Incident Notification in Service Manager 2010

Posted: 19th April 2010 by Anders Bengtsson in System Center Service Manager

This week I have been working with notification in Service Manager. Some of my Service Manager customers need Swedish e-mail messages to one part of the company and for example English e-mail messages to another part of the company. To get that to work there are a number of steps to take. After configure e-mail notification channels (Administration/Notification/Channels) we need to configure a notification template. In the template we can configure different e-mail body and subject for different languages. In this post I will use one template, one for new incidents that the affected user will get when an incident is registered for them, you could configured a second one to notify affected user when an incident change status to closed.

I configured the first template with the following settings (Administration/Notification/Templates)

  • Notification template name: Contoso Blog New Incident
  • Targeted class: Incident
  • Management Pack: Service Manager Incident Management Configuration Library (default)
  • Message subject: A suitable message and property, I use WorkItem/Id (insert as property) to get the case ID
  • Message body: A suitable message and properties. I use
    • WorkItem/Id
    • WorkItem/CreatedDate
    • WorkItem/Title
    • Incident/Classification
  • Language: Swedish (Sweden)
  • Switch to another language, in my scenario English (United States). Input a new message subject and message body. Then click OK to save your template

Now we have a notification template that supports two languages, in my example Swedish and English (United States). Next step is to configure a workflow to send notification. We can use the default incident event workflow configuration workflow for that (Administration/Workflows/Configuration). Add a workflow with the following settings

  • Name: Contoso blog New Incident
  • Description: E-mail notification to affected user when a new incident is registered
  • Check for events: When an incident is created
  • Management Pack: Service Manager Incident Management Configuration Library (default)
  • Enabled: Checked
  • On the Specify Event Criteria page, click Next
  • On the Select Incident Template, do not apply a template, click Next
  • On the Select People to Notify,
    • Enable notification
    • User: Affected User
    • Message template: Contoso Blog New Incident, click Add
  • On the Summary page, click Next
  • On the Completion page, click Create and Close

Now, If we register an incident for a English user and one for a Swedish user there will be a couple differences in the e-mail. First it will use different message body and subject as the users has different local settings on their user CI in Service Manager. As you can see we get a very strange value for the category in the Swedish e-mail. This will happen when the list value doesn’t have a display string in the language of the target recipient. The workflow will get the notification template that corresponds to that user´s locale property setting. Replace the list value display string given the user´s locale. Format the date and time values according to the users locale property and time zone. In this scenario the user Kurt has local property configured to Sweden (Swedish) so there is no default display string for Hardware Issues in Swedish. But for Ed it works out of the box as his locale property is configured to English (United States) which is provided out of the box.

If you need to update your users timezone and/or locale settings you could use the CSV connector. Travis has a good post about that here. I have a post about the CSV connector and importing knowledge here.

During my tests I found the following results when you mix user local property, notification template language and default display strings

User Local Property Notification Template Language Available display string Result in e-mail notification
Sweden (Swedish) Sweden (Swedish)(only language configured) US-EN (Default) Incorrect list values
English (United States) Sweden (Swedish)(only language configured) US-EN (Default) correct list values
English (United States) Both English (United States) and Sweden (Swedish). Will use the English (United States) template body US-EN (Default) correct list values
Sweden (Swedish) Both English (United States) and Sweden (Swedish). Will use the Sweden (Swedish) template body US-EN (Default) Incorrect list values
blank/null Both English (United States) and Sweden (Swedish). Will use the Sweden (Swedish) template body which was first configured in the template. Swedish is also the local settings on the service manager server. US-EN (Default) Incorrect list values
Other language for example Sweden (Finish) Both English (United States) and Sweden (Swedish) US-EN (Default) No e-mail

What we need to do to get correct e-mail bodies for Swedish affected users is to add localization in the Service Manager Incident Management Configuration Library management pack. We need to configure the management pack to support Swedish. Travis has a good blog post about this here. General steps are

  1. Export the Incident Management Configuration management pack
  2. Open it with XML Notepad
  3. Add languagepack and localization display strings for your language<
  4. Save the management pack
  5. Import it into Service Manager again

If we now register a incident for a English (United States) user and one for a Swedish (Sweden) user they will get one e-mail each, from the same notification template, but with different values for the list properties. In this case the incident category parameter will be translated to different words.

To summarize this post I would say that notification in Service Manager is a key feature that everyone will use. It support multiple-language templates and there are workflows and wizards to help you. But! Remember to plan the user CI local setting, language of your notification template and language of your display string

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