Technical Support Agent (TSA)


The technical support agent (TSA) is an agent monitoring. Its operating principle is made up of 4 steps:

  • Regularly connections to the mail server to consult two types of mailboxes defined for the IT support:
    • Mailboxes receiving the messages of users announcing an incident or sending a request to the IT support;
    • Mailboxes receiving the automatic alert messages about detected failures, converted into events.
  • Emails reception related to the three types of objects (object). The emails should be sent by:
    • Product name - ev itsm.png, via validation workflow steps or wizards;
    • an external application, via an inbox.
  • Email process following the information provided by predefined variables which are inserted in the email body (Note: A log file allows checking the history of the operations executed by the service SmoServer)
    The actions to carry out can be:
    • the creation of a new object; the subject is the one associated with the message or if not available the one associated with the mailbox;
    • the update of the object referenced in the message: modification of fields passes as parameters, creation of an Hold/Reopen/Solution, processing of an email replying to an approval/refusal, storage of attached documents, etc.
  • Deletion of the email from the mailbox

Notes

  • When the technical support agent is deactivated, the mailboxes will not be consulted any longer even if they are active.
  • For security reasons, the password will not be displayed when you open an existing form. It is nevertheless stored in the database and it is not necessary to re-enter it.
  • The predefined variables:
    • They must to be placed between @ characters.
                Example documentation icon EN.png  Event generated at @DATE@
    • Each value of the variable must to be put between apostrophes ' ' .
               Example documentation icon EN.png  @ASSET@='P04319'
    • If a variable includes several values, each one must be placed between curly brackets { }.
               Example documentation icon EN.png  @FIELDS_TO_UPDATE@={COMMENT=Internal Problem} {ASSET_TAG=ZS_010}
    • If the variable allowing to identify the object number is completed, the existing record is updated; otherwise a new record will be created.
               Example documentation icon EN.png  The incident @RFC_NUMBER@)='100622_000027' has been updated.
  • Update of the form processed by the TSA:
    • The topic and the message body are reported to the Description.
  • The responses made to the email of Product name - ev itsm.png and the attachments can be attached to the object; then they can be accessed via the Documents tab in the forms (provided that the other parameter {TSA} REPLY_TO_ADDRESS is enabled).

Example

An email is transmitted by a user to the mailbox for incidents of the IT support.

  • Title: Description of the problem on my mobile
  • Message: Impossible to start the application. See the attached screen captures
              @ASSET@='P04319'
              @CODE_CATALOG@='Mobile'
              @DATE@='02/07/2018'
              @URGENCY@='1'
              Attached pieces: document.txt

==> An incident is automatically generated dated 02/07/2018, with a High urgency, for the equipment P04319.

  • The variable @CODE_CATALOG@ is completed: the default topic of the mailbox is replaced by the category Incidents/Equipment/Other Peripherals/Mobile.
  • The Immediate Solution workflow related to the category will automatically trigger.
  • The attached piece document.txt is attached to the incident, and accessible via Documents tab.

Caution

  • Office 365 and Outlook Web Access (OWA) clients have limitations regarding Html interpretations. To make sure your emails are interpreted by all the email clients, respect the best practice

Best Practice big icon.pngBest practice

  • Check the starting configuration of the technical support agent. Open url.png See Installation Guide > description of EasyVista Monitoring parameters.
  • Create a mailbox to receive the different incident types and associate a default topic quit general such as Incident Front Office. Once the message has been analyzed, the technical support has the possibility to re-qualify the incident more precisely (Example: Incidents / Equipment / Laptop / Battery).
  • To ensure that the body part of the approval/refusal emails is correctly interpreted by all the email clients:
    • Replace spaces by %20, except for the values of the predefined variables.
          Example documentation icon EN.png  
      • To approve  ==>  To%20approve
      • 21/10/2018 14:30  ==>  21/10/2018 14:30
    • Replace = characters by %3D.
    • Replace quotation marks ' ' by %27.
          Example documentation icon EN.png  @CHOICE@='1'  ==>  @CHOICE@%3D%271%27
  • Only use ' character (right quotation mark) and never character (left quotation mark).
    • Caution: If you do a copy-paste from Word or Outlook, right quotation marks are automatically replaced by left quotation marks. You will have to replace them back to right quotation marks for them to be correctly interpreted. 

Screen description

        Technical agent support.png

Access menu: Administration > Parameters > Technical Support Agent

Mailbox: Description identifying the mailbox dedicated to the IT support and which is watched by the technical support agent. 

Enable Active Mailbox Scan: Specifies if the mailbox is enabled and can receive messages (checkbox checked) or is not enabled (checkbox unchecked).

Type: Protocol type used by the mail server. 

  • Only the version POP3 of the POP protocol is authorized.
  • Only the version IMAP4 of the IMAP protocol is authorized.

Mail Server: Address IP of the mail server. 

Login / Password: Login and password allowing accessing the mailbox. Note: If you have opened an existing form, the password will not be re-displayed but it remains stored in the database.

Port: Port number opened when the mail server is accessed using a protocol.

  • Normally, this is port 110 when the mail server uses the POP protocol.

Read Interval (in Min): Frequency, in minutes, in which the mailbox is opened to see if new messages have arrived. 

SSL: Specifies if the connection mode to the mail server is a secured connection via SSL (checkbox checked) or is not secured (checkbox unchecked).

Default Topic: Default subject of the object that is generated. 

Origin: Origin specifying by which means the incident/request / event has been reported to the IT department (Example: Phone, email). 

Create the Requesting Person Automatically: When the transmitter of the message is unknown in Product name - ev itsm.png, specifies if the transmitter is created automatically (checkbox checked) or not created (checkbox checked).

  • The search is done via the email address of the transmitter.

Redirect unknown Emails to: When the transmitter is unknown in Product name - ev itsm.png and the automatic creation is not enabled, redirects the message on another email address. 

  • This allows the technical support agent to ignore spam, and also to keep the unknown messages a certain time. The hotline can check this redirection mailbox to be certain that no support request has been misrouted. 

Procedures and Wizards

How to implement the technical support agent (TSA)

Step 1: Creating the dedicated mailboxes.

1. Select Administration > Parameters > Technical support agent in the menu.

2. Click Add icon.png.

3. Select the default topic of the mailbox. This is an incidents/requests/events catalog entry.

4. Complete the other properties.

5. Activate the mailbox by checking the Enable Active Mailbox Scan box.

6. Click Save icon.png.

7. Repeat these actions to create each mailbox dedicated to the process of incidents/requests/events.

Step 2: Enabling the technical support agent.

1. Launch the Enable wizard.

Step 3 (optional): Configuring the telnet connection.

Note: Only if you use the POP3 protocol.

    Open url.png See  Installation Guide > Troubleshooting POP3 connections.

Step 4: Configuring EasyVista Monitoring

1. Connect to Easyvista Monitoring: http://SERVEREZV/Monitoring/.

2. Select the page Easyvista SGBDR > Parameters > Edit table A_PARAMETERS.

3. Select the connection EZV_ADMIN (For SQL Server) or EVO_ADMIN (For Oracle).

4. Check and update if necessary the value of the parameter ASTSERVER in the section [OTHERS] (Not specified in a_parameter.ini).

  • ASTSERVER = name NETBIOS (or IP or DNS name) of the system hosting the service SMO Server
  • If there are several network interfaces, only use the IP address to which the service SMO Server listens.

5. Click Save Changes.

6. Re-start the service SMOServer.

Step 5: Configuring the log file.

1. Open the smoserver.ini file on the application server.

2. Complete the Log_Typevariable = lt_All.

  • As soon as a message is received in one of the mailboxes monitors by the TSA, it is processed and then deleted automatically.
  • The log file is automatically updated.

How to configure an approval/refusal email

Approval/refusal emails are sent via validation steps workflow.

  • The user can click on one of the two hyperlinks: Accepted / Refused.
             mail Approval Refusal.png
  • His response will be automatically sent to the technical support agent via an email.


Step 1: Opening the validation step workflow.

1. Go to the workflow.
The graphical editor will be opened.

2. Double click on the approval step.
         Workflow GUI - accepted-refused email.png

Step 2: Entering the approval/refusal email.

1. Enter the mail address of the TSA in the field Return address.

2. Specify the object reference in the field Subject.
Note: Use the @RFC_NUMBER@ predefined variable.

3. Enter the text of the email in the field Message.

Best Practice icon.png

  • Click Html Editor icon.png to switch to Html mode.
  • Create the 2 hyperlinks by inserting the instructions defined below.
    • Accepted:
               Accepted hyperlink.png
      mailto:noreply@easyvista.com?subject=Accepted&body=To%20accept%20the%20request,%20you%20only%20click%20on%20the%20button%20d%27sending%20the%20email.%0ADo%20not%20change%20the%20text%20below%20%0A%0A@OPERATION@%3D%27SOLVE%27%0A@RFC_NUMBER@%3D%27S160824_000001%27%0A@CHOICE@%3D%271%27
    • Refused:
               Refused hyperlink.png
      mailto:noreply@easyvista.com?subject=Refused&body=To%20refuse%20the%20request,%20you%20only%20click%20on%20the%20button%20d%27sending%20the%20email.%0ADo%20not%20change%20the%20text%20below%20%0A%0A@OPERATION@%3D%27SOLVE%27%0A@RFC_NUMBER@%3D%27S160824_000001%27%0A@CHOICE@%3D%270%27

How to use the CHA's Mailto Code Generator

         Open url.png  See CHA's Mailto Code Generator

         cha4 generator.png

Step 1: Entering the approval/refusal email.

1. Enter the recipients in the To, CC, BCC fields.

  • Separate addresses with commas.

2. Enter the email subject in the Subject field.

3. Enter the email content in the Body area.

Example documentation icon EN.png  Sending a solution email of an incident

@OPERATION@='SOLVE'
@RFC_NUMBER@='#RFC_NUMBER#'
@CHOICE@='1' pour an approval __or__ @CHOICE@='0' for a refusal _or_ @CHOICE@='2' for an information request

4. Click Create URL.

Step 2: Testing the email display in the inbox.

1. Click Test URL.

2. Make the necessary corrections.

Step 3: Copying the email in the validation step workflow.

1. Copy the generated URL in the Mailto URL area.

2. Go to the validation step workflow in the GUI Worfklow.

3. Switch in the Html mode via Html Editor icon.png.

4. Paste the URL in the Message area.

Wizards

Enable: Activates the technical support agent. Note: Only active mailboxes will be scanned by the agent (Enable Active Mailbox Scan box checked).

Deactivate: Deactivates the technical support agent. All the mailboxes associated will not be consulted any longer.

Delete: Deletes the mailbox. 

 

Predefined variables

Variables identify one of the three objects types processed by the technical support agent: incidents, requests, events.

Action Operation Variable Example
Creation
  • @ASSET@: Equipment code concerned by the object
  • @CI@: CI name concerned by the object
  • @CODE_CATALOG@: Category of the catalog to which is attached the object. If no category is defined, the default topic of the mailbox will be applied automatically
  • @DATE@: Date/Hour of the object creation
  • @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @PARENT_INCIDENT@: For an incident/request, incident/request number of the related inciden
  • @URGENCY@: Urgency level of the object
  • @ASSET@='P04319'
  • @CODE_CATALOG@='Mobile'
  • @DATE@='02/07/2018'
  • @URGENCY@='1'
Modification UPDATE
  • @FIELDS_TO_UPDATE@:
    • Detail of the variables to update for the object
    • This is the physical name of the field in the database.
    • Variables must be placed between curly brackets { }.
  • @OPERATION@: Operation type to execute on the object
  • @RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Number of the object in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @OPERATION@='UPDATE'
  • @RFC_NUMBER@='I080104_000003'
  • @FIELDS_TO_UPDATE@='{COMMENT=Pb interne} {ASSET_TAG=ZS_010}'
Reopening RESTART
  • @OPERATION@: Operation type to execute on the object
  • @RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Number of the object in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @OPERATION@='RESTART'
  • @RFC_NUMBER@='I0000001'
Solution SOLVE
  • @CHOICE@: Used for approval/refusal emails as variable parameter @OPERATION@='SOLVE'
    • 0: Creates a refused link
    • 1: Creates an accepted link
  • @DATE_FORMAT@: Format to apply to the variables @START_DATE@ and @END_DATE@
  • @END_DATE@: End of intervention of the object
  • @GROUP_NAME@: Name of the IT support group handing the object
  • @OPERATION@: Operation type to execute on the object
  • @RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Number of the object in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @START_DATE@: Start date for the intervention on the object
  • @OPERATION@='SOLVE'
  • @RFC_NUMBER@='I0000001'
  • @GROUP_NAME@='North America Network'
  • @START_DATE@='21/10/2018 11:30'
  • @END_DATE@='21/10/2018 14:30'
  • @DATE_FORMAT@='dd/MM/yyyy HH:mm'
Storage of attached documents and the reply to the Product name - ev itsm.png emails MAIL
  • @OPERATION@: Operation type to execute on the object
  • @RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Number of the object in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @OPERATION@='MAIL'
  • @RFC_NUMBER@='E071228_000880'
On Hold STOP
  • @OPERATION@: Operation type to execute on the object
  • @RFC_NUMBER@ ou @EXTERNAL_REFERENCE@: Number of the object in Product name - ev itsm.png or Identifier of the object in the external application at the origin of the message
  • @OPERATION@='STOP'
  • @RFC_NUMBER@='R090529_000001'

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