Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Configure service catalog

On this page

Introduction

Similar to any sales catalog that identifies all the items offered in a store, your service catalog is a complete, up-to-date list of services performed within your organization. When customers want to request a product and/or service, your service catalog should be their one-stop-shop.

SolarWinds strongly recommends that anyone creating a service catalog and catalog items read the Service catalog introduction before moving forward. It contains basic information about the service catalog feature, how it and components within the catalog work, and things you should consider before building your service desk catalog.

Use cases

Service Catalog assists your organization in maintaining order.  For example:

  • Define alert criteria with information sent directly to SWSD for:
    • Server failure
    • Capacity level
  • Define SLAs.
  • Track activities and resolved incidents.
  • Control the data that is sent to SWSD.
  • Use automation to assign incidents to a category.
  • Re-trigger alerts to create a Incident index table in an incident.
  • Audit all activities.
  • Identify your most popular service catalog items.
  • Identify service catalog items that might need to be retired.

Navigation

Service Desk > Service Catalog.

Service catalog items index page

From the All Items index page, you can:

  • Search for a specific catalog item or a word or phrase contained in a catalog item name.

  • Create a new catalog item.

  • Update or delete a catalog item from the list view.

  • Export the list.

  • See the state of catalog items. For example, draft, internal, or approved.

  • See the category and subcategory related to the catalog item, the expected delivery time, and cost.

  • Determine whether the catalog item is highlighted in the service portal.

  • Perform actions, such as submitting a request, scheduling, or deleting a catalog item.

  • See the details of a record by clicking the name of the record. A panel containing the details opens. From there you can see three tabs (Details, Process, and Audit) that provide additional information.

You can customize the All Items index page to a view that best meets your needs. See List view for more information.

Create a new service catalog item

You can create a new service catalog item or clone an existing one and then edit the contents of the cloned item.

SolarWinds strongly suggests you clone before editing any existing item.

To create a new one from scratch:

  1. Navigate to Service Desk > Service Catalog.

  2. Click Add in the upper right.

  3. In the New Service Catalog Item dialog, provide required information (designated by a red asterisk).

  4. Add Inputs and if appropriate, add workflows under Process.

  5. Click Create to Save.

Saved catalog items

After a catalog item is saved, three tabs appear at the bottom: Details, Process, and Audit.

Details tab

Provides clear visibility on items such as:

  • Site and Department, to be included for reporting purposes.
  • Price, for easy analysis of budget.
  • Duration, to provide visibility of process times and delivery.

Process tab

The Process tab includes the workflow; that is, all tasks and approvals required from time of request to approval. This can also include alternative steps needed if not approved.

Directly from the Process tab you can make many updates to the process such as:

  • Task. Update or add a task to the process, including the name, description, and person assigned to complete the task.
  • Group. Update or add a group to act as a container for multiple steps to occur concurrently.
  • Approval. Update or add approval steps to capture the needed authorization for a specific change.
  • Condition Sets. Apply a condition to any record field (including custom fields) in a workflow. By applying a condition you enhance customization of your workflows and increase automation of processes to ensure overall efficiency. For example:
    • An onboarding workflow training process for all employees, except for employees in the Spain office. (The Spain office provides this training in Spanish, therefore must follow a different workflow).
    • A workflow in which a task is added to update a specific software if the laptop model contains the string MacBook.

      SolarWinds recommends you review all fields below to familiarize yourself with condition sets that are most relevant to your organization.

      When you have multiple conditions you are able to streamline processes by selecting the specific condition type needed for the process. For example, by customizing the Operator between conditions you can select 1 (and 2 or 3) or any combination necessary.
  • Process Integration. Used to integrate with external systems.
    More information is available on using Process integrations within your workflow process.

  • Update Record. You can alter any workflow process by customizing to ensure smooth automation of business processes as well as streamlining your workflows.

    For example, you can update any record field in the workflow, including system fields 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. Also, Update Record does not include variables (also known as process fields).
  • Send Notifications (available in Professional and Enterprise Plans). This is your automation tool to provide status updates of all processes to relevant stakeholders.

    For example, for laptop requests you can set up an automatic notification:

    • To be sent after a new laptop request has been denied. The notification can state denial with reasons why or steps on how to follow up for more information.
    • To be sent after a new laptop request has been approved. The notification can inform recipients that the laptop request has been approved and the ship date is MM.DD.YYYY.

    See Email notification templates for more information on how to set up email templates.

  • Paste. Lets you paste an SWSD object copied to your clipboard. For example, you can copy/paste workflow nodes from the Process tab.

From the Process tab you can drag and drop fields in the variable columns. You can also set default values.

Audit tab

The Audit tab provides an account of all activities related to the selected catalog item.

Understand how a workflow affects a process

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: This option evaluates each step of the workflow based on the value of conditions and fields when these steps are reached. This allows you to base workflow decisions on current value rather than values of conditions and fields prior to the workflow beginning. As a result, you can build more dynamic and realistic workflows that replicate your IT and business processes.

The Audit tab provides an account of all activities related to the selected catalog item. 

Copy/paste workflow nodes

SWSD provides you with the ability to copy individual workflow nodes from a new or existing catalog item. You can then paste them into the current catalog item or into another new or existing catalog item.

You cannot copy from workflow nodes from one account to another, for example, from a sandbox account to your main customer account.

You can also clone a catalog item to copy all workflow nodes associated with that catalog item. This is helpful when you want to create a new catalog item and reuse multiple workflows associated with the previous catalog item. You can then edit, remove, and/or add workflows as needed in the new catalog item. For more information, see Clone a catalog item with its workflow nodes.

Workflow nodes are stored in catalog items under Process. Every catalog item has a Copy option.

  1. Navigate to Service Desk > Service Catalog.

  2. Open an existing catalog item by clicking the name, or create a new catalog item by clicking Add.

  3. In an open catalog item, click the Process tab.

  4. Hover over the workflow you wish to copy until icons appear to the right.

  5. Click the Copy to clipboard icon.

    After you click Copy, the label above the icon displays with a check mark and the text changes to Copied to clipboard.

Paste a copied workflow node

  1. Determine whether the service catalog item where you want to paste the workflow node already has any workflow nodes on the Process tab.

    • If yes, hover over the workflow process where you want to add the new workflow (even the current workflow process) until icons appear to the right and click Add to create a new workflow node.

      If you want to add the new workflow after all existing processes have occurred, click Add at the bottom of the list of existing workflows.

    • If no, you must first create a new one. On the Process tab click Add to create a new workflow node.

  2. From the dropdown menu, scroll to the bottom and select Paste.

  3. Edit as needed.

Clone a catalog item with its workflow nodes

  1. Navigate to Service Desk > Service Catalog.

  2. From the All Items index page, click the name of a catalog item to open it.

  3. In the upper right, click Actions.

  4. From the dropdown menu, select Clone.

  5. In the New Service Catalog Item dialog, edit any field necessary. Everything associated with the previous catalog item has been copied over, so review every field.

Edit a service catalog item

For users to be able to edit a service catalog item, an administrator must enable that capability. See Service Desk Settings: Edit option in Service Catalog Items for more information.

Any update to the values or default text in a custom field will be reflected in all places where that custom field is used.

Related topics