Sunday, May 12, 2019

Ivanti Service Manager and PowerShell? Oh YEAH!

I discovered the excellent PSHEATAPI a few months ago. Ever since then whenever I have had a spare minute I have been poking around inside the API interface in our ISM tenant.

It wasn't long until I had a light bulb moment. Where I finally truly appreciated how well designed mature Enterprise software can be. Unlocking this API is a game changer for us.

Let me give some background. I was an early adopter of PowerShell. Over the last decade, I've enjoyed building tools that people in my teams have been able to use to streamline their work and make life easier.

I always faced the problem of not being able to put those tools in front of our normal user base. 4 years ago I knuckled down and learnt MVC and c# so I could do that. I built some rudimentary web interfaces that wrote back to a SQL database then read from that database in PowerShell to initiate automation scripts.

This never really gained traction beyond the first few that I built because it simply took too long and was quite labour-intensive. So time to market for new features was too long and it was never really worth investing in.

That all changed when I realised ISM and its request offering module could be called from a simple PowerShell script.

That was my lightbulb moment! When I realised the service management platform could serve as the user interface. While it could also be the backend and a system of record so we know who did what when!

Over the past couple of months, I've been building out a simple framework. The idea is to make it quick and easy to create a form in Ivanti Service Manager that our users can enter values into. Then pull that form from PowerShell and feed user input into some self-service automation script.

Well, it's built now and running 8 service requests in production.  Our time to market for a new self-service feature is now about an hour, down from 1 to 2 weeks. Making self-service features a great time investment.

I'm really excited about this. I don't know if this is old territory for a lot of people. The combination seems really obvious now that I'm looking at it. If it's not already in widespread use in large IT shops this or something like it will be soon.

If you're already a customer of Ivanti service manager in the Cloud and have a large Library of PowerShell scripts you should have a look at this. You don't have to do it the way we're doing it here. But if you only take one thing away from reading this. Let It Be the knowledge that;

It is now ridiculously easy to build enterprise-grade self-service applications.

A copy of the framework is available on GitHub.