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Basic Self-Help Service Item Example

This page describes one example of integrating self-help into your Kinetic Request customer interface.


There are numerous ways to approach integrating your Kinetic Request with self-help. Your approach will depend on a number of variables, including whether you already have a self-help database built up (eg. BMC Knowledge Management or a homegrown database), whether designers have access to the Kinetic web server to load files/images, whether you already have a separate self-help web interface for customers. This examples assumes that none of these things are in place, that the images will need to be stored within the Service Item and that the self-help steps all need to be built individually into the request.

In this entirely self-contained self-help/ticket example, the customer is guided through a series of self-help steps that could repair the issue (an Outlook Disconnect message), and then asked if the steps fixed his/her problem. Tracking both the yes and no answers allows a service owner/knowledge management owner to determine the percentage of success of the self-help.

If the user answers yes (the self-help steps resolved the issue), the ticket is stored, closed, and no other action takes place. If the user answers No, they are prompted to fill in other questions and an incident ticket is submitted.  Asking additional questions to the customer after failure of the self-help allows the ticket to be more accurately routed/categorized correctly. For example, if the error is preventing someone from getting into his/her email at all, it is a higher urgency than an intermittent error.

This sample also addresses two other concerns, supporting two different versions of Outlook concurrently and having customers with different speeds of internet access. The sample first includes instructions on how to find the version being used, then uses branching to direct someone through the correct instructions. The sample also offers the customer the option not to show the images, but just list the text instructions if they have a slow internet connection. There are two possible approaches to this solution. The images can be removed by default and added by an event if the customer has chosen to view the images, or different pages can be included with instructions without images and page branching can be used. In this example, page branching is the chosen solution because it prevents the customer from having to page through multiple pages with just two or three instruction (spaced this way because of the images), which would also be slow for someone on a slow connection. The questions are all consolidated on one page for the no-images branches.


Note that this particular downloadable example (which has no catalog information included and uses the klean theme--you can update the Display Page (JSP) on the Advanced tab to use your theme) expects BMC Remedy's ITSM. It won't pull the customer information in automatically without the CTM:People form, and the handler used to create the incident is BMC ITSM7 Detail Incident Templated Create, which requires an incident template in place to work. If you do not have Remedy ITSM you can still install this example request and see the example/code. To make this example work with your non-ITSM system, you'll want to adjust the advanced defaults on the customer questions on the first page and replace the one handler in the tree that creates the incident.

Customer Information

The first thing done in the same service item is to collect the customer's information. If the fix doesn't work, this information will be necessary. Even if the fix does work, this may be good information to have.

Customer Information.png

This is set to fill in automatically from the CTM:People form. In your implementation, other information like department or site may be desired as well.


Page Branching

Then the error (Outlook disconnect) and a possible cause is explained to the user. The user is then prompted, with instructions, to enter the Outlook version.


And the customer is asked whether images are desired.

So that these two answers can be used for page branching. If the customer wants to see images, the first steps are the same for both versions. 


But since all steps are listed at once for no images, the version is used in the initial branching.


If images are shown, it's after the second page of instructions that the branching takes a different path for 2003 and 2007:


The pages with images, in this example, use image elements


From images loaded into the Service Item on the Advanced tab.


Completion If Self-Help Worked

If the self help steps worked, the customer will answer Yes to what, for them, is the final question.


And the page branching will take the customer directly to the confirmation page.


Where a question filled in by default with the value from the Fix Work question, 


and additional text is added to the completion page.


The Tree just closes the record, so the record is stored and available for reporting, but no additional steps are created, no action to be taken.


Completion If Self-Help Didn't Work

If the fix didn't help, the customer will enter No,


and the page branching will take the customer to a page to allow them to answer more questions.


The frequency of the issue is important to determining the urgency, so that is specifically asked.


The scope/impact of the issue will also be specifically relevant to creating the ticket, so it is also specifically asked.


Once the customer enters all the additional information, they click next to submit the ticket.


And do not see the additional text about the solution.


The tree then formats the answers and submits the necessary incident.




The Impact question ("This issue is happening to") is used to set the incident's impact:

<%= if @answers['Impact'] == "One"
elsif @answers['Impact'] == "Some"
end %>

And the Frequency question ("Frequency of error") is used to set the incidents impact:

<%= if @answers['Frequecy'] == "Always"
then "3-Medium"
else "4-Low"
end %>

The Formatted answers are placed into the notes, but the rest of the incident is created using the "Outlook Exchange disconnect" template. Note that the tree is built expecting an integration with HPD:Help Desk with create, update, and complete trigger support.