Alert management outbound integration to ServiceNow

SAP Focused Run alert management function can send out mails to alert to mail addresses (see this blog).

SAP Focused Run can also call an outbound integration to a ITIL tool like ServiceNow. This can help to speed up incident creation.

It needs implementation on ABAP level. The ABAP coding is not explained in this blog, but in a dedicated detailed blog. This blog focuses on the usage and configuration on when to call the outbound integration.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How does the high level integration between SAP Focused Run and ServiceNow look like?
  • Where can I find information on the to-be-implemented ABAP BADI?
  • How can I send an alert directly to ServiceNow from the Alert management detailed page?
  • How can I automate in template settings to send an alert via outbound integration towards ServiceNow?

Setting up the integration

For setting up the integration to ServiceNow the AEM third party consumer connection BADI must be implemented. The full manual for the BADI itself can be found on the SAP Focused Run Expert portal.

The documents describes the BADI in generic way.

To call ServiceNow you have to use one of the following 2 integration methods:

  • Call webservice: in this case you import the WSDL from ServiceNow and generate the proxy and execute the SOAMANAGER settings to logon to ServiceNow. You need ABAP code in the BADI to call the proxy. See this blog for generic use of setting up webservice consumption in ABAP stack. Available webservices for ServiceNow can be found on the ServiceNow page.
  • Call the ServiceNow midserver: in this case you call a REST interface. In this case you need to setup a HTTP RFC connection to the midserver. ABAP code in the BADI is needed to make the REST call. See this blog for generic use of REST call in ABAP stack. REST API references from ServiceNow can be found on the ServiceNow page.

In a this blog we explain the ABAP code to put inside the BAPI. The below will explain the functionality part.

From alert trigger integration

If you are inside an alert, you can trigger the alert reaction:

Then select the reaction to forward to ServiceNow:

Within few seconds the alert in ServiceNow is created:

Alert reaction automation in template settings

The alert reaction to ServiceNow can also be automated as Outbound Integration. If you are in template maintenance mode, switch to Expert mode.

In the alerts tab now configure the alert type for Forward to and Outbound Connector:

Assign the correct variant.

If you click on the variant you go to the variant configuration screen:

Then select the outbound integration name to see the details:

Important here is the where used list, which shows you from which templates and template elements the connector is called.

Whenever the alert is raised, also the outbound integration connector to ServiceNow is called.

Alert management: mail notification

The alert management function is a central alert inbox function for SAP Focused Run. All alerts from all tools are coming together in the alert inbox. For full overview of functions, read this blog. This specific blog will zoom in to the option in alert management to send mails for the alert.

Questions that will be answered are:

  • How can I configure Focused Run to send mails for specific alert situations?
  • How can I setup multiple mail receivers?
  • How can I setup multiple mail groups?
  • How can I change the layout of the mail?

Setting up alert consumer

First we will set up the alert consumer. Goto the Alert Consumer Variant configuration tile:

In the next screen click on the Plus symbol to create a new Alert Consumer:

Initially there is no mail template and no recipient list.

We will create these in the steps below. When these are created, they can be used in the drop downs. Save the consumer and don’t forget to put the status to Active.

Maintain recipient list

From the alert consumer screen create a new recipient list:

Give it a name and add the e-mail addresses for the group. There can be one or multiple. Save the list.

Maintain e-mail template

Create a new e-mail template:

On the left hand side you can see the variables you can use. On the right hand side you construct the mail template. Preview is possible but shows limited functionality only. Save after you are happy with the mail.

Using the alert consumer

Now we have created the alert consumer with the mail template and recipient list. We can goto the monitoring template maintenance to assign the alert consumer. In the alerts tab of the template that you want to alert on, goto the Alerts tab:

For the type of alert switch the Automatic notification to Use Variant. In the Notifications tab below, you can now assign the created variant. Save the settings.

After the template change: do not forget to Apply and Activate the template for use.

Testing and mail sending

To test your settings: use a development system or sandbox to test your event. Then check in SOST that the mail is properly created:

Using the Alert Management function

The alert management function is a central alert inbox function for SAP Focused Run. All alerts from all tools are coming together in the alert inbox.

Questions that will be answered in this blog are:

  • How does the alert inbox work?
  • How can I get a good overview of all the alerts?
  • How can I mail an alert?
  • Which actions can I perform on an alert?
  • Can I set up my own alert dashboard?
  • Can I have Focused Run automatically confirm some of the alerts, when the system detects all is ok again?

Alert inbox

To open the Alert Inbox, click on the FIORI tile:

Don't let yourself be distracted by the high number. This is the total unfiltered amount of alerts. It will contain alerts from production and non-production systems. It will be important and non-important alerts.

Now the open alert overview dashboard will open:

There is a lot of information on this screen.

Top left are the open alerts by source. This means the open alerts by application, instance, database. In the middle top are the open alerts by category (like availability, exceptions, etc). Top right is the open alerts by current rating. Bottom left is the top type of open alert by type of metric that is causing the alert. Bottom right is the distribution of open alerts by age.

Processing an alert

From the overview you can choose two ways to start:

  1. On the top right section click on the Critical alerts that are currently still open.
  2. On the left, select the open alert list icon:

Both options will bring you to the list of open important alerts:

The sorting is done from Very High and then High, etc, already. The most important open current alerts are on top. This list can also be exported to Excel.

Clicking on an alert will open the details:

Here you can see the history and current status. It can be that the alert is till red, but it can also be that Focused Run detects that the current situation is now ok. It will still leave the alert open for you to analyse and confirm.

You can click on the Actions button to get the follow up action menu:

  • Confirm the alert will close the alert.
  • Add a comment: add text to the alert.
  • Add or change a processor: assign a user ID who should pick up the alert and is responsible for the alert.
  • Trigger an alert reaction (for example to SAP solution manager IT service desk or outbound integration to for example ServiceNow)
  • Send notification will give you the option to mail the alert:

Using the action log button:

you can see the action log for the alert:

Automatic confirmation of alerts

For some type of alerts, you might want to activate the automatic confirmation. This automatic confirmation is set at template level. Read this blog on the details. If it is set, the alert will still be created. The alert will remain open until the system detects the issue is gone. If gone, the system will automatically close the alert.

Alert management search

With the looking glass left you goto the Alert search overview. Here you can search in any way you want on the alerts, including free text search:

Top right you select extra specific filter criteria:

Alert reporting

In the left you can select the option Alert Reporting where the default alert report will open:

Clicking on any colored bar will bring you to the detailed list. From the list you can filter down to the details.

Custom alert page

By clicking on the + icon on the left button bar, you can add your own alert page:

The UI is the same as for the tactical dashboards. Read more in that blog on how to configure the dashboard.