Friday, June 7, 2013

Importing Data (Incident Record) to Service Manager 2012 using CSV - Part 1

Over the weekend I got my chance (FINALLY !) to test out the method of importing data into Service Manager 2012. Why would I spent my time to look into this ? Well there are a few reason I can tell:

  1. Customer wants to migrate to Service Manager from existing IT SM tool
    • Not all organisation wants to let go their old data.
    • Comply with audit policy which at least 7 years. Can't expect to keep the current IT SM tool for 7 years to come.
    • Reporting, analysis and KPI trending. CIO, Director and Manager wants to see continuous trend of their service. How can they accept the fact to start from SCRATCH ? you might well just kill them - just kidding.
  2. Engineer like us wants to pump in data for testing
    • For Demo purpose. We don't want to talk only about the tool, we must be able to show it, right ?
    • Huge amount of data. We must be able to bulk create a huge amount of data before we can see the trend. Especially when we want to show the reporting part of the tool.
Lets See some of the things that should be prepared:
  1. A running Service Manager 2012 Management Server.
  2. Microsoft Excel - On your desktop for CSV file creation
  3. XML Editor - Properly you may need a good XML editor to create XML file for SM. You can survive with Notepad if you don't have one :-P.
  4. A copy of CSVImport.docx.
  5. A copy of ApendixA.html
  6. Someone (you) who knows Service Manager fundamental :-P
Useful Resources:
Using a CSV File to Import Data into Service Manager - A useful Technet article that talks about importing data to Service Manager using CSV.

XML Notepad - A XML editor by Codeplex. It safed my life before in Editing SM Management pack. It could safe yours :-P

Let's get started. In this blog, I will be importing Incident Record (IR) to Service Manager. Importing data into SM require 2 files. These are the XML and CSV. The XML file will be the the "header" (in that sense) for all the data in CSV that you going to pump in SM.

Overview of ApendixA.html
In order to get the correct syntax and sequent that the SM could understand, you must refer to ApendixA.html.

Since my objective is to import incidents, my interest in ApendixA will be on System.WorkItem.Incident.
Those field in RED indicates mandatory field. From here, it gives you an idea of the nature of the variable.
When you scroll a little down, you will now see the format. This is what you will be using to create the XML file of you own choice.
Preparing XML File
As for my first testing, I will just go with minimum data and item. Below is my XML file for first try.

Preparing CSV File
Now I got the XML file, the next task is to create a CSV file that reflects the XML structure with the data that you want to import. Microsoft Excel will be you best friend here.

The line contains below:
Id IR2
Urgency System.WorkItem.TroubleTicket.UrgencyEnum.High
Impact System.WorkItem.TroubleTicket.ImpactEnum.High
Source IncidentSourceEnum.Phone
Status IncidentStatusEnum.Active
TierQueue IncidentTierQueuesEnum.Tier1
Classification IncidentClassificationEnum.Email
Title Unable to send email
Description Email stuck in Microsoft Outlook client
ContactMethod E-Mail
1/5/2013 6:00
Displayname Unable to send email

Importing the Information to Service Manager
Launch SM Console and select Administration from the Workspace on the right
Select Connector at the Explorer Pane, and at the Action Pane, select Import from CSV file.

Select the XML and CSV files you have created earlier.

Once you click Import, SM will process both files and proceed with the import.

Now, let take a look at the data that is imported.

Verifying the Imported IR
Take a look of all the information provided.

So now you can import data into Service Manager and this will be extremely helpful when you come across project requirement to migrate data from existing ITSM tool.

You may be wonder by now how about other field such as Affected User, Created by User, Assigned by User and Resolved by User ?

Please stay tune to Part 2 as I will be showing you larger data to be imported into Service Manager.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Installing System Center 2012 SP1 - Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

Before the VMM installation, let list down a bit of the prerequisites that I have installed

Prerequisites (as refer to Microsoft Technet):

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter

Microsoft System Center 2012 SP1

Microsoft .NET Framework:
  • For VMM in System Center 2012 SP1: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, or Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5
Windows deployment and installation kit:
Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1:
  • Database Engine
Active Directory
  • An account for VMM Administrator (scvmmadmin)
  • An account for VMM Service Account (scvmmservice)

Install ADK

Locate the ADK installation source and execute adksetup.exe.

To meet the VMM requirement, only Deployment Tools and Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) are needed.

Install VMM 2012

Proceed with the System Center 2012 - VMM media and install the VMM.

Select VMM Management Server.

Database Configuration
This is where you have to specify the location of the server installed with SQL Server. In my case, I am installing on the same host. If you are installing on a remote SQL Server, make sure the port TCP 1433 is accessible by VMM Management Server.

Use a Domain User credential (recommended). VMM 2012 SP1 has changed the landscape of VMM deploment. Some of the significant enhancement including Network Virtualization, Converged Network and Service Template, are tighly depending on the VMM availability. This means that although customer today do not need VMM HA in their environment, we may still have to consider a design which the customer has an option to scale out the VMM to achieve HA capability. 

This is very important. If you DO NOT store the keys in Active Directory, the this will store in the VMM database (VirtualMangerDB) by default. I DO recommend to store the keys in Active Directory as this is one of the requirement for VMM HA, which means to say you will save yourself sometime which you get this done in the first place.

The hassle to get the keys store in Active Directory is that you are require access to Active Directory by using ADSIEdit to create a container by name SCVMMDMK container as shown below.

A proper permission have to be set right before you can proceed with the installation. The Domain User that you use to install VMM must have full control over the SCVMMDMK Container. In my case it will be SCVMMADMIN.

This is most probably a very useful summary page for your IT Security Administrator knowing which ports required by VMM.

My usual practise is create a shared location in advanced dedicated for VMM Library. If you don't, by default this will be created in C:\ and this is not a good idea because the Library is space consuming when you start to store your ISO and VHD on VMM.

If you are installing VMM Management Server as a VM, do consider to create a separate VHD for the VMM Library purpose. You no need to be told what is the consequences if your C:\ run out of space :-P

Here ou go the Summary page

This is where you have to wait for the installation to complete.

I am working on a blog which will cover the VMM HA deployment with SQL Server 2012 Always On using Denali Availability Group (DAG). 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Handy Tools : XML Notepad

XML Notepad 2007 provides a simple intuitive User Interface for browsing and editing XML documents.

Personally i find this tool very useful if you are dealing with XML file. I use this to edit XML file for SCSM Management Pack.

Figure of XML notepad from

Download Here