About

This website is run by Marcel Zehner. I work for itnetx gmbh, a consulting and engineering company located in Bern/Switzerland. We are focussed on Microsoft Technologies, especially Microsoft Cloud Solutions, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Virtualization.

Myself I focus on Solution Architecture and am technically deep in System Center Service Manager, Operations Manager and Orchestrator. Get more infos from my XING profile, Google Plus Profile or follow me on twitter using @marcelzehner.

63 Responses to About

  1. Brian Butler says:

    Marcel,

    Wonderful to see folks blogging about Service Manager. I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to check out PowerWF for Service Manager? It’s a tool that makes all your PowerShell cmdlets into Workflow Activities, from there we have a very rich development environment. And of course, the final step is to automatically create and deploy the MP to the SCSM server. Or optionally, turn your workflow into a SCSM Workflow activity to be used within Microsoft Authoring Tool.

    I would love to give you a demo, and maybe convince you to review the product for your readers. :)

    Brian

  2. Rashwan says:

    Can SCSM integrate with Tivoli System ?

    Can we use Opalis to do so ? with SCSM for

  3. Zoeb Khan says:

    Hi Marcel,
    i was wondering if you can help me out with a query;
    I am trying to set up a notification subscription, when a Change Request is fully approved. can you give some ideas on the criteria to use; “In Progress” still has RA’s in progress, so that doesnt work.
    thanks
    Zoeb

    • Hey

      Hmmmmm, one way could be using an Orchestrator runbook to do that. A quick thought:

      – Trigger: When Review Activity is “approved”
      – Check: Get Parent Object (Change Request), then get all contained Review Activities
      – Output: If all contained Review Activities are “approved”, do what you Need to do :)

      What do you think?

      regards
      Marcel

  4. zoeb says:

    Hey Budd, yea scorch can do this, unfortunately the use of it is out of scope. I’ve put the RAs in a PA and fetching status on it. Problem with this is that “parent item” property, “contains activity” properties in notifications are unable to go 2 item deep. Eg, an RA inside a PA is unable to fetch properties of the CR is is a child of, it can only fetch properties of the PA. Unless you know better?

    • Hey

      True. What about writing relevant Details from parent to child objects and vive versa? possible for your Scenario?

      regards
      Marcel

      • Zoeb Khan says:

        Not quite sure what you are trying to note, could you give me an example?

      • Hey

        It possible to use SCORCH to copy data from a parent work item to a child work item or vice versa. E.g. you can copy Information from a Change request down to a Review activity that is part of a parallel activity. When notification takes place when the Review activity changes it’s Status, you can use the Information directly from the activity and use in the notification mail. Then you dont have to worry about using relationships between parent/child work items. But this might not be what you are looking for :)

        regards
        Marcel

  5. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel

    How can i made this command works in Power Shell ’cause i want to try if i can schedule my AD Connectors, but i read in this site http://www.systemcentercentral.com/BlogDetails/tabid/143/IndexID/92641/Default.aspx what i have to do, but doesn’t work the command Get-SCSMConnector. So i don’t know why.

  6. naery says:

    Marcel, Excellent information here. Thanks for blogging about this stuff, it’s a big help to SCSM plebeians like me. Keep up the good work.

  7. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel

    can i have two exchange connectors in SCSM 2010 but with diferent accounts.

  8. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel
    I know SCSM 2010 SP1 is old, but recently i unistalled the DWMS and i follow the steps to make it, but when i try to reinstall the DWMS the SCSM doesn’t irecognizes me the installation and doens’t allow me the register of the other server, so i made the mistake that i repeat the uninstallation and now not allow me finish the second installation, so i don’t know what to do, pls if you know some tips to make it, help me.

    Best Regards.

  9. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel
    The steps that i make are:

    type in PowerShell runned as Administrator the coomand Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned after that i follow the process and then i start always as admin the installation of the DW.

    During the installation i select an existing DB and i introduce the credential of the services and reports, when the installation begins the error that show me is in the step Install Services “An error ocurred while executing a custom action:_RunSMScripts” and start to rollback and finished whit error.

  10. hazeebm says:

    Hi I am also getting same error as above. I am using remote database in SQL 2012 sp1, and scsm 2012 sp1. I had successfully installed it first time.. but had to uninstall the scsm and sql and start again from the scratch. After that I am facing this error.. :(

  11. H. Ebadi says:

    Hi Marcel, I was wondering whether you know if a certain window and its columns can be modified within SCSM. Here you can find my screenshot and question to it:

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/customization/thread/262a39b9-612a-4ba2-9812-a544f7100d19

    Thank you very much! You’d be my hero if you found any possibility :D

  12. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Good Mornning Marcel

    I need to know if there some script to upload information when i making filling a list to help me into a template for a Service Request, cause i have a lot of item to add in and i would like to know if it’s posiblble to do that.

  13. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel, its me Again

    Listen i have a problem with my DW in SCSM2012, some tables lost the primary key constraints, so i drop the PK, after that the MP of DW start to load the information again, but ome days i lost the data.

    My question is, If exist some procedure or some powershell to force the SCSM DWDB ensure the information with the Service Manager DB.

    Regards

    Oscar Aguilar

  14. CN says:

    Dear Marcel,

    Hope you are doing well.

    Your help is really appreciated in below case:

    Basically, I started deploying SCSM 2012 SP1 in my environment, but the challenge is that I don’t have Exchange Server in my domain and as you know that SCMS use the e-mail address account for users from AD in order to send auto-reply, etc…
    When I add Recipient under Administration\Notifications\Subscriptions\ it shows “No E-mail Address” is available for the recipients (users).

    How can I add the “Email Address Tab” in active directory users and computers without having exchange server installed?
    Is there a way to add the e-mail tab without using exchange?

    The company that I work for has an Exchange server but not hosted in the domain/forest where SCSM is installed, we are using Outlook Anywhere to connect to Exchange from different sites.
    SCSM is installed in a separate domain and no relationship exists between them.

    Two Questions when you have time please:

    1- How can I connect and use the Exchange server as my SMTP in SCSM if it’s not installed in the same domain?
    I have a user credential in the Exchange domain.

    2- How can I add E-mail accounts to my users in ADUC where SCSM is installed?
    The users who will submit tickets and request services have a user account in AD where SCMS is installed.
    When I connect SCSM connector to my domain, it retrieves all users accounts but without e-mails addresses.

    Thank you so much.

    /Charo.

    • Hey

      Cou can use any Exchange/SMTP Server you want, just make sure you use appropriate credentials to authenticate (if needed). To bring your mail addresses into the CMDB add them to ADDS or add them directly in the CMDB, whatever works better for you.

      Cheers
      Marcel

  15. CN. says:

    Thank you dear Marcel for your kind reply.

    The first part is clear [just make sure you use appropriate credentials to authenticate (if needed)].
    This part is done under: Administration\Notifications\Channels… Right?

    Could you please help with the second part in more details: [To bring your mail addresses into the CMDB add them to ADDS or add them directly in the CMDB, whatever works better for you.]??
    How I can do this?

    Best regards,
    /Charo.

    • Hey

      When you are running ADDS you have a mail address field that can be populated. This value is synched to the CMDB and is used in SCSM for notification puropses.

      Cheers

      • CN. says:

        Thank you dear Marcel for your kind reply,

        Basically, I don’t have the E-mail Address Tab in ADDS since I don’t have Exchange server installed in my domain as described above.
        How can I populate this field in ADDS without Exchange?

        Please advise.

        Best regards,

      • Hey

        Try adding an address in the mail address field on the general tab.

        Cheers

      • CN. says:

        Thank you dear Marcel, much appreciated!

        It works by adding an address in the mail address field on the general tab, Great :)
        Could you please guide how can I test the e-mail notification from the Service Manager console?
        I set up the “Channels” under “Notifications” but I cannot find a test button to check if my SMTP server is working.

        Best regards,

      • Hey
        You cannot really test it without using a workflow/subscription. Create a simple subscription (e.g. send a mail to the affected user when an incident is created), then create an incident and check the workflow status and the inbox.

        Cheers
        Marcel

      • CN. says:

        Dear Marcel,

        Hope you are doing well.

        A quick question please:
        How can I access the Service Manager through the web?
        Basically, I need to use SM primarily for Incidents, Service Requests, Issue Tracks, as ticketing system.
        I need the users to access Service Manager through the web to open tickets, etc…?

        I will pass by Bern on July 24th, hope I can see you to say hello :)

        Thank you very much.

        Best regards,
        /Charbel.

      • Hey

        Cireson and Gridpro both have a web console for Service Manager available. Check out their web sites. As additional option you could use a RDS Server with a RDS Gateway and publish the Service Manager Console as a RemoteApp.

        Cheers
        Marcel

  16. CN says:

    Thank you dear Marcel for your kind reply.

    The first part is clear [just make sure you use appropriate credentials to authenticate (if needed)].
    This part is done under: Administration\Notifications\Channels… Right?

    Could you please help with the second part in more details: [To bring your mail addresses into the CMDB add them to ADDS or add them directly in the CMDB, whatever works better for you.]??
    How I can do this?

    Best regards,
    /Charo.

  17. Harpreet says:

    Hi Marcel,
    I am trying to make some subscriptions work in scsm. So when a Manual activity has the following criteria:
    Status “does not equal to” In Progress TO Status “equal to” In Progress ; I want it to send an email to a Distribution list.
    For testing purposes I am using my own email instead of the DL. The subscription does work initially but the 2nd or 3rd time it doesnt send any email.
    If I goto \Administration\Administration\Workflows\Status and check for the Workflow instance, it does show the time of the subscription when it was succeeded but for the one it didnt work, there is no information whether it failed or something.
    Could you please help and advise of what could be the reasons that it works sometimes and the other it doesnt?

    Thankyou
    Harpreet

  18. highfighter says:

    Hi !

    Great blog :)

    I want integrate Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and SCSM 2012 SP1.
    I want to see the tickets of SCSM in Dynamics CRM 2011. Just a basic view tickets like the title and the status. Not require it to be real-time.
    Is-it possible to do that directly in Dynamics CRM or i must pass by Orchestrator ?
    Any ideas arround this topic ?

    Thanks !

  19. rperez14 says:

    Good Day Marcel. First, thanks for sharing your SCSM knowledge, you write great stuff here. I am currently implementing SCSM 2012 SP1 in my environment and I would like to know what resources or book you recommend where I can learn and implement the full potential of SM.
    Thanks.

  20. Sam says:

    Hello MarcelI have a situation and I was hopping you could assist. I have customized the default incident form to include Business Unit and Support Location List for my company. The problem is I need to include these fields in reporting and dashboard but all I get is GUID.I have read up on using Outriggers to expose these field in Reports, but for the life of me I cannot seem to get this to work. Please let me know if I can send you the 2 MP’s that I have so you coulld assist me with creating the MP to get the lists in a report. Thanking you in Advance

  21. Oscar Aguilar says:

    Hi Marcel

    I have a situation with my notifications, i need to delimit the description field into my email open notifications ’cause the affected user made a complain about the long information of the field. So i need delimit it.

  22. CN. says:

    Dear Marcel,

    I am running through the following error as soon as I create an incident from the SM console to test my workflow e-mail notifications:
    I am logged in to the console with an Admin user with full permission.
    Your help is highly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Log Name: Operations Manager
    Source: Health Service Modules
    Date: 22-Jun-2013 12:29:32 PM
    Event ID: 33880
    Task Category: None
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: SM-2012.domain
    Description:
    A Windows Workflow Foundation workflow failed during execution.

    Workflow Type: Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.SLA.Workflows.ApplySLAOnGroupInstance

    Workflow Identifier: 0dfad1c6-d881-0275-d464-6ca0dcee4410

    Exception Type: Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Common.InconsistentDataException

    Exception Message: Could not retrieve SLO information from the system. This can happen when SLO was either deleted or not created through console.

    Exception Stack: at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.SLA.Workflows.ApplySLAOnGroupInstance.ApplySLA_ExecuteCode(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.Activity.RaiseEvent(DependencyProperty dependencyEvent, Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Workflow.Activities.CodeActivity.Execute(ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutor`1.Execute(T activity, ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutorOperation.Run(IWorkflowCoreRuntime workflowCoreRuntime)
    at System.Workflow.Runtime.Scheduler.Run()
    Event Xml:

    33880
    2
    0
    0x80000000000000

    16775
    Operations Manager
    SM-2012.domain

    Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.SLA.Workflows.ApplySLAOnGroupInstance
    0dfad1c6-d881-0275-d464-6ca0dcee4410
    Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.Common.InconsistentDataException
    Could not retrieve SLO information from the system. This can happen when SLO was either deleted or not created through console.
    at Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.ServiceManager.SLA.Workflows.ApplySLAOnGroupInstance.ApplySLA_ExecuteCode(Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.Activity.RaiseEvent(DependencyProperty dependencyEvent, Object sender, EventArgs e)
    at System.Workflow.Activities.CodeActivity.Execute(ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutor`1.Execute(T activity, ActivityExecutionContext executionContext)
    at System.Workflow.ComponentModel.ActivityExecutorOperation.Run(IWorkflowCoreRuntime workflowCoreRuntime)
    at System.Workflow.Runtime.Scheduler.Run()

    • amoljj@gmail.com says:

      Hello, We are getting the above error aswell, Just wondering how it was resolved?

  23. David Gulua says:

    Hallo Marcel,

    Ich haette folgende Frage betrefflich SCSM2012 Web Portal: ist es moeglich, dass die Portal-benuetzer, in Menue “My Requsts” nicht nur eigene, sondern zur Domaenengruppe gehoerende (d.h. von anderen Mitgliedern der AD Security Group registrierte) IRs und SRs auch sehen koennen? Ich habe ganze Menge Dokus gelesen, fand aber leider keine Loesung.

    Vielen Dank im voraus fuer die Rueckmeldung.

    Mit besten Gruessen aus Georgien
    David

    • Hey David

      Das Portal lässt sich leider derzeit nur sehr begrenzt anpassen. Deine geüwnschte Anpassung kann nach meinen Wissensstand leider nicht vorgenommen werden.

      Gruss Marcel

  24. Peter Stucki says:

    Hi Marcel, (or “Gruezi”, as I grew up in Zug, Switzerland)
    I was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for how to create a SCSM form from a class that is also entirely newly created by me?

    Thus I have a CustomerInformation class with properties that don’t overlap with any existing Microsoft SCSM classes.

    I’ve followed your instructions to create a variant of your Customer Information class using VS Authoring Extensions, based on your recommended System.ConfigItem base class.

    Alas, I’ve run into a snag when trying to creat a form for this new CustomerInformation class:
    There is no form for System.ConfigItem.

    What to do to create a new form from scratch?

    Thanks for any pointers,
    Peter

    • Hey

      So you want to create a custom form for your own class? You could use the SCSM Authoring Tool (for simple forms) or use Visual Studio which is more complex to use because you have to design the form from scratch and assign it manually to your class.

      Cheers
      Marcel

  25. Peter Stucki says:

    Hi Marcel,
    The SCSM Authoring Tool did help to where I am further down the road in dealing with “hybrid” MPs that are made up partially of custom, and partially of built-in classes.
    The next question is how to create a format class that can import CSV data into custom and built-in properties of this hybrid class. I see you have a blog on that topic using Type Projections.

    Cheers,
    Peter

  26. Peter Stucki says:

    Correction: “format class” was meant to be “format file”

  27. Peter Stucki says:

    Hi Marcel,
    Perfect! As in tales of magic, knowing the “true name” of the thing one seeks is very helpful. I was looking under the wrong rubrics. This helps, greatly!
    Thanks!
    Peter

  28. Peter Stucki says:

    Hi Marcel,
    It seems that whoever installed SCSM on the server I’m working on, somehow didn’t do things correctly to be able to use the get-scsmtypeprojection cmdlet. Any ideas where I can get that cmdlet and how to install it?

    PS C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center 2012\Service Manager> get-scsmtypeprojection
    The term ‘get-scsmtypeprojection’ is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet, function, script file, or operable program. Check the spelling of the name, or if a path was
    included, verify that the path is correct and try again.
    At line:1 char:23
    + get-scsmtypeprojection <<<<
    + CategoryInfo : ObjectNotFound: (get-scsmtypeprojection:String) [], CommandNotFoundException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : CommandNotFoundException

  29. rgnogueira says:

    Hi Marcel,
    Your site is taking much of my questions I had in SCSM.
    I’m learning about the product and I’m really enjoying it but it does not find many things on the internet.
    I’m wanting to create in the navigation pane with the name of my company to not need to change anything in the default.
    By default the browser has Administration, Library Items and Configuration Items.
    I would like to create one with the name of IT External Items.
    Can you tell me how to do it?

    Thanks

    • Hey

      Not sure what you exactly mean. Are you talking about a new wunderbar item on the bottom left of the console? If so, these are just regular folders. Create a MP with a new folder and select the console root as the parent folder. Then it will appear there.

      Cheers
      Marcel

  30. Peter Stucki says:

    Dear Marcel,
    Background:
    I’m looking for an alternative to using referenced Enum (aka Lists) for “dropdowns” (aka “ComboBoxes”) in the forms.
    The reason for looking for an alternative mechanism for drop-downs was that using referenced Enums ran into issues when the List items in the enum were to be updated:
    1. The SCSM Console refuses to allow for the deletion of the referenced Enum MP when there are other MPs referring to it.
    2. The SCSM Console doesn’t allow the editing of a sealed Enum MP’s List items.
    3. One has to hand-add new list items to the Enum MP’s XML.
    4. Importing that new Enum MP over the old one causes views to not show data for the changed Enum.
    5. The Customer wants the dropdown choices to be dynamically updated.
    6. The Customer also wants this to be user-friendly “for the masses”, meaning that hand-editing XML and tinkering with the SCSM Console is undesirable.
    7. We had enumeration lists with hundreds of choices, making hand-entry, using the SCSM Console, inordinately lengthy, error prone, and, frankly, tedious.

    What I’m looking for:
    The deeper requirements implied in these three Use Cases below are:
    1. The system has to be easily maintainable.
    2. The system has to reflect the latest changes in data.
    3. The system has to be usable by “the masses”.
    4. Large sets [200+] of choices have to be machine importable. [Note: one reason why enums are not desirable is that we have had hundreds of choices to add and a manual approach was not feasible]

    Not as a prescription for a solution, but as a way of showing what I am looking for through an example-that-says-more-than-a-thousand-words: I want to implement the Service Manager usage-equivalent of a “Cascading Dropdown” (aka “Cascading ComboBoxes”) instead of using Enums. It doesn’t have to use Cascading Dropdowns but allow for the back-end ease-of-use that comes with it.

    Use Cases:
    Use Case 01: A User wants to edit the contents of a Windows Computer CI record.
    1. Say that I want to change the field Business Unit and its associated field Customer
    2. You pick one element from a list of Business Unit choices.
    3. The act of clicking on that field triggers a SQL search through a table of all current customers and populates the dropdown for the field Business Unit.
    4. Say, for the sake of an example, you pick the Business Unit “Accenture AO”.
    5. The act of chosing “Accenture AO” triggers another SQL search through a table to find all Customer values that belong to the Business Unit “Accenture AO” and that filtered set is used to populate the dropdown for Customer.
    6. The user chooses “Planet Express”.
    7. The act of chosing “Planet Express” triggers a final SQL search through a table to find what the two-letter code is for “Accenture AO” + “Planet Express”, say “PE”. That value is used to set a hidden field.

    Use Case 02: Maintaining the tables used to populate Business Unit and Customer lists
    1. Say I’m an Admin who wants to update Business Unit and Customer lists as there have been the creation of a new Business Unit “Accenture Galactic” and there have been new Customers ”Klingon Karrier”, “Romulan Relaxair”, and “Federation Fun” and, say, two-hundred other Customers, with their two-letter codes “KK”,”RR”,”FF”…etc…etc..etc… respectively.
    2. I open a table editor for Business Unit and Customers.
    3. I have, say a CSV that has the Business Unit, Customer, and Code field and 200+ records
    4. I import using some automated mechanism the 200+ records.

    Use Case 01-B: A user immediately has their choices updated.
    1. Say that I want to change the field Business Unit and its associated field Customer
    2. You pick one element from a list of Business Unit choices.
    3. The act of clicking on that field triggers a SQL search through a table of all current customers and populates the dropdown for the field Business Unit.
    4. Say, for the sake of an example, you pick the Business Unit “Accenture Galactic”.
    5. The act of chosing “Accenture Galactic” triggers another SQL search through a table to find all Customer values that belong to the Business Unit “Accenture Galactic” and that filtered set is used to populate the dropdown for Customer.
    6. The user chooses “Federation Fun”.
    7. The act of chosing “Federation Fun” triggers a final SQL search through a table to find what the two-letter code is for “Accenture Galactic” + “Federation Fun”, say “PE”. That value is used to set a hidden field: “FF”

  31. Maekee says:

    Hi Marcel, wanna see if you have any idea. Is there any possibility to increase the width of the textbox inside an analyst comment (Action Log). It seems to autosize up to 67 characters and then line break. Can i increase that?

  32. damon says:

    Hi
    I have a process, SCSM + Orchestrator implementation to create AD accounts, but encountered a problem and create a user when I want to specify the user belongs to OU, in 2012 CMDB SCSM couldn’t find it, I want to use the Service Manager Authoring Tool to expand, but don’t know how to operate, your Blog photos is damaged, I can’t take reference,http://marcelzehner.ch/2011/01/01/creating-classes/,Can provide a Word document for me to have a reference implementation?

    Thank you.

  33. delucamarco says:

    Hi Marcel,

    I am facing a very strange behavior in SCSM 2012 R2 (RU2). I have Problems regarding the Workflows. They do not start any more and neither do the Connectors. So first of all I checked Workflow Status, were I found a message in the protocol telling me that NT-Authority\NetworkService has not sufficient permissions. Then I checked my RunAsAccounts and was wondering why my Workflow Account and Database access account have been automatically changed from domain user to local system. When I try to Change the Accounts to a Domain User nothing happens. The dialog closes without having any effect. Any thoughts on this?
    Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards.
    Marco

  34. Wilson says:

    Good afternoon,

    I configured the Exchange connector in Service Manager 2012 R2. I can create new incidents or update. My problem is with the approval of Reviews.
    At the Event Log, identify the log that says it update the RA, but when I open the RA has not been approved or rejected.

    I am using impersonation. Account in Exchange Connector is the Workflow Account and the email also. The account email in the notification and also the same channel.

    Can you help me?

    Tks

    • Hey

      Is the sender assiciated to a CMDB User CI? Is it possible that the same mail address is assigned to 2 different User/Group CIs in the CMDB?

      Cheers
      Marcel

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