:00' option be added?

Just a thought......

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