Cherwell Incident Management integration

The information in this article is the intellectual property of xMatters and is intended only for use with xMatters products by xMatters customers and their employees. Further, this intellectual property is proprietary and must not be reused or resold.

Contents

Introduction

Before you begin

Configure xMatters

Configure Cherwell

Test the integration

Download resources

Introduction

This article provides installation, configuration, and implementation details when integrating xMatters On-Demand with Cherwell.

Cherwell is a leading ITSM tool capable of advanced incident management. The interface provides a framework for building complex workflow with simple point and click – no coding! – widgets. When coupled with xMatters, this integration:

  • Can notify the Owned By Team or the Owned By User about details of an incident.
  • Can update the status and Owned By of the incident when a user responds to a notification.
  • Can add device delivery and event status details to the Incident Journal in Cherwell.

The default integration configuration sends the following items from the incident to xMatters:

  • Incident ID
  • Short Description
  • Description
  • Status
  • Priority
  • Owned By Team
  • Owned By
  • Incident Object ID (Used by the outbound integration to update the incident)
  • Incident Rec ID (Used by the outbound integration to update the incident)

The Cherwell communication plan contains the following inbound integrations:

  • New Incident One Step: This integration receives the HTTP POST from Cherwell and builds the event payload. It queries to make sure the targeted recipient exists and, if not, sets the recipient to null, forcing the event to target the recipient in the New Incident form. 
  • Terminate Events: This integration parses the Incident ID and queries for all active events in xMatters with that Incident ID and then terminates them. 

The communication plan also contains the following outbound integrations:

  • Delivery Notifications: Updates the Incident Journal with device delivery information.
  • Event Status Notifications: Updates the Incident Journal with event status information.
  • Response Notifications: Updates the Incident Journal with responses from users and updates the Incident Status and Owned By fields if the response is "Assign to me".

How it works

Out of the box, the integration uses a One Step to map the fields from the Cherwell incident to parameters in the xMatters Integration Builder web service. The One Step is manually triggered in the out of the box mApp, but an Automation Process could be created to kick it off automatically. The One Step uses a web service to make an HTTP POST to the Integration Builder, which generates the event payload. Before creating the event, the script will search xMatters for the "Owned By Team" value and if it exists in xMatters will target that group. If not, it uses the entry in the New Incident form layout. The integration uses a similar process for the "Owned By" value. 

Before you begin

Before you get started configuring the integration, there are a couple of things you can do ahead of time to make it easier. 

Download the integration components

To begin, download the communication plan attached to this article and extract it to a location on your local machine. Some of the instructions in this article will reference specific folders within the extracted integration archive. 

Get the mApp

You also need the mApp from the Cherwell mApp Exchange

Configure Cherwell security for xMatters

Create an xMatters user in Cherwell

Navigate to the Security menu and click Edit Users. Create a new user for the xMatters integration and note the Login ID and Password – you use these later to configure xMatters. Set the Security Group as "IT Service Desk Manager" to enable updating of Incident records. 

Create an REST API client in Cherwell

In the Security menu, click Edit REST API client settings and create a new REST API client. Note the generated Client Key. This is used with the username and password above to authenticate into Cherwell from xMatters.

Configure xMatters

The first step in setting up your integration is to configure xMatters.

Set up an integration user

This integration requires a user who can authenticate REST web service calls when working with events – these permissions are provided by the "REST Web Service User" role in xMatters.

For Free and Trial customers, your system has an "Integration User" already configured with the REST Web Service User role, so you don't need to burn up an extra user from your limited supply. Make sure you've changed this user's password from the default, then you're good to go.

For everyone else, we recommend you create a user specifically for this integration because this user appears as the initiator or submitter of events from the integration (in messages, the Communication Center, event reports, etc.). Give this user the "REST Web Service User" role and a profile that lets you easily identify the user as specific to the integration – for example:

  • User ID: cherwell
  • First name: Cherwell
  • Last name: Integration

Note: Make sure you keep the user ID and password of this user handy. You'll need them when configuring other parts of this integration.

Create users and groups that will receive notifications

The integration notifies the group or user defined as the "Owned By" in the incident (if it is populated) or the Owned By Team. If these don't exist in xMatters, the integration targets the default recipient set in the communication plan's form layout. 

For more information about creating users and devices in xMatters, refer to the xMatters On-Demand help.

Import the communication plan

The next step is to import the communication plan.

To import the communication plan:

  1. In the target xMatters system, on the Developer tab, click Import Plan.
  2. Click Choose File, and then locate the downloaded communication plan (.zip file).
  3. Click Import Plan.
  4. Click the Edit drop-down list for the plan, and select Access Permissions.
  5. Add the integration user, and then click Save Changes.
  6. In the Edit drop-down list, select Forms.
  7. For the New Incident form, in the Web Service drop-down list, click Sender Permissions.
  8. Enter the integration user, and then click Save Changes.
  9. Click Edit beside the New Incident form and select Layout.
  10. In the Recipients area, specify a default recipient (a user or a group) for events, and then click Save Changes.

Configure inbound integrations

You need to configure the authentication for the inbound integration and retrieve the URLs for each inbound integration to configure Cherwell. 

To configure an inbound integration and retrieve its URL:

  1. In the Integration Builder, expand the list of inbound integrations.
  2. Click the name of the integration to view its details.
  3. Make sure the authentication method is set to URL Authentication.
    • Note: This is a change to how we previously recommended you set up the integration.
  4. Scroll down to How to trigger the integration at the bottom of the page, and select the integration user as the authenticating user. 
    • To be able to select the integration user, you need to be a supervisor of that user and the user needs to be assigned to the REST Web Services role.
  5. Click Copy beside the Trigger field to copy the URL for the inbound integration to your clipboard:

cherwellAuth.png

Prepare the URLs

To make it a little easier to configure the Cherwell portion of the integration, you might want to prepare the URL now. To do this, paste the URL into a text editor, and then cut it into three parts:

  1. Hostname: The part of the URL that identifies your xMatters instance; e.g., https://example. xmatters.com
  2. Integration URL: The portion of the trigger URL that identifies the inbound integration; e.g., api/integration/1/functions/long-string-of-letters-and-numbers/triggers
  3. API Key: The special key at the end of the URL created to identify the authenticating user.

Here's where those three parts are in the URL:

URLparts.png

 

Update Response Map for New Incident One Step

You need to configure the inbound integration to use the UUIDs for the New Incident form responses. 

  1. Go to the Forms tab.
  2. Beside the New Incident form, click Edit and select Responses.
  3. Click the API icon beside each response and copy the UUID to a text file.
    APIIcon.png
  4. Click the Integration Builder tab.
  5. Click the New Incident One Step integration, then click Open Script Editor.
  6. Update the "responseMap" variable to point to the right UUIDs. 

Update the Cherwell endpoint

On the Integration Builder tab for the communication plan, click Edit Endpoints to display the available endpoints.

Click the Cherwell endpoint, and then update the Base URL, Access Token URL, Username (LoginID), Password and Client ID (the generated Client Key) with the appropriate values from Cherwell:

4_Endpoints.png

Configure Cherwell

Now that you've configured xMatters, you can configure Cherwell to integrate with xMatters. The following sections require you to log into Cherwell and access the Configuration page.

Import the mApp

  1. Log in to the Administrator console and click the mApps icon then click the Apply a mApp link.

  1. Navigate through the wizard and take the defaults.







  1. Select "Open a Blueprint..", since you need to make additional changes before the mApp can be published.

  1. When the blueprint is displayed, click Managers > Web Services ... to display the Web Services Manager. When the dialog is displayed, right-click on the xMatters Integration Builder and select Edit:

  1. In the URL field, paste the hostname portion of the inbound integration URL (or just enter the hostname of your xMatters instance). 

  1. Now click Methods, and then click Edit for the New Incident method.
  2. In the Endpoint field, paste the Integration URL portion of the New Incident One Step inbound integration URL.
    • The endpoint entry should not begin with a slash (/).
  3. Now add a new "Text" type parameter and give it the name apiKey. 

NewIncidentMethod.png

  1. Click OK, and then repeat steps 6-8 for the Terminate Event method, using the URL parts from the Terminate Events inbound integration.

TerminateEventMethod.png

  1. Click OK and close the Web Services Manager. 
  2. On the blueprint page, open the New Incident method.
  3. Click the apiKey parameter, select Set Value, and then paste the API Key portion of the inbound integration URL into the value field.

apiKeyParameterValue.png

  1. Repeat the process for the Terminate Event method.
  2. Save the Blueprint, then Scan and Publish it.

Test the integration

First, make sure logging is turned on for the New Incident One Step inbound integration for better monitoring of the inbound event. (On the Integration Builder tab, expand the inbound integrations list, click the gear icon beside the New Incident One Step integration, and then select Activity Stream. On the Activity Stream page, click the Logging icon at the top of the page to turn logging on.)

To test the integration, create an incident in Cherwell, and open the One Step Manager. Select the xMatters - Notify One Step and click Run. This initiates a web service call to the xMatters Integration Builder. 

Troubleshooting

There are several places you can inspect when troubleshooting why an event doesn't seem to make it over to xMatters. 

  • For help with the Integration Builder feature, refer to the xMatters On-Demand online help: Integration Builder.

Inbound to xMatters

If events aren't getting into xMatters or an error is thrown in the Cherwell UI, the System Analyzer will have details on what happened. To fire up the System Analyzer, login to the Cherwell client as an admin and click Help > System Analyzer. Then, re-run the One Step or reproduce the issue. Click back into the System Analyzer and there will be detailed information on what happens on the Cherwell side. 

If there are no errors thrown on the Cherwell side, the next place to look is the Integration Builder Activity Stream. While on the Integration Builder tab, expand the Inbound Integrations section, click the gear icon beside the intended integration service, and then click Activity Stream

The Activity Stream contains the incoming (and for outbound integrations, the outgoing) request, any logging statements, and the final event creation messages. 

6_Activity.png

Outbound from xMatters

For the two-way integration from xMatters to Cherwell, the primary source of logging is the Integration Builder Activity Stream for that particular integration.  

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1 Comments

  • 0
    Avatar
    Don Clark

    After a fair amount of testing, retesting, and installing this integration in the field a few times, we've come up with what we hope is a final verdict on the correct type of authentication to use for the inbound integrations...

    We were recommending basic because initial indications and tests led us to believe that URL auth was not possible. As it turned out, implementing basic auth was even more problematic for some users so we went back to the drawing board and came up with a solution.

    The guide has been updated to clarify the procedures necessary to use URL authentication.

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