Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Change catalog items

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In SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD), implementing change processes provides numerous benefits across your organization. You can:

  • Drive consistency in routine Change Plans. For example, changing a network router is standard procedure. Whether you want to upgrade or replace a faulty router, over 80% of the change processes are common across all types of routers.
  • Accelerate and streamline Approval and Execution workflows. By providing a template to request a network router change, the organizational process has already been approved and all that is left is to follow the preset guidelines.


Service Desk > Change Catalog.

Create a new change catalog item (CCI)

  1. Navigate to Service Desk > Change Catalog.

  2. In the upper right, click the blue Add icon.

  3. Notice the New Change Catalog Item form is divided vertically into two main sections. Text and dropdown fields display at the top and tabs display at the bottom.

  4. Enter a title, which is a mandatory field.

  5. Enter information into the rich-text fields, which are indicated by the grey text icon in the lower right of each field.

    The rich-text fields in a change catalog item are Description, Change Plan, Rollback Plan, and Test Plan. Clicking the grey text reveals a toolbar you can use to format text, or add hyperlinks, images, or video. Video options include Vimeo, YouTube, or Microsoft Stream videos.

    It is a best practice to enter all common details to provide transparency and clarity for future users of a CCI.

    Within the form, the ellipsis icon that displays to the upper right of each field when you hover your mouse in that area provides you with options related to that field. The options, which are not available for every field, are Enable for editing and Show in portal.

    If Enable for editing is disabled, others can only view the details without making any changes in later phases of the Change Management Lifecycle.

    SolarWinds recommends you choose whether to enable editing in the Change and Roll Back Plan fields based on your organization's needs. SolarWinds recommends you disable editing in the Test Plan field. This approach ensures the Test Plan stays constant.

  6. If appropriate for your organization, make the service available in the Service Portal by selecting the checkbox next to Highlighted service.

  7. Make selections from dropdown fields, and if appropriate, hover your mouse to the upper right of any field to display the ellipsis icon, which you can click to enable editing of the field.

  8. Add Process fields and processes.

Tabs in a saved CCI

The lower section of the New Change Catalog Item form consists of tabs, such as Details, Process, Related, and Audit. SolarWinds recommends reviewing each tab to get the full benefit of the form. For example, the Process tab displays all tasks, assigned approvers for the Change workflow, and more.

Process Tab

Tools in the Process tab let you create seamless workflow processes. This tab incorporates all the approvers and additional process options.

From the Edit icon you have several options as shown below:

In one step you can update:

  • Task. Update/Add a task to the lifecycle of the change, including the name, description and person assigned to complete task.
  • Group. Update/Add a group to act as a container for multiple steps to occur in a concurrent fashion.
  • Approval. Update/Add an approval step to capture the needed authorization for the Change.
  • Condition Set. Add a new Condition to any record field (including custom fields) in a workflow and add a value to the pre-existing process. By applying a condition you enhance customization of your workflows and increase automation of processes to ensure overall efficiency.

  • When you have multiple conditions you are able to streamline processes by selecting the specific condition type needed for this process. For example, by selecting to customize the Operator between conditions, you can select 1 AND 2 OR 3, or any combination necessary.

  • Record. Using Update Record, alter any workflow process to customize and ensure smooth automation of business processes and streamline your workflows.
    • You can update any record field in the workflow. This includes system fields such as:
    • When you update a field such as name and/or CC, you can select from previously cached entries. After a field is updated, it is not available for additional updates within the same action. To make additional changes, exit and re-enter Update Record. Be aware that Update Record does not include inputs (also known as process fields).
  • Stop Process. Use Stop Process as part of the workflow if the Process must be stopped in the middle.

  • Send Notifications. This is your automation tool to provide status updates of all processes to relevant stakeholders.

    The Send Notifications feature is available in the Advanced and Premier packages.

    For example, for new laptop requests, you can set up an automatic notification to be sent when the new laptop request has been denied or approved. The notification can:

    • State the denial with reasons why or steps to follow up for more information.

    • State the approval of the laptop request with a ship date.

Additional options

The ellipsis icon in the Process tab offers two options:

  • Enable for Editing lets others edit the field when requesting or editing a change created from the CCI.
  • Start Process Automatically automatically starts the change process after the request is entered.
Start Process Automatically can be enabled from all existing CCI templates.


After you have made the relevant adjustments, click Add Update Record to save your changes.

After creation of each CCI, notice your options:

  • Show in Portal. When selected, this option lets end users request the Change directly from the Portal.
  • Request. Initiate the Change request.
  • Actions:
    •  Clone. Clone the CCI
    • Schedule Request. Lets users schedule a future request rather than at the time the request is being made.

After a workflow is finalized

After you have finalized your workflow, it is important to understand how the process unfolds. You can select between:

  • Pre-processing. When a change or service request is submitted, the entire workflow is processed, with each step in the workflow evaluated based on the value of conditions and fields before the workflow begins.
  • Just-in-Time processing. Evaluates each step of the workflow based on the value of conditions and fields when these steps are reached. This lets you base workflow decisions on current value rather than the values of these conditions and fields prior to workflow beginning. As a result, you can build more dynamic and realistic workflows that replicate your IT and business processes.

Create a custom user field for use in an approval process

You can create a custom user field, for example, Change Manager, and use it in a change catalog item. You need to build/add a field to the Change Catalog item (Inputs), name it Change Manager, and make it a User field.

  1. Create a new Change Catalog Item or edit an existing one.

  2. With the Details tab selected, scroll to the Process Fields section, and click Add Field.

  3. Add a name for the field, for example, Change Manager.

  4. Use the dropdown arrow under Field Type to select User.

  5. Click Save.

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