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onsdag den 24. juni 2015

Custom Task for Work Item Search in Service Manager

You can often find what you are looking for using the advanced search feature in Service Manager, but the process is tedious as it only remembers the class you last searched for. If you often use the exact same search queries then the great Anton Gritsenko have a solution with the option of saving your queries. Unfortunately this solution cannot change the query once saved.
A middle ground would be to have a custom task that takes one or more inputs and queries a specific class based on that input.

Beaver Dams Inc. sometimes include invoice numbers in the description field of incidents and service request. This does not happen often enough to justify extending both classes with a specific field for the invoice number. Also both types of work items are not annotated in any way in order to identify which incidents and service requests contains the invoice numbers.

The solution is a query on the description property of the work item class. The description must contain a variable string (the invoice number). This is fairly easy to do using advanced search, but does require you to add the desription property in each search (it remembers the class picked in each session). As I will show it is also not that difficult (once you know how) to create a custom console task that executes the query with a variable property value.

Disclaimer: A lot of this code is heavily inspired by the aforementioned solution by Anton. 

First order of business is actually installing the "Advanced Search with Saver". It will cleverly hook into the default advanced search and ask if you wish to save the query. Search for objects of the class Work Item and add the property Description. Doesn't matter what you input, this will be the variable component of the query in the console task.


Likely nothing will turn up. After closing the window you will be prompted to save the query. Click "yes" and enter a query name. Name it something that you can easily find in the registry later on, ex. iwetmybed. Start the registry editor and search for the query name in HKEY_USERS. I will not show it here as it is quite a lot of text. The part we want to concern ourselves with looks somewhat like this:

<Expression>
  <SimpleExpression>
    <ValueExpressionLeft>
      <Property>$Context/Property[Type='f59821e2-0364-ed2c-19e3-752efbb1ece9']/e5162c95-9469-924c-2298-9e351e0dc383$</Property>
    </ValueExpressionLeft>
    <Operator>Like</Operator>
    <ValueExpressionRight>
      <Value>%whatever%</Value>
    </ValueExpressionRight>
  </SimpleExpression>
</Expression>

That looks familiar! The entire query will be inserted as a giant block of text into our code (remeber to escape the double quotes) where whatever will be replaced by a string variable. This variable could come from anywhere; I have a window popup and ask for the invoice number.

The core of the code then looks like (omitting some of the query for brevity)

SearchNodeProvider searchNodeProvider = (SearchNodeProvider)FrameworkServices.GetService(typeof(SearchNodeProvider));

String sDescriptionContains = (String)inputWindow.InputText.Text;

String advancedSearchConfiguration = "<Data>..." +
  "<Expression>" +
    "<SimpleExpression>" +
      "<ValueExpressionLeft>" +
        "<Property>$Context/Property[Type='f59821e2-0364-ed2c-19e3-752efbb1ece9']/e5162c95-9469-924c-2298-9e351e0dc383$</Property>" +
      "</ValueExpressionLeft>" +
      "<Operator>Like</Operator>" +
      "<ValueExpressionRight>" +
        "<Value>%" + sDescriptionContains + "%</Value>" +
      "</ValueExpressionRight>" +
    "</SimpleExpression>" +
  "</Expression>" +
"</Criteria> ...";

searchNodeProvider.AdvancedSearchConfig = advancedSearchConfiguration;

Uri uri = new Uri(((object)NavigationModel.NavigationRoot).ToString() + 
                    "Windows/Search/ConsoleDisplay/Advanced");
NavigationModel.BeginOpenLink(
    NavigationModel.FindView((object)null, 
    (Uri)Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.UI.Core.Shared.NavigationConstants.ConsoleWindowUri, 
    (FindViewCriteria)1), 
    uri, 
    null, 
    (object)null);


I will not pretend to know exactly what is going on. I was "inspired" by a decompiled version of the Advanced Search with Saver. But as you can see the SearchNodeProvider is fed a search configuration (the one we got from registry). The NavigationalModel is then told to open the specified URI, and voila the search results window is opened with the found objects that matches the search configuration we fed the SearchNodeProvider.

You can download the entire source here. Happy coding.

Edit: It is needed to change the thisMPID variable in LocalizationHelper.cs to the guid of the management pack that contains the stringresources used. In the example code, this is also where the console task is defined, hence you will have to import the bundle, get the MP id, change the code, compile, bundle, and import again. I suggest looking at my previous blogpost to automate this process.


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