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The new Self Service Portal for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager and my experiences installing and using it so far – UPDATED

Update (December 11th 2015): Today Microsoft released a hotfix for the Self Service Portal, the hotfix (KB3124091) can be downloaded from Microsoft Download here.

The corresponding KB article at time of writing isn’t available yet. I did an installation in my lab environment though and the most annoying issues are solved Please read the full article to get an idea of what was solved.

Summary:

  • Affected user and Created by user is getting set to the service account
  • Query type form element is not working for the Incident and User classes
  • Request Offering forms are failing to load if a Query type form element is part of the form
  • Username token is not passing values to the mapped field
  • Cancelling request form does not work
  • Text is overlapping for long strings inside the list in the middle pane
  • Related activities inside My Requests always show state as active
  • Filters inside My Requests and My Activities is not working for some languages
  • Announcement is showing “Invalid Date” in Expired Date column for some languages
  • Comments in the request are using incorrect class
  • Required (mandatory) restriction is not working on query type form element
  • Query form element allows multiple selection even when it is configured for single item selection
  • Scroll bar does not work on some lower screen resolutions
  • Double scroll bar appears while browsing Help Articles
  • Some areas of portal are not rendering in Mozilla Firefox web browser
  • My Activities shows 0 instead of removing the notification sticker when no activity is in progress
  • With SSL enabled, the browser regularly prompts the message “Only secure content is displayed” with a button to “Show all content” while browsing the portal
  • “Added by” inside the action logs show domain\username instead of the display name of the user

Please be aware of the fact that there are still (known) issues, read them carefully and determine if they are blocking a production implementation:

Known issues:

  • Un-favorite does not work for Request Offerings
  • Portal does not filter Request Offerings based on the language
  • Query form element with filter criteria depending on selection from another query in same form does not work
  • Multiple query form elements inside same request offering form cannot add same relationship types
  • Action logs do not expand when any request is opened via direct URL

Update: Microsoft has announced that it will release an update for the Self Service Portal on December 10th.

 

This Tuesday Microsoft released Update Release 8 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager. While normal Update Releases for the product are available from download in a KB article, this Update Release is only available from Microsoft Download. The download page from Microsoft specifies an KB article (KB3096383) for more information but unfortunately this redirects to a page not found.

Installing the Self Service Portal is described by other people already, I advise you to have a look at this blogpost from Steve Buchanan: Early Look: Service Manager HTML 5 Portal and this blogpost from Michael Seidl: Installation and first look at the new SCSM HTML5 Portal. Microsoft self has also supplied some documentation on Technet which is available here: Deploy the New Self-Service Portal

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Below are my experiences so far, please read them carefully and determine if implementation of this new Self Service Portal is worthwhile in your environment:

1. You can’t install the portal on de DW Management Server
2. You can install the portal on the WF management Server or any other server
3. Run the setup as administrator, or else you will get an IIS 7 role is not installed error
4. It’s not clear if there are issues resolved in UR8, since the KB is missing.
5. The download mentions that UR7 is a prerequisite, while the installation documentation on https://technet.microsoft.com/library/mt622142.aspx mentions that: “In order to deploy the new Self Service Portal, you must have System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager Update Roll-Up 8 or later installed.”
6. Download contains an .MPB file, but when I want to import this the console mentions that its already installed.
7. Some links in the setup wizard refer to Technical Preview documentation
8. Service Requests which have required fields cannot be canceled in the Self Service Portal
9. Incident Requests are created under the Service Account supplied during SSP installation and not using the logged on user account
10. The default language is French, this can be modified in the Application Settings or Web.config in IIS though

I will try to update this blogposting with fixes/workarounds if I find them, or when Microsoft releases a new version solving these issues.

Installing the Service Manager Self Service Portal (SSP) on Windows Server 2012 R2

When Microsoft released System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager in October 2013, I was quite suprised that the server the webparts for the Self Service Portal only were supported on SharePoint 2010. At that time, installing SharePoint 2010 was only supported on Windows Server 2008 R2.

Luckely somewhere around May 2014 Microsoft released Service Pack 2 for SharePoint 2010 allowing the installation of SharePoint 2010 on top of Windows Server 2012 R2. Support statement was made in KB2724471: SharePoint 2010 support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2. And also Microsoft supports running the SharePoint Web Part on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 as stated in the Software Requirements for System Center 2012 – Service Manager. Installing the SharePoint web parts on SharePoint 2013 still isn’t supported, let’s hope a future update will bring this support, and that hopefully in the next version of the product we have another solution which is pure HTML based.Read More