Improvements to the IMPORT function

Idea created by Chad Brown on May 17, 2018
    New Idea
    • Douglas Alexander
    • Nate Riley
    • Chad Brown
    • Carlos Gonzalez

    There are some lingering issues with the import feature that we wanted to bring up, and see if there is any intended movement on addressing them, or if we can get some going if there isn't.



    Currently the IMPORT function fo the application only allows the creation of new incidents, solutions, mobile devices, other assets, solutions, contracts, and users. There is considerable need, in our enterprise, to be able to update more than 100 objects at a time in the Incidents and Users section of the application.


    API: The API requires familiarity with some form of programming. The groups in our enterprise that have a need to update objects, are not developers.


    IDEALLY: We would filter the desired incidents/users that required an update. We would EXPORT to CSV all columns. We would effect the changes, via SQL join, or manual replacement; and then IMPORT it back into the application, using the incident_id or user_id as we would with API. This can be done by anyone in non-IT departments; like Finance, HR, General Cousel, etc.



    Custom fields should be available through the IMPORT. The ability to only import a skeleton of an incident or users, only to have to go back in and manually adjust fields is time wasting. As mentioned above, this shouldn't require resource in IT with programming knowledge to do through the API.

    For example, if we have an internet outage, preventing us from entering incidents into Samanage; we should be able to put that information into a csv (including our custom fields) and import them in when internet connectivity has been restored. Unfortunately we can do this; but again, we then have to go through and do a manual addition of the required custom fields. This can be mass updated, but it requires multiple mass updates for each possible custom field that needs a differing value.



    This is mostly specific to the solutiosn and contracts section, where imports are currently allowed, but if the import function was allowed for CMDB as well, it would apply there too.


    We currently do not use Contracts, because we have over 4000 contracts, and if we imported, we would then have to manually associate 4000+ attachments to each of these contracts. There needs to be a way to pass through the attachment (the PDF of the contract, for example). It would take our developers relatively little time to take these pdfs, sitting in a network share, and create an intranet site with a link for each pdf. Then we could reference that URL in a URL field in the import, and the application would attach the file located there.


    The same would be true of Solutions and CMDB configuration items.



    We would like to the see the IMPORT create function expanded into other areas of the application. We would see immediate value in Categories, Groups, Organization (sites), Organization (departments), and CMDB.


    API: Understood, all this can be done through the API, but the API is not friendly to the majority of our users. While changes to categories, groups, and org require god-rights in the application at this time, we continue to lobby to have SETUP broken out into smaller sections to allow non-ADMINs to manage things like groups, the organization, etc.


    Categories: As we add non-IT groups into the application, or separate existing IT departments into different escalation paths; it would be far easier to just IMPORT a CSV of our Categories and subcategories that fit that new department or transition.

    Groups: Same as above with categories. When new departments come into using the application, or they re-org, we have a lot of manual labor to make these changes. Being able to Import a Group Name, Description, and Owner would save a bit of time. (Now, if we could only MASS UPDATE users with a "GROUP", we'd have the world).

    Organization: We have had a couple of acquisitions in the past where we suddenly had 17 new physical locations and a dozen new departments. Would have been great to have someone provide us with a formatted CSV and just imported those instead of manually creating each one.

    CMDB: We are looking to make better use of the CMDB; however, requriing someone with API understanding to import objects, and having them constantly available to modify their code to accommodate different types of Configuration items is untenable. With the words "database" in the title of the section, there needs to be a fast clean way for an Asset Manager, members of the Service Desk, Fixed Asset managers, and the like to get Configuration items quickly into the application.

    What problem will this feature solve?:
    This would alleviate the burden on IT personnel to do "administrative" work for other groups. It would improve the process of bringing new departments and companies into the application; as well as allowing for rapid changes inside of it.