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Modify SCSM Portal Categories

Lets talk a little about the categories in the SCSM Portal from an End User’s view. Out of the box, the categories shows everything, including all the sub categories of each main one. In an environment where you have many different categories and tiers, end users are just going to get confused. Fortunately, SCSM allows us certain flexibility to counter this, and I’m going to show you 2 different methods.

Note! Before we begin there are actually certain things that you need to do first, I’ve already have steps laid out in this post, so please read it and prepare the prerequisites before you proceed with the steps below. Follow from the beginning of the post till step 4.3, then come back here.

 

First Method: Show only the first tier category

One way to allow easier selection for the users is to hide all the sub categories and only show the highest level. Lets try to do this now.

1. On the Solutions Explorer pane, go to WebParts project, expand Request, and double click on CreateRequest.cs

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2. Copy the line below and do a search for it, then comment it out by adding // in front.

AddChildCategoriesToDropDownList(category.ChildCategories, level + 1)

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3. Go to the Build tab on the top of Visual Studio, and click Build Solution.

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4. Check the output tab, it should show 5 succeeded, 0 failed and 0 skipped. If it shows any errors make sure you’ve done the steps from the beginning to 4.3 in this post.

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5. Next go to the PortalSource-New folder again, then End User Portal\bin. Sort by modified date and copy the files that has just been modified, then paste it into %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\System Center Service Manager Portal\EndUser\bin in the Server. Overwrite all the files.

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6. Launch the Portal, go to the category step, and look, the user is only presented with 1 level of Category!

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Note! Thanks to E.O over at Technet forum for this.

 

Second Method: Remove the category entirely from the portal

The second method is to totally remove the category dropdown, making it even easier for the user to log a ticket. Again, make sure you’ve done the steps from the beginning of the post till step 4.3 in this post before beginning.

 

1. On the Solutions Explorer pane, go to WebParts project, expand Request, and double click on CreateRequest.cs

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2. Look for the lines below and comment them out exactly like the screenshot by adding /* at the beginning and */ at the end. You can copy the sentence below for searching.

categoryDropDownList = new DropDownList();

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3. Next look for the lines below and comment them out according to the screenshot. Use the sentence below for easier search.

append the selected category

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4. After this, there is another place that you’ll need to commend out or else you’ll bump into a problem if you have Change Request active. This is going to be a long one. Look for the line below.

this.categoryDropDownList.SelectedItem != null &&

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5. Finally, on your Solution Explorer pane, open WebPartsResources.resx under Webparts project.

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6. Under Name, look for Category, then delete the value Category:.

Before

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After

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7. Now on top of the Visual Studio, notice the button Build? Click it, and click on Build Solution.

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8. Check the logs below, it should not have any failed or skipped. If there is, make sure all your reference has been replaced with the correct ones. Check again from the beginning of the page to step 4.3 in this post, or read step 5 in the doc that came with the source code.

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9. Next go to the PortalSource-New folder again, then End User Portal\bin. Sort by modified date and copy the files that has just been modified, then paste it into %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\System Center Service Manager Portal\EndUser\bin in the Server. Overwrite all the files.

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10. Now launch the SCSM Portal and log a new ticket, you’ll notice that the Category is no longer available for the users to select. Take note that when you open the ticket in the Console, the Category will be blank and the service desk analyst will need to fill in the appropriate category, which is exactly what we want.

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Note! Thanks to Paresh over at Technet forum for this.

I hope with these 2 solutions you’ll be able to have more flexibility for end users in your environment.

April 25, 2011 Posted by | System Center Service Manager (SCSM) | Leave a comment

SCSM Workflow Error, Invalid Character In The Given Encoding

When saving a workflow with a Power Shell Script, an error like the screenshot below might appear even though it works when you paste it directly in the Power Shell Window. This error is easily rectified though.

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Why This Happens

This is actually due to special characters getting pasted wrongly into the system, for example or " . Try this. When typing the script in lets say a web or MS Word, special characters especially – or " might be changed. Typing a word in MS Word followed by a dash and then another word and a space, you’ll notice that the dash changes. By copying these changed special characters, Authoring Tool will prompt the error when we try to save the workflow. If you’re copying a script from the web this is even more prone to happen.

 

Solution

Make sure all the special characters are correct. Replace all your – and " by perhaps retyping them in the script. If your script is very long, try using Microsoft Word and use the search and replace function. Do this, and the problem should be resolved.

April 22, 2011 Posted by | System Center Service Manager (SCSM) | 4 Comments

Viewing Reports in SCSM Console

At times, we want a particular person to be able to view reports from the SCSM console, but we do not want to give them administrative rights, or mess with the groups. Is this possible? The answer is yes. Here I’m going to show you just that, giving 1 particular user the rights to view reports. Lets call this guy, sccm.admin.

Now as you can see, the Reporting option is not visible on the wonder bar. We want to enable this user to view reports.

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1. First we need to make sure that port 5724 is open from the client machine to the Data Warehouse server. To be sure, do a telnet from the client machine to the Data Warehouse server.

 

2. Next login to your Data Warehouse server, go to the reporting page, usually http://localhost/reports. You will need to right click on your Internet Explorer and Run as administrator or else you might get an error saying you don’t have enough privilege to view the page. Below is the page that will load.

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3. Highlight SystemCenter and an arrow will appear, click it and choose Security.

Note! By granting permission on this level, you’re actually granting the user access to everything. If you want to be specific on what they can and cannot view, you can click the SystemCenter icon to drill down, and grant access to them for specific reports.

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4. Click on New Role Assignment.

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5. Key in the domain group or specific username as you wish. Since we want sccm.user to be able to view reports, we’re going to add him by domain\sccm.user, and then check the Browser checkbox. Click Ok.

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6. Now that sccm.user is added to the list, go ahead and close the browser. Go back to the client machine and launch the SCSM Console.

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7. And as we can see, the user is able to view the reports now.

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Note! If you receive the error message below, make sure that your client is able to resolve the Data Warehouse’s hostname, and that port 5724 is opened from the client to the Data Warehouse server.

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April 13, 2011 Posted by | System Center Service Manager (SCSM) | 6 Comments

Rename Labels or Text in SCSM Portal

Customers from different environments have different tastes and requirements, and they might want to change many things in the portal, an example would be text or labels in the portal. Doing all these are simple enough, I’m going to show you an example here.

We will take the Request type which will show Need help with a problem or Need change or new resource as an example. Customers might want the page to display something else, maybe instead of Need help with a problem, they want it to appear as Create Incident instead, and Need change or new resource as Create Change. So lets see what we can do.

Just before we begin there are a couple of things we need to prepare, and I don’t want to flood the post with all the necessary steps again. So please follow through from the beginning of the post till step 4.3 from this link, once you’re done with 4.3 come back here.

Now that you’ve done all those, you should be able to follow through this without any problems.

 

1. On the Solutions Explorer pane, expand WebParts.

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2. At the bottom of WebParts is WebPartsResources.resx. Double click it.

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3. A table will appear on the main page. Now we want to change the Need help with a problem to maybe Incident Request. So What I would do here is under Value, I’ll remove Need help with a problem and replace it with Incident Request, hit enter.

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4. As for Need change or new resource, I want to show it as Change Request. So again, under Value, change the contents to Change Request.

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5. Now that you have done the necessary changes, go to Build at the top, and click Build Solution.

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6. Check the logs below, it should not have any failed or skipped. If there is, make sure all your reference has been replaced with the correct ones. Check again from the beginning of the page to step 4.3 in this post, or read step 5 in the doc that came with the source code.

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7. Next go to the PortalSource-New folder again, then End User Portal\bin. Sort by modified date and copy the files that has just been modified, then paste it into %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\System Center Service Manager Portal\EndUser\bin in the Server. Overwrite all the files.

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8. Now launch the portal, notice that the Request type has just changed to what we want it to be. Now that you know this, you should be able to change a lot more things by just changing the values in the table on step 5.

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April 12, 2011 Posted by | System Center Service Manager (SCSM) | 3 Comments

Remove Change Request Link from SCSM Portal

In some environments, the customer only wants the end users to log Incident tickets via Self Service Portal. So how do we remove the Change Request Link from the portal so users won’t click on it? I’ll show you a step by step guide here.

Before we begin, download the new source code here.

Also make sure that your Service Manager and Portal has been installed with Service Pack 1. You will also need to have a machine that has Microsoft Visual Studio installed. I’m using version 2010.

Note!: You do not need to install Visual Studio on the server and do your modifications there, you can do it on any machine.

After downloading the source code you’ll get this folder. SCSM2010SP1PORTALSOURCERELEASE. Next go to SourceCode, then New, you’ll then find a zip file called PortalSource-New.zip. Unzip this to any location you desire, remember this does not need to be on the server. Next open up the folder that you’ve unzipped, you’ll find 5 folders and a file called Portal.sln. Open this Portal.sln with your Visual Studio and we can begin work.

Note!: Before doing anything, please backup your original portal by copying System Center Service Manager Portal under %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\ to another place.

Note!: Before going to step 1 below, also do the following.

Go into your SCSM Server, under %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\System Center Service Manager Portal\EndUser\bin, copy the following files into the common folder under PortalSource-New which you’ve just unzipped.

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Config.dll

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.UI.Foundation.dll

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.UI.SdkDataAccess.dll

· Microsoft.Mom.BuildConstants.dll

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.DataAccessService.Core.dll

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.dll

· Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.Portal.Common.dll

 

1. Ok after opening up Portal.sln with Virtual Studio, find the Solutions Explorer panel, for me it’s on the right hand side. You’ll notice under AnalystWebParts, there’s something called References. Expand it. 

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2. Look for all the entries that has a yellow exclamation mark. You’ll need to remove them and add it back, every single one of them. Do it 1 by 1. Right click on the first one you see with the exclamation mark, then click Remove.

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3. Next right click on References and click Add Reference.

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4. Go to the Browse tab, and follow this step by step if you’re unclear or else you’ll not be able to find the files.

4.1 Under Look in:, the default will be AnalystWebparts. Go up 1 level, then browse into Common. This is the folder that you’ve just copied the 7 files too earlier before step 1.

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4.2 Under Common, noticed that the file Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Core.dll was the file that you removed earlier from the reference? Highlight it and click Ok.

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4.3 Notice now that Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Core is back, but without the exclamation mark. Repeat this on ALL references that has the exclamation mark. Don’t forget you’ll need to do for references that are under Common, End user portal and WebParts as well.

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5. Now after all the references has been updated, in the Solutions Explorer pane, go to WebParts, expand Request and you’ll see CreateRequest.cs, PortalRequest.cs and RequestDetails.cs. What we’re interested here is PortalRequest.cs so go ahead and double click it.

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6. After clicking the PortalRequest.cs you’ll see a bunch of codes on the main panel. Look for the code highlighted as below. You can easily find it using CTRL+F and paste this into the search box.

DisplayName = WebPartsResources.NewChangeOrResourceDisplayName

 

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7. Next, add /* in front of RequestsTypes.Add(new RequestType() and then */ after {);

Just follow the screenshot and you wont miss it.

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8. Now on top of the Visual Studio, notice the button Build? Click it, and click on Build Solution.

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9. See the output log, you should have 0 failed and 0 skipped. If you do, make sure you’ve completely replaced all the references in step 1 to 4.

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10. Next go to the PortalSource-New folder again, then End User Portal\bin. Sort by modified date and copy the files that has just been modified, then paste it into %systemDrive%\inetpub\wwwroot\System Center Service Manager Portal\EndUser\bin in the Server. Overwrite all the files.

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11. Now launch the end user portal, you’ll notice that under Request Type, only Need help with a problem is left, so users won’t be able to raise a change request from the portal anymore.

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April 12, 2011 Posted by | System Center Service Manager (SCSM) | 9 Comments