Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk


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The use of runbooks is available to Premier package customers.

Runbooks document processes in an automated workflow. In SolarWinds Service Desk (SWSD) these runbooks help to structure the naturally unstructured process of incident resolution by documenting best practices established by experts or experienced agents. Runbooks are centrally stored.

The ability to create runbooks is role-based. Users with administrator access to Setup > Service Desk can create runbooks.

Agents can attach runbooks to incident tickets to show the troubleshooting and resolution process, and that information can be used by other agents for future similar issues.

If your organization requires full authentication on each approval request, runbooks are affected. See Service Desk global settings.


ITSM customers ESM customers
Setup > Service Desk > Runbooks

Service Provider > Service Desk > Runbooks

Runbooks index table

The Runbooks index page contains a list of all your organization's runbooks. You can see that each runbook is assigned a number. Numbers are assigned consecutively as new runbooks are created. To filter the click, click Edit View. For more information, see List viewand Filtering options.


Columns available on the Runbook table are:

  • Number. The number assigned to the runbook when it was created.
  • Title. The name created for the runbook when it was created.
  • Scope. The object the runbook is scoped to.
  • Updated at. The date the last edit was made to the runbook.
  • Last used. The last time the runbook was attached and run.
  • Updated by. The name of the individual who last edited the runbook.
  • Description. A description of the runbook added by the creator.
  • Active toggle. The toggle that makes the runbook available (or unavailable) for use in an incident.
  • Ellipsis options. Hovering over the far right end of the record displays an ellipsis that offers editing options. When the ellipsis is clicked the user can delete or clone the runbook.

Filtering options

The Runbooks table can be filtered on the following fields:

  • Name (text-based field)
  • Scope (dropdown list of all objects that use runbooks)
  • Creator (user list)
  • Last run (custom date, last day, 7, 14, 21, or 30 days)
  • Active (Yes or No field)

Runbook features and limitations

Each incident can have only one runbook.

Runbooks cannot start on their own. They can only be started and stopped with user interaction.

When a runbook process is stopped, the process returns to its beginning.

A runbook midstream in its process cannot be replaced unless it is stopped first.

Runbooks can be assigned or attached via APIs.

All runbook-related actions are documented in the audit log.

Create a runbook

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) service providers can create their own service-provider specific runbooks.

In addition, runbooks can be edited at any time. Edits to a runbook do not affect already inflight processes.

  1. From the Runbook index table, click in the upper right corner.

  2. Provide a title and description (required).

  3. On the Inputs bar, click and then proceed through the screen prompts to add a field.

  4. Under the Process bar, click to add a process. For more information on adding a process, see Configure service catalog: process.

Attach a runbook to an incident

To attach an existing runbook to an incident ticket:

  1. Open the incident ticket.

  2. Click the Process tab.

  3. Click .

  4. Use the search feature to locate the appropriate runbook and then select it.

    If appropriate, you can select the checkbox on the right to start the runbook after it is added.

  5. Click Add Runbook in the lower right corner.

Run a runbook on an incident

From an open incident ticket, select the Process tab, and then click Start Process to the right of the runbook.

At any time you can click Stop the Process to return to the beginning of the process.

You can delete a runbook, but you must first stop any inflight process.

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