I had a quick look at “Assetmanagement” and can see that some requirements are already covered there. I can see, that it would make sense to put all movable things like computers, software licences and mobile devices, just as tables, chairs and other items into “Assets”. Also I saw, that I can already connect these to my company, customers or suppliers. Also Maintenance makes sense for some cases. This could be used to create maintenance batches later connected to SLAs…
Thanks for raising this!
We are also an IT Support company and are in the process of looking at building an “IT Services” app - to include configuration management, ticketing (with timer like current Timesheet has - though it is not working as expected [v11] Timesheet Timer Not Working · Issue #15162 · frappe/erpnext · GitHub), agreements (i.e. subscriptions per time period which can easily be adjusted. I don;t believe Auto Repeat will be usable in this situation as it is based on an existing Sales Invoice) and also automatic invoice creation based on activity in tickets / agreements. Would be great to collaborate on this with others in the field.
I used iTop some time ago but moved on from it. I recently came across another open source project which is very modern and mobile friendly - Snipe-IT. Take a look here Try the Demo - Snipe-IT Free open source IT asset management.
In terms of the existing Asset Management, I would rather consider creating a standalone Doctype as there would be many additional fields / data relating to IT&T directly which would be confusing to non-IT Service companies. Likewise, other information like depreciation calculations and insurance details (in current asset module) is more applicable to internal company assets. Always good to hear other views on this though
One thing that certainly needs to be addressed in my view before asset management is introduced is encryption of data at rest (local and offsite backups for example) and also a data field type in frappe for things like passwords. Until this is done, I would not be placing information into this especially given situations where data / backups are compromised and all clientele systems information is accessible.
Feel free to reach out via PM too.
For the moment we are good on this subject. We just do everything manually right now. As we are growing we know we will have the resources and need to have an eye on automatic this process. I will you keep you updated. We havent upgraded to v11 yet. I hope the “clock” feature will be usable.
I have also have had a look at this some time ago. It lookes pretty easy. What I am missing though is the ability to link several CI to one another. So for example, we have a doctor who has to burn dicom pictures to CD to pass on to his patients. For this opereation several devices and software installations are need. We use the group and application solution to solve this. Also IP management is important for our use. I have to say, that I find iTop pretty good, as it is very complete but there are some bits and pieces witch seem to be over complecated.
I had a closer look at asset management and agree. AM is for “slow” moving objects like big maschines, vehilces and buildings. An option would probably be to link the two though. So I also have a check box for “Is Asset” which would make deprication etc. available. Maybe CMDB or something like inventory could be a subcategory of Assets.
We also do not place any critical data like passwords anywhere in our ERP for the moment. Maybe there will be a “Vault” implemented in ERPNext some time. We are using KeePass for password management which is completely isolated as we can not afford to loose these or get them mixed up in any way. In future though, handling ssl-keys could also be part of cmdb?!.
For now I’d like to concentrate on creating a doctype “Configuration Item” and going from here. I will post my progress here asap.
I have now had the chance to take some time looking at creating new DocTypes. Also I have put some thought toward how the DocTypes I need could look like. I figure it will be easiest to more or less copy iTop in its structure as it is already ITIL standard. A pretty good feature are the graphs I can have shown.
(the pictures shows a hardware server, its hypervisor and two virtual maschines running one this)
When using incidents in iTop these would be shown by the thumbsnails in the picture to indicate if there are open issues. This won’t be overly necessary in the first step though.
The most important things we need in CMDB are
- Applications solutions
- related vendors and people
Also relationships between all the above will be needed. (Configuration management database - Wikipedia)
And yes @OneiricIT I agree. It it probably best to have an own Modul for CMDB instead of trying to push this somewhere into an exsiting one. For now I will create all my DocTypes in the modul Support.
So I we have built a custom DocType for our purpose and very quickly changed to using it instead of the iTop we had running. We are only using this in read-only and transfer everything when needed.
We use the field “Type” for the following options:
We make Configuration Items for pretty much everything we get our hands on.
having an IP-Phone for example there are loads of things that are interesting for us:
- IPv4 and MAC-Address for static-lease from DHCP-Server
- IPv4 for CTI software communicating to the Phone
- Configured VPN-connection
- SIP-account(s) registered to the phone
- Admin-accounts for configuration
- Person using the phone
- Location in building or office
- Make and model
As you can see there are loads of different aspects which are important to inventory management. This DocType now makes it really easy to just create an item and putting in the necessary information without having to make a specific decision on what it is (Server, Client, Solution etc.)
We are 4 poeple using this “cmdb” on an everyday basis and are all very happy.
I’ll keep you updated on the progress.
I had to laugh when I read this. It is just an uninformed position to take these days. Yes, I get it that IT infrastructure may change a bit faster than your other asset classes, but they share far more that you have bothered to see in reality.
And that was just a simple item. I think what you have failed to consider is that almost everything is now part of the IoT universe and many catagories that you thought to be ridiculously “slow moving” items are actually probably doing more than Cisco in the field of advanced communications and internet connectivity.
There are HVAC companies now that are installing large tower/building class air conditiojning systems that are controlled by embedded linux systems and wifi connect to each other on the same building through a proprietary router that has it’s own satellite link to the internet. These systems monitor themselves for service related issues and can call for their own PM’s without ever involving a human being. They also get constant anf frequent firmware updates through the link to keep their systems running. Ultimately some IT guy in some office in some part of the world has to maintain that software and all of those embedded linux controllers. It is no longer just a dumb air conditioner and the people that service this stuff now also need to have not only good computer foundational knowledge but also network debugging abilities and telecommunications backgrounds.
John Deere, Kubota, etc. agriculture equipment suppliers have automated almost everything in these pieces of equipment and even linked them together with CDMA or GMS cellular data links so they can coordinate with each other, with the local weather service, with the local EPA, and other entities in order to solve problems and keep production moving. Everyone of them requires a network specialist to also be able to understand the heavy equipment mechanics of their system.
I am sorry, but I believe that you have just been looking at your computer screen for way too long to understand that the world has changed around you and service providers as well as asset managers are begging for typical IT related items to be included in the standard software for asset management and service contract implementations.
Even basic home air conditioners are now looking for a wifi connection so they can report their own issues to their owners and even make the call to schedule their own repairs. My local HVAC vendor recently offered to replace my main unit with one that had a cellular connection built in with a lithium standby battery so it could call for automated instructions on what to do after a natural disaster! He said it would even receive disaster alerts and automatically go into a hibernation state so it would be easier to recover from if all was well later. Of course that also meant it needed a quarterly firmware update.
Please… don’t try to separate asset management from IT management. Find a way to make them work together in the same application. Yeah, maybe the guy renting tables and chairs to wedding receptions will not need all of the features but, we are rapidly approaching a time when even that may change.
So, by the time you actually get an application ready to deploy, I don’t want you to have spent all your time making something that may already be outdated and pigeon holed into a corner that you would have to develop your way out of again and in short order.
Just an opinion, and you know what they say about opinions
Thank you for your thoughts. I am totally on your side on this subject and am also aware of the development on "everything having IoT capabilities.
Our goal will be coming from fairly easy computer networks and less complex PC solutions to be able to manage this first. As I said, this has already been a game changer for our company so far. Once we have this done for our needs we will be able to branche out and add more complexity just like the examples you gave.
My idea is to build from a collection of DocTypes to a cmdb section which is maybe part of an ITIL app with then again will have strings to asset management and thus to the initial sales order, the deprecation and end-of-life reminders.
For us as a young company ERPNext gives a good chance to learn and solve at the same time.
Please be patient, as you know rome wans’t built in a day…
…we are ready to take this challenge
This is true, but Vesuvius wiped out Pompeii in one night and Rome was afraid to rebuild afterward because their pride had been broken by the loss.
So, just plan carefully and consider all competing paths to make sure yours is the most successful.
Damn. A lesson in history.
@rmeyer , my Team and I have now built a customer app called IT Management in which we have merged our doctypes.
Have a look here:
We still use iTop as template for a lot of our doctypes and we will keep doing this as iTop does a lot of things right when it comes to the it logic.
does that mean you need to access an iTop instance or just the doctypes look’n’feel are leaning iTop look’n’feel?
Also, I’d suggest a repository name like
erpnext_it-management which would be more clear
No, there is no live connection to iTop. iTOp ist just as a kind of road map.
does it ‘mimic’ (probably not the most accurate term, but I can’t think of any other right now) more then the “Configuration Management” section of iTop?
For starters, yes.
We have started with just one doctype for all elements. This will be broken down into single doctypes with time.
Helpdesk and Change Management is covered by the already in erpnext existing Issues and Projects for now. Service Management will also be implemented at a later point. In Service Management you can define SLAs and Contracts which are very simple from out side for the moment.
@OneiricIT I have recently taken the time to have a look at your IT Service modul to see how you have solved your requirements. I see you seem to be working in a very similar way and was happy to see how you have managed to make a nice hybrid witch does not require erpnexts original Support or Project Modul.
For the moment we process incoming inquiries as Issue in Support and kind of merge this to an Task in Projects once we know what realy needs to be done.
In the Task we have implemented a table in which we can link our CMDB-Items to help our tech-support to solve the problem quicker and to keep track of what Tasks have been worked on. We then use erpnexts Timesheet, Delivery Notes and other sales related to DocTypes to finish the Sales/Billing-process.
The solution you have chosen seems way more lean than ours and could be a very interesting combination to our IT Management CMDB. Please have a look at it when you find some time so we can talk about bringing the two closer together.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Glad to hear it has been well received on your end. Hoping to clean up a lot more bugs and streamline some issues we have found - like with everything, takes time to refine.
Will definitely take a look at what you have completed so far, as this was on the eventual radar to complete.
Do you have reporting in it at present - i.e. configuration item asset list / Executive Summary Report / asset warranty expiration as some examples?
Certainly would be the way to go, moving these together. If easier, should discuss over Telegram or similar instead of bloating the post - can just add the link in here so if others want to join they can. Just an idea anyway.
We would be interesting in helping with this when we have time. These apps look great and could solve our use case too.
In the meantime we have made some progress and decided to develope a DocType incident inspired by @OneiricIT app.
The Idea is to stick closer to frappes/erpnext monolith design as we still wan’t all doctypes to follow the same logic.
We will be releasing this in a future release of our app IT Management. Stay tuned.
Credits go to @rmeyer
This would be our Incident so far:
(1) In PROJECT DETAILS you will find
As read reference for insight.
(2) Using the button Add Activity will open a quick entry window:
The information given here will be written into the users/employees timesheet. Also the project and task will be passed on. The idea is, that a technician will not need to leave the DocType when working on the Incident.
(we will be adding the activity type too)
The content of the text field will also be passed on to the timesheet for billing reference (will be shown on invoice for customer clarification).
Also this content will be posted as comment in the DocType:
This way we will be able to see all necessary information as real timeline without having to move to a different DocType.
We will be adding a dashboard for timesheets. We are also thinking about adding Material Requests and Delivery Notes.
What do you all think?