About Business Objects
A Business Object is a definition-powered business entity that stores data to help organizations manage their various workflows and business processes. For example, the Incident Business Object embodies everything about an Incident (ex: Who initiated it, how it is categorized, to whom it is assigned, etc.). Use Business Objects to manage data and workflows for business processes (ex: Incident Management). A Business Object can be complex (ex: Incident) or simple (ex: IncidentCategory that holds the list of categories that can be used within an Incident).
Business Objects are the heart of CSM and are extremely versatile. You can define various options to determine what data they contain, how they behave, and how they can be used. For example, you can define a lifecycle, define what information is tracked, and/or require values to be provided in certain Fields (ex: Priority) before records can be saved. Business Object records are represented as Forms and Grids in CSM.
A Business Object can have some or all of the following:
- Properties: Business Object structure and behaviors. Properties include:
- Basic Properties (defined when a Business Object is first created): Name and description, purpose, how and where the Business Object is used, etc.
- Additional Properties: Lifecycle states, how it is displayed in search results lists, history tracking options, etc.
- Fields: Basic units of information that contain data specific to a Business Object (ex: Name, date, etc.). Fields can be stored in the database along with the Business Object, or calculated on the fly.
- Actions: Actions/One-Steps that can be launched from various areas within a Business Object (menus, task panes, toolbars, etc.).
- Approvals: A defined process that automates, regulates, and tracks approving/denying/abstaining content by one or more designated Users or Teams.
- External mapping: A connection to an external database or LDAP/Active Directory.
- Forms: A graphical representation of a Business Object that is used to view and input data directly into the Business Object's Fields using configurable Form Controls. All Business Objects must have at least one Form (although not all are exposed in CSM), but can have more than one Form.
- Grids: A tabular view of CSM data from a Business Object. All Business Objects must have at least one Grid (although not all are exposed in the interface), but can have more than one Grid.
- Relationships: An indication that two Business Objects are related (not all Business Objects can or do have Relationships).
- Form Arrangement: A tabbed collection of child records (Forms/Grids) that can be dynamically displayed on a parent Form/record to convey related information (ex: Journals or Tasks related to the parent Form/record). Typically, only Major Objects have Form Arrangements.
Business Objects are categorized as:
- Major: A Major Business Object is a stand-alone Business Object that represents a major component of a business. It can exist by itself and have child objects that are part of its composition (using Relationships). Examples include Incident, Problem, Change, Knowledge Article, Customer, Configuration Item, and Service.
- Supporting: A Supporting Business Object is a Business Object that exists solely to complement, or support, a Major Object. Examples include Task, Journal, and Approval.
- Lookup: A Lookup Business Object is a Business Object that supplies valid values to other Business Objects. More precisely, it stores values for Fields that require constrained selections. For example, the Incident Cause Lookup Object holds values such as Hardware Malfunction, Outage, Permissions, etc. Lookup Objects are often used to provide valid values for drop-down Fields in other Objects.
- Group: A Group Business Object is a set of Business Objects that share common Fields. For example, the Configuration Item Group has Group Members named Computer, Printer, and Telephony Equipment. A Group Leader (ex: Configuration Item) is the Business Object that is the root of a Group. It stores common Fields that all Group Members share. All Group Members are descended from the Group Leader. Any of the other types of Objects (Major, Supporting, or Lookup) can be Group Objects if they share common Fields and have Group properties defined. Users can search for a specific Group Member (ex: Computer) or for any member of the group (ex: Configuration Item), in which case the results will include matching records from any Group Member (ex: Computer, Printer, etc.).
All Business Objects belong to one or more Business Object Views. Business Object Views allow you to have multiple instances of a Business Object with different behaviors and appearance for different Users (ex: A Default View for Business Objects accessed from the CSM Desktop Client and a Portal View for Business Objects accessed from the Portal). Although the rules, behavior, and appearance can differ among Views, the structure of the Business Object is always the same.
CSM provides several OOTB Business Objects (ex: Incident, Problem, Change, etc.). Use these Business Objects as-is, edit them, or create your own using the Object Manager (accessed from within a Blueprint in CSM Administrator). Within the Object Manager are several Business Object-specific tools, including:
- Business Object Editor: Edit various aspects of a Business Object (properties and Fields).
- Relationship Editor: Add, edit, and delete Relationships for a Business Object.
- Form Editor: Edit the various aspects of a Business Object Form.
- Grid Editor: Edit the various aspects of a Business Object Grid.
Note: Business Objects and their associated Fields, Relationships, Forms, Grids, and Form Arrangements are created, edited, and deleted within a Blueprint. To commit changes to your system, you must publish the Blueprint.