From its outset in 2012, The Cireson Portal for SCSM offered an alternative way to visualize all  Microsoft System Center Service Manager (SCSM) data via a blazing fast portal experience. Over the last several years, we’ve brought a series of advancements that continue to place Service Manager front and center in your ITSM story.

“The main thing we have focused on is to make SCSM and Cireson work for you,” said Cireson Chief Technology Officer James Kleinschnitz at Innovate 2021.

That’s why when it comes to continuing this mission, we are introducing v11 of the Cireson Portal for SCSM with the Cloud Connector. Regardless of your current portal version, you can upgrade and get everything our latest release lanes on 10.x has to offer.

Cireson Portal for SCSM v11: What to Expect

With our v11 release, we’re setting a new Baseline by bringing all 10.x features up, including:

  • Asset Management with:
    • Improved Model matching with Aliases
    • Deeper Asset Management linking within the Portal
  • Surfacing Cache Builder into its own dedicated page, granting you selective on demand rebuilds anytime during the day
  • SQL 2019 Support and updated Kendo UI
  • More CSS Customization opportunities with unchanging IDs/Classes
  • Activity Management
    • Add Activity
    • Change Activity View layout
    • Problem Activity Support
  • Dashboards
    • SQL/OData Calendar Color Coding and Business Hours to visualize data in completely new ways
  • Teams Integration with Support Bot and User Presence on Work Items
  • The AddIns Framework
  • Edit Unsaved Action Log
  • Ability to enable Auto Save comments for End Users, Analysts or both
  • Global Search
    • More Results Page
    • Comment Search
    • Service Catalog
    • Administrative Filtering with OData
    • Enabling Search by Default per Class
    • Custom URL Redirects

But it’s not just about bringing our latest and baseline releases together in v11. It’s also about introducing a wholly new feature with the…

Cloud Connector for SMP

Our customers continue to invest in Service Manager and the wider System Center stack to centralize IT work from data center to employee level. Whether organizations are on-premise or running in an Azure or hybrid environment, there is a need to integrate with new Microsoft tooling, or in some cases, completely non-Microsoft technologies.

With the Cloud Connector for SMP, we’re giving you new ways to close the loop on any process, using all new Rest APIs to manage Work Items and Webhooks to trigger any external action. For example,

  • Updates to your HR system
  • Allow security tools to create Work Items
  • Invoke Azure Automation, Logic Apps, or Power Automate
  • Tie into your own internal line of business applications
Work Item Rest APIs

Any number of external services may want to interact with Service Manager, such as Anti-Virus alerts that trigger the creation or update of an Incident. That’s why we’ve greatly simplified the process, removed the need to work with Type Projections and leveraged the work we’ve made in the platform with Authentication Tokens. The result is straightforward: URLs that let you simply with the Work Item. Let’s use a single PATCH or PUT call to update IR1055 and change the Assigned User with PowerShell:

#Define Constants
$updateURL = “http://localhost/api/CloudConnector/WorkItems/IR1055”
$platformToken = “Bearer PLATFORMTOKEN”

#use the User’s ID
$assigned = @{ “AssignedWorkItem” = @{
“BaseId” = “8247d0bb-4a8e-8dfb-d21a-0e8f6458a671”
}
}

#Update the Work Item
Invoke-RestMethod -Uri $updateURL -Method “PUT” -Headers @{“Authorization”=”$platformToken”} -Body $($assigned | convertto-json) -ContentType “application/json”

DONE!

Updates made through the Web API are instant and have no external dependencies. So whether you decide to use PowerShell, curl, Logic Apps or any other number of applications, managing Work Items is easy. Plus, updating Work Items through the API and/or directly on the portal is exactly how the next part of the Cloud Connector works.

Webhooks

In addition to new endpoints that help you manage and create work within SCSM, the Cloud Connector also introduces Webhooks. With Webhooks, events that happen in SMP can trigger their own rest-based call to the URL of your choosing. Those events include any creation or update to core SCSM Work Item Classes or the creation or update to any Configuration Item class, including Windows Computers, Active Directory users, Cireson Asset Management, Config Items from Operations Manager or even your very own custom Config Items. That means you could configure something such as:

  • When a Hardware Asset is updated, call an Azure Automation runbook
  • When a User is created, invoke Logic Apps/Power Automate
  • When an Incident is either created or updated, obtain the Sentiment of the Affected User with Azure Cognitive Services
  • When a Problem is updated, initiate one or many Azure Functions
  • When a Cireson Asset Management Vendor is created, push into your CRM

To create Webhooks, just add the Class you want to trigger on. Then you’re free to create as many Webhooks as you want per class. They can trigger on the Creation, Update or both to said Class.

 Putting Cloud Connector to Work

These high level examples are just a handful of ways you could use the Cloud Connector. Here are some of the things you can also do:

Set Up Proactive Security

Use Azure Sentinel to file an issue / raise an event. It will automatically send an event to Cloud Connector, create an incident and send a notification to someone in Microsoft Teams to look into the issue.

Automate Employee Onboarding

Cloud Connector can reach out to various internal systems and add new employees, so you are left with less manual work. Cloud Connector can then send information from each system (HR, Office 365, etc.) to the employee record, for easy reference and tracking. The idea is that you can send data anywhere and bring data back, efficiently.

Work Item Sentiment Automation

Want to capitalize on AI? Send a request through Cloud Connector to Azure Logic Apps, build a custom filter and send data to Sentiment Analysis. It will automatically set the priority.

Ready to give it a try? The beta version of v11 is available for download now!

See the demo of AI using Cloud Connector in Innovate 2021 Keynote Address.

As always, let us know what you think via Cireson Community.