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Services


An Introduction to Services

In NetHelpDesk, Services are a collection of business operations that can be used as a means to log tickets, and have them routed to a particular team with preset fields. They can also be used as a means of monitoring the status of particular business operations.

A Service can:


2. Pre-Requisites

The Services feature has had a major re-design in version 10.65 of NetHelpDesk. So in order to use this feature and for this guide to be relevant, the following criteria will need to be met:


3. Key Terms

Here are a few terms which are commonly used in this guide, and in the application:


4. Basic Setup


4.1 Enabling Services

Services are managed in the main Windows application. To enable Services, in main configuration, ensure that the Services slider is turned on. The settings for Services in main configuration contain a few options which will be covered later.

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Visibility of the Services area of the application can also be restricted by Agent. In the Agent settings, please ensure that your Agent account has Services checked in Features Visible > Navigation Features.

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4.2 The Services View

On the main screen, you will now see a Navigation option on the bottom bar titled “Services”. This is where Services are set up and managed. You will also notice a new toolbar page at the top of the screen titled “Services”. This contains a few options relating to creating Services and logging Service Requests and Incidents.

Select the Services navigation button and you will see Options for “Category”, “End User” and “Operational Status”.

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Each of these options lists Services in the main screen list view, but by different entities in the tree-view.

Select one of these options and you will be taking to the corresponding view.

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The treeview (highlighted green above) shows either Service Categories, Clients/Sites/Users or Operational Status’ depending on the view you are in. Selecting one of these changes the Services which are visible in the main list (highlighted in blue). The list shows all the Services linked to what is selected in the treeview (this list will be empty if using the feature for the first time), and will show key information such as the name of the Service, the Service category, the summary of the Service, operational status, last status ok, whether the Service is available in the catalogue, and the number of subscribed users and linked assets. Double clicking on a line in the list will open the Service Details screen for the corresponding Service. The highlighted red shows the Services toolbar, which contains available actions.


4.3 Service Categories

All Services come under a Category, and serve as a way of grouping Services. As this is effectively the top level of the tree in Services, we will start by configuring these (Note that these are not linked to the categories used in Requests in any way).

Select the “Category” view under Services in the Navigation area. The treeview will now show Service Categories. There should be some default categories already available, which can be used, edited or deleted.

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To add a new Service Category, right-click on the first node that says “Service Catalogue” and choose “New Service Category”. To edit an existing one, right click on the category and select “Edit Service Category”.

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You will then be shown the Service Category details screen. From here you can change the name of the Category, manage restrictions and delete the Category. Restrictions will be covered later.

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4.4 Creating and Editing a Service

Now that we have created the Service Categories, we will create the actual Services to go in the Categories.

This can be done by either selecting the “Create Service” button on the Services toolbar, by right clicking on a Service Category and selecting “Create a New Service” (this will put the new Service in the selected category), or in the End-User view by right clicking on a Client, Site or User and selecting “Create a new Service” (this will automatically subscribe the selected entity to the Service).

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This will display the Service Details screen for your new Service.

Double-clicking on a Service in the list on the main screen will allow you to edit an existing Service. This will also take you to the Service Details screen.


4.5 Service Details Overview

The Service Details screen is where a Service is set up, and where it is managed. All settings regarding an individual Service are found here. We will now go through a high level overview of each tab (highlighted red above) on this screen.

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4.6 Service Details key settings

We will now go over the key settings which dictate the behaviour of the Service on General, Service Details, Ticket Details and Subscribers tabs.

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In the screenshots:

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5. End User Interface


5.1 Introduction

On the End User web portal, there are two main interfaces for Services. The “Service Catalogue” allows the User to browse all Services by Category which are configured to show in the Service Catalogue, and to request Services (and subscribe to them if this is configured). The “My Services” screen shows Users all the Services that they are subscribed with their current Status (if applicable), and allows them to log Incidents if this option is enabled.

Both of these screens can be accessed via the Dashboard screen, as long as the following settings are enabled in Main Config > Services.

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The link to the Service Catalogue appears as a button titled Log a new Service Request.

The link to My Services only shows if the User is subscribed to a Service. It will display along with the status of any monitored Services if they have any, or a selection of their unmonitored Services. Any Services that appears here can be clicked on to see the Service Details screen, and log an Incident.

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It is also possible to get the links to the Service Catalogue and My Services to appear on the Navigation bar at the top of the page. To do this, edit the loggedin.hml file and add $LINKTOSERVICECATALOG and $LINKTOMYSERVICES respectively.

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5.2 The Service Catalogue screen

Select the “Log a New Service Request” option, or the link on the navigation bar (if you created one) and the user will be taken to the Service Catalogue screen.

This screen shows all the Service Categories that we set up earlier that have Services in them and that are available to the user, on the left hand side of the page. Next to these are the Services that are available within the selected Service Category. The Services that will show here are any Service in the selected Category that has “Show in Service Catalogue” enabled and is available to the User (through restrictions).

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Each Service, or “Catalogue Item” shows the following:

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Clicking on a Catalogue Item will show a pop out Service Details window which we will cover next.


5.3 The Service Details screen (Web)

Selecting a Catalogue Item on the Service Catalogue, or selecting a Service on either the Dashboard or the My Services screen will show the Service Details screen (this is not to be confused with the Windows application Service Details screen which we covered earlier).

When accessing this screen from the Service Catalogue, Users will unlikely be already subscribed to the Service, so the options on the screen will be limited.

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We are going to look at an example case where everything that can display on this screen is visible, and go through every option.

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5.4 Requesting a Service (logging a Service Request) (Web)

Selecting the Request this Service button on the Service Details screen will log a Service Request for the logged in User and link it to the Service.

If the “Show New Request screen when requesting this Service” setting is enabled for the Service, the User will then be taken to the New Request screen for the defined Request Type or with the chosen template already applied. There, they can fill out any relevant details in that request form before they log the request.

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Upon completing this form, or if the show new request screen option is not enabled, the User will then be shown a screen with the ID of their new request. If the Service is configured to subscribe the user upon requesting the Service, or configured to subscribe them to another Service, they will then told that they have been subscribed to a new Service.

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Links will be shown at the bottom of the page to go to the Service Catalogue, and to go to My Services (if the users has any).


5.5 The My Services Screen

The My Services screen shows the Services which the user is subscribed to. This can be access through the link on the dashboard, the link after requesting a Service or a link on the navigation bar (if one was created). Select one of these links to go to My Services.

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Selecting a Service will open the Service Details pop-up screen (5.3) where users can view requests, log further Service Requests, and log Incidents.


5.6 Logging an Incident (web)

Selecting the Log an Incident button on the Service Details screen will log an Incident for the logged in User and link it to the Service.

The User will be taken to the New Request screen for the defined Request Type or with the chosen template already applied. There they can fill out any relevant details in that request form before they log the request.

Upon completing this form, the User will then be shown a screen with the ID of their new request, with links to go to the Service Catalogue and the My Services page.

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6. Logging Service Requests and Incidents as an Agent


6.1 Introduction

We have seen how to log Service Requests and Service Incidents from the End User web portal. But in some cases, Agents may wish to log a Service Request or an Incident against a Service on behalf of a User calling in, or a generic Incident for a Service which was not reported by a User.

The Windows application allows Agents to do this in a variety of ways.


6.2 The Service Selection screen

The Service selection screen allows Agents to pick a Service, and choose to either log a Service Request or Incident. This screen can be accessed in three ways:

Using method 1 or 2 will show the Service Selection screen, and after selecting a Service will open the new request screen with the configured request type or template for the Service Request/Incident, unless a Service Request is logged for a Service which has “Show the New Request screen when requesting this Service” disabled in which case the request will be logged immediately and the new request ID shown.

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Method 3 will apply the selected Service’s configured request type or template for the Service Request/Incident to the current new request screen window.

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With each method the new request screen will show that the new request will be linked to a Service at the bottom of the screen. When adding a Service Request, if the Service is configured to subscribe Users to the Service or another Service, they will then be subscribed automatically.

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Now we will look at how to use the Service Selection screen. This is a simple screen to allow Agents to pick a Service, based on whether they would like to log a Service Request or Incident, based on category and the User they are logging the Request for.

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6.3 Logging a Service Request or Incident from Services view

In the Services view, you can also log a Service Request or Incident by right-clicking on a Service and selecting the corresponding option.

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This will also open the New Request screen with the corresponding Services request type or template already loaded, but without a User selected. If a Service Request is logged with “Show the New Request screen when requesting this Service” disabled, the select User screen will instead be shown, and the new request logged immediately after selecting a User.


6.4 Linking a Service to an existing Request

You can also link a Service to a request which has already been created, or link more than one Service to the same request.

On the Request Details screen, on the Related Assets/Services tab, there is an area for Related Services. From here, you can view the Services linked to the Request, and add, remove or view the Services. If this tab is not visible, it can be made visible within the Agent settings under “Features Visible”.

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6.5 Linked Service $-variables

There are a couple of $-variables which can be included in email templates to show the details of the Services which are linked to a request.

$ServiceLINKDETAILS – shows a list of all the Services which are linked to a request. It only returns the names of the Services (e.g used in templates to list the linked Services).

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$ServiceLINKSTATUSDETAILS – shows the details of all monitored Services linked to the request, including the name, current status, number of subscribers and number of assets (e.g used in templates to for alerts to techs or approval emails).

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7. Service Restrictions


7.1 Introduction

Restrictions can be placed on Users, Service Categories and Services to restrict what Users can access Services in the Service Catalogue. Agents can also be stopped from administering Services.


7.2 User Service Catalogue access

The first restriction we will look at is the simplest. It is an option at User level which can be found in the Edit User screen on the Services tab, called “Can access the Service Catalogue”. Disabling this setting will prevent that User from accessing the Service Catalogue.

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7.3 User Access Level

The next restriction we will look at is the Users “Service Access Level”. This is a setting at User level which can be found on the Edit User screen on the Services tab, called “Service Access Level”. There are three level - “Low”, “Medium” and “High”. All users have a default of “Medium”.

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Each of these doesn’t do anything in particular, but links to a similar field at Service Category level which can be overridden at Service level. In the Service Category settings on the Restrictions tab, you will see the following similar setting.

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Users will only be able to see Services in the Service Catalogue where their Service level is the same, or greater than the Service Category level. On top of this, the Category level restriction can be overridden at Service level on the Service Details screen on the User Restrictions tab.

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By default, the Service Category will have a User a level of “Medium” and Services will have “Use Category Level Setting”. Using these levels can allow only certain users to access particular Services.


7.4 Service Category Restrictions

Restrictions can be added at Service Category level to only allow particular Clients, Sites, Departments or Organisations access to Services in that Category in the Service Catalogue.

This can be configured in the Service Category details, on the User Restrictions tab. By default, all Service Categories have “Everyone” already added to the list.

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To restrict the Service Category to a particular entity, you will need to remove the “Everyone” permission. You can then use the buttons on the right hand side of the window to add the entity which you wish to be able to see the Service.


7.5 Service Restrictions

Restrictions can added at Service level to only allow particular Clients, Sites, Departments or Organisations access to the Service in the Service Catalogue. A Service will inherit all restrictions set at the Service Category level (7.4). A Service can be allowed access to more entities than just the ones added a Category level. To make use of these, the “Everyone” permission will need to be removed from the Category first.

This can be configured in the Service details, on the User Restrictions tab. By default, all Services have no restrictions.

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You can then use the buttons on the right hand side of the window to add the entity which you wish to be able to see the Service. Note that removing a permission inherited from a Service Category will remove it from all Services in that Category.


7.6 Agent Permissions

Access to the Service Details screen where Services and be set up and managed can be prevented on an Agent by Agent basis or by Agent Template. You can prevent a particular Agent from creating and managing Services by disabling the following setting on the Agent details screen on the Permissions tab under Specific Permissions.

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8. Monitored Services


8.1 Introduction

Monitored Services are Services which have their status tracked. They are Services which have “This Service is Monitored” enabled in Services Details. The status of a monitored Service can be one of the following:

Agents can see the status in Service view on the main screen (the status will be shown in the list, and have an image representing that status next to it), or on the Service Details screen in the top-right hand corner. Services can be viewed by Operational Status by choosing the Operational Status view on the main screen.

Subscribers to the Service can also view the status on the web portal. Only three different statuses will be shown for End-Users.

We will now go through the settings for Monitored Services, how Agents can manage monitored Services and what End-Users can see.


8.2 Monitored Service Settings

The settings for Monitored Services are available on the Service Details screen > Monitoring tab.

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8.3 The Service Status Details screen

The Service Status details screen is used to manage the current status of a monitored Service. The status can be changed, an internal note added, a public note added, and stats and history can be viewed.

This screen can be access from the “View Service Status and History” button on the Service Details screen Monitoring tab, by clicking on the current Status at the top of the Service Details screen, and by right-clicking on a monitored Service in the Service view on the main screen.

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To change the Services status, click on the Update Status button. This will allow the Agent to choose a new status, and enter a new internal note and a public message which the End-Users will see.

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Click OK to update the status.


8.4 Adjusting the status with Incidents

When logging a new Incident for a monitored Service, if the status for that Service is currently OK, it is possible to update the status to Fault. At the point of Adding the new Incident, the Agent will be asked whether they would like to update the Status.

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Clicking “Yes” will set the status of that Service to Fault.

Similarly, when closing an incident which is linked to a monitored Service where the status is currently Fault, the Agent will be asked whether they would like to update the status to OK.

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Selecting “Yes” will set the status for all linked Services to OK.


8.5 End-Users and Monitored Services

Only Users that are subscribed to a Service can see the status of a monitored Service. Each monitored Service has a symbol next to it which represents the current status;

The User can see the status of a Service that they are subscribed to three places:

The Dashboard - This shows the first 3 Services which are not OK if there are any. If there aren’t any Services with a status of Fault or Planned Maintenance, but there are Services which the User is subscribed to that are OK, if will show a message saying that all monitored Services are OK. If the user is not subscribed to any monitored Services it will just show the first 3 unmonitored Services.

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My Services – The status will be shown next to each monitored Service. Services which have a status of Fault or Planned Maintenance will also show the latest public message, and the date and time of the latest public update. Services which are OK will show the status, and a summary of the status.

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Service Details – The status will show as the first thing beneath the main details of the Service. All monitored Services will show the current status, and the most recent public message, and the date and time of the most recent public message, as long as the user is subscribed to the Service.

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When last public message is not set when updating the Service status, the text used for the “Latest Update” can be edited from Main Config > Services, under Service Status Settings.

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9. Email Monitoring


9.1 Introduction

Email Monitoring is the use of Emails to update the Service of a monitored Service. Email rules can be set up to identify an email as a Service Email. Further rules can then be set up to establish what Service the alert relates to, and whether the status is OK or Fault. This feature can be turned on for a Service by enabling the “Monitor this Service using Incoming Email Alerts” setting on the Monitoring tab of the Service Details screen.

A checking interval can also be set, as briefly covered in section 8.2. This means that if an email is not received for a Service within the interval then something is wrong with it, and the status will be set to Unknown until an OK or Fault email is received.


9.2 Identifying an email as a Service alert

For NetHelpDesk to know that a particular email is a Service alert, we need to set up an email rule. This can be done in Main Config &> Services, under Email Monitoring.

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Now you want to add a new rule, or edit an existing one if you have one.

Using a combination of Mailbox, Subject, Body, From Address and To Address, you can set up a rule where any email that matches the criteria will be treated as a Service alert.

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In this example, all emails with ServiceSTATUS in the subject will be treated as a Service Alert.


9.3 Email Monitoring setup

Now that we have set up an email rule, we can configure a Service to recognise what alerts are related to a particular Service. This can be done on the Service Details screen, on the Monitoring Email Rules tab.

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9.4 Checking Interval

The Checking Interval is set on the Monitoring tab of the Service Details screen, and is set in minutes. If the status is not updated for a Service before the last update time + checking interval, then the Service will be updated to the Unknown status. This will log a “Service Failure” request.


9.5 Service Failure Requests

Service Failure Requests get logged when a Service received a Fault email alert and “Create a Request on Failure” is enabled, or when the status is set to Unknown through the Checking Interval. The Request Type used for Service Failure Requests is set up in Main Config > Services, under Email Monitoring, as shown below.

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The Site used for Service Failure requests is the Default Site, but this can be overridden and set to a particular Site per Service on the Service Details screen, “Advanced” tab. This is useful for if a Service is for a single Site.

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When a Service Failure Request is closed, as in section 8.4 the Service Status can be updated back to OK (as long as the ITIL request type of the request type is either an Incident or a Problem).


10. Miscellaneous


10.1 Introduction

This section covers settings which are not covered in the rest of this guide, and are mainly advanced features.


10.2 Service Details Advanced tab

The Advanced tab of the Service Details screen has a few settings which are legacy functionality or for advanced use.

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    1. This is used for linking a request to a Service via a Request Category. Category values can be added to a Service, and when that category is selected on the new request, request details or new action screen, it will link the request to the Service.

    2. This is another working hours setting, used for calculating the time a Service is down. The time a Service is down is shown on the Service Status screen, and selecting Service Hours will exclude the time outside the working hours where it doesn’t matter if the Service is down.

    3. This is a legacy setting, and can be used as another way to group Services. It is not used for anything other than display purposes.

    4. Default Client/Site for Service Failure Requests. See section 9.4.

    5. Delete the Service.

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