New Variable Type in Service Catalog: User Field

Discussion created by on Apr 26, 2016
Latest reply on May 4, 2016 by

We just released a new type of Variable that can be helpful when requesting service catalog items. The new field type, User, appears in the drop down menu under Field Type when creating variables in the service catalog form designer. The new Variable allows you to associate any Samanage user or group with a service request.

How is this beneficial?
Prior to this enhancement, service catalog items only identified the requestor, approver and the assignee. Adding more contacts to a service request allows the assignee to better understand the context and perform a conditional task based on a named user (employee) or group. Text fields could be added to capture contact names but could result in misspellings and don't follow any conditional logic.
With the new User field, employee names are presented in a drop down. A descriptive label such as manager, change owner, subject matter expert, QA can be added to the User field to identify the person?s role, creating context. In addition, the User field can be added as a variable to the Service Catalog?s Process to enable conditional statements.

What are common use cases?
Here are some ways you may be able to use this enhancement now.

  • An employee?s laptop dies unexpectedly on a business trip. She needs a new laptop immediately but can?t call into support during business hours. Her colleague submits a service request for a replacement laptop. The service request has a User field called ?On behalf of? which can be used to list her colleague?s name and have IT supply a device matching her original configuration.

  • The HR team creates a service request to onboard a new employee. The service request has a User field labeled ?Hiring Manager? which list the employee?s supervisor. As the request is routed for approval and fulfillment, the hiring manager field is used to identify whom to direct follow-up questions until the employee starts work.

  • All third-party contractors are hired by one hiring manager (Chris Martin) and they must sign a NDA before they start work. Since the NDA requirement is only for contractors a conditional statement can be added to the onboarding service request. If the hiring is manager is Chris Martin then ask HR to get the NDA signed.

How do implement this enhancement in Service Catalog?
Start by navigating to Service Desk/Service Catalog and selecting New Catalog Item or select an existing service request and click Edit Catalog Item.


To make this easier to follow, we are going to add 'Hiring Manager' to an existing onboarding service request for First Health. After selecting the catalog item, we click Edit Catalog Item. Next, we scroll down to Variables then click the Add Variable button to add the User field and label it 'Hiring Manager', then hit save. We then scroll to bottom and click on Update Catalog Item, as shown below.


Now, when the service request form is opened, it has a field labeled 'Hiring Manager' with a drop down that allows the requestor to select from an employee list (as shown below).


The User field can also be added to the Service Catalog Process. In this example, we are going to require an NDA if the Hiring Manager is Chris Martin on the First Health onboarding service request. After adding the Variable field ?Hiring Manager?, we scroll down to Process. In the Group section, we click the Add Task button, label it ?Obtain NDA?, set the assignee as HR and click Add Condition. In the Variable field, we select ?Hiring Manager? and tab over to Value to select Chris Martin (as show below). With this condition, only new hires assigned to Chris Martin will need an NDA.

At your service,
The Samanage Team