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Re: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?




Just to be clear, we have many customers (probably a majority in fact) who have some amount of custom forms and applications in addition to the ITSM out of the box applications.


There is no issue with upgrading to AR System 9.1 and having your custom applications run on it.

There is no issue with having ITSM and a set of stand-alone custom apps running on it.


As far as upgrading and the process, several questions….


We first have to deal with the concept of Base mode and Overlay.  Base Mode should contain ONLY BMC supplied definitions.  Overlay should contain any overlay of a BMC definition (which you say is not in plan – and that is good – but I am sure you will find some things that you will want to adjust for your specific needs at some point in the future) AND it contains all custom development.


This way, Base contains things from BMC and Overlay contains things from you.  There is clear separation of the work and that gives all kinds of benefits.


So, question one is that custom work you talk about, is it in base or in the overlay layer?   (NOTE throughout this I call it the overlay layer and the official name may be the best practice layer – they are the same thing…..)


If already in the overlay layer (as custom objects), you are good to go.  If they are in base layer, I would suggest an initial step of using the tool called bpcu to move the custom work to the overlay layer so that you are set to go.  Having ALL your work, overlays of BMC logic and your custom logic in your own private layer (the overlay layer) is just a good practice and protects you from changes or additions that BMC makes to definitions.  We change ONLY base during upgrade so your definitions are not affected by our upgrade.


Then, you decide whether you are upgrading in place and then adding ITSM to the environment or whether you are installing a new instance of AR System, installing ITSM and then moving the custom work to it.


If in place, you just upgrade the server, and then you can delete your custom HD forms and just install ITSM.

If new environment, you install the server, install ITSM, and then Export from old and Import to new your custom applications.


Either way works and I have had customers do both of these.


Custom work upgrades cleanly.  Overlays take review and maybe a few modifications but it is generally a straight-forward process now that we have the three way reconciliation tool to assist you (in your case, you don’t have this issue as you are all custom for now, but in the future this will help with any adjustments you make to out of the box).



So, a long answer (you will get used to long answers to anything is the only way I respond as others on the list have had to get used to over the years….) to a simple question…  YES, your custom applications will co-exist nicely with ITSM applications.  It is what the system is designed for – running applications – regardless of whether BMC, a partner, or the customer creates them.  They can all be independent of each other or share data by referencing each other.


With what you describe – dropping your old custom apps for HD and other things and going to ITSM, that should be technically straight-forward – with training of staff needed for the change and then maybe some decisions about customizing – and bringing over custom applications that are not connected to the old (or new) HD and other things – this should all work and actually be pretty clean and straight-forward.  You have chosen a clean strategy of complete swap for ITSM and keeping independent custom.  That should really simplify the process you are going through and give you a solid result with controlled investment and effort.


Doug Mueller


From: Action Request System discussion list(ARSList) [mailto:arslist@ARSLIST.ORG] On Behalf Of Burns, Carina
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2016 8:58 AM
To: arslist@ARSLIST.ORG
Subject: Re: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?



Thank you all for the replies!  

We have no interest in keeping our custom Help Desk app and would replace it with service desk.  So in that respect it will be a clean install with problem categories, locations, user and support staff info the only thing migrating.  Once we get more information on how asset management works, we may replace our current custom tech inventory tracking form as well.

What I was mostly concerned about is whether or not our other vertical apps (Textbook Tracking, Chg Mgt for our finance platforms) could co-exist with ITSM.  I can import those applications with their respective data as they are stand alone – no hooks to the help desk form we have.

As far as using overlays, I wouldn’t want to alter any workflow on OOB ITSM but I could imagine needing to create a few views based on job function as I’ve had to do that with our custom HD app.  I could also see management wanting a few specific escalations and notification options


From: Action Request System discussion list(ARSList) [mailto:arslist@ARSLIST.ORG] On Behalf Of Joel D Sender
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 4:37 PM
To: arslist@ARSLIST.ORG
Subject: Re: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?




I may be spitting into the wind here, but you may want to compare migrating to ITSM vs adding “user friendly/self service” to what is already working.

As previously noted the best approach is a clean install of ITSM and determine what functions need to be added to the OOB config.

This analysis is a major effort. Once the additional functions are identified, the correct approach is to add only buttons/active links that open external (to ITSM) forms with their own workflow.

The ITSM overlays will preserve these links without any impact upon or from ITSM.

Adding the missing functions to ITSM needs to be done very carefully, with an understanding of how overlays work.

These complex modifications, as Doug Mueller often points out, are <cough> discouraged.


An alternative would be to keep the custom app (wind speed increasing) and create “user friendly/self service” views on old forms, or new front-end forms.

This will allow ‘pushing’ data to the existing application to take advantage of the ‘mature’ workflow.


I suspect that the level of effort to analyze, re-build ‘must have’ functions, integrate and deploy ITSM will be significantly greater than building a shiny new front end.

If management is insisting on moving to an (almost) all OOB ITSM, at least you can identify the full cost.


Hope this helps,


Joel Sender  *   JDSender@earthlink.net  *  310.829.5552


From: Action Request System discussion list(ARSList) [mailto:arslist@ARSLIST.ORG] On Behalf Of Fawver, Dustin
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 10:04 AM
To: arslist@ARSLIST.ORG
Subject: Re: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?



I have to agree with Christian.  The forms and such that we're running on ARS 7.1 previously came from the 3.x branch.  The previous developer had added fields and workflow in order to keep things current for business processes.  I'm working on doing a migration to 9.1 instead of an in-place upgrade.  I'm having to ensure that I don't import forms that were already present in the 9.1 installation.


I've pretty much got the forms and data, except for attachment pools, copied over.  I'm currently tweaking the interface the best that I can and adding in some additional functionality that management wants.  As far as Dev Studio goes, I'm working in Base Development mode for the forms that I'm modifying since I need to be able to update the elements that were previously on the form.  The "user friendly / self-service" bit was also a major driver for the migration.


I hope the upgrade goes well for you.


--Dustin Fawver


HelpDesk Technician

Information Technology Services

East Tennessee State University




From: Action Request System discussion list(ARSList) <arslist@ARSLIST.ORG> on behalf of Smerz, Christian <CESMERZ@EPROD.COM>
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 11:41 AM
To: arslist@ARSLIST.ORG
Subject: Re: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?



Hi Carina,

Typically custom apps are easy to upgrade.  The big things to look for are what AR features are being used that are deprecated in the new version.  If your app is running on 8.1.02 there shouldn’t be much issue to upgrade that I can think of.

With respect to overlays, they are usually in place to protect BMC application objects.  If you’re a custom app shop and don’t have BMC apps in place at this point, I wouldn’t think overlays really come into play.



Christian Smerz


From: Action Request System discussion list(ARSList) [mailto:arslist@ARSLIST.ORG] On Behalf Of Burns, Carina
Sent: Friday, November 18, 2016 10:20 AM
To: arslist@ARSLIST.ORG
Subject: Custom apps + Remedy v9.1?





We’re currently on ARS v8.1.02 and run nothing but custom apps.  One of those apps is a help desk app that was designed easily 15+ years ago.  It’s had some tweaks and upgrades but is long in the tooth and support management wants something “user friendly/self service” but at the same time, I need to keep our custom apps (financials change mgt, textbook tracking, etc).  We also have our tech inventory in a custom form and are considering using BMC’s offering there as well.  I’m talking with our BMC rep about upgrading 9.1.


I’m hoping some of you out there are running mixed tools; custom apps supported by the ARS engine and then also running BMC’s apps -  ITSM or Service Innovation, CMDB, and so on. 



How hard was it to migrate your custom apps up to 9.1?

Could you integrate parts of it using  the form overlays in Developer Studio?


We already have servers on site and so would not be running this “cloud based.”


Thanks for the insight!


Carina Burns Randolph

Database Administrator

Richardson ISD, Information Svcs.




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