Related Items for Manual Activities
This morning I woke up and found in my inbox our partner’s request about attachments that SCUtils Email Connector adds to manual activities. Many of you know that the manual activity’s form in Microsoft System Center 2012 Service Manager does not have a Related Items tab. SCUtils Email Connector has an option to add the attachments from email messages related to SCSM Activities. But you cannot see and open the attached files in the manual activity’s form. That is why SCUtils Email Connector lets you attach the files to the activity’s parent work items (including Sequential and Parallel Activities) that have the Related Items.
However, if the parent work item has multiple manual activities you cannot easily understand to what manual activity the attachment is related. When the connector attaches the file, it adds an action log’s record and it is possible to write that information there. But some work items and all container activities don’t have the action log.
After some consideration, I decided to add the Related Items tab to manual activity’s form. Patrik Sundqvist wrote an interesting blog post about adding Related Items and History tabs for custom configuration item’s form so I started from his source code. I also used an awesome blog post of Anton Gritsenko about creating a custom control. Thanks a lot, Patrik and Anton.
In couple of hours, I’ve accomplished the task. Below the result:
The solution contains of two part:
- Visual Studio project for a custom control that includes Related Items components;
- Management Pack that defines custom type projection and customized manual activity’s form.
In general, you can use the same control for a review activity’s form if you need. Unfortunately, it is impossible to change the order of the form’s tabs so the Related Items’ tab will be third in the row.
Import ManualActivityformWithRelatedItems.mpb to start using the customization. We have tested it with SCSM 2012 SP1 and R2.
If you already customized the manual activity’s form, you have to put all your form’s customizations in the one management pack. In our case, it is ManualActivityformWithRelatedItems.xml. Then seal the management pack with FastSeal.exe and create a bundle with New-MPBFile.ps1. Needless to say but you have to test this entire stuff in your lab environment. It might be a complicated task but you have to do it only if you have already customized the manual activity’s form. Another way is to apply your customization to our customized form (our management pack is sealed and can be referenced). Open ManualActivityformWithRelatedItems.mp in the Service Manager Authoring Tool to start customizing.
Updated: With the invaluable help of the guys from the TechNet forum, I fixed the bug that prevented the use of the Related Items tab from a work item’s form. Please update the management pack.
Categories: System Center 2012 Service Manager