This page contains information about enhancements in the version 19.02 of BMC Helix ITSM Suite.
AR System enhancements
Modern and improved look and feel for Flashboards
The Action Request System offers HTML rendering for flashboards. HTML rendering provides the latest rendering technology with an improved look and feel. By default, the Server Group Dashboard of the Management Console uses HTML rendering.
When you perform a fresh Action Request System installation of version 19.02, HTML rendering is enabled by default for new flashboards.
When you upgrade to version 19.02, a developer can choose to enable HTML rendering. If you choose to use HTML rendering, the out-of-the-box flashboards and your custom flashboards are automatically compatible with HTML rendering. You need not perform any migration.
Use the flashboards.showgraphinflash property of the Centralized Configuration to select flashboard rendering.
BMC recommends using HTML rendering because it supports modern technology and also Adobe has announced an end of development and distribution of Flash Player by the end of the year 2020. For more information, see https://theblog.adobe.com/adobe-flash-update/ and Adding graphics to an application with flashboards.
Swagger specifications for AR System REST APIs
As a part of Digital Enterprise Management initiative, all the REST endpoints exposed by AR Server are documented by using Swagger specifications. Swagger specifications provide an improved interface to understand the REST API usage and syntax in an easier way. For more information, see Accessing AR REST API via Swagger UI.
You can also access all the AR REST API end points by using Swagger. For more information about end points, see End points in AR REST API
New REST API to retrieve field metadata
You can use getField and getFields REST APIs to retrieve field metadata for a form. This helps to perform faster design level integration and also enables you to integrate an application without using Developer Studio. Currently, BMC supports the GET operation to fetch field metadata.
For more information about getField and getFields REST APIs, see Retrieving field metadata using REST API.
Multi-threaded archiving in the AR System server
You can configure multiple threads to increase the throughput of the archive operation in the AR System server. This is helpful when you perform bulk archival of a large number of records.
When you configure more than one thread for the archive operation, multiple threads work simultaneously to archive the same form and its associated forms.
For example, if you configure four threads for archiving an incident, all four threads start working on four incidents at the same time.
Num-Archive-Threads parameter to set the number of threads. For more information about the
Num-Archive-Threads parameter, see ar.cfg or ar.conf options N-R.
Smart Reporting enhancement
Ability to execute database functions defined in AR System Server by using Freehand SQL
In versions earlier than 19.02, a Smart Reporting report writer could run a pre-defined set of JDBC functions only. In version 19.02, a Smart Reporting report writer can run and use any database function by using the Freehand SQL calculated field builder in reports and views. For more information on Freehand SQL, see Freehand SQL.
Ability to create custom reports by using Advanced Authoring
You can now create custom reports by using complex AR JDBC compliant queries. For this, a new option Advanced Authoring is supported by Smart Reporting. After you enable this option, you can use the SQL Query editor to write complex database queries for creating reports. For more information about Advanced Authoring, see Advanced Authoring.
Ability to present business metric using Stories
You can use Stories to present the business metrics by embedding reports, narratives, and relevant data. You can share stories with users without any external tools such as email. Based on your data analysis, inputs from colleagues, and comments from users, you can decide the next plan of action. For more information, see Stories.
Smart Reporting provides automated insights to your questions without you having to search the data or analyse it. The assisted insights functionality finds the data to analyse, analyses the data, comes up with the most relevant data and presents it in the form of easy-to-understand narratives or visualizations. For more information, see Assisted Insights.
The following enhancements are made to the report builder:
- Add to Story—You can now include a report in a story by using the new Story icon on the report out page.
- Snapshots—The Snapshot icon is moved to the left side of the report output page. Additionally, you can easily add the snapshot to a story using the Add to Story button on the Create Snapshot wizard.
- Bookmarks—The Bookmarks icon is moved to the left side of the report output page. Additionally, you can easily add the bookmark to a story using the Add to Storybutton on the Create Bookmark wizard.
- Annotations—UI enhancements are made to the report and chart annotations, such as refined look of the annotation flag that also displays total number of overlapping annotations, updated look for the annotation roll over with the ability to navigate back and forth for overlapping annotations. Additionally, you no more add tags to annotations.
- Time slider—The look and feel of the time slider is enhanced.
- Trending in crosstab charts—Cross tab charts now support trend lines.
In the chart builder’s series settings, Pivot Series Format field is renamed to Series format.
Chart series format settings—You can now directly update the format of individual chart series, add new values, or populate the list with existing values. You can configure series format name, format style, custom color toggle, color selection, border color and width, and settings to display conditional formatting alerts.
Chart series color settings—The Chart Series option is enhanced to include configurations for the chart’s colors. You can now configure the legend sort order, data sort direction, color by reference code, or color by custom monochrome selection.
Advanced function now allows users to load their data models into the platform and use them.
A smart analysis button is added to perform assisted discovery.
The following enhancements are made to the chart builder:
A new time series type called Discrete time series is introduced. The Discrete time series allows you to view the chart data at discrete time junctions instead of a continuous flow.
The Variance chart function is enhanced to include two more formulas for calculating variances in data—percentage of total variance and percentage change in relative proportion. Additionally, you can also create Set Analysis fields directly from this function.
- You can now change the date format of discrete time series charts.
- You can now sort the chart content according to the group order. Additionally, you can also sort the data on a heat grid.
- You can now direct apply the four basic functions—(average, trend, forecast, and accumulation) to the more advanced functions, like set analysis and variance.
- You can customize the horizontal or vertical axis titles in auto charts.
The following enhancements are made to Clustering:
- Dynamic and Repository clustering infrastructure is enhanced to include master-slave functionality for handling background tasks, visibility of where a task is running, and a more flexible cluster configuration. For this, you must manually modify the ClusterManagement servlet in the web.xml file to include every background task that may run, for each node. If you do not add the new parameters, the node will not run any background task.
The automatic task delegation functionality is enhanced to automatically assign a Master node that assigns and manages nodes to execute tasks.
You can now disable nodes. This ensures that the enabled nodes can process web requests, without having to compete with the background tasks for system resources.
For more information, see Clustering Guide.
Smart Reporting version 19.02 offers the following UI enhancements:
A new Stories option is now available under Browse in the left navigation pane to browse through all stories.
Ability to archive CMDB data
You can now remove obsolete data from production datasets in your CMDB, and store them in an archive form for future reference. The CMDB archive feature is an extension of the core AR System Archiving functionality and is enabled for the out-of-the-box Common Data Model (CDM) and CDM Extensions that you define by using the Class Manager utility. The benefits of archiving include improving performance, reducing overall footprint, and storing data for historical purposes.
For more information, see Archiving CMDB data.
Create and edit CIs by using CMDB Explorer
Continuing with the CMDB Dashboard User Experience implementation, you can now create new CI instances and relationships, and edit existing information from the CMDB Explorer.
For more information, see Working with CIs and relationships.
Single Sign-On enhancements
Kerberos authentication for a pre-defined IP range
You can now authenticate requests coming from a set of pre-defined IP addresses by using the Kerberos authentication. For this, a SSO administrator must provide a range of IP addresses using the SSO Admin Console. When a user tries to login through a realm, the SSO server checks the IP of the user with the IP addresses configured in the SSO Admin Console. If the IP address of the user exists in the configured range of IP addresses, the SSO server sends the user to log in through this IdP. However, if the IP address of the user is not configured, it skips the IdP and moves on to the next IdP in the authentication chain. For more information about on configuring the range of IP addresses, see Kerberos authentication process.
Enabling signed SAML metadata for security
To ensure that the security policies of your organization are followed, you can now sign the SAML metadata. For this, a new Sign Metadata field is added on the SSO Admin Console. When the SAML realm is configured for signing metadata, the SSO server gets the certificate and private key from keystore based on the specified alias and signs the metadata with it.
For more information on enabling the signing metadata, see Configuring SSO to authenticate users with SAMLv2.
Ability to configure SSO agent and SSO server for applications hosted on different domains
In earlier versions, only the applications hosted on the same domain were authenticated using the same SSO server. From version 19.02, applications hosted on different domains can use the same SSO server for authentication. For this, the SSO agent and server must act as an OpenID Client and OpenID provider respectively to protect an application through the authentication process. For more information about configuring the SSO agent for supporting applications hosted on different domains, see Configuring SSO agent.
Ability to secure the cookie by providing access only to the issuing domain
You can now set the cookie domain value to the domain on which the SSO server is installed, and not restrict it to the network domain (parent domain) of the computer on which you are installing the SSO server domain. This ensures that the cookie is not accessible to any less trusted applications. You can set this cookie domain value either during installation, or through the SSO Admin Console. For more information, see Security planning and Configuring general settings for SSO server.
The BMC Helix Cognitive Service Automation feature is enhanced for creating work orders. When a work order is created by using an email sent by a user, the BMC Helix Cognitive Automation feature scans the subject or content of the email and applies the relevant work order template to the ticket. For more details, see the following topics:
For guidelines to train Cognitive Service, see Training data for BMC Helix Cognitive Automation.
Knowledge Management enhancements
Enhancements to approval mapping options
As a system administrator, now you can configure approval mapping rules for template, region, language, owner company, and owner group. For more details, see Configuring approval mappings.
Change Management enhancements
Enhancements to configuring risk assessment questions
A user creates a change request and answers risk assessment questions in the English language and risk assessment questions and answers are created in the French language also. If a user opens this change request in the French language, the risk assessment questions are displayed in the French language.
Service Request Management enhancements
Enhanced Import Export Console
With the enhanced Import Export Console, you can export and import objects in a .ZIP file format. For more details, see Using the Import Export Console.
Smart IT enhancements
Ability to get the resources to resolve an incident ticket in a chat window
As a Smart IT user, by using certain keywords you can get the ticket details, similar ticket details, knowledge articles etc. in a chat window. For more information, see Chatting with other agents to resolve a ticket.
Ability to create a change request by copying information from an existing ticket
You can create a change request by copying information from an existing ticket. To do this, you can use the Creating and managing change requests.button of an existing change request ticket in the Universal Client, or click the Copy Changeoption in the iOS, and Android applications. For more information, see
Ability to access Knowledge Console with Knowledge Viewer permission
From Smart IT 19.02, users with the Knowledge Viewer permission can search, view, share, follow, and unfollow knowledge articles in the Knowledge Console. This enables the users to learn more about Smart IT. However, users with the Knowledge Viewer permission cannot create, edit, and delete a knowledge article. You can add this permission in the CTM:People form of the IT Service Management. For detailed instructions on how to add permission, see . For information on the Smart IT permissions, see Smart IT permissions.
Enhancements in Smart Recorder
Ability to create call log
In Smart IT 19.02, you can record the details that you capture during a call. In this way you will be able to continue to create a ticket even if the call is interrupted. A new Create Call Log button has been introduced in the Smart Recorder to record the details. You need to configure the enableSmartRecorderCallLog parameter to true in the Centralized configuration to get the Create Call Log button in the Smart Recorder screen. The captured details are recorded in the SMT:Smart Recorder Call Log form of the IT Service Management. For more information, see Creating call logs in Smart Recorder and Creating call log events for Smart Recorder.
Ability to restrict asset search
In Smart IT 19.02, as a Smart IT administrator, you can restrict the asset search by using the restrictAssetSearchToCustomer configuration parameter in the Centralized configuration. If you set the value of this configuration parameter to True, then when you search an asset in Smart Recorder the search results display only those assets that are related to the selected customer.
Ability to configure Smart IT for a simplified record search
In Smart IT 19.02, as an administrator, you can configure Smart IT so that your service desk agents can get the simplified record search capability in Smart Recorder. If you set the smartRecorderSearchByCompany configuration parameter to true in the Centralized configuration, and if your service desk agent has access to only one company, then #Company name is automatically displayed in Smart Recorder. In this case the service desk agents need not to select any company specific information, because only the information related to their company is displayed.
Ability to configure Smart IT to consider the primary contact of an asset as the default customer
In Smart IT 19.02, as a Smart IT administrator, you can configure Smart IT so that in the Smart Recorder, the primary contact of a selected asset is considered as the default customer. To do that, you need to set the value of the defaultCustomerToPrimaryContact, and the smartRecorderSearchByCompany configuration parameters to true in the Centralized configuration.
Ability to configure provider actions that can be triggered based on logical expressions
In Smart IT 18.08, as a Smart IT administrator, you can configure provider action based on the logical conditions defined in an expression only for Incident ticket. In Smart IT 19.02, this capability is also provided for Change, Work Order, and Task tickets. For more information, see Configuring provider action.
Enhancements in the Activity tab
Ability to configure the display of all public and non-public work logs of the Activity tab
In Smart IT 18.08, depending on your selection of the Public check box, the work logs appear in the Activity tab of the service request. Smart IT 19.02 enables you to configure the default setting of all public and non-public work logs. The socialWorklogAccessSetting parameter has been added in Centralized configuration to configure this setting. By default this parameter is set to false, and the work logs are set to non public. You can set the parameter to true to make all the work logs visible to all users of a service request.
The Public, and Private note filters are not available in the updatefeed and Dashboard of iOS and Android mobile application.
Enhancements in the Activity tab and in the Dashboard
In Smart IT 19.02, when the status of a ticket is changed, the Status Reason is displayed both in the Activity tab and in the Dashboard. For more information, see Getting familiar with the Activity feed.
Enhancements in the search capability
Ability to disable search suggestion in the global search
In Smart IT 19.02, you can disable the search suggestion that appears when you type a text in the global search. To disable a search suggestion, set the disableTypeaheadInGlobalSearch parameter value to true in the Centralized configuration. For more information, see the description of the disableTypeaheadInGlobalSearch parameter in Centralized configuration topic.
Ability to configure the search query limit of a menu through Centralized configuration
As a Smart IT administrator, you can define the chunk size of a menu by using the Centralized configuration. While typing a search query, if there are more results available, a tooltip appears that prompts you to continue typing to refine your search. For this, you can configure the following configuration parameters: assignmentCompanyChunkSize, assignmentSupportGroupChunkSize, assignmentSupportOrganizationChunkSize, assignmentSupportPersonChunkSize, categoryChunkSize, locationSiteChunkSize, and menuChunkSize. For more information, see Centralized configuration.
While creating a task from scratch by using a template, if you type %%% to search a task template or a task group template, the tooltip to continue typing for more refined search is only displayed if more than 100 templates are available in any of these two templates.
Ability to exclude global categories from the category search result
While creating or editing a ticket, if you search any Category, all categories including the global categories, and your company specific categories are displayed in the search result. From Smart IT 19.02, you can exclude the global categories from the category search result so that only the relevant categories related to the selected company are displayed. To enable this capability, in the Com:Company form of IT Service Management, a new field, Exclude Global Category, has been introduced under the Miscellaneous tab. You can select the value Yes from the drop down list of this field so that you can exclude the global categories from the search result in Smart IT. For more information on the Com:Company form, see . If you cannot see the newly added field in the Com:Company form in IT Service Management, then open the form from the Developer Studio, and after adding the field to view overlay, click Properties > Display > Visible and set the value to True.
Ability to migrate company specific MongoDB data
In Smart IT 19.02, as a Smart IT administrator, when you upgrade to Smart IT 19.02 from 1.5.01, 1.6, or from 2.0, you can migrate data from MongoDB for a specific company. For more information, see Migrating social data from MongoDB to the AR System database.
Ability to set the landing page of the Universal Client (UC)
When you log in to Smart IT, by default the Dashboard appears after you enter your user credentials. In Smart IT 19.02, you can change the landing page as per your requirement. By using the landingPage configuration parameter in the Centralized configuration, you can set one of the following screens as your landing page:
- Ticket Console
- Asset Console
- Knowledge Console
- Smart Recorder
For more information on the landingPage configuration parameter, see Centralized configuration.
What else changed in this release
In this release, note the following significant changes in the product behavior:
Product behavior in versions earlier than 19.02
Product behavior in version 19.02
|Foundation||Prior to versions 19.02, when you would create people record and the status of that company is not Enabled, you could create the record.|
Now, when you create people record for a company and the status of that company is not Enabled, the record is not created. The following message is displayed:
The People record can be created for enabled company.
|Service Request Management||Prior to versions 19.02, on the Service Request Definition form, when the status of an SRD is waiting for approval, theQuestions & Mapping button was disabled.||With the new fix, the Service Request Definition form, when the status of an SRD is waiting for approval, the Questions & Mapping button is enabled.|
|Service Request Management||When you changed the status of a work order template to Delete, the work order template would not be deleted from the system. Instead, the work order template would be retained with the status as Deleted.|
With the new fix, now when you change the status of a work order template to Delete, the work order template is deleted from the system.
|Knowledge Management||When you created a knowledge article from an Incident, multiple entries would be created in the Article History.||Now, when you create a knowledge article from an Incident, only one entry is created in the Article History.|