Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Add the Organization Name

VariableWe recently added a whole bunch of extra variables for the email templates. Another one has just been added for use in the email notifications that ITRP generates for requests.

The additional variable makes it possible to include the name of the organization of the person for whom the request was submitted.

Email template with organization name
Adding this variable may be especially useful for service providers that support multiple external organizations.

The complete list of variables can be found in the online help.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Request Review by Approvers

ApprovalApprovers are now able to review all the requests that are linked to the changes they have been asked to approve. The requests can be opened directly from their approval tasks in ITRP Mobile or ITRP Self Service.

Hyperlinked requests in approval task
The requests can also be opened using the hyperlinks in the Change Summary PDF file that is attached to approval tasks and the email notifications for those tasks.

Hyperlinked requests in change summary
Having access to the requests gives approvers more information about the changes for which their approval has been requested.

Friday, April 17, 2015

More Detail for Problem Identification

ProblemProblem managers may have noticed a small change in the 'Requests for Problem Identification' view. The 'Service' column of this view has been replaced by the 'Service Instance' column.

Requests for Problem Identification view
This provides a little more detail, which can be especially useful when the provider organization supports many instances of a service.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Serve Your Irish Customers in Gaelic

IrishThanks to one of our customers that uses ITRP in Ireland, end users can now set their language preference to Irish (Gaeilge). This switches their Self Service interface to Irish.

ITRP Self Service in Irish

Service Desk console with Irish userThis is also useful for the service desk. When a call comes in, the service desk analyst who picks up the call is able to see if the user wishes to be addressed in Irish.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

New API Capabilities

REST APIThe REST API of the ITRP service has been extended. The API can now also be used to add, update and remove the addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and web sites of organizations and people.

The following is an example of a cURL call that can be used to add a billing address to an organization:

curl -k -u "token:x" -X POST

The same can now be done with the configuration items that are related to a configuration item, the approvers to which an approval task has been assigned, and the standard service requests of a service offering.

The following example shows how an approver can be added to an approval task:

curl -k -u "token:x" -X POST

In the above examples, token represents a user's ITRP API token. You can find your API token in the "Personal Information" section of the Settings console.

For more details about these new capabilities, visit the Change Log of the ITRP developer website.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Changes for My Team's Services

ChangeA new view has been added to the Records console for changes. It is the 'Changes for My Team's Services' view.

When you open this view, it lists the changes that are linked to a service which support team equals one of your teams.

Changes for My Teams Services view

Monday, April 6, 2015

More Variables for Email Templates

VariableSeveral extra variables have been made available for use in the email templates that are used by ITRP to generate email messages for end users, approvers and support specialists.

In total, more than 20 new ones were added, including a variable for the urgency of a request, the impact of a problem, the status of a release, the justification of a change and the category of a task.

Email template example with extra variables
Although it is recommended to keep the email notifications short, these extra variables may come in handy in special support environments. The complete list of variables can be found in the online help.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Reopening Requests

ReopenEnd users are able to reopen their completed request in ITRP Self Service and ITRP Mobile, provided that they were completed within the past 28 days.

Apparently, not all end users noticed the reopen option. To improve this, the Reopen button is now placed directly next to the Add Note button.

Reopening a request in Self Service
The button has also been given a red label to draw the user's attention to it and to indicate that it should only be used in special circumstances (e.g. in case the solution did not resolve the incident).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Microsoft Integrates Azure with ITRP

AzureMicrosoft has integrated Windows Azure Active Directory with ITRP. This makes it easy to for organizations that use Azure to enable single sign-on (SSO) for their ITRP users.

Visit the Microsoft Azure Technical Documentation LibraryThe Azure AD Integration with ITRP tutorial from Microsoft explains how this integration can be activated in just a few simple steps.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Your Approval Is No Longer Needed

ApprovalFor a while now, it has been possible to assign an approval task to multiple approvers. When the minimum number of approvals have been given, or when one of the approvers rejects the task, the remaining approvers are no longer able to approve or reject it.

This caused some confusion with some approvers. To explain why their approval is no longer needed, a short message now gets displayed at the top of the task.

Related change, requests and problems
Depending on the situation, one of the following two messages will be displayed:
  • Your approval is no longer needed as the required number of approvals has already been obtained.
  • Your approval is no longer needed as this task has already been rejected by someone else.

Note also that the names of the people whose approval is no longer needed, are written in strikethrough characters. These small adjustments should make things a little more intuitive for approvers.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Context While You Work on Tasks

TaskMost tasks are generated automatically from a task template and do not get updated by the change manager. The context for the work that someone is asked to perform is typically provided by the related change, requests and problems. These are all visible in the task as long as it is in View mode.

As soon as the task is placed in Edit mode, however, this context was no longer available. Since this information is often important to support specialists when they are working on a task, it now remains visible when the task is placed in Edit mode.

Related change, requests and problems

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Relations Removed from Removed CIs

Relations Removed from Removed CIs

DisabledFrom now on, when the status of a configuration item is set to 'Removed', its service, service instance, CI and user relations are automatically removed.

Active CI with relations
Apart from helping to keep the CMDB relations accurate, this ensures that removed configuration items (i.e. CIs for which the support organization no longer has any responsibility) no longer show up in the Service Hierarchy Browser (SHB).

Removed CI without relations
In addition to automatically removing these relations after a CI has been removed, a small usability feature has been added that makes it easier to identify inactive CIs. When the status of a CI is 'Archived', 'To Be Removed', 'Lost or Stolen' or 'Removed', its name is written in strikethrough characters when it is presented in View mode, and the disabled symbol is displayed over the CI's picture to indicate that it is no longer active.

Monday, March 16, 2015

So Long, IE7

Internet ExplorerIt is time for us to say goodbye to Microsoft Internet Explorer 7. As of September 01, 2015, end users will no longer be able to use the IE7 browser to access ITRP Self Service.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 7Terminating support for IE7 will make it possible to offer end users a more modern experience on their PCs, similar to what they get on their smartphones with ITRP Mobile.

Since our browser statistics show that usage of IE7 has already dropped well below the 1% mark, we do not expect many users to be affected by this. Those who are still working with IE7 have several months to either upgrade to a more recent version of Internet Explorer or to start using an alternative browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Superior Tablet Support

TabletMany specialists have already been using ITRP on their tablets. They will be happy to see how the ITRP user interface now automatically optimizes itself for use on small touch screens.

On a tablet there is not enough room to show a view on the left side of the screen with the selected record on the right. So when ITRP detects that it is being used on a tablet, it displays the view over the full width of the screen. When a record is selected, this record replaces the view.

Navigation bar above request
The navigation bar is available above the selected record. The arrow on the left can be used to return to the view. The up/down arrows on the right can be used to go to the previous or next record in the view.

PC users with a low screen resolution (i.e. with a width of less than 1280 pixels) will also benefit from the same UI optimization. By presenting the views over the full width of their screens, they are able to see more of the text in the wider columns.

An improvement has also been made for PC users with a very high screen resolution. Their views will automatically be presented over a wider area of the screen. This makes better use of their available screen width.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Updating UI Extensions in Self Service

UI ExtensionYou can create a custom form for your end users by adding a UI extension. In Self Service, end users can then fill out these forms to ensure that the support specialists have all the information they need to complete the request.

To ensure that an end user does not change the information in the UI extensions after a request has been submitted, it was not possible for end users to update a UI extension. Sometimes, however, it is important that a requester can be asked to adjust the information, for example when it is incorrect or incomplete.

In such cases, a support specialist can now set the status of the request to 'Waiting for Customer'. As always, this will send a notification to the requester. From now on, though, this also allows the requester to update the values of the UI extension fields.

No configuration items selected
After the requester has updated the UI extension, a note needs to be added to inform the support specialist what has changed, after which the update can be submitted by pressing the Save button.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Linking Multiple Records

AddThere are quite a few places in ITRP where it is possible to relate multiple records of the same type to another record. For example, an approval task may need to be assigned to several approvers, an SLA can cover any number of organizations, and a request can be submitted for more than one configuration item.

To avoid having to relate each record separately, the new multi-select feature allows multiple records to be selected, after which they can all be added at the same time.

No configuration items selected
Clicking on the link causes a search box to pop up, which can be used to look up the records that need to be related. After entering some text in the search box, up to 20 matches are suggested for selection.

Search results - no CIs selected
Just click on the items you want to link and press Done. Or use the down-arrow key to highlight items and select them by pressing the spacebar.

Search results - multiple CIs selected
After you have selected the items you need, press the Enter key to link them. To quickly select a single item, highlight it and press Enter.

Multiple linked records
To remove a link, click on the Remove icon to the left of the related record.

Remove a linked record

Sunday, February 15, 2015

ITRP en EspaƱol

SpanishYes, that's right. Specialists of support organizations that work primarily in Spanish are now able to switch their language preference to Spanish. That will cause all headers, field labels, field options, etc. in the ITRP user interface to appear in Spanish.

Requests header in Spanish
Even though ITRP Self Service was already available in Spanish, end users may notice a few small adjustments there. They were made to ensure compliance with the official Spanish (Castilian) ITIL glossary.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Welcoming Dinco to the ITRP Partner Network

SwitzerlandOver the past weeks we have been working closely with Dinco on its ITRP partner certification.

Dinco logoDinco is a highly experienced ITSM practice located in the north of Switzerland. From there it serves large organizations in the Zurich and Basel areas.

We are very happy to announce that Dinco is now a fully certified member of the ITRP Partner Network.

Monday, February 9, 2015

UI Integrations

Export APIFor those of you who were not aware of this already, it is possible to add hyperlinks (i.e. custom links) to the Actions menu. Account administrators can do this in the 'Custom Links' section of the Settings menu. Support specialists can then access these custom links by clicking on the Actions toolbar button.

Custom link in Actions menuThis feature has just been extended. It is now possible to add parameters to these links. These parameters dynamically add field values from Person and CI records to custom links.

For example, the person.primary_email parameter can be included in an Actions menu link. When a support specialist has a Person record selected and clicks on this link, the value in the Primary email field of this Person record gets inserted in the URL.

Actions menu link configuration
Better still, when a specialist is working on a request, the primary email address of the person who is selected in the Requested by field of the request is included when this custom link is used. This works regardless of whether the request has already been saved or not.

And when a specialist has opened a configuration item, then the primary email address of the first user automatically becomes part of the link.

Parameters are also available for CIs. These can be used, for example, to open a new browser tab in which a system management application shows the current technical details of the selected CI. If this is done from a request, problem or task, the parameter will be replaced with the corresponding field value of the first CI that is related to it.

Just think of the possibilities of integrating ITRP with your organization's discovery tools, chat application, remote takeover software, automated password reset functions, etc.

Monday, February 2, 2015

ITRP Mobile

MobileEnd users are now able to use their smartphones to submit and track their requests.

Tracking requests in ITRP Mobile
Their managers are also able to approve changes. And all users can review the broadcast messages that are targeted at them.

Approvals and broadcasts in ITRP Mobile
The best thing is that no one needs to do anything to get ITRP Mobile. When a user receives an email from ITRP about a request or approval task, the hyperlink in the email will automatically launch ITRP Mobile if the user is working on a mobile device.

This means that there's no app to download and that users are always using the latest version. It also means that IT departments do not need to distribute anything to the smartphones of their organizations.

For the next few weeks, ITRP Mobile will be available as a Beta release. This period will be used to perfect the formatting for the mobile platforms that ITRP Mobile supports. Android, iOS and Windows Phone are the supported operating systems.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


AvailabilityLooking back at 2014, we can only conclude that it was another stellar year for the ITRP service.

One vital accomplishment was last year's overall availability of 99.996%. There were 3 short outages with a total outage duration of 20 minutes. This highlights the resilience and self-healing ability of the service's infrastructure.

Also impressive are the 40 new releases that were transferred to production over the past 12 months. These releases added numerous useful features to the service. It is important to note here that not a single one of these releases caused any downtime. The release management process, which depends heavily on our maintenance of the unit tests, as well as the integration tests, clearly performed effectively. The key to this is probably that the unit tests are maintained by other people (i.e. the development team) than the integration tests (which are the responsibility of the product management team).

And then there were the organizations that completed their migration to ITRP. To cope with the demand without compromising the quality of service, we decided to suspend the ability for new customers to sign up online. Organizations that want to start using the service, now need to get access through one of the ITRP partner companies. The ITRP partners are in the best position (geographically and from a language point of view) to support our customers. They give us at the ITRP Institute the ability to focus most of our attention on further extending the capabilities of the service.

Looking ahead, though, we can already see that more needs to be done to maintain the exceptional levels of service and support that ITRP is becoming known for. The number of new customers that have signed up so far in 2015 will require us to add another member to our team soon. Another ITSM superstar will therefore join us in a few months to help us handle the growth.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Time Spent Today

Time spentSeveral organizations require their support specialists to track their time in ITRP. These organizations checked the Track support effort box in the Settings console.

Track support effort setting
This ensures that users are prompted to fill in their time, for example, when they complete a request.

Time spent field
When actual time spent data was analyzed, however, it showed that people have a tendency to underestimate their time by as much as 60%. To give people a good reference when they are filling out their time spent throughout the day, a small indicator has been added to the toolbar.

Time spent today indicatorThis indicator displays the total amount of time that the user has spent on requests, problems and tasks so far today. Every day at midnight (in the user's time zone), this indicator starts counting again from 0:00.