Environment: Service Desk 7.4 Self Service
Why read this document:
In 7.4 Self Service some new functionality was introduced called Automatic Searching. This forces End Users through a mandatory knowledge search before they can raise a record for support to progress. This is used to deflect the End User away from ever needing to have contact directly with a support analyst and therefore reducing the overall cost of support. Details on this process are in Service Desk 7.4 New Features Manual
However there are some instances when you may not be ready to implement this process. For example, you may not have enough knowedge content available to ensure that meaningful search matches will be shown in most cases. Alternatively, perhaps you have only recently asked End Users to start using Self Service rather than calling you, so you want to make raising an incident as quick as possible, but still want to highlight that you have a knowledge base available for more advanced users of Self Service.
This article will show you how to create a relationship between a category attribute on your process object (incident, problem, change, request, etc) and a filtered list of articles which will display on a tab for your End Users. The tab will display the relevant articles as soon as a category is selected or changed - before the End User even saves or refreshes the page.
This functionality might be particularly useful if for example:
You have a subset of articles that resolve a high percentage of all the incidents that are logged for some categories, so you want to always show these articles when one of these incident categories is selected.
You have a small number of articles available to End Users (the majority are for Analysts only) so you don't think that knowledge free text searching is always needed.
Step by step instructions how to achieve this:
As always with design changes, please try this out fully on a test system before you consider implementing on live.
- First of all drag the category object onto the article object. For example, incidentmanagement.category to knowledgemanagement.article. Select No when asked if you want to create a collection.
- Next edit the design of your knowledge article window (the one that your knowledge admins or analysts who create articles will see). Drop the new category attribute onto the window. This will allow you to pick a category for each article that you want to show on the tab.
- Decide whether you want to make this category mandatory on the window or not. Here are some thoughts about this:
- If you don't make this mandatory on the window then you will have easier control over articles that you want to display on the tab and those you don't (by simply not setting the category if you don't).
- However if you want to control what is shown on the tab via more complex additional conditions in your filter such as only articles within particular knowledge domains, those articles at a certain status, that haven't reached the expiry date, or only those with a particular effectiveness scoring then you may prefer to set this as mandatory.
- In Query and Report Designer, create a new System Filter based on the knowledgemanagement.article object (as it is article information that you want to show on the tab) but filtered by your process object for example incidentmanagement.incident (as changes to this record is what will filter the results in the tab).
- On the attributes step of your filter design, add in the attributes that you want to be displayed on your tab.
- On the criteria step add in the criteria for category "Is Equal To" then "Specify Runtime Value" then navigate to Category (this is showing attributes from your process object).
- NOTE: If you instead select "Is Equal To Category" rather than "Is Equal To" then you will show matches from both the category level you selected and any child categories (lower in your category structre). For example, if you have articles set to a category of hardware - printers and articles set to hardware then selecting hardware on the incident screen would show articles for both. If you leave the criteria for "Is Equal To" you will only see articles where the category is an exact match.
- Optional step - Other things you may want to consider at this point:
- If you have an approval process for your articles then you will want to have another filter criteria to check that the article status is equal to Approved. If you are running knowledge free text searches it will only pickup articles which are Approved but with a filter you could decide to pickup all articles irrespective of status.
- If you use knowledge effectiveness scoring (more details in LANDesk Service Desk Suite 7.5 Knowledge Management) then you may want to order the filter results by effectiveness descending. You do this by right-clicking on the attribute column and selecting Properties - Sort Order.
- You may also want to set a criteria on your filter to only show articles which have an effectiveness scoring over X amount. Alternatively perhaps set your filter properties (last page when creating your filter) to only return the top X number of articles when ordered by effectiveness descendng so that only the highest rated are shown.
- If you use knowledge domains to restrict who can see certain articles then this only applies when using knowledge searches and not if you create a filter or query for someone to use. Therefore you may want to add additional criteria into this filter such as knowledge domain is equal to x or not equal to y. Unfortunately you will not be able to pickup the knowledge domain from the logged in user at runtime. If you use multiple domains for End Users to be given different levels of access to articles you may have to create a few similar filters with different hardcoded criteria for knowledge domains, and then publish slightly different windows to different groups or roles of End Users, each with a different filter on.
- Once you have created your filter, open Window Designer and locate the End User process object window that is being displayed in Self Service, for example then End User Incident window. Modify the window to add a Query control and then set the properties to display the filter that you have created.
- All done! In Self Service the list of articles on the tab will change as soon as the category they are filtered on is changed:
- A couple more things that you may need to consider in order to complete this design:
- Ensure that your End Users have at least Read access to articles (allocated via privileges).
- If you want to allow End Users to be able to select how effective an article is then you would need to ensure that they are given privileges to update articles. In order to stop them being able to edit article text then you may want to design a different article window just specifically for end users, make all attributes read only on this window design, and publish this to them via view rules to the End User role or groups.