Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk


Categories & Subcategories

Categories and Subcategories are used to classify the Incidents, Service Requests and Changes coming through your service desk. You can categorize your Solutions in the SWSD using the same list of classifications.

Let's look at the parent/child relationship to gain a deeper understanding of how classifications can help streamline your ticket assignment.

Example: For category Computers there can be a subcategory Laptops. A child category is a subcategory of its parent category. Once these are defined, you can have them automatically assigned to individuals/groups in your team. When creating a category or subcategory, you may want to create an email dropbox, which can be used to directly route incidents to this email address.

Understanding Categories

Navigate to Service Desk and select Categories.

Notice the two tabs offered:

  1. Incident/Service Requests

    Incident categorization enables your employees to specify a category for their break/fix incidents on the Service Portal.  You can ensure incidents are routed to the correct group of technicians, by establishing default assignees on both the category and subcategory level. Having a well-defined set of categories and subcategories will also empower you to create informative reports on the types of incidents and requests you are addressing within your service desk.

  2. Changes

    You can also organize your work according to categories and subcategories for changes and change catalog items. This allows you to search for change records easily (without relying on their title), sort your change index and slice reporting information accordingly.

    Examples of out-of-the-box categories available for the change module:

    • Applications
    • Network
    • Security

Category Settings

There are 3 options to review when determining the use of categorization within your service desk:

  1. Categories is a mandatory field

Categories are the top level selection that provides information regarding the topic of the incident. As both your requesters and service agent users will be entering in categories and subcategories, you’ll want to ensure that your defined categories are clear and familiar.

Examples of categories that can help you define your organization:

  • Applications

  • Building Maintenance

  • Hardware

  • Human Resources

  1. Subcategories is a mandatory field

Subcategories give your employees and technicians the ability to provide another layer of granularity when describing their issue or the service request item. Examples of subcategories may be:

  • Category: Hardware

    • Subcategories: Laptop, Mobile, Desktop

  • Category: Human Resources

    • Subcategories: Benefits, Time Off

    Both category and subcategory entry can be made as mandatory fields, helping to ensure all incoming incidents and requests are classified

  1. Default Category

When turned on, this feature allows you to specify a Default Category which will be used for all new incidents submitted without a selected category.
Making any and all of these selections can help auto-route incoming incidents based on the category and subcategory that your employees select on the Service Portal. We typically recommend using Groups as your default assignees for visibility and ease of use.

Understanding Incident Routing

Default Assignee and Notifications

If you choose to have a default category, for all uncategorized incoming incidents, we also recommend selecting a default assignee. These steps will save time and help meet SLA’s by streamlining processes while also ensuring incidents are being addressed in a timely manner.

Default Notification for All New Incidents

Should you elect to enable this feature, a notification for all new incidents will be relayed to the selected user or group. This helps ensure that a notification is sent, even if no category or default assignee has been selected for routing.

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