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.

BMC

BMC Helix ITSM: Smart Reporting 21.02

BMC Helix ITSM: Smart Reporting(Smart Reporting) is an easy-to-use, web-based report writer for designing reports with rich data visualization, interactive charts, and cross-application data. Using Yellowfin technology as the platform, Smart Reporting offers drag-and-drop simplicity for formatting and data selection.

Release notes and notices
updated 17 Mar

Learn what’s new or changed for BMC Helix ITSM: Smart Reporting 21.02, including new features, urgent issues, documentation updates, and fixes or patches. 

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Related topics

Known and corrected issues

Action Request System release notes

BMC Helix ITSM enhancements

BMC CMDB release notes

DateTitleSummary
March 17, 202121.02 enhancements

Enhancements available in this release:

  • BMC Helix ITSM: Smart Reporting is now available on a Converged Service Management Platform.
  • Users can view and manage private content created by other users.

Onboarding

 

Onboarding users.

Using

 

Interface descriptions, using the product.

Administering

 

Information to set up user accounts, to manage and maintain the system after it is installed and configured.

Integrating

 

Integrations with other products.

Troubleshooting

 

Issues resolution, logs, and contacting Support.

Communities

Knowledge Base

Videos

Videos

Education

PDFs and videos

Smart Reporting videos

The following topics contain videos that supplement or replace the text-based documentation:


YouTube playlists

Smart Reporting video playlist

Yellowfin video playlist

Frequently asked questions

 

The information in this FAQ supplements the BMC Helix ITSM: Smart Reporting(Smart Reporting) documentation. It contains the following sections:

Installation and deployment

 Can I configure Smart Reporting to access data from a nonproduction database?

Yes. Smart Reporting provides flexible deployment options. You can achieve different levels of isolation for reporting to account for varying workloads.

In the simplest deployment, the reporting server shares the infrastructure with Mid Tier.

In more advanced deployments, you can configure Smart Reporting on a separate reporting server or a reporting cluster. This deployment model separates any reporting workload from Mid Tier, although they still have the AR System server(AR System server) and database in common.

 How can I promote a report from one environment to another?

The reporting administrator can export and then import reports, and other definitions by using an XML based import-export feature available in Smart Reporting.

 Does the AR System JDBC driver connect only to the AR System server, or does it also connect directly to the AR System database?

The AR System JDBC driver connects only to the AR System server. Internally, the AR System APIs connect to the AR System database.

 What is the technology behind the reporting server?

The reporting server uses Apache Tomcat as the default web server. The metadata-like report configuration for Smart Reporting is added to separate tables in a database that can be shared with AR System.

 What will work out of the box? Is any post-installation configuration required, or will the standard reports work after installation without additional configuration?

Installing both AR System and BMC Helix ITSM components will also install Smart Reporting capabilities. After completing the installations, the administrator must run a Smart Reporting onboarding utility that imports the report definitions. After onboarding is complete, no additional configuration is required, and all the out-of-the-box content is available. For more information, see the following resources:Onboarding

Smart Reporting customizations

 Can I use Smart Reporting for reporting on custom forms within the ITSM application?

Smart Reporting is available for both BMC Helix ITSM and custom forms within it. Content related to BMC Helix ITSM, including reports, dashboards, and views is provided out of the box. To use custom forms, you must add them to the semantic view of Smart Reporting.

 Can I export the report data in XML format so that it can be consumed by a third-party integration?

No. Smart Reporting does not support exporting the report data into XML format. Smart Reporting exports only the report definition into XML format, which may not be compatible with other tools. When you export the reports to other formats (such as CSV, Excel, and PDF), they contain the report data and not the report definition.

 What about reporting with joins of custom forms if I need information from two forms?

You can extend out-of-the-box joins, which are already defined based on the semantic layer. For custom forms, you must know the join fields and define them as part of the view definition.

 Are all fields on a AR System form available, or are there any limitations similar to available fields for web reports?

All fields, except view-only fields and vendor forms are available for reporting. Out-of-the-box views contain only the most widely used fields. You can easily extend the out-of-the-box views to include additional fields; however, you should always create a copy of the out-of-the-box view and then modify the copy.

 In the report designer, are custom fields automatically available in the list of selectable fields?

No. The administrator must first publish the custom fields as a part of the semantic view through quick configuration steps using the drag-and-drop interface.

 Are the dates already formatted or does Smart Reporting provide a formatting option?

Dates are preformatted in Smart Reporting. You can also choose different date formats. 

Smart Reporting charts, report designer, and self service

 Does Smart Reporting have control charts?

No, but you can create line charts with upper and lower controls and targets by selecting the KPI option from the Report Design screen. See Example: Creating a Change Management KPI report. 

 Can I customize the tabs on the dashboard for different types of departments using Helix ITSM?

Yes. Any dashboard is completely configurable.
You can arrange the tabs on a dashboard according to the content available out of the box, such as IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes like Change Management, Incident Management, and Knowledge Management.
You can also configure the tabs for different departments. If you want to set up different dashboard tabs per department with the same underlying report definitions, you can also leverage the dashboard page filters. These filters ensure that although the dashboard pages are similar, the data displayed on each dashboard tab is specific to each department.

 For Helix ITSM OnDemand, can the customers configure the reporting themselves, or is a service request required?

Smart Reporting is a self-service tool. Customers can configure the reporting themselves.

 Is there global configuration for reports? Can someone from a specific team define reports for users?

Specific roles govern access rights in Smart Reporting. Users with a role to create new reports can define new reports for report consumers. See Managing Smart Reporting user roles and groups.

 Is it possible to edit out-of-the-box reports and remove some reports?

Yes. With appropriate permissions in Smart Reporting, users can remove or modify a report, or copy an existing report and modify their own copy. However, BMC recommends that you do not modify or remove an out-of-the-box report.

 Can I create a template for report formatting settings and reuse it for other reports?

Administrators can set server-level format settings that apply to all reports by default. Currently, the concept of a template for report formatting is not available.

 What about historical or aggregated data?

Historical or aggregated data, such as Mean Time To Resolve (MTTR), is available in out-of-the-box KPI reports. KPI reports leverage the flashboard functionality in the server (not the visualization) to capture and store historical information for key performance indicators (KPIs). With version 9.0, Incident Management and Change Management KPIs are available out of the box, and more KPIs for other areas will be added over time.

 Can I create reports based on relationships, for example, CIs related to incidents, changes related to incidents, tasks related to changes, and so on?

Yes. Relationships are available in the out-of-the-box views (semantic layer) for BMC Helix ITSM applications.

 Can you see reports in the Report Console and schedule them?

Yes. Reports are available in the Smart Reporting interface. You can schedule reports using different broadcast options, and you can send the reports via email.

 Can I schedule a report to be emailed when a report threshold is crossed?

Smart Reporting is not an active monitoring system like BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management. However, it supports a few business cases for exception reporting. For example, you can configure conditional report delivery to send an email when more than 10 critical incidents are assigned to any of your team members. Based on the frequency you define, the report can run every few minutes or hours, but will send an email only when more than 10 critical incidents occur as defined in the qualification.

 Can I limit report scheduling to certain times?

No. You cannot limit report scheduling to a specific time frame.

 Are there any set of best practices that BMC recommends for report creation?

Yes, webinars dedicated for report creation are available. For more information, see  Smart Reporting - Best Practice Resources.

 Can I access and edit private reports created by other users?

Yes, you can view and manage private reports created by other users. For this, you must have content super user access. For more information, see Granting Content Super User permission to access and manage all content.

Smart Reporting licensing

 We do not have ITSM license, but we use the Service Innovation License for the platform, to create custom applications. Can I use the new Smart Reporting capabilities for the reporting needs of the custom application?

Customers with Helix application-level user licenses of type Fixed or Floating are entitled to use Smart Reporting component for reporting on Helix platform-based BMC Helix ITSM applications or extensions thereof.

For custom Helix applications, a customer is entitled for 7 users who can use Smart Reporting for reporting against such custom Helix applications. Reporting on non-ITSM based applications beyond these 7 users or reporting from non-ITSM data source requires a separate Yellowfin license.

 Will Smart Reporting data integrate with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management reporting?
Smart Reporting is focused on providing an in-application reporting solution for BMC Helix ITSM use cases. There are no plans to integrate it with BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management, Data Center Automation, or Cloud Lifecycle Management.
 Smart Reporting is provided as an application; do I have to license this application?

Separate licensing is not required for Smart Reporting. You have access to Smart Reporting with a BMC Helix ITSM license.

 I believe that Smart Reporting is part of AR System functionality. Can I use Smart Reporting even without ITSM?

Smart Reporting is licensed for BMC Helix ITSM customers. Options for other customers who use AR System without BMC Helix ITSM applications are being discussed.

 Can I integrate Smart Reporting with other data sources, or must I integrate it only with AR System data?

Smart Reporting license terms allow BMC Helix ITSM customers to generate reports with the AR System database (forms). You cannot integrate Smart Reporting directly with external data sources such as Microsoft Excel, CSV, or XML files; or with any other databases.
However, you can integrate AR System with external data sources to make the data available in AR System forms, which can then be used for Smart Reporting.

 I see a License Expiration Date on the Administration Console of Smart Reporting. Will our access to Smart Reporting discontinue after that expiration date?

You are entitled to use Smart Reporting with a valid BMC Helix ITSM license. So, you can continue to use Smart Reporting while the BMC Helix ITSM license is valid. Also, BMC will provide new version of the license key for Smart Reporting from time to time in future releases, which will extend the term of Smart Reporting.

 Does Smart Reporting alert me when the license is about to expire?

No. However, you can configure alerts from the License Management panel of the Admin Console.

Convergence of Reporting Technologies (BIRT, D&A, Smart IT)

 When I cross-launch incidents from a report, why isn’t Smart IT opened instead of Mid Tier?

Cross-launching to Smart IT requires configuration. For detailed steps, see Configuring settings to cross-launch reports.

 Will Smart Reporting replace BMC Analytics for BSM product (based on SAP Business Objects)?

BMC Analytics for BSM is now obsolete and out of support. Smart Reporting is the replacement for this tool. For more information, see End Of Life Support For BMC Analytics.

 I have multiple reports created for ITSM using different technologies such as Web reporting (BIRT) and Analytics reporting (BOXI). Can I easily convert these reports to the Smart Reporting format?

No. A utility to convert BIRT and SAP Business Objects reports to Smart Reporting format is not available. However, BMC is working on converting some of the current out-of-the-box BIRT and SAP Business Objects reports in Smart Reporting format, and making the reports available on BMC Communities, which customers can easily import to Smart Reporting. More details will be announced on BMC Communities.  

  Can I access Smart Reporting from the Smart IT interface?
Yes. You can access Smart Reporting from Smart IT 1.2 or later.

Smart Reporting compatibility, localization, and training

 Will Smart Reporting will be localized into multiple languages?

Yes. All supported BMC Helix ITSM languages (except Russian and Korean) are available with Smart Reporting .

 What training options are available for Smart Reporting?

The BMC documentation site,  https://docs.bmc.com/ , includes short videos about various Smart Reporting topics such as creating new reports and dashboards. BMC Education also helps customers learn about Smart Reporting.

 Does Smart Reporting 9.0 work with existing versions of Helix ITSM?

Smart Reporting is a new capability that is currently aligned with BMC Helix ITSM 9.0 or higher.

 Is Smart Reporting compatible with different browsers such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox?

Yes. Smart Reporting has the same browser compatibility as the corresponding BMC Helix ITSM version, which supports Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari (for Macintosh computers).

 If BMC Helix customers (non-Administrators) are building reports, is there any training provided for customers, or would we expect reports to be built during Smart Reporting onboarding?

Out-of-the-box reports and dashboards are available to all the users, including the BMC Helix customers. Further, customers can build their own reports and dashboards from the web-based report designer, without requiring administrator rights. BMC Education and BMC documentation will help all customers to learn about Smart Reporting.

 Which Yellowfin builds and versions does Smart Reporting support?

Smart Reporting supports the following Yellowfin builds and versions.

Smart Reportingversions

Yellowfin builds

Yellowfin version

19.11

20191025

8.0.2

For more information, see the Knowledgebase Article Smart Reporting - Version information.

Smart Reporting Security settings

 How do I secure the SessionID cookie for Smart Reporting?

The JSessionID cookie carries information about the user's session but does not have the secure attribute set. This secure attribute helps the browser to send the cookie only if the request is being sent over a secure channel such as HTTPS and protects the cookie from being passed over unencrypted requests.

To secure the JSessionID cookie, complete the following steps:

  1. Edit the web.xml file located at C:\Program Files\BMC Software\ARSystem\SmartReporting\appserver\webapps\ROOT\WEB-INF and include the secure attribute in the server response by adding the highlighted code as shown below:
    <session-config>
    <session-timeout>90</session-timeout>
    <tracking-mode>COOKIE</tracking-mode>
    <cookie-config>
    <http-only>true</http-only>
    <secure>true</secure>
    </cookie-config>
    </session-config>
  2. Open the web.xml file located at C:\Program Files\BMC Software\ARSystem\SmartReporting\appserver\webapps\AdminConsole\WEB-INF and add the following code:
    <session-config>
    <cookie-config>
    <http-only>true</http-only>
    <secure>true</secure>
    </cookie-config>
    </session-config>

Note

The secure parameter is applicable to Tomcat version 7 and later.

 I’d like a PDF of just selected information. How can I get that?

The BMC Documentation portal gives you the ability to generate PDF and Microsoft Word documents of single pages, and to create PDF exports of multiple pages in a space.  

Creating PDF and Word exports

You can create a PDF of a page or a set of pages. (Non-English page exports are not supported.) You can also create a Word document of the current page.

To export to PDF or Word

  1. From the Tools menu in the upper-right, select a format:
    • Export to Word to export the current page to Word format
    • Export to PDF to export the current page or a set of pages to PDF
  2. If exporting to PDF, select what you want to export:
    • Only this page to export the current page
    • This page and its children to export a set of pages
    For example, selecting This page and its children from the home page exports the entire space to PDF.


 

Depending on the number of topics included in the export, it might take several minutes to create the PDF. Once the export is complete, you can download the PDF.

 How do I secure tomcat?

Perform the following steps to secure tomcat version 8.5.x:

  1. To generate a key store file, navigate to the jdk bin folder located at C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_111\bin, and run the following command:

    keytool.exe -genkeypair -keyalg RSA -alias tomcat -keystore "C:\keystore\keystore.jks" -storepass changeit -validity 36000 -keysize 2048 -dname CN=localhost,OU=OrgUnit,O=Org,L=City,ST=State,C=Country

    Important

    Ensure you have the C:\keystore folder in your system.

  2. To generate the certificate, run the following command:

    keytool.exe -export -alias tomcat -keystore C:\keystore\keystore.jks -rfc -file C:\keystore\tomcat.cer
  3. To import certificate to cacerts, copy the cacerts file located at JRE_FOLDER\lib\security\ to C:\keystore, and run the following command:

    keytool.exe -import -alias tomcat -keystore C:\keystore\cacerts -file C:\keystore\tomcat.cer
  4. Validate that the certificate is imported succesfully by running the following command:

    keytool.exe -list -keystore C:\keystore\cacerts

    Verify it shows the tomcat certificate imported in Step. 3.

  5. To copy cacerts to JRE, take a back up of the old file located at JRE\lib\security and copy the latest file from C:\keystore\cacerts to JRE\lib\security.

  6. In the server.xml file located at tomcat/conf/, uncomment the connector block having port 8443:

    <Connector port="8443" protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol"
    maxThreads="150" SSLEnabled="true" scheme="https" secure="true"
    clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" enableLookups="false"
    minSpareThreads="25" maxSpareThreads="75" keyAlias="tomcat"
    disableUploadTimeout="true" acceptCount="100" URIEncoding="UTF-8"
    keystoreFile="C:\keystore\keystore.jks"
    keystorePass="changeit"/>
  7. To enable SSL forwarding, copy the following block in the web.xml file of the webapps, AdminConsole, onboarding and ROOT directories:

    <security-constraint>
    <web-resource-collection>
    <web-resource-name>Automatic SLL Forwarding</web-resource-name>
    <url-pattern>/*</url-pattern>
    </web-resource-collection>
    <user-data-constraint>
    <transport-guarantee>
    CONFIDENTIAL
    </transport-guarantee>
    </user-data-constraint>
    </security-constraint>
  8. Restart the tomcat server.
    If you are using bundled tomcat, access Smart Reporting by using the https://<hostname>:8443/ URL.
    If you are using external tomcat, access Smart Reporting by using the https://<hostname>:8443/SmartReporting/ URL .

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