How to use Service Catalog Dependent Dropdowns

Document created by Yum Darling Administrator on Jan 29, 2018Last modified by Yum Darling Administrator on Feb 15, 2018
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This functionality lets you build dependent dropdowns that can lead to all different variable types. This will allow you to be more flexible by giving you the ability to have a dropdown lead to another dropdown, a free text box, a checkbox, or whichever variable best fit your needs.


Here’s a use case where a dependent dropdown leads to another dropdown:


Example: New Device Request:


You may have a service catalog item for a “New Device Request”. Based upon the devices you offer, you build a variable allowing them to choose between a laptop, desktop, or tablet. If the user chooses a laptop, a new dropdown variable will appear presenting the laptop options your organization provides, giving them a cleaner, easier way to request the device.


Let’s show you how to build this example.


Before you start:


While this enhancement will allow you to bring dependent dropdowns to your existing Service Catalog Items, we suggest you clone the existing catalog item you wish to update and make the changes to the copy. This way you will not impact any Service Catalog items that are currently in production until you have properly updated and tested.


To do so, find the service catalog item you wish to update, get in edit mode, and click the “Clone This Catalog Item” link located at the bottom of the page.





Let’s get started building our example:


While building dependent dropdowns is an easy process it will require you to do a little planning beforehand. Let's use the above example to show you how to get started.


  1. To build dependent dropdowns, you will first need to build the dependent variables. This sets the groundwork for building the relationships between the parent and child dropdown. For this example we will build dropdowns for Laptop, Desktop, and Tablet types.


2. Once you have your dependent variables built, you will create the dependent dropdown.  Click Add Variable and choose “Dependent Dropdown”.


3. Now you will be able to name your new dropdown, and choose the dependent variable values. Note: you can add more variables to your dependent dropdown by clicking the “Add Value” link.



4. Once you save, you will see the dependent relationships next to the dependent variables.



5. You have now created a dependent dropdown for your service catalog item. The short video below shows you how your employees will experience when requesting the service.



Combining Variable Types in the Dependent Dropdown:


You can also combine different variables in your dropdown to give you a more ideal form configuration. In our example, your Marketing Manager can choose whatever type of device they want, even if it is not included in the list of supported devices by your company. To do this:

    1. Build a free text variable, for our example: Special Device Request
    2. Go to the initial dependent dropdown and click “Add Value”
    3. Select the new free text variable that you created


Setting Up Layered Dependent Dropdowns:


To build a more streamlined form, you can layer dependent dropdowns to create an easier experience for your requesters. This allows the form to grow as the requester makes their selections. You can build as many layers to your form as you wish. Let's take a look back at our example, and how we can create a better customer experience by building an additional layer of Dependent Dropdowns.

Let's start at the beginning. Users choose which type of device they want (laptop, tablet, or desktop). Based upon that selection, they are given the option to pick from a list of devices that your company provides. Then, based upon that, you want to give them options on additional add-ons, for example, a mouse and monitors for their chosen laptop.


To do so:

  1. Build your top layer Dependent Dropdown variable, for our example, it is device type
  2. Build out your secondary Dependent Dropdown variable level, note, for our example we made Laptop and Tablet Dependent Dropdowns, but not desktops, as we do not offer additional options for those devices.
  3. Build out your final layer. For the example, we used a multi-pick option, as a user might need a mouse and a case for their new device.
  4. Edit the layers of Dependent Dropdowns to ensure the correct connection points.



How to incorporate with your workflow processes:


This functionality does not change how you use the workflow process. You are able to build conditional workflow processes based on both parent and child dropdown values. For example, if someone chooses an Apple device, you may want to send tasks specifically to the teams managing those devices. To achieve this, group these devices together in a Condition Set and build the specific workflow steps to occur based upon the requester’s selections.




When editing Dependent Dropdowns:


It is important to note that when you are editing a variable that is a Dependent Dropdown, or links to a Dependent Dropdown, you will need to remove all dependencies prior to making edits. After you make your edits, build your dependencies back into your variable form. Yes, it will create a few extra clicks while updating, but this fail-safe will prevent edits from breaking your desired end result.


And that's all there is to it!