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Working with the CMDB Explorer

The CMDB Explorer is the BMC Remedyforce data visualization tool. When you launch the CMDB Explorer for a Configuration Item (CI) or asset, it displays its related CIs and assets and their interrelationships in an easy-to-understand graphical manner.

Note

In the CMDB Explorer, a maximum of 230 relationships are shown.

The CMDB Explorer displays related CIs and assets based on the CI and IT asset management configurations in the General CMDB Settings page:

  • If both CI and IT asset management are enabled: By default, the CMDB Explorer displays the related CIs and assets and the available CI to CI, CI to asset, asset to asset, and asset to CI relationships. In the Filter by list on the toolbar, All is selected by default. From the Filter by list, you can select CI to display only CIs and their corresponding relationships, and Asset  to display only assets and their corresponding relationships. For more information, see Using the CMDB Explorer toolbar
  • If only CI management is enabled: It displays only related CIs, and CI to CI relationships. The Filter by list on the toolbar is not displayed.
  • If only IT asset management is enabled: It displays only related assets; and asset to asset relationships. The Filter by list on the toolbar is not displayed.

Note

In a new installation or an upgraded version of BMC Remedyforce, by default, the CMDB Explorer uses HTML5 and JavaScript technology, instead of the deprecated Microsoft Silverlight technology. You can choose to configure the Microsoft Silverlight version of the CMDB Explorer by selecting the (Deprecated) Use the Microsoft Silverlight CMDB Explorer check box in the General CMDB Settings page. However, the deprecated Microsoft Silverlight version of the CMDB Explorer does not have all the functionalities that are available in the CMDB Explorer that uses HTML5 and JavaScript technology. For more information about the functionalities available in the Microsoft Silverlight version of the CMDB Explorer, see the  CI Explorer documentation for BMC Remedyforce 20.15.01 .

The following video (2:20) gives an overview of CMDB Explorer.

https://youtu.be/qqhPlUH-WfM

The following topics are provided for the default version of the CMDB Explorer that uses HTML5 and JavaScript technology:

Launching the CMDB Explorer

You can launch the CMDB Explorer from the Remedyforce CMDB tab (Remedyforce CMDB), CMDB Instance Editor form, and from the console tabs (Remedyforce ConsoleIncident Console, and Task Console tabs).

To launch the CMDB Explorer from the Remedyforce CMDB tab

  1. Click the Remedyforce CMDB tab.
    Classes are displayed on Remedyforce CMDB based on CI and IT asset management configurations on the General CMDB Settings page and the Remedyforce CMDB permissions assigned to you. For more information, see Overview of the Remedyforce CMDB tab.

  2. On Remedyforce CMDB, perform the following actions:
    1. From the left panel, select the class corresponding to the CI or asset for which you want to launch the CMDB Explorer.
    2. From the right panel, select the CI or asset for which you want to launch the CMDB Explorer.

    To search for a CI or an asset, type the initial characters of the name or the full name of that CI or asset in the Search box and click the Search icon.
    For example, to search for "Email Service CI", type "Email" or "Email Service" in the Search text box and click the Search icon.
    You can also search for a CI or an asset by using data in the Instance NameDescriptionClass NameAsset #Token ID, and Serial # fields as search key words.

    Note

    If you select a CMDB class in the left panel, only CIs and assets of that class are searched. To search for a CI or an asset in all the CMDB classes, select the Base Element class on the left panel of Remedyforce CMDB.

  3. Click the Launch CMDB Explorer icon.

To launch the CMDB Explorer from the Instance Editor form

  1. On the right panel of Remedyforce CMDB, select the CI or asset for which you want to launch the CMDB Explorer.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. On the Instance Editor form, click the Launch CMDB Explorer icon.

To launch the CMDB Explorer from the console tabs

  1. On the console tab (Remedyforce ConsoleIncident Console, or Task Console tab), open a record.
    Record are incidents, service requests, tasks, problems, change requests, or releases.
  2. From the Agent Tools menu of the record, click CMDB Explorer.

Viewing CIs and assets and their relationships

On the CMDB Explorer, each CI and asset is represented by an image. When a CI or asset is related to other CIs or assets, arrows connect the images of the related CIs and assets.

Note

In the CMDB Explorer, a maximum of 230 relationships are shown.

The number of levels of relationships displayed is based on the configured CMDB Explorer settings. Double-click a related CI or asset to view its related CIs and assets. You can move to other related CI or assets and view relationships at all the available levels. If a CI or asset is linked to an open incident or problem, it is considered to be impacted. The CMDB Explorer displays impacted CIs and assets as follows:

  • If the class of the impacted CI or asset uses the default class and class impacted icons, the impacted CI or asset is displayed with the default class impacted icon.
    Typically, the default class impacted icon is same as the class icon with  on it.
  • If the system administrator has customized the class and class impacted icons, the impacted CI or asset is displayed with the customized class impacted icon.

When the linked incident or problem is closed, or the impacted CI or asset is unlinked from the incident or problem, the class impacted icon is replaced with the class icon. Each CI or asset represents a node. When you move the mouse over a CI or asset, its details and whether it is impacted, are displayed. If you mark a CI or asset as deleted by selecting the Mark As Deleted check box, that CI or asset is not displayed. For more information, see Creating and updating configuration items and Creating and updating assets.

Using the CMDB Explorer toolbar

The following table lists and describes the CMDB Explorer toolbar options:

Toolbar optionDescription

Refresh

Updates the CMDB Explorer with the latest information.
Settings Opens the CMDB Explorer Settings window, where you can configure the line and field settings of the CMDB Explorer. For more information, see To configure the CMDB Explorer.
Layout

Displays the CI or asset image in the layout style selected from the Layout list. By default, the Layered layout is displayed.

The available layouts are Layered, Bordered Tree, Fractal, Spring, and Tree.

Reposition Nodes 

Rearranges the nodes in the CMDB Explorer for the current layout. You can continue clicking this toolbar button until the current layout suits your requirements.

Filter by

Enables you to select the following filters to view CIs and assets and their corresponding relationships:

  • All: Displays both CIs and assets and the available CI to CI, CI to asset, asset to asset, and asset to CI relationships.
  • CI: Displays only CIs and the available CI to CI relationships.
  • Asset: Displays only assets and the available asset to asset relationships.

The Filter by drop-down list is displayed only if both CI and IT asset management are enabled. By default, All is selected. The last selected view is retained by the system as the preferred view.

Relationships Displayed

From the list, select the relationships that you want the CMDB Explorer to display. By default, all the available relationships are selected.

Based on the CI and IT asset management configuration, the available relationships displayed are as follows:

  • If both CI and IT asset management are enabled: Based on the filter that you have selected from the Filter by drop-down list, the corresponding relationships are displayed on the Relationships Displayed drop-down list:
    • All: Displays the available CI and asset relationships.
    • CI: Displays the available CI relationships.
    • Asset: Displays the available asset relationships.
  • If only CI management is enabled: Displays the available CI relationships.
  • If only IT asset management is enabled: Displays the available asset relationships.
Analyze Impact

For a selected source CI or asset, when you click the Analyze Impact button, the CMDB Explorer displays the list of all the CIs or assets that will be impacted when a change occurs on the source CI or asset.

Note: To enable display of impacted CIs or assets, ensure that the following selections have been made on the relationship editor of that CI or asset:

  • The relationship type is Source-Destination.
  • The HasImpact field is set to Yes.

To view the impact of a change on the source CI or asset:

  1. On the CMDB Explorer window, click the source CI or asset.
  2. Click Analyze Impact.

A new Impact Analysis window opens and, by default, displays all the CIs and assets that will be impacted by change to the selected source CI or asset. If you want to display only the impacted business service CIs or assets, select the Business Services Only radio button.

Zoom barResizes the nodes in the CMDB Explorer for easier viewing. You can resize the nodes by dragging the slider between the icon and the icon on the zoom bar or by clicking the zoom bar.
Click the required direction to navigate on the CMDB Explorer window. 
Show/Hide Linked Records

Displays and hides the records linked to a selected CI or asset.

To display the records linked to a CI or asset:

  1. On the CMDB Explorer window, click the CI or asset.
    The blue bar at the bottom of the window displays the CI or asset name and links to the corresponding Instance Editor of that CI or asset.
  2. Click on the Show Linked Records bar ( )
    The available record types are displayed on the left pane. The record types that are linked to the CI or asset are displayed with the icon. When you click a linked record type, a list view of the linked records is displayed on the right pane.

    The following menus are available:
    • View: Click View and select the required view of the record:

      Note

      The View menu is unavailable for Clients, Accounts, Knowledge Articles, Documentation, and Auditing.

      • For Incidents, Service Requests, Change Requests, Problems, Releases, or Tasks, you can select to display all, opened, or closed records.
      • For History, you can select to display user entries, system entries, and all entries.
    • Actions: Click Actions and select the required action for the record:

      Note

      The Actions menu is unavailable for Auditing.

      • History – Add and edit the CI or asset history.
      • Clients – Link or unlink clients to the CI or asset.
      • Accounts – Link or unlink accounts to the CI or asset.
      • Incidents, Service Requests, Change Requests, Problems, Releases, or Tasks – Link or unlink records to the CI or asset.
      • Knowledge Articles – Link or unlink knowledge articles to the CI or asset.
      • Documentation – Add, open, and delete documentation for the CI or asset.

The pagination options are available for the displayed records. You can hide the records linked to a CI or asset by clicking the Hide Linked Records bar.

Configuring the CMDB Explorer

You can configure the type and color of connecting lines and the number of levels to which you want to expand relationships in the CMDB Explorer.

Note

You can save any changes you make in the settings of the CMDB Explorer only if you belong to the System Administrator profile. For more information about profiles, see https://na11.salesforce.com/help/doc/user_ed.jsp?section=help&target=admin_userprofiles.htm&loc=help&hash=topic-title.

To configure the CMDB Explorer

  1. On the CMDB Explorer toolbar, click Settings.
  2. On the Line Settings tab of the CMDB Explorer Settings window, you can perform the following actions:
    • From the Expand CI Relationships to <n> levels list, select the number of levels to which you want to expand relationships between CIs or assets.
    • In the Relationship section, click the type of relationship that you want, and then configure its properties.

      Note

      For Line Color, you can enter the hexadecimal color code, if you prefer.

  3. In the Field Settings tab of the CMDB Explorer Settings window, perform the following actions:
    1. From the Fields for list, select one of the following CMDB Explorer components:
      • Tool Tip – The selected fields and their values appear as a tool tip when you move your mouse over a node in the CMDB Explorer. There is no limit to the number of fields that you can select for the tool tip.
      • Label – The selected fields display their values in the label of the node in the CMDB Explorer. You can select up to three fields for the label of the node.
    2. From the Available Fields list, select the fields you want to display, and click the right arrow to move them to the Selected Fields list.
      In CMDB 2.0, the Available Fields list displays the out-of-the-box and custom fields of the Base Element field set. 
    3. To move the selected fields to the Available Fields list, click the left arrow.
    4. Click Save.
  4. Click Close.
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