Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Administrator initial setup guide

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Welcome to SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD). It is designed to help your organization implement, manage, and deliver services through efficient processes.

This is accomplished via multiple factors such as:

  • Monitoring current processes
  • Assessing trends
  • Highlighting areas that need improvement

Where to start

To begin your setup of SWSD, SolarWinds recommends that you read through these topics in the following order:

  1. Before you begin: Consider the needs of your organization and plan a setup that will meet those needs. By following the setup order below you will create your foundational building blocks before you move on to your structure and workflows.

  2. Begin initial setup

  3. Account setup

  4. Global settings setup

  5. Users & groups

  6. Integrations setup

  7. Dashboard

  8. SWSD assistance

Your organization

Ask yourself questions about the basic setup of your organization.

Because HR and Finance require a high level of confidentiality, you would likely want to prohibit IT staff from accessing any service records for HR and Finance. You could create separate service providers, and each service provider can have its own administrators. The service provider administrators would not be a member of your IT team, and such an approach would prevent IT from accessing unauthorized data.

See Enterprise Service Management (ESM) overview.


Who will be using SWSD?

  • End users, who are the customers of the services your service desk provides.
  • Agents/Technicians, who are the individuals that address and resolve incidents, service requests, and change requests.

Service Portal use

An important element of SWSD is the Service Portal.

Before beginning your setup, take a quick look at the Service Portal to gain a deeper understanding of how your users will interact with the platform. You can determine, based on end user and organizational needs, how to best set up areas of SWSD. You may want to:

  • Create multiple service providers to represent the different departments that will manage tickets through SWSD
  • Create specific change request forms
  • Define workflow processes
  • Automate ticket routing
  • Create custom forms
  • Add custom fields
  • Include custom dependencies
  • Allow users, including non-domain users, to create their own account

Customers who use ESM have separate service portals for each of their service providers.


All setup features are available by navigating to Setup from the left navigation pane.

Setup options

Some companies choose to perform minimal setup to get up and running as fast as possible. Others choose to take a more thorough approach and set up SolarWinds Service Desk to gain the most benefit from its features.

  • For those who want to take the minimal approach, see Begin initial setup.

  • For those who want a complete setup, see the Related topics section, which provides links to guidance for a more thorough setup.

Related topics