Our System Center Memo

SCSM Head of Department / Division Approval

SCSM allows us to dynamically get the Line Manager of an Affected User, but how about if we want SCSM to dynamically get the Head of Department or Division? A Crude way will be to use update AD to put in the HOD in the Manager field, a better way would be to use SCO.

I’m making this guide under the assumption that you know some SCO, if not, inform me and I’ll make help you separately. If there’s enough volume I’ll make a detailed step by step guide.


  1. Now the Department is something that SCSM already import from AD. That’s a field we can use. Depending on the User’s Department, we can determine the HOD. Your workflow will need to be something like this.


  2. The important thing here is the Find HOD step, which reads from a XML. Here’s how the XML should look like, pretty simple. It simply means if the Department of the User is IT Services, it will return with a Query Result of jyeoh. Create your own list, and save the file as .xml.

    This works with all languages, I even tried it with Thai, just make sure you save the file as Unicode. This XML file is cased sensitive, take note of that. If your file is properly coded, you will be able to view it via Internet Explorer. If it displays blank, there’s something wrong with your code.


  3. <DepartmentCode>
      <Department Code="IT Services"         HOD="jyeoh"         Type="string" />
      <Department Code="IT Security"         HOD="btey"         Type="string" />

  4. Back to the Find HOD activity, your XPath Query will be something like this.


  5. Now to the Get HOD activity, set the settings according to the screenshot.


  6. Your Return Activity should now have the SC Object GUID of the HOD, which you can now use to create or update the necessary RA activities.

Following this idea, you can create many other types of dynamic workflows. Let me know if this is of interest and I may provide more details.


July 17, 2014 - Posted by | System Center Orchestrator (SCO), System Center Service Manager (SCSM)

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