Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk


The Automations feature provides a powerful, yet easy way to trigger actions or escalation points, based on parameters of incoming data or comments made within SWSD. With an IFTTT (if this, then that) principal, each automation can be activated and deactivated at any time.

The automation screen populates as you begin to create automation rules.

Use Cases

  1. Change ticket status: When an Agent enters a public response, the ticket state can automatically update to Awaiting Input. After the Requester responds, the state can automatically update again to Open. See Automation Rule to Create a Change Record for more information.

  2. Automate tickets entering the system: When an incident is emailed into SWSD, key words in the text can trigger routing to the appropriate team.

  3. Update priority: Update ticket priority based on impact and urgency custom field combinations.

  4. Apply time based automations: for more details, see Time Based Automations.

Components of an Automated Rule

Review the list of components for creating automation rules and begin exploring with rules relevant to your organization.


Creating automation rules begins with defining your trigger. What is the catalyst that prompts an automation rule to run?  Consider what actions could be automated to help streamline processes.  The available triggers include:

  • Object created. This trigger hones in on the creation of a new incident, request or change in your service desk.

  • Comment added. The automation is triggered by the addition of a new comment to an incident, service request or a note on a change.

  • Object updated. This trigger reviews all fields and automates based on the preselected conditions.

  • Time Based. The ability to create conditions and actions based on time and date triggers. (See Time Based Automations.)


The scope narrows which object the trigger will apply to. You can select from the drop-down menu:


After your trigger has been defined, you can move to establish your parameters. Conditions can range from specific keywords, custom fields, or attributes (like priority, state, etc.) among others.  When adding additional layers to your parameters, your operators between conditions can be AND/OR.


The action(s) behind your automations are initiated when the defined conditions are met. You can take actions such as altering the priority, reassigning ownership, relaying notifications, and more. There is no limit to the number of actions within a rule.

For example, notice the Update Record section in Actions. Here agents and administrators can easily scan for titles and add more actionable details to the index.

Use case: Any agent/administrator, can update text fields to increase workflow efficiency. An action could be helpful in updating onboarding requests. Appending the requester computer model (custom field) to the subject would enable agents to handle tickets faster.

Make sure to click the Save icon to update the new information entered.

Regular expressions (or regex) within an automation

A regular expression (also known as regex) is a unique text string that defines a search pattern. The regex concept is an advanced-level, commonly used wildcard. You may be familiar with wildcard notions such as *.txt, which helps you locate all text files in a file manager

The regex equivalent to *.txt is ^.*\.txt$.

The difference may not look substantial, but it is much more powerful than a simple wildcard. Even if you are not a regex expert, you can take advantage of regex in your SWSD. After you understand a few basic elements, you can create keyword searches that go beyond a single keyword.

Regex breakdown

Regular expressions are a useful way to extend the functionality of the keyword condition in automations. You can include:

  • multiple keywords
  • a variety of spellings
  • uppercase vs. lowercase letters, and more

Best practices for using regex

  1. To adjust for capitalization, create a regex to allow for uppercase and lowercase letters to be considered valid by the system. To do this, you must follow the syntax:

    [kK]eyword or [eE]xample

    The first letter is shown in brackets in both lowercase and uppercase format. This will allow for both: keyword, and Keyword to be recognized.
  2. To use multiple keywords within one condition, create a regex list using the following syntax:(keyword|example|list|complete.

    The | works as an OR in this list. In this example, any one (or more) of the following keywords would trigger the action associated with the automation: keyword, example, list, or comp
  3. To use multiple keywords within one condition, create a regex list using the following syntax:


    The | works as an OR in this list. In this example, any one (or more) of the following keywords would trigger the action associated with the automation: keyword, example, list, or complete.
  4. To combine best practices 1 & 2, make use of a list with both uppercase and lowercase letters -


    This would allow for the following words to be triggers for the automation: urgent, critical, help please, Help Please, help Please, Help please and serious. The addition of the \s in the keyword ‘Help Please’. That \s is the regex code for a space. If the keyword you are looking for has a space in it, you must use \s in place of the space.

  5. To adjust for incorrect, or alternate spellings of words, use the same syntax used for uppercase and lowercase letters. For example, if you wanted to account for a commonly misspelled word such as “consensus” you could use the following:


    This would recognize the following words as the keyword, and thus trigger the action you set for this automation:

    • consensus

    • concensus

    • consenses

    • concenses

    Placing letters inside the brackets [ ] allows for regex to recognize either letter as an option within that keyword. This can be very helpful when dealing with commonly misspelled words.

A quick search of the Internet can provide links to regex tutorials and expressions.

Creating a new Automation Rule

  1. Go to Setup > Service Desk > Automation Rules.

    The Automation Rules Index page displays all rules created.

  2. Click the blue Add icon. The Add Automation Rule dialog opens.
  3. Define the conditions that will be met in order for your automated actions to take place.


    You can see below that the Trigger is Object updated. In this example, if the current value for Site on the ticket is Shelby AND the value for Category on the ticket is updated to Hardware, the automation rule will reassign the ticket to Janet Perez.

  4. Notice the default setting in the upper right corner is Active. If needed, you can move the toggle to Inactive.

  5. Click Save at the bottom when finished.