6472333

Best Practices for Custom Forms vs. Service Catalog

Discussion created by 6472333 on Aug 22, 2014
Latest reply on Feb 14, 2016 by Yuval Pecht
Custom Forms and Fields and the Service Catalog are both very powerful tools, but it is helpful to know when to use each so you can fully benefit from using each. We will go over some examples here to help you understand when to use each.

Custom Forms and Fields

Forms and fields are great for collecting data from users to ensure the agent has all the information. For example, organize HR questions by "Payroll" and capture the user's payroll ID and payroll date in question, "Benefit" and collect whether its 401K or dental insurance, etc. When you need to "funnel" the request into appropriate service provider and collect different types of data, the forms are what you need.

?I can?t log into Salesforce?. This is an example of a ?break-fix? type of ticket, which could potentially have a different solution every time. You can use custom forms and fields to get specific information from the beginning, but there might not be a defined process.

Example: Salesforce Problem

In this case, you would use category ?Hardware? and subcategory ?Mobile Phone?. You could create a form that would collect specific fields relating to tickets for Mobile Phone issues. This is useful because it allows you to save time from gathering information (eg: phone model, service provider, etc) by forcing these fields to be mandatory or prompt the user to enter in something that they otherwise wouldn?t have known was helpful information.

Service Catalog

The service catalog is a better fit for anything that has a recurring nature, for example the weekly backup job. A service catalog item has a process and a schedule, making it easy to manage repetitive tasks.

In the case of hiring a new employee, there is a specific onboarding process each time for getting them set up to start working. The service catalog is a good choice in this case because there is an exact list of requirements (Mac or PC, Start Date, Security Access, Adobe Licence, etc). Once that information is collected there is a defined process for acquiring each one of these things.

By using the service catalog to build out that process, you can bring in approvals across departments, and assign tasks to different teams to complete the entire process. Whether the process has tasks as part of the process or steps that require one approver or multiple approvers, the service catalog makes this easy to create.

Example: Onboarding Process

We want to have a onboarding process that can be used every time a new employee starts. Using the service catalog to create this process works because you want the same information for each time it is used. Let?s walk through how to create this catalog item:

  1. Click ?+ New Catalog Item?.

  2. Name the item

  3. Click if you want this request to show up on the Portal Home Page

  4. Choose the appropriate category

  5. Choose the appropriate subcategory

  6. Add a description about the item

  7. Add a price if applicable (you can choose if you want the price to show up on catalog)

  8. Add a default assignee if applicable

  9. Add a picture


In the process section, you can add tasks like the following:

  1. Order Computer

  2. Install Image

  3. Setup Desk

  4. Order Software Licenses

You can add a timeframe to each task in this process as well as add a different assignee for each task.


You can add variables to capture information about the requested service, such as:

  1. Name

  2. Manager Name

  3. Start Date

  4. Title

  5. Department

  6. Full Time

After you have created the process and the variables, click ?Create Catalog Item?.

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