There’s always something new to discover in Cireson’s Community Open Floor meetings, especially from fellow customers. That’s why we recently walked through 5 little-known Cireson Portal features that can make your life easier today. Here’s what we covered…

RA and MA Completion Pages: Protect Parent Work Item  

Use approval and completion pages instead of activity node in the context of the parent Work Item. 

Typically, if you are on an activities page and you click on RA, it takes you to RA in the context of the parent work item. This is fine for analysts who have administrative rights, but if you’re sending RAs to non-analysts, you might not want them to have access to the parent. That’s why we created an approval page, where RAs can be approved and rejected without risk to the parent.

Here’s the workaround: change the RA approval template.

  1. Go to: admin> notification > templates > template you want to change > template design > extract code
  2. Go to: activities > edit and change the URL in the notification activity to https://<portalserver>/ReviewActivity/Approval/<workitemid>
  3. Once you’ve changed the link, drop it back into the template.
  4. Create a new service request; you will receive a notification that will take you to an approval page instead.

 

Ultimately, you can use approval page for activities when you don’t want them going to the parent. Once you’ve edited the template and replaced the link, the notification link you receive will take you to a neutral approval page.

Manual activity completion page

You can follow the same process when it comes to manual activity (MA) completion pages.

Typically, when you go to activities and click on MA, it takes you to the MA page in the context of the parent. If completers are outside of IT and you don’t want them engaging in the context of the parent, you can also replace the MA link in the template.

The process is the same as the process mentioned above, only paste this URL in the notification activity: https://<portal server>/ManualActivity/Complete/<work item id>

It’s possible to jump from the approval page to the parent work item to conduct approvals, only to be unable to return to the approval page. What can you do? A possible workaround is to create a task from the parent work item that directs you to the completion page, and/or add a link to the approval page.

Header and Footer Scripts: Update All Portal Pages with Greater Control

When you need a fast way to update every page with a common third-party link or embed tag (like Google Analytics or a CRM), instead of cluttering up custom JavaScript, try updating head and body page tags with header and footer scripts.

Header and footer scripts, which can be found in admin settings, can help you update every page—including the login page—and allows you to run additional custom JavaScript on every page that loads in the portal. You have more control over where the element loads on the page with this method.

Note: header and footer scripts do need to be wrapped in script tags.

Idea: use scripts in the portal’s custom event triggers.

Cachebuilder Maintenance: Sync to the Service Catalog

You might have felt stuck, not being about to immediately see changes made to request offerings. Generally, you would have to wait, particularly if you have a lot of users or scoping, until the cachebuilder rebuilds to see any changes reflected.

This would require restarting the cachebuilder service, a scenario that is cumbersome if you have a lot of users in your environment, or if you have user scoping. It could take 30 or more minutes to rebuild scoping. And if you restart the cachebuilder in the middle of the day while working on request offerings, intervals are reset. Jobs that cycle on 24-hour intervals would kick off in the middle of the day—all of which disrupt projects. How can this be remedied?

Cachebuilder maintenance provides a fix, allowing you to:

  • Update the request offering
  • Sync the service catalog and test
  • Refresh the page and see the prompt

It’s not necessary to restart cachebuilder, you just need to sync the service catalog. The same caveat exists with enums: sync enums into the database, but you still need to recycle the application pool in order for them to show up and be functional in the portal.

Custom Pages

Custom pages can be used in the portal to display any type of content. It gives admins flexibility to create and not be constrained by the existing dashboards or OOB home pages.

To create a custom page you need two things, a view and a viewPanel.

  1. To create a view, go into CustomSpace/views and copy the example view to a new file and rename it. The url of the view in the portal will be <portalserver>/view/thisFileName
  2. To create the viewPanel, go into CustomSpace/views/viewPanels and copy one of the existing viewPanels.  In the video, I used html-example.  Adjust the Id of the viewPanel to match the filename, and…
  3. Go back to the view definition in CustomSpace/views and make sure the view is referencing your custom viewPanel
  4. Navigate to <portalserver>/view/<your custom view name>

Calendar Widgets

Need to see SCSM data reflected on a calendar?  Calendar widgets give you the flexibility to extend existing calendars in the portal or define your own. An example would be: ScheduledStartDate on a CR or MA, or Expiration Date on a Contract or similar data point.  

The calendar widgets allow you to display data on a calendar instead of chart or graph, and they are available for SQL or Odata.

SQL calendar

  1. Pick service management – select calendar – select an existing query or create new – enter title as displayed in work item. The display name should contain the ID in most environments
  2. Start date: use “scheduled start” as the start date and “scheduled end” as the end date
  3. Check work items
  4. Choose event color based on your SQL result

Odata calendar

  1. Start with platform/API – select the class you want to display – filter on current language
  2. The source ID in platform tables is the work item ID: use this for the title
  3. Use a custom URL to direct to work item edit. If you are viewing other data or have custom CIs you can edit the URL and change it to whatever you’d like
  4. Choose event color based on your result

We cover Cireson Portal and SCSM hacks, along with your insights and questions in biweekly Community Open Floor sessions, and we’d love for you to join us! Register now!