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Handling Activities

Christopher_CarverChristopher_Carver Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
I was dealt a blow today by our internal security team. No more email approvals for review activities. The reasoning is email can easily be spoofed and the nature of our business were are moving away from email as the means to communicate business functions. The Cireson portal still stands up with secure certificates and SSO. So I'm good there, but the approval process is now more tricky.  

The problem I have, and maybe you too, is no matter how easy I make the process, it's never easy enough. I just got people to start using email approvals for tickets, because logging into the Cireson portal and then clicking the Activities tab and then finding the proper Review Activity is to much to ask. I was thinking of linking the approvals directly to the RA from email to circumvent the extra mouse clicks, but the Cireson portal does not directly link to activities.

What other solutions are out there in an ever increasing "one-click" world?

Best Answers

  • Adrian_MataiszAdrian_Mataisz Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    You can point directly to the RA from the email:  http://yourwebsite.com/ServiceRequest/Edit/SR#/?tab=activity&activityId=RA#

    But I agree user approval experience should be easy and clear. on the portal
  • Conner_WoodConner_Wood Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016 Accepted Answer
    For my work, I am in the process of building a Reviewer Portal using C# MVC format.  It only uses Windows Authentication (which means no login screen) and using impersonation on the connected user I am able to have them connect to the SCSM SDK code which then allows a quick way to view their RA's, leave a comment on the top parent main ticket, and Approve or Reject the RA like they would on the Cireson Portal/SCSM Console.

    However email will always remain a communication tool, so emails are sent out when:
    • A request is created -- Sent to Requester and Authorizing Manager notifying Authorizing Manager review will be required shortly after initial processing.
    • RA is reached and becomes In-Progress -- Time-Check Reminders from the RP using cache item callbacks with a direct link to the RA on the RP.
    • RA is approved -- Email Requester, Authorizing Manager, and potentially assigned user/support group
    • RA is rejected -- Close WorkItem, email requester and authorizing manager
    So far I've had almost 3 weeks worth of actual time spent into this, and I am about ~40% of the way there.  Mostly using Sessions with a slight amount of javascript for the initial table of RAs to click from to open the correct Review View.

    Whether I'll be allowed to share this with the community once completed is another issue.

    Side-Note:

    I know that you could potentially pre-format your emails to already open the Cireson Portal on the Activity tab and point to the correct RA, however it's tricky because if you make the notification criteria in the SCSM Console you then have to export the MP to narrow the relationship to a ticket type, since the link contains "ChangeRequest" or "ServiceRequest" so you need a notifcation + notification criteria for each type of ticket with a review:

    Ex. 

    [SCSM Console > Administration > Notifications > Templates]

    You create a notification "CR - Review Activity In Progress" with Review Activity being the targeted class and has the following code to link directly to RA in a CR on your Cireson Portal.

    <p><a href="https://portal.contoso.com/

    [SCSM Console > Administration > Workflows > Configuration > Activity Event Workflow Configuration > Review Activity]

    Create new event like "CR - Review Activity - In-Progress" and in Specify Criteria section:
    • Changed From == [Activity]Status does not equal In Progress
    • Changed To == [Activity]Status equals In Progress AND Has Parent Work Item [Work Item]ID is not empty
    Under Select People to Notify section, choose your notifcation that uses ChangeRequest as part of url.  ex. "CR - Review Activity In Progress" and have users set as Reviewers then click add to put it in Notification list.  Once you save this Workflow, you must export the MP it belongs in and alter the criteria to match your parent ticket type.  In this case I add a type constraint of CR to the WorkItemHasParentWorkItem Relationship.

    This MP contains the following references among others, you will need to update yours accordingly:
    <Reference Alias="WorkItem">
      <ID>System.WorkItem.Library</ID>
      <Version>7.5.3079.607</Version>
      <PublicKeyToken>31bf3856ad364e35</PublicKeyToken>
    </Reference>
    <Reference Alias="CoreChange">
      <ID>System.WorkItem.ChangeRequest.Library</ID>
      <Version>7.5.3079.0</Version>
      <PublicKeyToken>31bf3856ad364e35</PublicKeyToken>
    </Reference>

    Now for the Criteria to ensure the Parent Ticket is a Change Request
    <UpdateInstance>
      <Criteria>
    	<Expression>
    	  <And>
    		<Expression>
    		  <SimpleExpression>
    			<ValueExpression>
    			  <Property State="Pre">$Context/Property[Type='CustomSystem_WorkItem_Activity_Library!System.WorkItem.Activity']/Status$</Property>
    			</ValueExpression>
    			<Operator>NotEqual</Operator>
    			<ValueExpression>
    			  <Value>{11fc3cef-15e5-bca4-dee0-9c1155ec8d83}</Value>
    			</ValueExpression>
    		  </SimpleExpression>
    		</Expression>
    		<Expression>
    		  <And>
    			<Expression>
    			  <SimpleExpression>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Property State="Post">$Context/Property[Type='CustomSystem_WorkItem_Activity_Library!System.WorkItem.Activity']/Status$</Property>
    				</ValueExpression>
    				<Operator>Equal</Operator>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Value>{11fc3cef-15e5-bca4-dee0-9c1155ec8d83}</Value>
    				</ValueExpression>
    			  </SimpleExpression>
    			</Expression>
    			<Expression>
    			  <UnaryExpression>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Property State="Post">$Context/Path[Relationship='WorkItem!System.WorkItemHasParentWorkItem' 

    And there you have it, obviously the Alias in your MP have to match up correctly for your criteria and notifcations, I personally recommend to have all of these RA Notification/Notification-Workflows in a single unsealed MP called  something like "My.ReviewActivity.PortalNotifications"

Answers

  • Adrian_MataiszAdrian_Mataisz Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer
    You can point directly to the RA from the email:  http://yourwebsite.com/ServiceRequest/Edit/SR#/?tab=activity&activityId=RA#

    But I agree user approval experience should be easy and clear. on the portal
  • Conner_WoodConner_Wood Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016 Accepted Answer
    For my work, I am in the process of building a Reviewer Portal using C# MVC format.  It only uses Windows Authentication (which means no login screen) and using impersonation on the connected user I am able to have them connect to the SCSM SDK code which then allows a quick way to view their RA's, leave a comment on the top parent main ticket, and Approve or Reject the RA like they would on the Cireson Portal/SCSM Console.

    However email will always remain a communication tool, so emails are sent out when:
    • A request is created -- Sent to Requester and Authorizing Manager notifying Authorizing Manager review will be required shortly after initial processing.
    • RA is reached and becomes In-Progress -- Time-Check Reminders from the RP using cache item callbacks with a direct link to the RA on the RP.
    • RA is approved -- Email Requester, Authorizing Manager, and potentially assigned user/support group
    • RA is rejected -- Close WorkItem, email requester and authorizing manager
    So far I've had almost 3 weeks worth of actual time spent into this, and I am about ~40% of the way there.  Mostly using Sessions with a slight amount of javascript for the initial table of RAs to click from to open the correct Review View.

    Whether I'll be allowed to share this with the community once completed is another issue.

    Side-Note:

    I know that you could potentially pre-format your emails to already open the Cireson Portal on the Activity tab and point to the correct RA, however it's tricky because if you make the notification criteria in the SCSM Console you then have to export the MP to narrow the relationship to a ticket type, since the link contains "ChangeRequest" or "ServiceRequest" so you need a notifcation + notification criteria for each type of ticket with a review:

    Ex. 

    [SCSM Console > Administration > Notifications > Templates]

    You create a notification "CR - Review Activity In Progress" with Review Activity being the targeted class and has the following code to link directly to RA in a CR on your Cireson Portal.

    <p><a href="https://portal.contoso.com/

    [SCSM Console > Administration > Workflows > Configuration > Activity Event Workflow Configuration > Review Activity]

    Create new event like "CR - Review Activity - In-Progress" and in Specify Criteria section:
    • Changed From == [Activity]Status does not equal In Progress
    • Changed To == [Activity]Status equals In Progress AND Has Parent Work Item [Work Item]ID is not empty
    Under Select People to Notify section, choose your notifcation that uses ChangeRequest as part of url.  ex. "CR - Review Activity In Progress" and have users set as Reviewers then click add to put it in Notification list.  Once you save this Workflow, you must export the MP it belongs in and alter the criteria to match your parent ticket type.  In this case I add a type constraint of CR to the WorkItemHasParentWorkItem Relationship.

    This MP contains the following references among others, you will need to update yours accordingly:
    <Reference Alias="WorkItem">
      <ID>System.WorkItem.Library</ID>
      <Version>7.5.3079.607</Version>
      <PublicKeyToken>31bf3856ad364e35</PublicKeyToken>
    </Reference>
    <Reference Alias="CoreChange">
      <ID>System.WorkItem.ChangeRequest.Library</ID>
      <Version>7.5.3079.0</Version>
      <PublicKeyToken>31bf3856ad364e35</PublicKeyToken>
    </Reference>

    Now for the Criteria to ensure the Parent Ticket is a Change Request
    <UpdateInstance>
      <Criteria>
    	<Expression>
    	  <And>
    		<Expression>
    		  <SimpleExpression>
    			<ValueExpression>
    			  <Property State="Pre">$Context/Property[Type='CustomSystem_WorkItem_Activity_Library!System.WorkItem.Activity']/Status$</Property>
    			</ValueExpression>
    			<Operator>NotEqual</Operator>
    			<ValueExpression>
    			  <Value>{11fc3cef-15e5-bca4-dee0-9c1155ec8d83}</Value>
    			</ValueExpression>
    		  </SimpleExpression>
    		</Expression>
    		<Expression>
    		  <And>
    			<Expression>
    			  <SimpleExpression>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Property State="Post">$Context/Property[Type='CustomSystem_WorkItem_Activity_Library!System.WorkItem.Activity']/Status$</Property>
    				</ValueExpression>
    				<Operator>Equal</Operator>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Value>{11fc3cef-15e5-bca4-dee0-9c1155ec8d83}</Value>
    				</ValueExpression>
    			  </SimpleExpression>
    			</Expression>
    			<Expression>
    			  <UnaryExpression>
    				<ValueExpression>
    				  <Property State="Post">$Context/Path[Relationship='WorkItem!System.WorkItemHasParentWorkItem' 

    And there you have it, obviously the Alias in your MP have to match up correctly for your criteria and notifcations, I personally recommend to have all of these RA Notification/Notification-Workflows in a single unsealed MP called  something like "My.ReviewActivity.PortalNotifications"
  • Christopher_CarverChristopher_Carver Customer Adept IT Monkey ✭✭
    Thank you Adrian and Conner. Very helpful and exactly what I need.
  • Conner_WoodConner_Wood Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    It might be useful to add that if you (are forced against your own will to) do something like:

    Change Request -> Sequential/Parallel Activity --> Review Activity

    You would need to create another Notification + WF Notification Pair to get the CR Ticket at X level since SCSM doesn't handle recursion with a relationship.

    But hopefully no one will ever do that.
  • Conner_WoodConner_Wood Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Yikes, I just realized I made a boo boo, everyone, I made a boo boo!

    The correct relationship from Activity to WorkItem should be "CoreActivity!System.WorkItemContainsActivity".  This can be verified by looking at a SCSM Tickets History and seeing the relationship class is logged as "Contains Activity".

    Which means you need to reference another alias
    <Reference Alias="CoreActivity">
      <ID>System.WorkItem.Activity.Library</ID>
      <Version>7.5.3079.0</Version>
      <PublicKeyToken>31bf3856ad364e35</PublicKeyToken>
    </Reference>

    My apologies to anyone who has struggled due to using the incorrect relationship.  I cannot believe I didn't spot it when I originally posted that long explanation.

  • Morten_MeislerMorten_Meisler Premier Partner Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭

    deep links to activities can actually be done like this:

    http://serviceportal.doman.local/Activity/Edit/MA#

    So you don't have to provide the parent (top parent) work item for the link. You might need to provide it for other information inside the email, but that's another thing.

  • Conner_WoodConner_Wood Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    @Morten_Meisler Good info!  The other thing that really helps is Custom single work item edit url for all types (latest version is v0_2 as of this post).
  • Peter_MiklianPeter_Miklian Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭

    Newer portal versions introduced "activity pages". You can access special review activity page including all relevant details with highlighted review buttons: https://portalFQDN/ReviewActivity/Approval/RAID

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