Think of Solutions as providing a knowledge base that can be searched by your end-users. There is an application to support the creation of solutions, end users can search solutions, and you can apply a solution to a ticket.
The Solutions application will be found in the Service Desk module. A solution exists at the System level and has a simple status of DRAFT, ACTIVE or INACTIVE. No status history action is available although a status history is being recorded to the SOLUTIONSTATUS table. There is a persistent ORGID field which is not being used, this may be useful because in a worldwide organisation you may not retire a record from the knowledge base at the same time across the globe.
The Solution consists of three long description fields, Symptom, Cause and Resolution, each with the rich text formatting toolbar. The Solution can be classified, and the Specifications tab shows the attributes of the classification. The Classification should be a similar set to those used for Incidents and Problems as the classification will be copied when you create a solution from those applications.
The Solutions application has a checkbox Self-Service Access, which when set allows the solution to be found in the Search Solutions application, a part of the Self Service module. The Type field has no ALN Domain, but if it did it might have values like FAQ – Frequently Asked Question, UG – User Guide, POL – Policies, etc.
There are four hidden fields FAILURECODE, PROBLEMCODE (Symptom), FR1CODE (Cause), FR2CODE (Resolution) which might be used to link a Solution to a Failure Hierarchy. The CHANGEBY and CHANGEDATE fields are also hidden, they would be usefully configured onto the Solutions application.
The Search Solutions application will be found in the Self Service module and shows Solution records that have the Self-Service Access field set and which are at ACTIVE state. Users search for solutions either through the classification or the description fields and so you should be mindful of how easy the solution will be to find. The field marked Solution Description will search for the text you enter across five fields, the Description and its Long Description, and the Long Descriptions of the Symptom, Cause and Resolution.
The hyperlink on the table of Solution records will show the details of the solution, and you can then use Next Record or Previous Record to navigate the list returned by your initial query of solutions. Linked Documents and web pages to the Solution will also be visible to the Self Service user.
At the bottom of the Search Solutions application there are three buttons to the question “Did this solution help to resolve your issue?”. Answering Yes will create a Service Request at RESOLVED state, there are also buttons to create a service request, or return to the Solution Search. If you answered Yes then on the Service Request at RESOLVED state, the Originating Record and Originating Record Class fields will show the SOLUTION record that created the SR, these two fields are hidden on the Service Requests application.
Solutions Details tab on Incidents and Problems
There is a Solution Details tab on the Incidents and Problems applications. You can either select a solution to apply to the incident or problem, in which case the details are copied to the ticket record, or you can type into the Symptom, Cause and Resolution long descriptions. If you want to allow the Self-Service User to be able to view the Solution you need to mark the field Self-Service Access at the bottom of the Solution Details tab. Below this the solution attachments will also be visible.
There is an action Create Solutions available to the Incidents and Problems applications and this uses the fields on the Solution Details tab to create a solution at DRAFT status.
When an Incident has been made a Global Issue and a solution is applied then the Self Service user will see the solution details and their attachments from the View Service Requests application when the relationship between the Service Request and the Global Issue is RELATEDTOGLOBAL.
There is an action found in the Organizations application called Service Desk Options – Global Ticket Solution Options which has a single field ‘Apply solution to related global tickets?’. This will add the Solution to the tickets which have a RELATEDTOGLOBAL relationship with the ticket marked as the Global Issue. This allows for analysis to be made on Service Requests to determine the effectiveness of a solution without having to examine the relationships back to the Global Issue ticket where the solution was applied.