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Creating a Service Category

A standard category is used where services or further categories can be presented. Every category must be given a name, although this can be hidden from display, and optionally a fuller description to assist the user’s understanding of the offering: the balance between visual and informational should be considered. Each category added can also be given a short description if the differing text is required when the category is seen at the top level from when the category is selected. Services within the category can be displayed as small tiles, large tiles, or text. The service catalog menu, if enabled, can be hidden at the category level.

A category-level image can be included, selected either via the image picker or a URL entered; the image height has no restriction, and the category height will be scaled accordingly; the image width will always be scaled, and the aspect ratio maintained, to a maximum width of 140 pixels. Background images can also be included but are never scaled. The height of the category will expand, assuming a modern browser is used. A background image position can also be selected. The Additional CSS Class field allows specific styling for the category: the value of this field is a reference to a class in the Custom CSS page (Admin > Settings > Theme > Custom CSS).

Note: image scaling can cause a performance hit so the best practice is to load images of the correct size. Where icons and graphics are over twice the maximum size, a warning message will be displayed.

The actions available from the drop-list against the category name (available by use of ‘mouse-over’ when in the carousel) are View, Edit, Move, Copy and Delete.

A search option is available to enable service (names) to be searched. Results are returned in context, to aid future navigation.

Adding Service Catalog Subcategory Levels, Separator Text, and End Points

To add a subcategory, separator text, or endpoint to the Service Catalog structure, drill down through the existing categories until you reach the required level. Select Add Category, Link Service, or Add Separator as required. Depending on the option selected, either enter the appropriate data or link the service to a category, as relevant.

Tip: Categories can be re-sequenced as required using the drag and drop sequencing on the Service Catalog designer/‘Layout’ mode.

System Configuration Settings:

  • Edit the Service Catalog page title
  • Enable Request Item Category Code in Service Catalog
  • Maximum Image Upload Size (KB)

This article covers the following topics:


Services are presented to users within the Service Catalog via a configurable hierarchy. Each service can be defined to contain a variety of information to ensure users fully understand the service offering, it's pricing, and service levels. A service can additionally be configured with an endpoint from a choice of standard actions, allowing a request to be raised, if appropriate. 

Available actions include request form, bundle, or various views of a supplier catalog. In addition to raising a request, a service can also redirect to a URL.

New services can either be created or imported via the Service link/drop list on the main Administration page. When a service is created or imported it always starts with a primary status of “Draft”. Whilst the service is at Draft status, an additional sub status can be assigned to denote its specific stage in development. Draft services are not visible by end-users and can be therefore changed multiple times without impacting what users see. When ready to publish the service, select Make Live, and the service will appear in all the associated categories. Once live, the only changes that can be made to a service is to change its category linkage or whether it should be additionally displayed at the top level. A new Draft version of a Live service can be taken at any time, leaving the Live service visible and unchanged to users. When ready to replace the Live version of the Service, select Make Live again. This will automatically replace the existing live version.

Adding a Service

Select Service > Add from within the Service Catalog category or create one/multiple services first via Service page.

A service can be informational only, requestable only, or both informational and requestable. Each service can contain several sections of data when viewed through the Service Catalog, including a name and description. If only the service name is completed, and the service is also requestable, only the requestable endpoint is displayed to the user; if more information is available about the service, it is denoted by an ‘information’ icon, adjacent to the service name when displayed in the category detail page.

It is important to associate an image to a service to create a visually more appealing display; ideally, this should be square and will be displayed as 100 * 100 pixels. It will be resized if necessary, maintaining the aspect ratio. The URL of a selected image is editable. A number of images are available out-of-the- box, but an administrator can also upload their own. Note: image scaling can cause a performance hit so the best practice is to load images of the correct size. Where icons are over twice the maximum size, a warning message will be displayed.

Within the Category Edit feature, an optional flag allows services within the category to be displayed tiled, like an ‘app’ or ‘web’ store look. Solid background images display best in this mode.

The Service Type (Technical, Business, Customer, System or Configuration Item), Criticality (Business Critical, Mission Critical, Operational or Administrative), Group (allowing demarcation of services), Owner (selectable user or group) and Version are all summary level service information visible to the user.

The Review Date, for admin use only, indicates when a service should next be re-appraised. The Service Status denotes the stage that a Service is at during the build process, whilst at an overall Draft status, which is not seen by users via the Service Catalog. Once created and ready for deployment, a service is made live so that users can see the information via the Service Catalog.

Additional attributes can be associated to a service via the Attributes section and any Keywords for searching can be entered into Search Keywords section. Spaces should separate multiple keywords. Price and SLA Service information can be included under each of the appropriate tabs on the Service creation screen.

Parent and child services can be created in the Dependencies tab. This allows inclusion of services that are dependent on the current service and also services that the current service is dependent on. Note that if a single service is imported, any dependent services must be available, at the required version. Best practice suggests that any associated services are checked prior to go live.

By default, all users will be able to see the service within the Service Catalog, but the Access tab can be used to limit access using User Groups; this can be by ‘showing for’ or ‘hiding from’ specific user groups. Any category or service can be restricted in this manner and access is inherited via the hierarchy. ‘Sharelink’ and ‘Related Services’ (i.e., Dependencies) are also subject to the same rules, but additionally, can also be viewed if the service is not part of any category.

In the Action tab, a service can either be flagged as ‘Service can be linked' allowing a URL to be entered or 'Service can be requested' and an endpoint from the following list:

  • Request Type
  • Bundle
  • Item
  • Supplier
  • Full Catalog Search
  • Off Catalog

Selecting an endpoint type allows a previously created endpoint to be associated, although new request types can be created during the linkage.

The Category tab allows the service to be associated to one or more category within the Service Catalog, by means of a tree view structure. There is also a facility to designate the service as one which will be displayed as part of the top-level category on the home page. Only data within the Category tab can be edited for a Live service.

PunchIn to a service

Once created, live services can be accessed directly from an external source using the punch-in feature. This can be configured by copying the value in the "Share Link" field on the Service Summary page and pasting into the source location, e.g., a web page or email. On accessing the link, Front Office will authenticate a user, either automatically, if integrated security mode is enabled, or via the log-in page. Once authenticated, the user will be routed to the specified service. Alternatively, the user can be directed to the requestable action by appending ‘&autoaction=’ to the end of the Link URL, e.g.: http://FrontOffice60/PunchInHandler.ashx?pt=scs&sid=QVm4Nu32mkS77QQC1BZVdg&autoaction=

This link cannot be used for Single Sign-On configurations out of the box. Please contact the support team via  https://frontofficehelp.biomni.com/hc/en-us/requests/new for further information.

Editing a Service

An existing service can be accessed via the Service list or from within the Service Catalog, if already associated. Actions on a service are available ‘View’ link within the Service Catalog category. Each existing service can be edited via the ‘EDIT’ option shown against the Service Name.
Existing services can be used as a basis for similar new services by using the Copy facility; they can then be edited as appropriate and made live.

An existing service can be accessed either directly in the Service List page or, if already associated, from within the Service Catalog. A number of actions are available via a drop list on the service name: View, Delete, Retire, New version, Unlink and Copy.

A Draft service can be made live, which automatically replaces the existing live version of the service if it exists, and a live service retired.

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