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Mass CMDB Feature Request List

Hello,


First off, apologies for the format of one huge list instead of multiple posts. I am a summer intern that spent a lot of time working in the freshservice CMDB during the first couple months of my internship. While I worked, I kept note of a number of improvements I wished for and I have taken the time to expand upon and share them before my internship ends. Unfortunately, I can't take the time to properly split everything up into multiple posts, hence the giant list.


I have done my best to organize it according to subject, and have omitted anything related to the software assets as I understand that is currently being redesigned. I am available for a couple weeks to respond to any questions, but beyond that I will not be able to. Thanks for the considerations!




Sorting

1. Allow custom columns in the CI Hierarchy (!). For example, if I browse to Hardware -> Computer -> Desktop, I currently have no ability to sort by manufacturer, or any of my other fields for that matter. This has already been successfully implemented into CI Views (which is the current work around), so I see little reason as to why this couldn’t be natively available in the CI Hierarchy.

Not only is creating a CI View with a CI Type filter inefficient and unintuitive because of the extra steps it takes, it kills user experience by fragmenting assets across CI Views and CI Hierarchy. If I create a CI View with a CI Type filter for Desktop so I can sort by whichever columns I want, I now have duplicate ways of accessing the same information, one with features inaccessible to the other. Continuing my example, having the sorting and custom columns natively in the CI Hierarchy would avoid the jarring experience when looking at monitors in the CI Hierarchy, naturally moving over to desktops (still within the CI Hierarchy), and then realizing that you have to open the CI Views tab and select your custom view in order to have the sorting columns you need.


2. Secondary sort criteria. When sorting by a column which will have multiple assets with the same value, department for example, it would be beneficial if we could define a secondary sorting category. The goal here would be to have the assets grouped according to the primary sorting column (department) but to then also have the ability to sort within these groups, say alphabetically by name.


3. Correct number sorting. With regular alphanumeric sorting, numbers are sorted based on the first digit (“1” in “13”), and therefore 10-19 always appears before 2-9. With most assets this is avoided by using leading zeros but in some instances, for example when you are maintaining the manufacturers naming scheme, you don’t have control over those zeros. Especially when numbers are flanked on either side by whitespace, it would be great if the sorting could consider the whole number instead of the first digit.

 


Searching

1. Allow searching within the CI Views. Another oddity between the CI Views and the CI Hierarchy is the fact the search bar is not available within CI Views. Just to be clear, I’m referring to the asset search bar as seen below, not the search button in the top right.

image

This search is limited by your current position within the Hierarchy, so if you are looking at Desktops, it only searches within Desktops. I would love to see this feature extended to CI Views, searching only within the filter the view is defined with, maintaining the current column structure.


2. Search with part of name. The feature I’m looking for is supposedly already implemented as per “Search Enhancements” by Joseph, though I’m still seeing strange behavior with it. For example, when looking for an asset named “REGDPC127”, searching “DPC127” does not return any results.



Browser enhancements

1. Return to correct CMDB list on back button (!). When looking at an asset and then using the browser’s back button to return to an asset list, please take the user back to whatever list they were just viewing. I can’t stress how annoying this is. If I find an asset by navigating to CI Hierarchy -> Hardware -> Computer -> Desktop, then clicking the asset, the expectation is to be returned to CI Hierarchy -> Hardware -> Computer -> Desktop with the back button, not “All CIs”. On a similar note, refreshing a page that has CI View or navigation within the CI Hierarchy acts the same, returning to “All CIs”.


2. Have information in the HTML title. I often find myself having multiple Freshservice tabs open, generally one for the “Tickets” page, and a couple open for the CMDB. This is especially true with the previously mentioned back button issue, as I always open assets in a new tab to work around losing my navigation within the CMDB. Unfortunately, there is zero helpful information in the HTML title text to indicate which tab is which, simply “Helpdesk”. There are a few exceptions such as “Dashboard” and “Solutions”, but generally speaking multiple tab navigation within Freshservice is extremely messy because of this.


3. Lost data dialogue box (!). When editing an asset, I would like to see a “Changes have not been saved” dialogue box when the current editing tab is being closed or navigated away from, including when the user uses a browser back and forward buttons.

 

Power user

1. Be able to delete default fields (!!). Though the default fields for a given category offer a great starting point when building a CMDB (and should most definitely remain), their inability to be deleted seriously harms the CMDB’s usability. Within our IT team for example, we find having a “CPU Model” field more beneficial than the default “CPU Core Count” and “CPU Speed” fields. This is true across multiple similar instances, where we would rather use our own defined fields over the defaults. The problem lies in the fact that the defaults are not removable, which has escalated to the point we have a large textbox named “Seperation line, do not fill anything below”, which below we place the collection of fields we do not use.

Being able to remove these fields not only makes everything look cleaner, but the data entry process also becomes much more streamlined. If the fields could be setup so only fields in use are presented, the need to remember which information is recorded and which isn’t is eliminated, and it becomes much more obvious at a quick glance when information is missing from a machine.


2. Create copy option. For assets that share many of the same attributes, it would be a great time saver to have a “duplicate” option. This allows the first asset to be created and then duplicated, allowing a second asset to be defined with minimal editing. To avoid conflicts, maybe add a “- Copy” suffix (Windows style) to the display name and then skip copying always-unique fields such as asset tags and serial numbers.

 

 

Automation

1. Be able to adopt properties from associated assets. This may require a more defined parent-child hierarchy within the CMDB, but I would like to see an option to pull properties from another asset. For example, if we have a dock that is specific to a single machine, I would like for that dock to be able to adopt properties such as “Used By” and “Location” so we only have to update the single machine asset whenever a change occurs, instead of maintaining both.


2. “Used by” options on user changes. When a detail about a user is changed, it would be great if there were some options present to mass update their associated CIs. For example, if a user changes department, have the option to A) Update all of their associated CIs to match with the new department or B) Remove all of their associated CIs from their name but retain the original department. Similarly, when a user is deleted, an option to change all the assets to “In Stock”. Any small scale, prompted automation like this would greatly increase the user experience.


3. More powerful bulk update tool. I don’t know how fields are chosen to be available in the bulk update or not, but if two assets are selected, I would like to all common fields being listed. If two assets of the same category are selected, almost all fields should be enabled for bulk update. If a desktop and laptop are both selected, two assets from different categories, the fields from their common parent properties (Computer and Hardware) should all be listed.

 

Other

1. Don’t look in “Trash” when considering associated CIs for a product. Currently, you are unable to delete a product if it has associated CIs, even if those associated CIs have been deleted and are in the trash. This means you must permanently delete the item from the trash in order to delete the product, completely undermining the original purpose of the trash, allowing recovery in case of an accidental deletion.



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