Best practices while defining the product categorization structure
BMC CMDB provides a categorization structure, but you can define your own categorization structure in Remedy ITSM suite.
We recommend that you consider the following points when you define the product categorization structure:
- BMC Discovery applies the best categorization values to the discovered CIs. BMC BladeLogic Client Automation Configuration Discovery Integration for BMC CMDB can be installed with either the default categorization or the best-practice categorization. You must use the same categorization in both discovery products, which can extend your Product Catalog. If you use different categorization for the BMC CMDB products, extensions to the BMC CMDB are inconsistent.
- You can override all or part of the BMC discovery products categorization with the categorization that you define.
We recommend that you adhere to the following guidelines while adding new values to the product categorization or modifying existing product categorization values:
- Do not include brand names or manufacturer names.
This additional information for CIs can be captured in the Product Name and Manufacturer fields in the Product Category Update form and the Product Model/Version field in the Product Model/Version form.
- Limit the number of values from which a user can select.
The more values a user sees in a list, the less likely the user is to actually review them all and pick the right one. Lists of up to ten values are considered manageable.
- All values should be mutually exclusive.
Ambiguous values cause unreliable results in searches and reporting.
- Each list of values should be complete.
When the list is not complete, users select values that are not accurate, which negatively impacts the effectiveness of the product categorization structure.
- Specify all three tiers.
Specifying all tiers ensures that the same level of detail is registered in all instances.
The Product Catalog should reflect the CIs in BMC CMDB.
Information about components, such as memory and CPU type, can be either attributes of the computer system (or virtual system) or separate CIs. If this information is recorded as an attribute of the computer system, do not include that component in the product categorization structure. For information about planning CIs in BMC CMDB, see Planning.
Plan your categorization structure carefully before implementing the Product Catalog in your production environment. Modifying the Product Catalog can cause inconsistency in search results and reporting if records with the old categorization values are not updated.
"Other" as a value in categorization
To enable users to make accurate selections, if a category might not be complete, you can add the Other Type of Item value, where Item is the applicable item, such as Card.
We recommend that you use the Other Type of Item value, instead of Other. Users are less likely to use this value as a default and more likely to use it only when no other option applies. If a category is not complete, you can add the Other Type of Item, such as Card. This enables the users to make accurate selections.
If you include Other Type of Item values in the product catalog, you must perform reporting on a regular basis. This ensures that the Other Type of Item values are not used improperly. If the numbers justify it, you can add new values to the product categorization structure.
Use the Other Type of Item value only for Tier 3. If a CI has no applicable Tier 1 or Tier 2 defined, the CI falls outside the scope of the CMDB and should not be registered.
If you create Other categories in Tier 3, users might select the Other value without searching for the appropriate categorization. users might select the Other value because it is easy to use. To avoid this, we recommend that you do not create Other categories in Tier 3 and use an alternative generic term instead.
For example, your Tier 3 under Software, Software Application might include values for the supported classes of applications and also a value of Unsupported. This example value is broad enough to catch software not yet classified, but is less likely to be selected for established supported software that clearly matches an existing category.
We recommend that if you create alternative generic terms in Tier 3, do not use the term New. This is because a user who manually registers a new CI might select the New value assuming that it is a new CI.