SCSM and Cireson User Accounts and Groups Checklist Worksheet

When installing Microsoft System Center Service Manager, there are a lot of things to consider to make sure the install goes well and will be easy to modify in the weeks, months and years to come. 

In order to maintain a secure, stable and maintainable SCSM environment, it’s important that all required user accounts are set up with individual service accounts, long secure passwords, and only the necessary rights to get the job done.

Below is a checklist worksheet of the accounts and groups that would be needed for a typical installation of both SCSM and Cireson products. Each person installing SCSM and/or Cireson products may have a different setup, different app and a different number of environments, but this checklist should cover all the items needed (just remove the ones that are not relevant to your environment).

The environment column is for recording what environment the account is for. It is best practice to have a different service account for the same function across dev, test and production environments to ensure that changing the password in one does not impact the other environments. 

 

Generic NameNew Account Name EnvironmentAccount Permissions & Use
SCSM Service Account Prod Test Dev Service Account (also used to install SM) 

  • Place in SCSM_Admins group 

  • Read rights to SCCM database if not using connector accounts (see below) 

  • Read rights to AD if not using connector accounts (see below) 

  • Add as Remote Desktop User for all servers 

  • Needs log on local rights to servers 

Workflow Account Prod Test Dev Workflow Account with email address 

  • Place in SCSM_Admins group 

  • Verify time zone associated with this user 

  • Needs log on local rights to servers 

SQL Reporting Account Prod Test Dev Reporting Account (SSRS) 

  • Will be entered during SQL and SM Install 

Analysis Reporting Account Prod Test Dev Analysis Account (SSAS) 

  • Will be entered during SQL and SM Install 

SQL Service Account Prod Test Dev SQL Service Account, only if SQL does not already exist. Otherwise, you can use current SQL service account. 

  • Place in scsm_Admins group 

  • Used during SQL install 

  • Needs log on local rights to servers 

Exchange Connector Account Prod Test DevService account used to communicate with MS Exchange to read and send e-mails. 

  • Create an email account (mailbox) in Exchange for this account. Just use the default email address  

  • Place in scsm_Admins group 

  • Verify time zone associated with this user 

  • Create Exchange Rule that does not allow Auto Replies to go to this email account 

  • Give SCSM administrators ownership rights over this email account, and have them add the mailbox to their Outlook locally (give rights to regular user accountsnot admin accounts) 

  • Ensure it has a (spam) account for whatever system filters incoming emails 

  • Needs log on local rights to servers 

AD Connector Account Prod Test DevAD Connector Account 

  • Needs read rights to Active Directory 

SCCM  Connector Account Prod Test DevSCCM Connector Account 

  • Needs read rights to SCCM SQL database server and database 

SCORCH Connector Account Prod Test DevSCOrch Connector Account 

  • Needs read rights to SCOrch 

SCOM Connector Account Prod Test DevSCOM Connector Account 

  • Needs Advanced Operator rights in SCOM 

SCORCH Service Account Prod Test DevSCOrch service account 

  • No special rights required. 

AppPool Account Prod Test DevCireson Portal App Pool account 

  • Needs to be a local administrator on Portal server 

  • Needs to be a member of the Service Manager Administrator role 

  • Needs to be a SysAdmin on the following databases 

  • ServiceManager 

  • ServiceManagement. 

  • Analytics. 


(Note: Default database names may be different in specific environments) 
Cache Builder Account Prod Test DevCireson CacheBuilder account is responsible for keeping the SCSM and Cireson databases in sync. 

  • Needs to be a local administrator on Portal server. 

  • Needs to be a member of the Service Manager Administrator role. 

  • Needs to be a dbo on the following databases: 

  • ServiceManager. 

  • ServiceManagement. 

  • Analytics. 


(Note: Default database names may be different in specific environments) 
Portal Installer Account **This is the admin user doing the install** Prod Test DevThe admin account that will run the portal install on the SCSM Server. 

  • Needs to be a local administrator on the Portal Server. 

  • Needs to be a member of the Service Manager Administrator role. 

  • Needs to be Sysadmin on the SQL Instance that the portal will be installed in to. 

 

* Ensure GPO is not going to pull users or groups off computers 
* Ensure the service accounts are not in OUs or Groups that will restrict “Logon as a service” 
* Ensure the service accounts are not in OUs or Groups that will restrict “Batch logon” 
* Ensure the passwords will not be changed 
* Ensure the passwords do not contain $ or   

There are also several user groups that are required for each of the items below: 

 

Generic Name Group Name Group Details Group Permissions & Use
All SCSM Administrators Group that is used to contain all administrators of SCSM. This can include service and user accounts as well as computer accounts if needed.

  • Place in administrators' group on all servers 

  • This group of users must be in the same domain as Service Manager. Users from any other domain—even child domains—are not supported. 

All SCSM Analysts Group that is used to contain all users that are going to be editing Work Items.

  • Used for SM Security Roles and Cireson Apps 

All SCSM Report Users Group that is used to contain all users that require access to view SCSM Reports within the SCSM Console and SSRS.

  • Used to control access to SSRS reports within SM 

All Analysts for each support group scsm_SupportGroupName Each support group requires a separate group to contain users to assign to each group within the SCSM system.

  • Will discuss names during the planning phase, after initial server installs 

  • Will hide all from Global Address List (GAL) 

 

*Can use company naming convention for prefix  e.g. scsm_   scsm.  scsm-  

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SCSM Service Requests, 3 Success Factors

As a consultant with Cireson, I am often engaged with customers regarding SCSM Service Requests. The first things we discuss during these engagements are the most important factors to be successful. In this article we will talk in depth about the following factors:

  1. Not knowing where to start
  2. Trying to do too much
  3. Service Catalog navigation

 

Not Knowing Where to Start 

Where do we start when it comes to SCSM Service Requests? Try starting out with a general request that can be used as a catch all, and then branch out. When using a general request, you need to establish a procedure to handle these process-less requests. This is often overlooked because the end goal is to surround each service request with process unique to that request type. Being more realisticthere will always be requests that don’t yet have this process established, and we don’t want them to fail because of a lack of procedure. For example, if a request comes in for something less-than-common, does the Service Desk know how to classify, prioritize, and assign the request? Perhaps you can establish a process based on the category/area of the request, or a related configuration item. Lacking process here can lead to Analysts delaying the completion and/or a failed Service Request.  

Another great place to start is Incident/Ticket Reporting to identify common End User Requests.  These requests tend to be “I need something” such as an application installed, a second monitor, access to a network share, whatever…    

Once you identify the most common requests, consider each one and determine if there’s value in adding this to your service catalog.  When determining value analyze from both an End User and IT perspective.  By now you should have a list of request offerings to build, great, now prioritize which ones to build now and which ones to build down the road.  I say some now and some later because you need to document the current process for each, improve existing process or for some develop the process.  

 

Trying to Do Too Much 

When dealing with a first time Service Catalog, it is extremely important to keep it simple. Keep everything as a manual process and continue to fine tune until you have proven success. Once you are happy with the manual process, you can then start to introduce some automation. There is nothing worse than spending weeks automating a process, just to figure out that everyone doesn’t agree on that process. 

After you have a process solidified, think about your ROI when determining if automation is worthwhileFor example, if you only spend 5 minutes on a task each month, it’s probably not worth spending 2 weeks to automate. If you spend 5 minutes a day on something, you will recoup your automation cost much more quicklyFor example, let’s say you have a few Service Requests that require the Affected User’s manager to approve before they can proceed. Your current manual process is for the Service Desk to look up this manager in Active Directory and add that individual as an approver. The entirety of this task could be automated via an Orchestrator runbook or Cireson PowerShell activity with relative easeWith analysts likely doing this look-up routinely, it wouldn’t take long to make this worthwhile. While its great to have everything automated, it’s always a measurement of cost versus value. 

 

Service Catalog Navigation 

Once again, the theme of today is to keep it simple! When determining the layout of your Service Catalog, you need to keep the end user experience in mind. If the end user can’t find it, then they definitely will not use it.  

Try to keep navigation simple, and drill-down to requests with simplified categories. For example, don’t have 20+ choices to make right off the bat, and don’t have several choices that are similar, like “Desktop Request” and “Equipment Request.” Remember that Cireson Advanced Request Offerings offer conditional questions based on answers to previous questions. This means that you can cover several similar request types in a single form, such as Laptop requests and Mobile Device requests. 

There are also scenarios where a general end user will not need access to a certain request offering. Fortunately, SCSM Service Requests can be scoped by Active Directory group using “Catalog Item Groups, so you can hide offerings from some groups if not relevant. This is another method you can use to keep the choices relevant and focused. 

 

Summary 

In order to be successful with SCSM Service Requests, try to keep the above in mind. Use analytics and reporting to prioritize the Service Requests to build. Do not overlook generic Service Requests and branch out from thereFor each request you design, once you have proven success with the manual approach, you can then start to introduce some automation. Don’t try to automate broken processes! As you build out different request types, don’t forget to take a step back and look at the overall design of the Service Catalog. Keep it simple and remember to think about it from the end user’s perspective. 

 

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Is a SCSM Web Portal Available? Absolutely. Here’s What You Need to Know.

When Microsoft Service Manager first came out, it offered a fairly robust system for IT Service Management and Asset Management.  Early on, users faced some pretty common challenges, from few out-of-box configurations, to daunting customization projects, and the inability to give end users web accessibility via SharePoint. Fast forward 10 years and while there is now considerably more documentation, user guides, and training available for SCSM, Microsoft still has not introduced an answer to the accessibility problem, which is absolutely needed.

At first glance, the most appealing option for many organizations is to use the Microsoft SCSM Web Console, an end-user-only HTML5 self-service portal. This allows end users to submit issues directly and is a welcome upgrade from the SharePoint-based Service Manager Web Portal. Unfortunately, it’s still not usable for Analysts as they can’t manage tickets, making it impractical overall.

To answer this call for web accessibility, we created the Cireson SCSM Web Portal. Comprised of a web-based Self-Service Portal for end users and an Analyst Portal for Support Teams, our Portal is web-based and 100% browser, device, and OS agnostic.

The Cireson Self-Service Portal provides end-users with the ability to submit their own requests, which is similar to the out-of-box Microsoft Portal. The Cireson Self-Service Portal also allows end-users to manage/update their own submitted requests at a determined granularity. The Portal can also be easily customized, allowing for simple changes like color schemes to complex modifications like custom layouts, custom pages, and actual AD-group access control. Many of these changes can be done with some supported CSS tweaks that even the lowest of entry-level admins can find via a quick online search. The result is that end users will call and email less, instead opting to use the faster, sleeker Portal to initiate support. Lucky for the System Center community, the Cireson Self-Service Portal is free to download, making it an all-around better solution than the out-of-box Microsoft Portal that organizations can start using immediately.

The Cireson SCSM Analyst Portal is similar to the Self-Service Portal, but it provides Anaylsts with the ability to manage Work Items from any browser, device, and operating system. The Analyst Portal also includes the ability to create custom tasks for Analysts to use. These tasks can either be copied and pasted from various sources like the Cireson Community, clipped together by someone with amateurish-level JavaScript skills, or expertly constructed by any web dev who has glanced at JavaScript at least once. With the Analyst Portal, custom code can be run on any page, can grab any object within SCSM, and can do just about anything. To get started, check out the free community edition of the Analyst Portal for web-based Incident Mangaement.

The Cireson Portal provides oodles of functionality that both end users and Analysts get excited about. The Portal also provides upper management some functionality in the form of Dashboards and graph or table-drive datasets that show drill-down-capable models of Work Item and Configuration Item data. It’s reminiscent of using SQL Server Reporting Services, but a) without sys admins dreading over creating reports, b) far less time-consuming to create/modify a report, and c) it has added functionality. With a little bit of SQL or oData experience, custom reports can be created by linking any database, including SCSM DataWarehouse, Configuration Manager, or any other custom database on any server/instance, showing rich result sets, dashboards, counters, and analytics as needed. There is even an export and print option!

Both the Cireson Self-Service and Analyst Portals are built using HTML5 and provide direct replacements for the out-of-box Microsoft Web Console and SCSM Console. They also provide additional benefits including advanced request offerings, an integrated Microsoft Outlook Console, an integrated HTML5 knowledge base, survey options, and more. Our SCSM Portal is fairly lightweight and can be installed on any existing SCSM server and uses an existing SQL instance, making setup an easy click-next install.  Similarly, there are dozens of copy/paste-able customizations that are available with no modifications needed. And since installing the Portal is easier than using the SCSM Console, it should most definitely be on your list to try it out.

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Definitive List of SCCM Addons, Tools, Extensions, & Scripts (Updated for 2019)

Here are a variety of free community tools and paid products for Microsoft Configuration Manager, created by Microsoft MVPs, System Center experts, colleagues, and SCCM enthusiasts. These SCCM addons are listed in no hierarchical order and are not specifically endorsed by Cireson.

If you have other tools you’d recommend, please let us know!

Table of Contents

  1. Free Solutions
    1. Infrastructure Tools
    2. Intune
    3. Configuration Items
    4. Application Management
    5. Software Updates
    6. OS Deployment
    7. Frontends
    8. Windows 10 Servicing
    9. Helpdesk
    10. Other
  2. Paid Products

Free Solutions

Infrastructure Tools

SQL Server Maintenance
This script creates all the objects and jobs that you need.

SQL Maintenance Script for SCCM

ConfigMgr Prerequisites Tool 3.0.3
This tool will assist administrators in installing all the correct prerequisites for a ConfigMgr hierarchy, different Site Systems Roles and much more.

SCCM Prereq Tool

Hydration Kits
This Kit builds a complete ConfigMgr CB 1702, and ConfigMgr TP 1703, with Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 SP1 infrastructure, and some (optional) supporting servers.

SCCM Hydration Kits

ImageFactory V3 For Hyper-V
The image factory creates reference images using Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and PowerShell. You run the script on the MDT server. The script will connect to a hyper-v host specified in the XML file and build one virtual machine for each task sequences in the REF folder. It will then grab the BIOS serial number from each virtual machine, inject it into customsettings.ini, start the virtual machines, run the build and capture process, turn off the virtual machine and remove them all.

  • Author: Mikael Nystrom
  • Last updated: September 28, 2017
  • Download: Image Factory

Image Factory for SCCM

Client Startup Script
To check configuration settings and the state of services that the ConfigMgr client agent depends on for successful operation as well as install the client agent if it is not install or functioning properly.

Client startup script for SCCM

Configuration Manager Client Health
ConfigMgr Client Health is a PowerShell script that detects and fixes known errors in Windows and the Configuration Manager Client, and enforces required services to run and start as Automatic.

SCCM Client Health

Intune

Powershell Sample Scripts
This repository of PowerShell sample scripts show how to access Intune service resources. They demonstrate this by making HTTPS RESTful API requests to the Microsoft Graph API from PowerShell.

Intune Driver Management
Automates processes for Dell, HP and Lenovo devices.

Intune Driver Management

Configuration Items

Registry to PowerShell Converter
Automatically change .reg Files into PowerShell code.

  • Author: Roger Zander
  • Last updated: July 4, 2018
  • Download: Reg2CI

Registry to PowerShell Converter

ConfigMgr Remote Compliance
ConfigMgr Remote Compliance can be used to view, evaluate and report on System Center Configuration Manager Compliance Baselines on a remote computer.

SCCM Remote Compliance

Create ConfigMgr Configuration Items from Group Policy Object
This script uses both the Configuration Manager and Active Directory PowerShell modules to query for registry keys associated with Group Policies then create the Configuration Items for each of the registry values.

  • Author: Sam Roberts
  • Last updated: June 19, 2017
  • Download 
Application Management

PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit
The PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit provides a set of functions to perform common application deployment tasks and to interact with the user during a deployment. It simplifies the complex scripting challenges of deploying applications in the enterprise, provides a consistent deployment experience and improves installation success rates. It can be used to replace your WiseScript, VBScript and Batch wrapper scripts with one versatile, re-usable and extensible tool.

PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit

PowerShell App Deployment Toolkit GUI
GUI for creating applications using the Powershell App Deployment Toolkit, including creating Software ID Tags for easier License Management.

Powershell App deployment toolkit GUI

Application Tester
Use this script to automatically test all applications deployed to a hyper-v vm using checkpoints to save progress!

SCCM Application Tester

RuckZuck
Software Package Manager for Windows, a quick way to install and update Software

  • Author: Roger Zander
  • Last Updated: September 9, 2018
  • Download: RuckZuck

RuckZuck for SCCM

Software Updates

Create Software Update Groups
This tool will allow for administrators to quickly and easily create a Software Update Group containing Software Updates determined by a set of Products and Classifications within a specific time span.

Create Software Update Groups

Patch Master
PatchMaster is designed to automate the creation and delivery of Microsoft Patches to an SCCM Hierarchy and is available as freeware.

  • Author: Robert Marshall
  • Last Updated: August 5, 2018
  • Download: Patch Master

Patch Master

WSUS Script
Shrink your WSUSContent folder’s size by declining superseded updates, clean out all the synchronization logs that have built up over time, remove all Drivers from the WSUS Database, run the recommended maintenance script on the actual SQL database, and more.

  • Author: Adam Marshall
  • Last updated: March 31, 2017
  • This script is no longer available as an open source script and has been replaced with the commercial AJTek’s WSUS Automated Maintenance product. You can read more about the transition on this reddit thread.

WSUS Script

Patch Connect Plus
Automatically import third-party software catalogs to your SCCM server so you don’t have to manually add custom catalogs or subscribe to them. Plus, you have access to the catalogs of nearly 250 applications.

  • Author: Manage Engine
  • Last updated: 2018
  • Download

Patch Connect Plus
Fully Automate Software Update Maintenance Script
A fully automated, completely PowerShell script that allows automation and customization (via plugin scripts) for everything related to Software Updates in SCCM.
The script can be used to do any or all of the following:

  • Detect if synchronization is occurring and wait for success before resuming.
  • Decline superseded updates.
  • Decline updates by a list of titles.
  • Decline updates based on external plugin scripts.
  • Output a comma-delimited list of declined updates.
  • Run the WSUS Cleanup Wizard.
  • Initiate a software update synchronization.
  • Remove expired and declined updates from software update groups.
  • Delete software update groups that have no updates.
  • Combine software update groups into yearly groups.
  • Set the maximum runtime for updates by title.
  • Remove unneeded files from the deployment package source folder.
  • Update the deployment packages used by ADRs either monthly or yearly.
  • Directly call the stored procedures to delete obsolete updates.
  • Add crucial indexes that make WSUS run faster overall.
  • Delete updates that have been declined from the WSUS database entirely.

Invoke-DGASoftwareUpdateMaintenance

  • Author: Dam Good Admin
  • Last updated: January 6, 2019
  • Download

OS Deployment

OSDBackground
Application that replaces BGInfo as wallpaper generator during OS deployment with SCCM.

  • Author: Johan Schrewelius
  • Last Updated: December 26, 2018
  • Download: OSDBackground

OSDBackground

OSDWebservice
Onevinn Web Services exposes methods for adding and removing computers from Collections and AD Groups, retrieving group memberships (used for application installation during OSD) as well as several different methods to avoid known issues during deployment.

  • Author: Johan Schrewlius
  • Last Updated: November 12, 2017
  • Download: OSDWebservice

OSDWebservice

ConfigMgr Webservice
The ConfigMgr WebService has been designed to extend the functionality of Operating System Deployment with Configuration Manager Current Branch with common tasks available for Configuration Manager, Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Active Directory.

Driver Automation Tool
The script generates a PowerShell GUI to automate the processes of downloading, extracting and importing driver packages for Dell, Lenovo, HP and Microsoft systems. Custom packages can also be generated for unknown manufacturers.. Packages generated by the tool can then be used as part of the SCConfigMgr Modern Driver & BIOS management solutions to help automate dynamic deployment of these packages at deployment, upgrade or refresh time.

 

Drive Automation Tool for SCCM

Modern Driver Management
Modern Driver Management uses a custom built PowerShell script that is invoked during operating system deployment. This script automatically detects the manufacturer, SystemSKU (used instead of model), operating system version and architecture being deployed and matches that information against the system being deployed in order to determine the matching driver package that should be downloaded.

SCCM Extensions for Driver Management and Server Side Code Execution
Key features are dynamic driver handling based on hardware models and secure server-side code execution. It’s also possible to assign programs and applications for dynamic installation during deployment. A custom TS Action for running server-side code is added.

  • Author: Johan Schrewelius
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2018
  • Download: SCCM Extensions

SCCM Extensions for Driver Management

ConfigMgr Task Sequence Monitor
ConfigMgr Task Sequence Monitor is a GUI application that makes use of the task sequence execution data in the ConfigMgr database to review or monitor ConfigMgr task sequences. It is particularly useful for monitoring OS deployment task sequences step by step in near real-time.

ConfigMgr Task Sequence Monitor

Frontends

UEFI Bitlocker Frontend
Offers the ability to migrate your computers to Windows 10 including a new ability to detect what language pack is installed and secure XTS algorithms.

UEFI Bitlocker Frontend

UI++
UI++ is a better way to display information to the interactive user, solicit input from that same interactive user, and populate task sequence variables during System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) Operating System Deployment (OSD). UI++ can also solicit user information outside of task sequences because at its heart, UI++ is simply a generic UI framework.

  • Author: Jason Sandys
  • Last Updated: December 7, 2018
  • Download: UI++

UI++ for SCCM

ConfigMgr OSD Frontend
ConfigMgr OSD FrontEnd has been developed with the goal to function in any environment, making the native operating system deployment experience with System Center Configuration Manager more unified and easy to use.

ConfigMgr OSD Frontend

Windows 10 Servicing

Windows 10 UI
When upgrading to Windows 10 from a ‘down-level’ OS, or to a new version of Windows 10, using installation media, you get a nice UI that guides you through the installation process.

Windows 10 Upgrade UI
Windows 10 upgrade GUI with built-in hardware checks.

Windows 10 Upgrade UI

Windows 10 Upgrade Tools
Most experts agree that the best way to upgrade Windows 10 is through a SCCM Task Sequence. No other means allows the same level of customization. However most suitable, a task sequence has its flaws and especially the end user experience could be improved, this is our way.

Removing Built-in apps from Windows 10 WIM-File with PowerShell
When creating a Windows-10-Image for the Enterprise you may not want to include all of the default Windows Store Applications (Windows Apps). This Script will help you to remove unnecessary built-in-apps.

  • Author: Andre Picker
  • Last updated: June 12, 2018
  • Download

Removing Built-in apps from Windows 10 WIM-File with PowerShell
Forcefully Upgrading Windows 7 or Windows 10 to a Newer Version of Windows 10
A method to allow you to forcefully upgrade your Windows 10 (or Windows 7) computers to the latest version of Windows 10 using a popup (HTA) that gives the user some form of control (5 deferrals).

Force Windows 10 Upgrade with SCCM
Helpdesk

Client Center
The tool is designed for IT Professionals to troubleshoot ConfigMgr Agent related Issues. The Client Center for Configuration Manager provides a quick and easy overview of client settings, including running services and Agent settings in a good, easy to use user interface.

Client Center

LogLauncher
A simple tool that brings ConfigMgr related and other logs together, in one view. Automatically scans the local device on startup, to scan remote devices tap in a device name. Scan multiple devices and store the results in the Navigation Panel.

  • Author: Robert Marshall
  • Last Updated: October 22, 2018
  • Download

LogLauncher

Other

FAQShop
15-time Microsoft MVP Cliff Hobbs shares over 20 years’ experience working with SCCM and Intune across different industry sectors covering design, installation, administration and configuration, and troubleshooting. Giving you answers you can trust that allow you to get on with your life.

SCCM Resources in FAQ Shop

Reddit
SCCM Community, Conversations, Tips, Tricks, and the latest news and rumors.

Reddit SCCM

SCCM Install Scripts
This multi-part guide will show you how to install the latest baseline version of Configuration Manager from Microsoft.

SCCM Lab

 

Cireson Remote Support 

Enable Support Teams to #domore with your ITSM solution by providing instant and secure remote support to end users and customers with our Remote Support apps. Designed to leverage Microsoft Configuration Manager with the ability to integrate natively into your Service Desk, these apps streamline customer support by providing valuable insights into users, devices, processes, and deployments.

Gain control by securely performing remote troubleshooting actions such as deploying software, initiating remote control, and evaluating real-time performance from anywhere, any time. Maximize productivity, deliver faster problem resolution, and increase end user satisfaction with our modern web-based support tools.

SCCM Control Center Cireson

CTGlobal Insight Analytics™
Insight Analytics provides accurate and real time information to support continuous improvement in client management. CTGlobal Insight Analytics™ collects all relevant information from the Customer Environment and sends it through a secure protocol to our service in Azure. Request a free trial: https://ctglobalservices.com/ctglobal-insight-analytics/

Callisto
A responsive HTML dashboard for reporting across Configuration Manager and all of the System Center Suite with ease, speed and style.

Callisto for SCCM

Right Click Tools
CM help administrators reduce the complexity of systems management—simplifying everyday tasks and providing smart automation for more complex jobs. When you can do more; your environment is healthier, your end users are happier, and your organization is more secure.

Adaptiva
Manage and secure your endpoints with unparalleled speed and at a massive scale with Adaptiva peer-to-peer technology. Products include OneSite, Windows 10 Accelerator Program, and Client Health.

Adaptiva

Bomgar
Provide instant, reliable remote support to end-users and customers on or off your network using Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and more. Get more done because you’re focused on fixing issues, not fixing the connection. Securely support the desktops and devices in your network.

Bomgar

1E
Our solutions help keep every endpoint secure and current with the latest software and applications: that’s every device in every location, fully automated, and in real-time. We also deliver instant endpoint detection and remediation at massive scale, minimizing risk for your business with minimal impact on your network.

  • Windows Servicing Suite: End-to-end automation of all Windows servicing scenarios, independent of user location.
    • Nomad
    • Windows Servicing Assistant
    • Application Migration
    • Shopping
  • AppClarity: Take the guesswork out of Software Asset Management and gain visibility while eliminating waste that can save your company millions.
  • NightWatchman: Align your security strategy by giving your business the ability to patch endpoints, even if they’re not on. Reduce your carbon footprint and recoup energy waste.
  • Learn More: https://www.1e.com/ 

1E SCCM Tools

xMatters
Automate and bring structure to collaboration so you can prevent outages, manage incidents, and keep the right people informed.

Xmatters for SCCM

Netop Remote Control 
Netop Remote Control allows you to consolidate access with one solution for supporting devices and end users across your network and across the Internet. Customizable security credentials and multi-factor authentication give you a single tool for internal and third-party access; our broad platform support ensures fast, flexible access from a single interface.

Netop

Patch My PC
Easily extend Microsoft SCCM to patch over 280+ third-party updates across 158 of the most common enterprise products.Let us handle the tedious work of packaging, testing, deploying, and troubleshooting application updates in your SCCM environment.

Patch for SCCM
Patch for SCCM reduces risk and gives you back the time you need to support core business goals. Update even the most difficult apps easily, including Java and Google Chrome.

Ivanti

WSUS Automated Maintenance
A collection of tools and scripts that aid in the use and maintenance of SCCM WSUS.

 

First Look: Improved Authentication Tokens & Cireson’s SCSM Knowledge Base Reporting Improvements

In the latest versions of the Cireson Service Management Portal for SCSM, we’ve included a fantastic new ODATA API for querying data that has been cached by the Cireson Platform. (Stay tuned for another blog post about the Cireson Platform and how incredibly extensible it is). Today we’ll focus on the new Authentication Token interface and take a brief look at updates coming soon to how you can access your Knowledge Base data through the Platform.

Bearer-ing the Responsibility of Authentication

Within the Admin Settings of the Portal, you can now access the admin interface for managing authentication tokens.

SCSM Authentication Tokens

Once created, these tokens are used by adding the value to the Authorization header, with a value of Bearer [token]. It is going to look something like this when it’s been added:

Authorization: “Bearer 358e3977459b438caa9463bba0b6a804-a4f2219dcb31422c9318bfc9fe4bc2e3”

We will show an example later (below) of how you can utilize this in an Excel Power Query to access the API utilizing Excel to build reports. Generally, you’ll use these tokens for any sort of integrations or automation that would target the platform cache. This will allow you to query the updated platform and Service Manager data using the ODATA REST API framework, giving you access to a lot of pre-built integrations (again back to Excel) as well as making it easy to build your own.

Let’s take a look at the new Knowledge Base synchronization built into the platform and then we will look at how we can make the two work together for building Excel reports.

HTML Knowledge Analytics

Within the Cireson Service Manager Portal, we have the HTML Knowledge Base. This is one of the core components of the Portal, and also one of the few features where the Portal is the source of truth. The Knowledge Base is also one of the most widely used features of the Portal, which is why we are focused on adding some new capabilities to it. This synchronization is just the first of many.

What the synchronization does at this point, is look at all your existing KB articles and then make a cached copy of them within the Cireson Platform Cache. This creates the new end-point for querying the Knowledge Base data through the ODATA API. An overly simplistic query will look something like this:

https://your.host.com/platform/api/KnowledgeArticle?$top=10&$select=Title

This query would select the first 10 results from the synchronized Knowledge articles and return only the value of the Title property. There is a lot more you can do with ODATA, but I’m not going to address all of that today.

Now that we understand the basics, let us utilize Excel to do the complicated query configuration and look at setting it up to access the new endpoints.

Excel OData Connection

For our example today we are going to create a new blank workbook:

Blank Excel workbook

Once the empty workbook is loaded, we can select the Data tab > Get Data > From Other Sources > From OData Feed:

Data tab

When you are connecting an OData feed the first thing you have to do is point it to the OData API URL. In our case, this is going to be your Service Manager Portal URL with /platform/API appended to it.

OData API URL

Once you’ve selected the URL it will ask you for an authentication method and this is where things get a little tricky with the OData integration. We will select anonymous here, which will give us a list of Platform endpoints, but we won’t be able to access the actual entity data just yet.

Authentication method

Once we have the list of endpoints we can search for the KnowledgeArticle endpoint and select it.

KnowledgeArticle end point selection

Then we see the below error message, but we are going to go ahead and ignore it. Click cancel in the message, and then click Load at the bottom of the Navigator popup.

Excel navigator

This will load our data (but not really since we don’t have access yet). Next, hover the mouse over the KnowledgeArticle query and select Edit on the left in the popup.

KnowledgeArticle Selection

This will bring up a new window with the Power Query Editor. On the Home tab, click on the Advanced Editor button, to bring up the advanced editor.

When the advanced editor comes up, it will look very similar to the below. This is where we can add additional headers to the queries OData connection settings.

Add headers to queries OData connection settings

We are going to replace the [Implementation=”2.0″] with our header values and authentication token. When we are done it should look like the below image.

We’ve added a new array, with a Header value which includes an array of header properties. In the authentication property, we’ve included the bearer token information.

Array Properties

Click Done and the window will close, but we will still see the below error in the Power Query Editor. Click the Edit Credentials button.

Edit credentials

This will again show us the authentication information, we don’t need to make any changes or updates to what we see here though, just go ahead and click Connect.

Odata feed

This time, it will connect successfully using the authentication token in the query, which now happens in the background. You should see it pull the data from the KnowledgeArticle endpoint and display it in the query editor.

KnowledgeArticle Dislpayed

From here, we can manipulate the data in all sorts of ways, including merge data from multiple endpoints (but that is beyond the scope of this blog). Next, click Close & Load to load the data into your Excel spreadsheet.

Close and load

There you have it. Now you have a data source and table connected to your Platform OData endpoint that can be refreshed on-demand.

I hope you find this new authentication token feature as useful as we think you will! Please play around with the Knowledge Base synchronization while it’s in preview. Your feedback is valuable to use, and we look forward to hearing from you in the community!

training

We’re here to help you get the most out of your System Center investment and to maximize use of the Cireson solutions. From free SCSM training coursers to Configuration Manager, Cireson apps, and ITAM and ITSM process integration, we have training programs to fit your needs, role, timeline, and budget. Whether you’re just getting started with Microsoft System Center, Cireson, or need a refresher, we have the courses, resources, and deep industry knowledge to help you reach your success goals.

 

The Cireson Learning Platfrom: Free Self-Paced Courses

Whether you’re new to Microsoft Service Manager and Cireson or a seasoned expert, we have free training courses to help you expand your skills and become an ITSM superhero.

Instructor-Led Courses

Our ITIL-Certified System Center experts will lead you and your team through personalized training courses designed to expand your System Center and Cireson knowledge to help meet your goals.

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Microsoft Service Manager

Review installation, configuration, and use of Microsoft Service Manager. We’ll also explore basics around Cireson apps with regards to reporting, security, and System Center interaction.
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SCSM & Cireson Master Class

Whether you’re interested in developing custom solutions, integrating with other systems, or wanting to optimize your SMP/SCSM administration skills, join us for this deep-dive into both products.
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Microsoft Configuration Manager

Review installation, configuration, popular features, best practices, and more for System Center Configuration Manager.
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Custom Training

Custom training programs for any combination of products including Service Manager, Configuration Manager, Cireson applications, process integration, and more.
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Cireson Asset Management

Designed for your entire asset management team, this two-day course will teach you how to implement and manage assets using Cireson Asset Management.
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Team Edition

Delegates will learn how to fully utilize the Cireson Team Edition to do more with Microsoft, including an overview of the Portal for Service Manager, Console apps, CAM, and more.
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Remote Support

Learn how to provide advanced remote troubleshooting tools to Support Teams with our Remote Support apps. This one-day course covers configuration and usage of Remote Support.

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