Updates & Enhancements - October 4th 2020

Employee Engagement 

  1. New Portal Layout

Employee Service Portal

With a lot of us working remotely and supporting more complex business environments that pose new challenges, the need to utilize self-service support to balance workload and restore normal service as quickly as possible - is more critical than ever. This is why we have been investing significantly in the portal’s infrastructure lately, so we can support more advanced layout and content customization capabilities and further optimize its user experience.  

The first enhancement that we are introducing today includes the new Modern View - which presents a clean and modern look and feel, as well as enables additional design and content customization.  

If you didn’t get a chance to set up your self-service portal yet, or you feel that it’s time to update and renew it to optimize its efficiency - the new layout is the perfect excuse to do so. Click here for more info on how to set up your service portal.      

What’s Changed?

Requesters & Agents

To minimize disruption to agents and requesters, we did not switch your portal to the new layout upon release. These users will keep seeing the same content, and a very similar layout with slight modifications. This default post-release layout is referred to as the “Classic View” on the admin side: 


Service Portal Image.png


Title updates: 

Previous View   

New Classic View    


Useful Services    

Highlighted Services   


Useful Solutions   

Highlighted Solutions   



My Requests   

Active Requests   

Users can switch between Active/ Closed requests via the dropdown menu 


You now see new options at the Global Settings/Service Portal page:  

  • The ability to upload a custom background image for the search bar (available in both Classic and Modern views) 
  • The ability to preview and switch to the new Modern view 

Switch to New Modern Portal View.png

  • The ability to choose between showing highlighted/ popular solutions and services (Modern View only)  

  For more information please refer to the relevant section of our technical documentation

New Modern View 

With the new Modern view your employees can enjoy a simple and easy-to-navigate portal homepage. The large intuitive icons on the navigation menu to the left, help them take the desired action without scanning a lot of text searching for it.  

New Modern View.png

The distinction between the Highlighted and Popular solutions and services, allows you to have more control over the content your employees see on the homepage, as well as make it easier for them to find what they are looking for:  

  • Highlighted solutions/ services list: These are solutions/ services that you and your team marked as “Highlighted” either at the Service Catalog or the Solution page. This new portal component will always show the last 5 solutions/ services that have been updated at the top of the list.  
  • Popular solutions list: This new homepage component displays the top 5 solutions and/or services based on number of views, votes and requests 

Note that the category, subcategory, site, department, expected days, and cost are now shown beneath a service and category, subcategory, last updated date, views, and votes are now showed beneath the solution title, to help employees find the information they’re looking for more quickly and easily.  

You can also further customize your portal’s branding by uploading a background image for the top search bar as well as select the colors of the titles and icons of each component.  

Switching to the new layout is simple, and if needed, you can always revert to the “Classic View”:

Switching Service Portal Design.gif

For more information on how to customize the new layout please review our technical documentation.  

Agent Productivity  

What's New?
Redesigned Single Sign-On Page 
Role-Based Permissions in Setup Menu 
Send Notifications Workflow Action from the Change Catalog 

1. Redesigned Single Sign-On Page

We are redesigning the Single Sign-On setup page with a new layout that makes it easier for you to configure single sign-on (SSO) and SAML providers. This updated page will separate setup for different SSO/SAML providers, which gives you more specific instructions on configuring each of these platforms to connect to SolarWinds Service Desk.

Updated SSO Page Layout.png

You will notice that we now provide detailed, step-by-step instructions for setting up each SSO/SAML provider. You can access these instructions by clicking on the ‘?’ button for each of these providers. 

Azure AD SSO.png

Finally, you can get more information on how to complete a field on this page by hovering your mouse over the 'i' (above each field). This will show a tooltip that gives you guidance on how to fill out the field. 

Please note that you will still be able to set up Google SSO as well as SAML platforms such as Okta, One Login, Microsoft ADFS and Azure AD.  

These changes simplify the process to set up SSO/SAML providers by separating the configuration of these platforms from each other. You now get clear and detailed instructions that are tailored to each SSO/SAML provider. This results in the following: 

  • Make it faster and easier for you to set up SSO/SAML providers 
  • Expedites the onboarding process 
  • Gives you a superior user experience  

2. Role-Based Permissions in Setup Menu

Earlier this year, we reorganized the Setup Menu in SolarWinds Service Desk to make it easier to navigate and align with your day-to-day service desk operations. This change was also preparation for role-based permissions in the Setup Menu, since this reorganized menu items into different 'permission blocks'. 

Now, we are excited to announce new role-based permissions in the Setup Menu! This allows you to give admins in your organization access to different parts of the Setup Menu, since you can assign 'permission blocks' in the Setup Menu to admins who have different permission levels.  

To add a role-based permission in the Setup Menu, you must navigate to the Setup Menu à Roles & Permissions. Once you click on 'Add Permission' or 'Add Restriction' in a role, you will notice a new 'Setup' area under 'Subject'. 


Adding a Role-Based Permission in the Setup Menu.gif


Selecting one of these items allows you to grant or restrict access to different permission blocks in the Setup Menu for your admins. Also, areas of your service desk (Incidents, Problems, etc.) and inventory (Computers, Other Assets, etc.) are now in an area called 'Objects', which is also under 'Subject'.’ 


Role-Based Permissions for Admin.png

These capabilities enable you to delegate ongoing setup activities such as workflows, automation, or notifications to specific agents in your organization. For instance, you can create new roles for the following people in your organization: 

  • Service Desk Manager who manages ongoing configuration of system preferences (Automations, notifications, customer fields) 
  • Asset/CMDB Manager who manages discovery, assets and the CMDB 
  • Site Admin who manage assets, users, incidents, etc. for a specific location 

For more information on Role-Based Permissions in Setup Menu, please see our technical documentation. 

3. Send Notifications Workflow Action from the Change Catalog

We are glad to announce that the Send Notification Workflow Action we recently introduced for the Service Catalog - is now available for Change Catalog workflows as well!

This functionality allows you to easily notify requesters, approvers, the help desk/support team, and other stakeholders as a change workflow executes. You can now build more complex custom workflows to fit your needs, while making sure that nothing falls between the cracks and that the process moves along at full speed.    

Examples of notifications you can now add:  

  • Notify employees if a change request is denied  
  • Notify users that a new email server has been installed 
  • Notify the dev team that an emergency software change has been approved by the VP 

As we continue to improve SolarWinds Service Desk, we appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you think about these new capabilities and enhancements! 

Your SolarWinds Team