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CA Service Management - 14.1
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Define a Category or Area

Last update January 29, 2018

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Issues or change orders can be assigned to categories so that default values defined for a category automatically appear in the fields while creating the issues or change orders.

 Request/incident/problem areas define the general areas into which request, incident, and problem tickets can be organized. Categorizing these ticket types lets you generate reports, study trends, and analyze problem causes.

Note: If multi-tenancy is installed, select the appropriate tenant from the drop-down list. The public (shared) option creates the object for all tenants.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Administration tab, browse to Service Desk, and select any of the following:
    • Change Orders, Categories
    • Issues, Categories
    • Requests/Incidents/Problems, Areas
    The corresponding Area or Category List appears.
  2. Click Create New and complete the fields, as appropriate:
  3. (Optional) Add Properties to Requests/Incidents/Problems Areas from the Properties tab.
  4. (Optional) Attach a classic workflow or attach a CA Process Automation workflow (if you have integrated CA SDM with CA Process Automation).

    Note: You can attach classic workflow to each ticket type area only if you have applied a patch. Find the patch and download details from CA Support Online.

  5. (Optional) Enable Auto Assignments from the Auto Assignment tab.

  6. Click Save and close the window.
    The category or area is defined.

Request/Incident/Problem Area Fields

The following fields appear on the Create, Detail, and the Update pages for Request/Incident/Problem Areas:

  • Symbol
    Defines a unique identifier for the record.
  • Organization
    Specifies the company, division, or department that is associated with the request/incident/problem area. You can enter a value directly or click the magnifier to search for an organization.
  • Record Status
    Shows whether the database record is active or inactive.
  • Group
    Identifies the group that is responsible for this record.
  • Assignee
    Shows the name of the person assigned to the record.
  • Service Type
    Shows the level of support service received by the contact affected by the record.

    Note: Service types are automatically attached to issues based on the service type defined for its issue category. If different service types have been defined for other values on the issue (priority and contact, for example) the service type used is the one with the best (lowest) ranking. For example, if an issue is opened and the From contact has a 12-hour resolution service type, which is ranked as 2, while the priority code has a 4-hour resolution service type, which is ranked as 1, the service type for the issue is a 4-hour resolution.
  • Survey
    Identifies the defined survey associated with this record. You can enter a value directly or click the magnifier to search for a survey.
  • Area Urgency
    Specifies how critical the [Request, Incident, Problem] is to the business area.
  • Self-Service Include
    Displays the request/incident/problem area in the self-service interface.
  • Self-Service Symbol
    Defines a unique identifier for this request/incident/problem area in the self-service interface.
  • Description
    Provides a detailed description of the record.
  • This category is valid for the following
    Defines what ticket types the record is valid for. The default is enabled for all three ticket types (Requests, Incidents, and Problems).

Issue Category Fields

The following fields appear on the Create Issue Category, Issue Category Detail, and Update Issue Category pages:

  • Symbol
    (Required) Defines an identifier for the category.
  • Code
    (Required) Defines the internal code for the category.
  • Record Status
    (Required) Indicates whether this database record is active or inactive. You can select a value from the drop-down list.
  • Group
    Identifies the group that is responsible for the record. Your system administrator defines groups of contacts that are responsible for different types of issues, requests, incidents, change orders, and so on. Any individual contact assigned to the group can handle the task once it is assigned to the group. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a group.
  • Assignee
    Identifies the person assigned to the record. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a contact.
  • Service Contract
    Identifies the service contract name associated with this record. This field is read-only.
  • Service Type
    Defines the level of support service received by the contact affected by the change order. For example, some users may have contracted for 24-hour support, while others might receive on-site training. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to select a defined service type.
  • Survey
    Identifies the defined survey associated with this record. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a survey.
  • Children Allowed
    Allows issues assigned to this category to have subordinate issues. Organizes issues into a hierarchy of parent-child relationships to divide large issues into smaller, more manageable issues.
  • Self-Service Include
    Displays this category in the self-service interface.
  • Self-Service Symbol
    Defines a unique identifier for this category in the self-service interface.
  • Description
    Gives a detailed description of the record.

Change Category Fields

The following fields appear on the Create Change Category, Change Category Detail, and Update Change Category pages:

  • Code
    (Required) Defines the internal code for the category.
  • Type
    Defines the level at which change orders are implemented within an organization.
  • Record Status
    (Required) Indicates whether this database record is active or inactive. You can select a value from the drop-down list.
  • CAB
    Specifies the group that is responsible for reviewing Requests for Changes (RFCs). The CAB provides multiple perspectives necessary to ensure proper decision making about implementing changes. The CAB can include members from the application team, development manager, component owner, QA, support, and any additional parties deemed necessary. You can enter the value directly or click the search icon to search for the group.
  • Organization
    Identifies the company, division, or department that is associated with the change category. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for an organization.
  • Group
    Identifies the group that is responsible for the record. Your system administrator defines groups of contacts that are responsible for different types of issues, requests, incidents, change orders, and so on. Any individual contact assigned to the group can handle the task once it is assigned to the group. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a group.
  • Assignee
    Identifies the person assigned to the record. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a contact.
  • Service Type
    Defines the level of support service received by the contact affected by the change order. For example, some users may have contracted for 24-hour support, while others might receive on-site training. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to select a defined service type.
  • Survey
    Identifies the defined survey associated with this record. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a survey.
  • Risk Survey
    Indicates the defined risk for change orders associated with change categories.
  • Children Allowed
    Allows change orders assigned to this category to have subordinate issues. Organizes issues into a hierarchy of parent-child relationships to divide large issues into smaller, more manageable issues.
  • Self-Service Include
    Displays this category in the self-service interface.
  • Self-Service Symbol
    Defines a unique identifier for this category in the self-service interface.
  • Service Contract
    Identifies the service contract name associated with this record.

Add Properties

Properties are characteristics or attributes of tickets that are affected by the area or category the ticket is assigned to. For example, when you assign a request to a request area, the properties associated with that area are automatically assigned to the request.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Properties tab, click Add Property.
    The Create New Property Template page appears.
  2. Complete the fields as appropriate. To limit the property values to selections from a predefined set, you can specify validation rules. 

    The following values on the Properties pages are not self-explanatory:

    • Sequence
      Defines the order in which the properties appear on the Properties tab of the tickets assigned to this Area or Category. The property with the lowest sequence number is listed first.
    • Active
      Specifies whether the property is active or inactive.
    • Value Required
      Indicates whether a value must be entered for this property on tickets assigned to this Area or Category. If selected, the word Yes appears in the Required column when this property is listed on the Properties tab of a ticket.
    • Validation Rule
      Indicates the name of a rule that has been defined to validate user-entered values for this property. Enter the validation rule name directly or click the search button to search for a validation rule.
    • Label
      The name of the property as it appears on the Properties tab.
    • Examples
      Examples of appropriate values for the property. For example, if a freeform text field is intended to contain information about a network type, this field might include LAN, WAN, and SAN as example values. These examples appear on the ticket to provide guidance for entering the actual property value.
  3. Click Save.
    The detail page lists the new property on the Properties tab. 

    The keep_tasks option determines what happens when you assign an existing ticket to a different category:

    • If keep_tasks is not installed, existing properties and workflow tasks are removed from the ticket, and any properties or tasks associated with the new category are added.
    • If keep_tasks is installed, existing properties and tasks are retained on the ticket, and any properties or tasks associated with the new category are added.

Create Property Validation Rules

You can create validation rules to ensure that only valid values are assigned to custom properties. For example, if you have defined a property named Operating System, you can define the validation rule as a drop-down list containing the options Windows, UNIX, and Linux.

Properties that are defined without validation rules are presented to the user as freeform text boxes, which allow any text string to be entered. Validation rules make reporting on area and category values less complex and less error prone.

Note: Property validation rules are reusable. They are not specific to a particular property. You can apply any existing validation rule to properties defined for change categories, issue categories, or request/incident/problem areas.

Depending on which type of validation rule you have configured for a property, when the user assigns a ticket to the category or area to which that property is attached, one of the following controls appears on the ticket properties tab:

  • Text Edit Box
  • Check Box
  • Drop-down List.

Follow these steps:

  1. Access the create, detail, or update page for the custom property you want to assign a property validation rule. For example:
    1. Select Service Desk, Change Orders, Categories on the Administration tab.
      The Change Category List page appears.
    2. Click the Add.IT.Server link.
      The Add.IT.Server Change Category Detail page appears.
    3. Select the Properties tab and click the Add Property button.
      The Create New Property Template page appears.
  2. Click the Validation Rule link.
    The Property Validation Rule Search page appears.
  3. Specify any filter criteria and then click Search.
    The rules that match your filter criteria are displayed.

    Note: Validation rules are not specific to a particular category or area type. You can apply any existing validation rule to properties for change categories, issue categories, or request/incident/problem areas. Although you can create multiple checkbox validation rules, it is not necessary to do so. You can reuse an existing checkbox rule as many times times as you want by applying a different label. For example, if you have an existing checkbox rule named CB, and you later want to apply a checkbox validation rule to a different property, you can select CB from the Property Validation Rule List and then enter a different label on the Create New Property Template page.
  4. Click Create New if there is no existing validation rule that meets your needs.
    The Create New Property Validation Rule page appears.
  5. Complete the fields as appropriate.
  6. For Dropdown validation rules only, the Property Value List tab appears on the Create New Property Validation Rule page. To specify the list of options that appears in the dropdown menu:
    1. Click Add Property Value.
      The Create New Property Value page appears.
    2. Complete the fields as appropriate and click Accept.

      Note: The Accept button accepts the changes, closes the window, and applies them to the current record, but you must still click the Save button on the main record window to make the changes permanent.

      The Create New Property Validation Rule page appears with a highlighted status indicator showing the number of property values that are pending.

    3. Repeat the above steps until you have added all the property values you want the dropdown list to contain.
  7. Click Save on the Create New Property Value page.
    The Create New Property Template page appears, with the validation rule name filled in.

Attach a CA Process Automation Workflow

A workflow process definition identifies a collective series of tasks, steps, and conditions that are structured in a specific order for individuals or parties to initiate and complete. An administrator creates the workflow process definition and stores it on the CA Process Automation server.

From CA SDM, you attach a workflow process definition to a ticket area or category. Later, when a user creates a ticket with the area or category, the system automatically launches a workflow process instance. The Workflow Tasks tab tracks the workflow progress to completion.

Note: (Applicable, if you have applied the patch) You can attach this workflow for each ticket type (request or problem or incident).

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Use ITPAM from the Workflow tab.
    The CA Start Request Form is displayed with the following fields:

    • Name
      Specifies a name of CA Process Automation workflow process definition.
    • Path
      Specifies the location where the CA Process Automation process is stored on the CA Process Automation server. For example: ServiceDesk/Process/.
    • Description
      Describes the workflow.
  2. Select the process definition.
    The Start Request Form closes and the process definition appears on the Workflow tab.
  3. Click Save.
    The system saves the process settings. The next ticket that a user creates in the specified ticket category or area automatically attaches the workflow and creates a process instance. When the ticket area or category has an attached CA Process Automation process definition, the Workflow Tab contains the following fields:
    • CA IT PAM Start Request Form
      Searches for CA IT PAM Start Request forms.
    • CA IT PAM Process Name
      Specifies a CA Process Automation workflow process name. The process name you specify must match one of the processes that you specified in the Options Manager caextwf_log_categories parameter.
    • CA IT PAM Process Path
      Specifies the location where the process is stored on the CA Process Automation server. For example: ServiceDesk/Process/.

Attach a Classic Workflow

Classic workflow  is provided as a standard CA SDM component. To allow flexibility, you can define workflow tasks as optional, which allows the analyst to delete them from the task list. All mandatory workflow tasks must be complete before the ticket can be closed. The only exception is that if the ticket status is set to Cancelled, the workflow process terminates automatically. If a ticket is removed from a category with an attached workflow, or assigned to a different category, the workflow process terminates automatically. If the new category has an attached workflow, its process starts automatically.

Ensure that you apply the patch before attaching this workflow to the request/incident/problem area. If you have customized the following files, ensure that you save the customization, apply the patch and then reapply the changes to these files:

  • detail_pcat.htmpl
  • pcat_wftpl_tab.htmpl
  • detail_in.htmpl
  • detail_cr.htmpl
  • detail_pr.htmpl
  • detail_pr.htmpl
  • detail_pcat.htmpl
  • list_wftpl.htmpl
  • detail_wftpl.htmpl
  • detail_bhvtpl.htmpl
  • detail_cr.htmpl
  • detail_in.htmpl
  • list_ntfl.htmpl
  • list_ntfm.htmpl
  • detail_act_type_assoc.htmpl
  • detail_evt.htmpl
  • detail_macro.htmpl
  • list_act_type_assoc.htmpl
  • detail_ntfm.htmpl
  • list_evt.htmpl     
  • detail_ntfl.htmpl

  • list_slatpl.htmpl

  • std_head.htmpl     

  • detail_sdsc.htmpl

  • list_macro.htmpl 

  • xx_wf_tab.htmpl

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Add Classic Workflow from the Workflow tab.

    Note: (Applicable, if you have applied the patch) For each ticket type (request or problem or incident), you can attach a classic workflow. For example, select the Request tab and click Add Classic Workflow. Similarly click Incident or Problem tab to attach the classic workflow, if required.

    The Workflow Definition List appears.

  2. Complete the following fields as appropriate:

    • Task

      (Required) Defines the CA SDM workflow task type. Click this link to select a task from the Task Type List. For more information about task types, see Define Workflow Task Types.

    • Sequence 

      The order in which this task appears on the ticket's Workflow Tasks tab. The task with the lowest sequence number is listed first. Numbers do not need to be sequential.

    • Record Status 

      (Required) Identifies whether the database record is active or inactive. Select a value from the drop-down list.

    • Assignee 

      The name of the person assigned to the ticket. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a contact.

    • Group 

      The group that is responsible for the ticket. Any individual contact assigned to the group can handle the task once it has been assigned to the group. Enter a value directly or click the search icon to search for a group.

    • Deleteable 

      Determines whether the user can delete this task from tickets.

    • Service Type 

      The level of support received by the organization. For example, some users may have contracted for 24-hour support, and others might receive on-site training. Enter the service type directly into the field, or click the search icon to select the desired service type.

    • Estimated Duration 

      Indicates the estimated date when the task should be finished. The date and time display in mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm am | pm format. Enter the date and time directly or click the calendar icon to select a date.

    • Estimated Cost 

      Estimates how much it costs to complete the task. Enter the amount as an integer without commas or periods. It is best to enter the amount in dollars only.

  3. Click Accept. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to add more workflows.
    The workflow tasks appear on the Workflow tab.
  4. Use the controls on the following tabs to configure the workflow tasks:
    • Behaviors
      Specifies behavior macros to perform actions based on conditions associated with the issue workflow status. For details about working with this tab, see Create a Behavior.
    • Auto Assignment
      (Optional) Specifies how workflow tasks are automatically assigned to groups. For details about working with this tab, see Enable Workflow Auto Assignment.

Create a Behavior


You can configure behavior macros to perform specified actions automatically, based on conditions associated with the issue workflow status.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Add Behavior.
    The Create New Behavior Template page appears.
  2. Select a workflow task status and active or inactive from the drop-down lists and enter a description of what activities the behavior is configured to perform, then click Save.

    Note: You cannot define the actual functionality of the behavior until it has been saved.
  3. Click the behavior's workflow status code on the Behavior tab of the Workflow Template page.
    The Behavior Template Detail page appears.
  4. Click the To Do tab.
    Any conditions and macros that have been defined for the behavior appear in the Macro List.
  5. Click Edit to update the Macro List.
    Any conditions and macros that have been defined for the behavior appear in the Macro List.
  6. Click the Condition link.
    Macro List page appears, displaying the available condition macros.
  7. Select a macro from the list.
    The macro symbol appears in the Condition field of the To Do tab on the Update Behavior Template page. For more information about macros, see create a macro from the How to Configure SLAs topic.
  8. Click Update Actions On True.
    The Macro List page appears.
  9. Select Action in the Type drop-down list and click Search.
    The Actions On True Update page appears.
  10. Select the actions you want to apply when the condition is true and click the arrow button to move them to the selected list, then click OK.
    The Update Behavior Template page appears, displaying your action selections.
  11. Click Update Actions On False.
    The Macro List page appears.
  12. Select Action in the Type drop-down list and click Search.
    The Actions On False Update page appears.
  13. Select the actions you want to apply when the condition is false and click the arrow button to move them to the selected list, then click OK.
    The Update Behavior Template page appears, displaying your action selections.

Enable Auto Assignment

You can specify how CA SDM automatically assigns tickets in an area. You can select location-based auto assignment or CI-based auto assignment.

Note: The Options Manager autoasg_override option controls the circumstances under which auto assignment takes place. If the value of this option is set to 1 (default), CA SDM ignores any existing assignee and group settings and auto assigns tickets in all cases. If you want CA SDM to auto assign tickets only if they are not already assigned, set the option value to 0.

Follow these steps:

Complete the following fields from the Auto Assignment tab and click Save.

  • Auto Assignment Mode
    Specifies how auto-assignment occurs. You use the Configuration Item Based option to base the auto assignment on the CI Assignable Attribute value.
    • Disabled 
      Bases the auto-assignment on the Area Defaults option when it is installed.
    • Configuration Item Based 
      Bases the auto-assignment on the CI Assignable Attribute value.
    • Location Based 
      Bases the auto-assignment on the location value.
      The automatic assignment process begins with the workshifts defined for the area, proceeds next to groups, and finally to locations. If at any point relationships are defined that fail to satisfy the requirements of the auto assignment process, the process attempts to assign the Default Assignee and Default Group of the area. If no defaults have been defined, the ticket assignment is not changed.
    Note: For details about the auto assignment processing logic, see the Auto Assignment topic.
  • Assignable CI Attribute
    Specifies the configuration item attribute to use for the group assignment. You can enter a value directly or click the magnifier to search for an attribute.

Assign Groups

To configure auto assignment for a request/incident/problem area, you must at a minimum define the relationships between analyst groups and the area.

Assignees are chosen from groups that meet all of your specified auto assignment criteria. If no additional constraints are defined, tickets are auto assigned to the group member with the fewest active tickets.

If no groups are associated with the area, the default group and assignee are assigned. If these defaults are not defined, the ticket is left for manual assignment.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Auto Assignment tab of one of the pages, click Update Groups.
    • Change Orders Detail
    • Issues Detail
    • Requests/Incidents/Problems, Areas Detail
    The Group Search window opens.
  2. To filter the search, complete one or more of the search fields, or leave all fields blank to search for all groups, then click Search.
    The Groups Assigned Update window opens.
  3. Use the arrow buttons to move available groups to or from the Groups Assigned list.
  4. Click OK.

Assign Locations

If you assign a location to a request/incident/problem area, the tickets in that area are auto assigned only if a matching location is found. For example, a request ticket is auto assigned if there is an eligible analyst at:

  • The affected asset's location
  • The affected customer's location

If the affected asset or customer has no specified location, the request is assigned to the default group and assignee. If these defaults are not defined, the request is left for manual assignment.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Auto Assignment tab of one of the following pages, click Update Locations.
    • Change Orders Detail
    • Issues Detail
    • Requests/Incidents/Problems, Areas Detail
    The Location Search window opens.
  2. To filter the search, complete one or more of the search fields, or leave all fields blank to search for all locations, then click Search.
    The Locations Assigned Update window opens.
  3. Use the arrow buttons to move available locations to or from the Locations Assigned list.
  4. Click OK.

Assign Workshifts

You can constrain auto assignment by relating the request/incident/problem area to a workshift. The workshift determines the timeframe within which tickets are eligible for auto assignment. Tickets opened outside the hours of the workshift are assigned to the default group and analyst or left for manual assignment.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Auto Assignment tab of one of the following pages, click Update Workshifts.
    • Change Orders Detail
    • Issues Detail
    • Requests/Incidents/Problems, Areas Detail
    The Workshift Search window opens.
  2. To filter the search, complete one or more of the search fields, or leave all fields blank to search for all workshifts, then click Search.
    The Workshifts Assigned Update window opens.
  3. Use the arrow buttons to move available workshifts to or from the Workshifts Assigned list.
  4. Click OK.

Define Issue Categories

Issues can be assigned to categories so that default values defined for a category automatically appear in fields on new issues. Defining categories lets you quickly create issues.

Note: If multi-tenancy is installed, select the appropriate tenant from the drop-down list. The public (shared) option creates the object for all tenants.


To define an issue category

  1. On the Administration tab, browse to CA SDM, Issues, Categories.
    The Issue Category List appears.
  2. Click Create New.
    The Create New Issue Category page appears.
  3. Complete the fields as appropriate.
  4. (Optional) Use the controls available on the tabs at the bottom of the page to configure the following features:
    Properties
    Defines custom properties to apply to issues assigned to this category.
    Workflow
    Attaches a workflow to specify a standardized sequence of tasks to resolve issues assigned to this category.
    Auto Assignment
    Specifies how issues in this category are auto assigned.
  5. Click Save.
    The Issue Category Detail page appears.
  6. Click Close Window.
    The new issue category appears in the Issue Category List when you refresh the list.

Enable Auto Assignment

You can specify how CA SDM automatically assigns tickets in an area. You can base auto assignment on groups, locations, and workshifts.

The automatic assignment process begins with the workshifts defined for the issue category, proceeds next to groups, and finally to locations. If at any point relationships are defined that fail to satisfy the requirements of the auto assignment process, the process attempts to assign the Default Assignee and Default Group of the category. If no defaults have been defined, the ticket assignment is not changed.

Note: For details about the auto assignment processing logic, see the Administrator Guide.

Note: The Options Manager autoasg_override option controls the circumstances under which auto assignment takes place. If the value of this option is set to 1 (default), CA SDM ignores any existing assignee and group settings and auto assigns tickets in all cases. If you want CA SDM to auto assign tickets only if they are not already assigned, set the option value to 0.


To enable auto assignment

  1. On the Administration tab, browse to Service Desk, Issues, Categories.
    The Issue Category List appears.
  2. Select the category to edit.
    The Category Detail page appears.
  3. Click Edit.
    The Update Issue page appears.
  4. Select the Auto Assignment tab, and select the Auto Assignment Enabled check box.
  5. Click Save.
    Auto assignment is enabled.
  6. Click Save.
    Auto assignment is enabled.
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  1. J.W.
    2016-04-08 09:07

    Under "Attach a Classic Workflow", there are references to applying "the patch". Is this referring to a specific patch; any patch; or is this a hold over from some other instructions?

    J.W.