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Video: Customize SCSM – Make the Description Field Bigger

In the video below, you will see how to customize the System Center Service Manager (SCSM) Incident Form to make the description field bigger.

“The first form customization people usually want to make to the incident form is to increase the size of the textbox so it can show more information at once without scrolling. This is SUPER easy to do if you know how, the key here is to use the details pane to change the Height property. Resist the urge to use the grab handles on controls when you are designing form customizations. Use the properties in the details pane to be more precise!,” Microsoft stated.

  • Create a new MP to store your customizations in
  • In the form browser pane (View -> Form Browser) search for incident
  • Select the Incident form (not the DCM incident form) and right click and select View
  • Click the Customize button
  • Select the MP you created from step 1 to store your customizations in
  • Select the Description textbox
  • In the Details pane, change the Height property to whatever you want
  • Save the MP
  • Import the MP

Here is an alternative way to do it with Height = Auto. “If you do it that way then the description field will change size all the time to match the size of the contents. That’s probably a good thing when the amount of content is small, but it could get out of hand when there is a large amount of content so make sure you set the MaxHeight attribute,” explains microsoft.

  1. “Start the Authoring Tool.
  2. Localize the Form Browser and find the form named System.WorkItem.Incident.ConsoleForm. Right click it and choose View. (If the form browser is empty, try hitting the refresh button once.)
  3. The original Incident form will be loaded and displayed. To be able to customize the form, we need to press the Customize button in the orange header.
  4. A new dialogue box name Targeted Management Pack will be displayed. In this box you will have to specify where you want to save the changes we are about to make. If you haven’t customized the Incident form before, you should hit the New… button. However, if you have customized the form before, you are forced to save these changes within the same management pack (MP). Otherwise you won’t be able to import this MP into SCSM as we can only have one customization MP per form.
  5. Give the new MP a suitable name, like IncidentFormCustomization, choose where to save it and press Save followed by Ok.
  6. We are now able to customize the form, and all changes will be saved in the MP we defined in the previous step.

    Everything you do at this point, will be written to the MP, even if you change the same value several times. This means, that if you modifiy the same value four times, four “posts” will be added to the MP. My way of tackling this, is to just do the basic things within the authoring tool, and then adjust the settings in the MP itself (with an XML editor). We won’t do that in this post though.
  7. So what we would need to do at this point, is basicly changing the Height property for the description field to Auto. However (you knew it wasn’t going to be that easy, right?), there is some code behind the description field, that will cause this not work as expected.
  8. What we have to do instead, is hiding the original description field and adding our own. First, let’s add the new field by dragging a Text Box from the For Customization Toolbox into our form and release it ontop of our description field. This will cause our new textbox to be placed within the container of the original description field. Be sure that the description field and title is outlined with a grey dashed border, as shown in the picture below.
  9. Now, click on the original description field, and change the Visibility value from Visible to Collapsed in the Details panel.
  10. Mark the textbox we added in step 8 by clicking on it, and change the following values: Height = Auto, Horizontional Alignment = Stretch, Minimum Height = 55, Width = Auto, Accepts the ENTER key = True, Text Wrapping = Wrap.
  11. Finally, we have to bind this field to the description property. This is done by clicking the … button on Binding Path and selecting Description.
  12. Our MP should now be done, so let’s save it and import it into SCSM (To import the MP in SCSM, go to Administration -> Management Packs. Then choose Import from the list of Tasks)
  13. Now go on and create a incident with a description that span over several lines. If everything was done correctly, the description field should grow whenever needed. You should also try to open the incident after saving it, to make sure the description field works when viewing it in this way,” explains Anders Asp.
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