Around 6000 duplicate tickets were automatically created by the email listener. This was down to 2 issues -
1. The component "Text Contains Multiple Text" claims to be case insensitive, but is in fact not. This means that despite filters as follows:
- Out Of Office
A user putting say Out of office, or autoreply were not caught and the ticket was logged.
This has been raised with Symantec engineering for resolution. The workaround is to use multiple "Text Contains" components.
2. The environment we were working in had their exchange server configured to send "out out of office" replies to every email. Combined with sending an email to acknowledge a new incident and the issue in 1, the 2 services got in a loop.
a) Incident logged by someone out of office.
b) Incident automatically logged
c) Acknowledgment email sent to the user
d) Out of office responds by email - goto b)
Multiple filters will never completely protect you from this, as users were able to put in their own text - and in their own language.
Depending on your environment, 2 potential process workarounds are as follows:
1. Circuit breaker
Before the email listener logs a new incident, check to see if they have already logged an identical incident within the last hour. If they have, then send an email to tell them this, from a email@example.com address, and let them know that if they really need to log the ticket then they must contact the helpdesk.
- However, you may actually have a requirement for this to work - e.g. A third party system raises tickets automatically by email so you must remember to take care of exceptions.
2. SPAM Filter
Before the ticket is logged - hold the process in a process dialog - and send an email to the user, again from a firstname.lastname@example.org address with a link that takes the user to a confirmation form (don not use assignments as you may have licensing issues).
This clearly works only if the user can actually access the link internally, via VPN, or it must assume their Blackberry has access to the intranet (Usually the case, but not always) - So I would recommend a caveat that says - you need to forward this to someone internally, or call the service desk.
Removing the tickets
I have included a process model that we used to remove the 6000 tickets.
The process currently supports Incident, Change, Problem processes, but can be clearly extended to include any process at all.
It should be noted that a process project has been used instead of a more ergonomic form project due to issues with the number of iterations and the error "threading model aborting" which often rears itself in these mass iterations of webservice calls.
It should also be noted that the SQL script is an update of the delete all items that was preciously developed. This method is not supported by Symantec but has been used on numerous customers without issue. In this case it was used to remove 6000 live tickets from a an environment with about 10000 actual tickets, both live and closed. This was run 3 weeks ago, and has been deemed 100% successful.
If anyone believes the SQL should be modified, then please do not hesitate to forward any updates to me for review, and I'll update the component.
To operate the process:
1. Create a list of the tickets you wish to delete by their process_IDs
This can be easily done via SQL and searching on the criteria that identify the tickets as duplicates - for example:
FROM ReportProcess INNERJOIN
ReportProcessContact ONReportProcess.SessionID =ReportProcessContact.SessionID INNERJOIN
[User] ONReportProcessContact.ReferenceID =[User].UserID
WHERE (ReportProcessContact.ContactType =N'Affected User')AND([User].PrimaryEmail =Nemail@example.com')AND
(ReportProcess.ProcessStarted >CONVERT(DATETIME,'2010-01-01 10:15:00',102))AND(ReportProcess.Description LIKEN'%out of office%')
2. Paste these into a spreadsheet of the format provided in the file - ProcessRemoveTest.xls
NOTE: It is important to retain the version of the Excel file, as the integration component does not work on the latest version of Excel.
3. Unpackage project and save to \Program Files (x86)\Altiris\Workflow Designer\WorkflowProjects
4. Open the POC_RemoveProcessesv01 project.
5. Adjust the following properties if necessary:
IncidentWorkflowManagement - URL of incident workflow management service
ChangeWorkflowManagement - URL of change workflow management service
ProblemWorkflowManagement - URL of problem workflow management service
6. Run the process in debug mode
7. Right click on composer.aspx?StartWorkflow=true and select open browser.
8. In the web page hit the browse button and browse to the excel file containing the process ID's from step 2.
9. Click OK Button and close browser.
10. When the blue arrow reaches the "display results dialog box". (Note diagram above has arrow @Abortworkflow task)
Select workflow statistics tab. Select View next to Unassigned Tasks.
11. Click view for the task under task list unassigned.
12. On the Workflow Management Statistics page click on the Page URL under Responses.
This displays the results of the deletion. To to download these results for future reference then:
13. On the results page click on the download results to excel button.
14. Click save on the dialog window shown. Browse to the location to save the file and click save.
15. When returned to the main browser window click the Ok button.
16. Close the browser down and the debug process.
The delete ticket process has been modified to include a form to allow the entry of the connection string details (Sql instance, db name, username and password). This allows the delete process to be used in both 7.0 and 7.1.