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7 min read

How to integrate Vivantio with Azure DevOps

By Melissa Faletra on 7/13/20 2:33 PM

Azure DevOps–formerly named Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS)–is a Microsoft product that allows developers to plan work, collaborate on code development and build and deploy applications. If your development teams are using Azure DevOps, integrating it with your service desk software can provide the following benefits:

  • Create bugs directly from Incidents or Tickets
  • Create Product Backlog Items from Service Requests or Change Requests

Vivantio includes an out-of-the-box, two-way integration with Azure DevOps, making it simple to have open communication and visibility between your support and development teams.

Our Azure DevOps integration helps you streamline your processes and keep everyone informed of what is going on, regardless of which tool they work in day-to-day, so there's no need for your developers to log into Vivantio, and no more phone calls to the development team to check on the status of bugs!

This tutorial will show you how to configure the integration and provides an example of creating a Work Item in Azure DevOps directly from Vivantio.

To connect Vivantio to Azure DevOps, you’ll need:

  1. Vivantio ITSM
  2. Admin access to your Vivantio Instance
  3. Credentials to a user account for Vivantio in Azure DevOps

 

CONFIGURATION IN VIVANTIO

Step 1:

Log into Vivantio, open the Admin Area. Navigate to:

Integration & API >> TFS

Fill in your Azure DevOps login credentials:

  • Version: Azure DevOps
  • Organization Name: Enter your organization name. This will be used in your API URL, for example: https://dev.azure.com/OrganizationName/
  • Username: The username for the Vivantio user account in Azure DevOps
  • Password: The Personal Access Token for the Vivantio user account in Azure DevOps. For details on creating a Personal Access Token, see the Microsoft Documentation here.

DevOps CredentialsThe bottom of the screen will update to show a couple of different URLs: the Work Item Alert URL and the Service Hook URL. You will use the Service Hook URL to set up Azure DevOps to send information back into Vivantio.

work item alerts

Step 2:

Select IP Range in the top left corner of the screen and configure the IP Range for Vivantio to accept requests from.

Azure DevOps Credentials

Step 3:

Configure your ticket to Work Item Mapping settings. This allows you to control which types of Vivantio Tickets can be mapped to which types of Azure DevOps Work Items so that the correct type of information can be transferred to the correct type of records. Any number of necessary ticket-to-work item mappings can be configured.

Navigate to the Ticket to Work Item Mapping tab and select Add.

On the Basic Details tab, give the mapping a name and fill in the following information:

  • Project Collection: The Project in Azure DevOps (If you’re using the hosted version of Azure DevOps, there will normally only be one option available here)
  • Project: The Project in Azure DevOps
  • Work Item Type: The Work Item Type in Azure DevOps
  • Ticket Type: The type of ticket within Vivantio that you want to create the Work Item from

basic details tab

Step 4:

Navigate to the Sync Options tab. Here you can configure the settings relating to the sync of data from Vivantio to Azure DevOps. (Note that this option does not force Azure DevOps to update Vivantio–that is configured within Azure DevOps itself). You have the option to fill in the following fields:

  • Link Work Item to Ticket: Checking this box will create a link to the Vivantio ticket from within the Azure DevOps ticket
  • Action Sync: Selecting “All” or “Non Private” will automatically sync all (or only non-private) actions made in Vivantio to the “Discussion” section within the Work Item in Azure DevOps
  • Attachment Sync: Selecting “All” or “Non Private” will automatically sync all (or only non-private) attachments added in the Vivantio ticket to the “Attachments” section within the Work Item in Azure DevOps

sync options

Step 5:

Select the Field Mappings tab and configure any additional field mappings. As standard, Vivantio will populate the Work Item Title and Description. If you want to add additional mappings, e.g., for custom fields, you can do so here. You can also choose to override the default mappings for Title and Description.

In the example below, we chose to map several custom fields from Vivantio to Azure DevOps.

field mappings

After choosing the appropriate options, hit Save, and you’re ready to start creating Azure DevOps Work Items directly from Vivantio.

 

CREATING A NEW WORK ITEM FROM VIVANTIO

When viewing a Ticket in Vivantio, under the Actions menu item, you’ll see the option to “Create New TSF Work Item.”

 

create work item

Selecting Create New TFS Work Item will open a pop-up window where you can select the Work Item Type. Any mappings created for the ticket type, using steps 3 through 5, will appear as options.create work item pop upSelecting OK will cause a TFSForm to appear in the Vivantio Ticket Window and a Work Item to be created in Azure DevOps.

DevOps form in ticket windowThe TFS form provides a direct link to the Work Item in Azure DevOps and provides the technician with the options to unlink the Vivantio ticket from the DevOps Work Item and to send ad-hoc comments and attachments to DevOps, which can be useful if you didn’t choose to automatically sync actions.

Clicking on the link to the Work Item in DevOps, we can see that the Work Item was created and the mapped fields were passed from the Vivantio Ticket to the Work Item.

DevOps ticket example

 

CONFIGURATION IN AZURE DEVOPS

Getting Information Back From Azure DevOps

Configurations can be made in Azure DevOps to automatically send information from DevOps into Vivantio. This is done using the Service Hook that was create in Step 1.

Step 6:

To configure the Service Hook in Azure DevOps, navigate to Service Hooks within Project Settings in Azure DevOps (Microsoft’s documentation on Service Hooks can be found here). On the first page of the Create Service Hook wizard, you’ll choose the Webhooks option and select Next:

new service hooks subscription

On the next page of the wizard, you’ll choose the type of event the Service Hook triggers on. Vivantio currently supports “Work Item Commented On” and “Work Item Updated.” Enter any filters you want for the area or work item type.

new service hooks triggerSelect and configure the action to perform with the service hook. Under URL,” paste your service hook from Step 1. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select [Latest]for Resource Version.

service hook subscription actionNow when we comment on Work Items in Azure DevOps...

comment in devops

...the comment is automatically added to the linked Ticket’s history in Vivantio:

comment in vivantio from devopsAdditional configurations can be made in Azure DevOps using Webhooks to automatically update fields in Vivantio based on updates in Azure DevOps.

If you’re using Vivantio and Azure DevOps and you don’t have them integrated yet, give it a try and see how it helps improve communications between your service desk and your development team.

Topics: Service Management Vivantio Customer Center System Integration Methods Types of Service Integrations API Integration Tools
4 min read

4 Types of Integration Methods with Your Service Management Software

By Nate Lipka on 10/11/18 9:00 AM

yOU dON'T uSE JUST ONE TOOL FOR IT SERVICE

Many third-party services and technology can help your team provide IT service. JIRA, Active Directory, and Beyond Trust (formally Bomgar) are a few examples. Using these tools in concert with each other is vital to getting the service data your team needs. So, when considering an ITSM platform, it is critical to understand the availability of integrations.

But what are the differences between the types of integrations out there? Here are the four major types of third-party integration methods available. Let’s also highlight the pros and cons of each for your service team.

 

1. API

Application Programming Interface (API) is the most common tool for connecting different applications. There are many different types of API that are either public, partner, or private. What they all have in common is how they enable interaction between applications. An API uses a common code language to specify functionality and set protocols. This gives your applications the ability to transfer data.

Pros:

  • Highly Flexible: Because the integration uses product code, it is flexible when it comes to specific data. The only limitation is that it is dependent on developer resources.
  • App Changes Aren’t Disruptive: APIs are often limited in scope. So, service providers can offer more functionality without affecting other third-party systems.
  • Widely Available: As stated earlier, API is the most common tool for third-party integration. So, it will be unlikely that you run into a service that won’t offer API integration options.

Cons:

  • Dependent on Vendor: Vendors are responsible for creating APIs. So, you are reliant on the vendor to create APIs for the specific type of information you are trying to pull.
  • Code-Intensive: Because they are code-based, APIs need an understanding of programming languages to install.

 

2. WEBHOOKS

Webhooks or HTTP callbacks are an alternative to APIs. They are quite similar in that they are tools that link to a web application. But, they have two key differences. For webhooks, implementation is often not code-based. They often have modules that are programmable within a web application. Instead of being request-based, webhooks are event-based. They only trigger when specific events occur within a third-party service.

Pros:

  • Real-Time Data: Webhooks don’t use a request-based system. They allow your team to view data on a real-time scale.
  • Supports Automation Efforts: Because data requests are event-based, you don’t have to set up poll timings to your data centre. This can help streamline data flow and automation.

Cons:

  • Limits Data Manipulation: A webhook requires the service to trigger a data transfer based on an update. In contrast to webhooks, APIs can list, create, edit, or delete an item without triggering a transfer.

 

3. ISC

Unlike code-based integrations, an Integration Services Component (ISC) lives on a local server. The ISC creates a bridge with on-premise tools such as directories, asset management tools, and BI tools without the need for file imports.

Pros:

  • (Near) Out-of-the-Box Solution: The ISC immediately offers many data synchronization options you would likely use.
  • Wider Range of Functionality: With an ISC, you can do anything with the data you have access to. Any data that you can access on the backend with your cloud service will be available.

Cons:

  • Knowledge of Database Architecture Necessary: If you are unfamiliar with how your local database is set up, implementing an ISC will be challenging.
  • Requires Access to the Backend of Your Applications: There will be many cases where backend access isn’t there for your team, so you won’t be able to use an ISC in those situations.

 

4. ORCHESTRATION

The most automated integration option is orchestrations. If you are not familiar with orchestrations, they refer to the process of automating multiple systems and services together. Teams will often use software configuration management tools such as PowerShell to build orchestrations. Software configuration management tools offer various methods such as snap-ins or hosting APIs to connect with applications to manage the automation workflow.

Pros:

  • Full Automation: After you build out orchestrations, you can automate across all processes.
  • Manages Multiple Systems: With orchestrations, you can manage the integrations of multiple systems collectively.

Cons:

  • Code-Intensive: You need to have coding skills to manage your software configuration management tool.
  • Labour-Intensive: Because the workflows are quite complex, the setup can be a drawn-out process. Also, any asset or process changes force you to check how it will affect your orchestrations.

Make sure you check what integration options your ITSM provider offers before you commit. You can learn how Vivantio specifically links up with CRM systems, development tools, and other tools in our recent webinar, “Integration using APIs, webhooks and webmethods.”

Topics: Service Integrations System Integration Methods API Integration Tools