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Customization vs Configuration of Service Desk - PLEASE DEBATE

Created: 29 Apr 2010 • Updated: 29 Oct 2010 | 1 comment
I have noticed the addition of disclaimers about customization of Service Desk on a number of Knowledgebase articles on Symantec's site over the past few weeks.  I have provided a few examples with comments for everyone to look at.  While I realize that these are typical application disclaimers that any software company will make when addressing customizations to their software but all of the examples I have seen this disclaimer on are configurations in any other Helpdesk software including the predecessor to ServiceDesk 7.

The Global Enterprise Support Services Support Policy ( states that they will only provide support "for installation and break/fix of individual components only" and that any Workflow that we modify becomes a custom project.

All the recommendations I have ever received from Symantec Sales Engineers and the Product Manager about making most configurations with ServiceDesk have come back with "All you need to do is customize <insert name> Workflow project". These recommendations will essentially deem our implementation as unsupportable and by extension difficult to upgrade in the future.

I want to know how the community feels about this especially people trying to implement this product in their environment.  I keep stumbling over red flags and potential land mines with this product and want to make sure I am not alone on this roller coaster of frustration. 

This KB article shows how to add or remove another Ticket Type (ex Break Fix, How To etc) value to the drop-down on the main incident form which in my world is a basic configuration not a customization like they claim in this article.  Make special note of the disclaimers at the bottom that they have been adding to their KB articles lately.

"Please Note: This is a product customization. Symantec Technical Support is unable to provide assistance for implementing or troubleshooting customizations. If this customization results in issues, Technical Support may request that the product is reverted to its out of box version before being able to further assist."

This KB article is another example of a simple configuration , renaming a Service Desk group.  The article explains that service desk group names are "hard coded" throughout the Workflow projects and that changing them will result in errors.  If we do want to take on the huge undertaking of renaming a group (sarcasm inserted) then we can contact Symantec Consulting.
This KB article addresses setting up routing rules, not a  basic configuration but still a standard configuration in the Helpdesk software arena.  Again this article mentions that "Adding a routing rule is considered to be a customization.  This process requires that you use Workflow Designer to modify the out of box software in such a way that it is then different than the default software."  Then they provide a link to the policy for customizations listed above.

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Fabrice B M Raud's picture

Hi Bondo,

Well. I agree with you about missing ways of configuring the product. Some settings should be in tables instead of in the code.
This Servicedesk 7 product even if it takes the number 7 is the first version of a new product.
I hope that all the posts we made will help developers to create a version 8 that people can configure and not customize.
Anyway, I have always customers that ask for so specific funcionalities that I have to customize the product. It was the case with Helpdesk Solution 6 and now for Servicedesk 7.

Kind regards.