Two minute overview on Novell Service Desk Categories , Types and Item

Category -> Type  -> Item

Novell Service Desk uses Category and then Type to define Items in its CMDB.    A Category is a high level description e.g Hardware, Server, Software etc..  This contains information about the fields that you want to store and high level classifications plus a whole bunch of other stuff.  When you have defined a Category, you can then define a Type.  A Type will further define the actual item e.g Optiplex 990.  When you define a type , you can add specific classifications to it.  Finally you would create an Item to represent the entry in the CMDB.  Once an entry is in the CMDB you can start to support it.


ACME Inc wants to have their servers in the CMDB.  They have 10 x Dell R750 and 4 x HP  380 servers.    The information stored for servers will be

Asset tag
Physical location
IP address

Step 1 –Define the category for our servers.
We will use a single category, Servers.  This will be a duplicate of the existing Hardware category.  We will then change the existing fields to match the information we need to record about the servers.  We do not need to define a field for Manufacturer as Novell Service Desk does that already.

The Server category will define general classifications for server related support calls e.g. Power failure.  These are then inherited by the Types which we will define in Step 2.

Step 2 — Define the type(s).
We will create one type per model of server.  Our types will be based on the Server category.  When we are creating the types we also set the manufacturer.   We now have two types, Dell R750 and HP 380  (  Why one Type per Server Model ? It makes reporting on where requests are coming from easy as we simply gather number of requests per distinct Type during a selected time period.   There is a built in report to do this ).

Each Type will define specific classifications for support calls related to it e.g Dell DRAC  for Type Dell R750.

Step 3 — Create the items
Each physical server will now have an Item created.  We will use the relevant Type to reflect the server model.  When we create each Item, we will also complete the fields we wished to record.  You can automate this using  AMIE connectors which populate the CMDB from an external database source or good old CSV files.


About Jon Giffard

Husband, father, motorcyclist , amateur runner ( on hold due to knee injury ) - now trying not to drown whilst swimming. Senior Product Manager - Cloud Platform Not available for yodelling. Please do not ask.
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