Phased rollout

 

This version of the software is currently available only to early adopter SaaS customers as the first step in our phased rollout. Click here to view an earlier version.

Task Management System architecture

The Task Management System (TMS) is a tool that manages the workflow of tasks as they are implemented in an application. TMS provides support for simple and complex business processes as well as integration with automation tools needed for the change management execution and verification. The primary goal of the Task Management System module is to provide a mechanism to support repeatable processes. The result is improved productivity, reduction in novice errors, and a clear way to define business processes.

The TMS module significantly enhances the capability of the task operation. In addition to the predecessor and successor relationship, TMS supports branching and multiple paths, along with data exchange between tasks.

TMS is used in BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management, BMC Helix ITSM: Service Desk, and in the Activity subsystem. It integrates with the Change and Configuration Management (CCM) solution through the Command Automation Interface (CAI). 

In the BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management and BMC Helix ITSM: Service Desk applications, the support staff can create tasks by using TMS directly. Additionally, administrators can create task templates and task group templates that can be used in change, release, and incident management. For problem management, problem analysts can create only ad hoc tasks directly from TMS.

The following illustration shows the relationships between TMS and Change and Configuration Management.

Task Management System components

The Task Management System consists of the following primary components:

ComponentsDescription
Container objects

Manage all the related associations and flows of the container object's children objects.

During the definition stage, the container objects are task group templates.

During the runtime stage, the container objects are task groups.

Task templatesAllow you to create predefined templates for individual work items that you can reuse.
Task group templatesAllow you to create predefined templates for collections of individual task templates.
AssociationsDefine what task templates or task group templates are related to or grouped together under the task group template.
Sequencing mechanism

Allows you to define associations and sequences with task group templates and task templates. This mechanism is used with basic task group templates.

For more information about sequencing, see Sequencing mechanism.

Flow mechanism

Allows you to qualify the dependencies between the associated task group templates and task templates. This mechanism is used with advanced task group templates.

For more information about the flow mechanism, see Flow mechanism.

Variable templatesProvide a structure that is used to facilitate the passing of information from task groups and tasks to flows. These templates are used to create a variable pool for data exchange.
Web servicesThe TMS_TaskInterface web service performs task queries, and updates operations, including relationships and work information.
Task viewerAllows you to easily see the sequence between tasks as task implementers work on their tasks. The task viewer provides visual context to understand tasks and their relationships to each other. It improves productivity and reduces errors because you now have a clearer understanding of the business process.
Task assignment Configures assignments for tasks, based on company, and product and operational categorization.


Important

The BMC Configuration Management integration best practice templates are installed to integrate TMS and BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management with BMC Configuration Management. Many of these templates illustrate important task administration concepts.

TMS supports integration with external applications, primarily using the Command Automation Interface (CAI) module. TMS supports integration with the BMC Configuration Automation for clients application through a launch mechanism.


Types of Task Management System forms

The following forms enable you to work with Task Management System:

  • Integration Configuration form—Used to integrate with TMS. All integrating applications have configuration records in this form.
  • Command Automation Interface (CAI) Application Registry form—Allows systems that have configuration records to take advantage of additional Task Management system features. These applications include Task Management System, BMC Helix ITSM: Change Management, and BMC TrueSight Server Automation.
  • Return Code Configuration form—Contains return code values between CAI registered applications and the Task form. Currently only the BMC TrueSight Server Automation product uses this feature.

The following main TMS forms are organized according to the stage in which you use them:

  • The main TMS forms accessed during the Definition stage:
    • TMS:TaskGroupTemplate
    • TMS:TaskTemplate
    • TMS:AssociationTemplate
    • TMS:FlowTemplate
    • TMS:VariableTemplate
  • The main TMS forms accessed during the Execution stage:
    • TMS:TaskGroup
    • TMS:Task
    • TMS:Association
    • TMS:Flow
    • TMS:Variable


Association model

The Association model defines relationships between major entities. Associations in TMS are ordered in a parent-child relationship. The associations are stored in the Association Template table during the Definition stage, and in the Association table during the Runtime stage.

The following associations are stored in the Associate Template table:

Important

In the following section, [n-n] indicates a many-to-many relationship and [1 - n] indicates a one-to-many relationship.

  • [itsmps:n-n] Application Parent template to Task Group template.
    An Application Parent template (for example, a change request template) can be associated with multiple Task Group templates. An example is a change request template having a planned task group template, an execute task group template, and a verification task group template.
  • [itsmps:n-n] Task Group template to Task Group template. In this case, the first one is the parent and the second one is the child.
  • [itsmps:n-n] Task Group template to Task template.

The following associations are stored in the Association table:

  • [itsmps:1-n] Application Parent instance to Task Group.

    Important

    An example of an Application Parent Instance is a change request.

  • [itsmps:n-n] Task Group to Task Group. In this case, the first one is the parent and the second one is the child.

    Important

    This relationship is n-n because a Task Group can be the parent of one or more Task Groups and also a child of one or more Task Groups.

  • [itsmps:1-n] Task Group to Task.

Foreign keys and an entry on the Association table are needed for the following relationships:

  • The Task Group has a foreign key to the Parent Application instance.
  • Task has a foreign key to the Parent Application instance.

Foreign keys are used to perform a quick lookup and to support direction, while the Association table entries help navigation. The following figure illustrates the Association model.

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