Integrating with Zendesk

Zendesk is a customer support platform that lets you connect with customers on any channel. It boasts of an omnichannel ticketing system that helps collect all your customer support requests from any source and lets you manage them from one location.

eG Enterprise integrates with Zendesk's ticketing system, so that eG alerts are automatically fed into Zendesk as and when they are generated. This results in the automatic creation/updation of trouble tickets, the quick assignment of tickets to the right troubleshooting agents, and the speedy resolution of issues.

To integrate eG Enterprise with Zendesk, do the following:

  1. Login to the eG administrative interface.
  2. Select the Manager option from the Settings tile.

  3. Figure 1 will then appear. From the manager settings tree in the left panel of Figure 1, select the ITSM/Collaboration Integration node. The third-party ITSM/Collaboration tools that eG Enterprise can integrate with will be listed in the right panel.

    Figure 1 : Viewing the ITSM/Collaboration tool options

  4. Now, click on the Zendeskoption in the right panel (see Figure 1). A Zendesk section will now appear in the right panel (see Figure 2).

    Figure 2 : Configuring integration with Zendesk

  5. To enable integration with Zendesk, first slide the Zendesk slider in Figure 2 to the right.
  6. Then, specify the following in Figure 2:

    •  URL: eG Enterprise integrates with Zendesk using its REST API. Via HTTP/S, eG alerts are POSTed to the REST endpoint URL of Zendesk as JSON payloads containing problem information. To enable this communication, specify the REST endpoint URL here.
    • User and Password: Only verified users can make requests to the Zendesk API. Therefore, to make a POST request to the API, the eG manager has to first authorize against the API using basic authentication. For this, it requires the privileges of a user with ticket creation rights. Specify the credentials of such a user against User and Password.
    • Incident title: Specify the title format for all trouble tickets auto-generated for eG-reported incidents. The default title format is as follows:
    • Priority :$prior Component Name: $cname Component Type : $ctype Layer : $layer Problem Description : $pdesc

      The text preceding the ‘:’ (colon) in the format above indicates what information follows. The ‘dollared’ ($) text that follows the ‘:’ (colon) is a key, the value of which varies at run time, depending upon the eG alarms. For example, in the default format above, Priority is a label that indicates that the information that follows the ‘:’ is the priority of the alarm. The key $prior that succeeds the ‘:’ represents the alarm priority, and changes according to the priority of the actual alarm that is sent by the eG manager to Zendesk. While you can change the labels, you are advised against changing any of the key names.

      The other keys that are part of the default title format are discussed in the table below:

      $cname

      Will display the name of the problem component

      $ctype

      Will display the component type to which the problem component belongs

      $layer

      Will display the name of the problematic layer

      $pdesc

      Will display a brief problem description

    • Problem description: Against Problem description, specify the format in which the problem description should appear in the trouble ticket that is auto-created for eG alerts, in Zendesk. The default format is as follows:

      Priority: $prior Component: $cname Component Type: $ctype Layer: $layer Problem Description: $pdesc Problem Start Time: $starttime Service: $service

      The text preceding the ‘:’ (colon) in the format above indicates what information follows. The ‘dollared’ ($) text that follows the ‘:’ (colon) is a key, the value of which varies at run time, depending upon the eG alarms. For example, in the default format above, Priority is a label that indicates that the information that follows the ‘:’ is the priority of the alarm. The key $prior that succeeds the ‘:’ represents the alarm priority, and changes according to the priority of the actual alarm that is sent by the eG manager to service desk. While you can change the labels, you are advised against changing any of the key names.

      The other keys that are part of the default format are discussed in the table below:

      $cname

      Will display the name of the problem component

      $ctype

      Will display the component type to which the problem component belongs

      $layer

      Will display the layer affected by the problem

      $starttime

      Will display the problem start time

      $pdesc

      Will display a brief problem description

      $service

      Will display the name of the affected service

    • Custom payload: Use custom payload to customize the alert information you send to Zendesk, so that it includes additional static information.

      Typically, the details of an eG alert are sent as a JSON file to the configured URL. Every piece of information contained within an eG alert - eg., priority, component name, component type etc. - is represented in the JSON file as a $key:$value pair, where 'key' denotes the alert field, and 'value' denotes the actual value of that field at run time. The 'key' is configured based on what the Zendesk REST API supports. For instance, if the REST API represents alarm priorities using the key 'prior', then the same key will be used in the JSON file for denoting alarm priorities. Accordingly, the entry for alarm priority in the JSON file will be $prior:$value. The $value will be Critical, Major, Minor, or Normal, depending upon the actual priority of the alarm being sent.

      If you want eG incidents routed to VictorOps to include additional information, then you can define a Custom Payload for that information as a $key:$value pair. For example, say, you want incidents to indicate the FQDN of the eG manager that generated the incidents. Say that the FQDN of your eG manager is egmanager.innovations.com. To include this information in Zendesk tickets, do the following:

      • First, check whether the Zendesk REST API supports a 'key' that can be used for capturing the 'source' of alerts/incidents. If no such key exists, then you cannot proceed with the Custom Payload configuration. On the other hand, if such a key is available, then proceed to replace the $key in your Custom Payload specification, with that key value. For the purpose of our example, let us assume that the REST API supports the key named 'source'. In this case therefore, substitute '$key' with 'source'.
      • Then, proceed to explicitly specify the FQDN of your eG manager in the place of $value. This is because, you can use the Custom Payload configuration to add only 'static' information - i.e., information that you explicitly configure, and hence will never change. In the case of our example therefore, the $value will be egmanager.innovations.com.
      • The complete Custom Payload specification will now be: source:egmanager.innovations.com
  7. Finally, click the Update button in Figure 2 to save the changes.