The missing responded action – found at last!

Somewhere along the line BMC decided, quite sensibly in my opinion, to add a “Responded” action to the Actions menu on the Incident, Problem and Change forms. The idea being, for those who haven’t seen it, is that you can select this and it populates the Responded Date and Time with the current date and time – essentially a Client-Side Business Rule.

The issue with this action, is how to get it to appear! Recently on one of our contracts the Responded action had disappeared from the menu and was causing some difficulty. I posted a query about this in the MagicSolutions forum (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/magicsolutions/message/63393) and had an interesting couple of responses that suggested I was not alone. I checked on the Magic Knowledge Base (http://magickb.remedy.com) and found nothing useful so did some digging of my own.

It so happens that, nestled in 24.js in C:Program FilesBMCService Desk ExpressApplication Serverscripts is a line of code that looks like:

if(eval(window.MResponded) != null) window.MResponded.parentElement.parentElement.style.display = (document.all("132") == null ? "none" : "");//Shardul. Fix for bug# 36850. Hide the "Responded" menu item if the "Responded Date & Time" field is not available on the form

So, the answer to my issue (and potentially others hence the post) is that for the Responded action to appear in the Actions menu, the Responded Date and Time field must be available (editable or display only) on the form in question! As the default incident forms don’t have this field available, it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a number of people who didn’t even know the functionality existed.

Anyway, just thought I would share. As always, comments always welcome.

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Service Desk Express and Traffic Light Style Quick Views Based On Due Date

Ever since the release of Service Desk Express colour coded Quick Views have been supported. However, the examples that were always demonstrated related to colour coding based on Urgency ID rather than date/time (i.e. rather than approaching due date etc.). BMC subsequently created a knowledge base article that detailed the basics of how to color-code Quick Views based on the due date and whilst this article does give the basics, I thought it may be helpful to provide a bit more detail and a slightly more appropriate (well at least in my opinion) example.

The example I want to implement is a completely dynamic one whereby, the colour of the ticket (incident, work order, problem or change) will be:

  • Green: If the current date and time is before the recommended fix date calculated as a result of the urgency selected.
  • Orange: If the current date and time is between the recommended fix date and the due date calculated as a result of the urgency selected.
  • Red and Bold: If the current date and time is after the due date calculated as a result of the urgency selected.

So the advantage here is that different urgencies can be selected as a result of SLAs etc. and the Quick View will automatically colour code based on the appropriate recommended fix duration and due date – nothing is hard coded.

As per the knowledge based article, to do this we need to create a calculated field in the relevant ticket module (in this example we will do it for Incidents). So, log into DB Admin and right-click on the Incident module and select Add Field…

Select Calculated as the Field Type from the drop down list and enter the following values in the appropriate textboxes:

  • Alias Name: Due Date Status
  • Column Name: DUE_DATE_STATUS
  • Display Name: Due Date Status
  • Formula: CASE WHEN GETDATE() > “RECOMMENDEDFIX_DATE:” AND GETDATE() < “DUE_DATE:” THEN ‘Warning’ WHEN GETDATE() > “DUE_DATE:” THEN ‘Critical’ ELSE ‘Normal’ END

Click the button to Test the formula which will prefill the type as varchar. Click the Save icon.

Log out of DB Admin as that is you done in there.

Now we need to create the Quick View as discussed above. Log into Service Desk Express and open the Quick View manager. Expand the Incident Management node and right-click on Incidents assigned to members of my group (Predefined Queries) and choose Copy Query. Enter a sensible name for the query and click OK. The Quick View wizard should appear with the query appropriately populated.

Click the Output link and click on the Due Date Status field from the Available Display Fields listbox and click the arrow to make it appear in the Selected Display Fields listbox.

Now click the Formatting link followed by the Advanced >>> button in the bottom right hand corner. We are going to add the three conditions specified above:

  • If Due Date Status = Critical Then Background Color = Red and Text Attribute = Bold
  • If Due Date Status = Warning Then Background Color = Orange
  • If Due Date Status = Normal Then Background Color = Green

So assuming that these have been added correctly your Quick View should look something like the image below:

Quick Views Formatting

Click Review/Save followed by the Save button and your done. Your incidents will now be automatically colour coded based on the Recommended Fix and Due Date of the incident.

As always, any comments (positive or negative) always welcome.

Freediving For Charity – British Record Attempt

On the 7th February 2008 I am going to attempt to set a new British Record in the freediving discipline of dynamic apnea without fins – essentially, swimming as far as you can underwater on a single breath of air.

The current British Record in 120m! I am aiming to achieve 130m – just over 5 lengths of a 25m pool!

I am hoping to raise £1000 for The Brooke (http://www.thebrooke.org), the UK’s leading overseas equine welfare charity whose aim is to improve the lives of horses, donkeys and mules working in the poorest parts of the world. If you could spare any money for this charity please visit my sponsorship site: www.justgiving.com/freedive.

Many thanks.