The new Service Manager Portal is available as announced. Download is in System Center Service Manager 2012R2 UR8. UR7 is required for this update according to System Requirements of the release notes.
I just checked the new portal with service requests working on the Silverlight portal. So I found some showstoppers, listed below.
Showstopper 1 – Installation
We installed it on two systems. On the first system there is a problem with the images – see beyond the left side and the heart on the service request.
By the way – clicking the heart shown, opens the service request. By clicking the heart in the opened Service Request the heart is filled.But it is not saved as favorite. So when you go to the Service Request again, the heart is not filled anymore.
Showstopper 2 – Date Field
The date field is no calendar and in addition there is a problem with the time zone.
Showstopper 3 – Endless Query Results
We have a service request with an user picker – with some thousand users. When you hit the refresh button all users return in a html table – so you get thousand lines. There is nothing to search beside the browsers built in search (ctrl-f). And even if you find the entry needed – the search goes on. The search for the next field to enter.
We have a service requests with a query result where only one selection is allowed – but in the new portal you can check all checkboxes.
We have a Service Request with 2 query results. The second query result depends on the first one. This functionality is not provided by the new portal – it just stops working, after clicking “refresh” on the second query.
Showstopper 4 – Did not update changes done in Service Manager
I also did some changes to a service request and the service request did not update. I can not remember, what I wanted to change, but there was no effect, even server restart did not display the changes. It did not help to wait for over 14 hours. Reducing “UserCacheTimeOut” in web.config did not help – but it is not clear, if this value means minutes, seconds or years.
Showstopper 5 – Possibility to start Service Requests without required fields
It is possible to start a service request without entering any data. This is, when you use query result fields.
Noticeable technical behavior
There are some noticeable technical behaviors, which point to an unready direction of the portal – but there is no technical showstopper in sight.
Since the installation guide was not available, I installed it on good luck – and it worked. I installed it on the management server. The also provided MPB was already imported. No other MPs where touched.
A glimpse at the views
I just openend Announcements.cshtml and what I found is a worthless endtag (</span>) and a never used variable (altTxt) – clearly marked in Visual Studio. Of course this works, but there is an “unready” smell with this.
That is the place to change the company name from contoso to your company.
There was a funny default language in web.config: <add key=“DefaultLanguage“
value=“fr-FR“/> – since I do not speak french a word and we only use german and english. So I do not know, how this came.
The definition of the Management Server is also in the web.config – well done.
The File permissions
Somewhat strange was this warning beyond. It appeared, when I changed to the wwwroot in the file system. Seems there is a problem with the permissions after installing the service portal. After clicking “reorder”, the permissions were fine.
Needing external Sites [new content]
The new portal uses the following external sites:
- http://az416426.vo.msecnd.net – for a Java script file
- fonts.googleapis.com – for the font used
- dc.services.visualstudio.com – for no Response – maybe usage data?
A glimpse from the user side
My first impression is, that the portal is more user friendly than the old one. I tried announcements – they do not update automatically – perhaps because of the cache (see features). But after a while, it worked fine and you immediately recognize the message.
My second task was searching for a service request – this worked fast and as suspected.
So I was ready to use a service request. At first I was somewhat surprised that the User picker (aka Query results on System.User) does not show users. After clicking the provided “Refresh” button all users appeared. All? Only 2000, since the web.config defines this maximum (<add
key=“MaxQueryResults” value=“2000“/>). And all in a single table (see showstopper 3). This behavior is not suspected and better in the old portal. Now you can search in internet Explorer with the IE search (ctrl-f) but you have 2000 lines und you never find the next field to answer – somewhat annoying. Maybe a showstopper, if there is no alternative.
In addition to this, the query result is not sorted in any way – this is not better than sorting descending. The possibility to sort in the request offering would have been nice.
So over all – there are showstoppers – more than one in the new Service Manger Portal. I do not think we get a usefull version this year. And I hope they will fix the Service Requests before thinking on more features.