oskar.frolin2

So many services! – How to populate your service catalog

Discussion created by oskar.frolin2 Employee on Oct 3, 2019

What?

Filling the service catalog with a lot of services is probably more difficult than one would think. It’s easy to think of different areas where you want to provide a service and the ideas never stop, but then you start building and it can take quite some time before the ideas are realized.
This article will describe the functionality of Add-APService, a function added to the PowerShell context of scripts run by Automation Platform. It enables us to publish services based on a template service. This gives us a way to scale out a workflow in an automated way to a lot of different services.

When?

To get the most out of the functionality it’s important to use it in the correct scenario. If you have a very bespoke workflow and service you probably can’t find a good “one size fits all” workflow or just don’t have enough services to benefit when adding the overhead of scripting the publishing of services for the workflow.

Excellent scenarios are when you have one workflow, that can be used to request a lot of different services, for example;

  • Software requests
  • Hardware and Accessories
  • Office supply
  • Generic procurement

How?

I won’t go into the specifics on how to create the process, but luckily this is all used in the Automation Book SAM Automation for SLM. If you read up on the scheduled task there you will have a pretty good starting point of how to proceed.

I would like to list some of the building blocks needed.

Service Template

We rely on a core workflow that will cover all the needs of the services we publish, but we still need to make a representative service template that can hold service level configurations like category and descriptions. Most of these can still be individually updated in the publishing process.

Data source

It’s important to have some type of a data source to run the process against. Something that decides what different services should be published. In SAM Automation for SLM we use API calls to SLM to get our source data. You might have a API available at your hardware distributer that you can rely on, or just use a basic Excel spreadsheet file as the source.

Scheduled Task

To keep the published services synced with the data source, we put all the logic into an activity that we schedule in AP.

Get-APServiceImportObject

Function to give you a template object in powershell to configure the Services to publish.

Add-APService

The magic function that adds the service to AP!

 

Now what?

DIY

The best documentation on this functionality is found in the Automation Book “SAM Automation for SLM”, install it and read through the code and then adapt it to your needs.

SAM Automation for SLM:

ftp://ftp.snowsoftware.com/SetupPackages/CurrentProductVersions/AP/Automationbooks/Version%203/SAM%20Automation%20for%20SLM/2018-01-25%20(v.%202)/

Script (default installation):

C:\Program Files\Snow Software\Snow Automation Platform\Activities\import slm applications\1\import slm applications.ps1

Professional Services

A good option is of course to leverage a full or partial delivery from us here at Snow. Please get in touch with your contact at Snow to request a meeting to scope a delivery. Then you can take a informed decision on what path to follow.

 

I hope that this has given you some inspiration on how to expand your service catalog. Feel free to ask about Add-APService solutions, or share your ideas on what to use it for in the comments! 

 

//Oskar

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