Hands-Free Scheduled Data Export
One of the main difficulties I've faced in selling a cloud-hosted solution to management is my organization's backup requirements (I work for a public university). As a whole the university would rather use a subpar but on-premise tool that can throw data into our tape backup cluster, than a fantastic-but-cloud-hosted tool that locks in your data.
FreshService does allow manual data exporting so our data isn't locked in (yay I can get management onboard), but I'm still stuck with the need to do manual, periodic exports using the UI (and in two different places- I'll need to export Hardware & Software from the CMDB, then export actual CI's from the Account area of the Admin tab), receive the emails, download the files, then rename & archive them in backup directories which are later grabbed & pushed to tape backups.
It would be amazing if FreshService could offer scheduled, programmatic exports. I toyed with the idea of using the Scheduler to create a ticket which would trigger Dispatch'r to generate the export emails, but exporting isn't an action available to Dispatch'r :(. (And I'd still have to manually download & organize the files of course.)
One possible way (that would integrate perfectly into my environment; other customers please chime in!) would be using a view under the "Admin" area of the web app to provide scheduling criteria (e.g. "weekly on Friday"), an SFTP URL, credentials, and a file naming scheme, so that the FreshService backend can do the exports, reach out to one of our university SFTP servers, push the exported file(s), and disconnect.
Is this at all possible? If so it would give customers the hands-off data retention benefits of an on-premise solution like those offered by ManageEngine, but with the Fresh user experience [I can't stand using ManageEngine products! :)].
Edit: I see another feature request discussing scheduled reports, but it sounds like Doron is thinking more along the lines of emailed PDF reports and not automatic database dumps. Just wanted to remove any ambiguity. Link:
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Would it be okay you can use the scheduler to email you your data on a preset frequency? Would you be able to parse email to a particular email id and send it to your servers? I am talking to the team about this. Do let us know this one thing.
> Would you be able to parse email to a particular email id and send it to your servers?
You guessed the issue exactly- My university uses an on-premise Exchange instance with well over 5000 users, and while we can use Outlook Rules to sort email inside our own mailboxes (and I could have a rule look for subjects containing certain strings), we can't have a rule that lets Outlook trigger code on either the Exchange server or our local machines to move files around.
That's why I suggested a push-style, SFTP-based function in my post because it's the only arrangement I can think of that would be agnostic to clients' various email systems. (And in our case it would not be too difficult to put an SFTP "dropbox" server in our network's DMZ to enable this.)
So in a perfect world it would be great if FreshService could automatically drop our data files into the correct place for backup because that is completely hands-off, but using the scheduler to email the data on a preset frequency would be much better than nothing at all : ). (It would save me from creating calendar events and having to log in & interact with the UI to get the files, which is a nice time-saver.)
Thank you for your responsiveness! I'm looking forward to hearing the team's response either way.
Had a discussion with the team on this and we are adding this (the scheduled emails part) to the roadmap. :)
Do let us know if there is anything else.
That will be a very useful feature! Thank you for taking it to the developers : )
Any update on this? Its been over a year.
Ed, I've had some other interactions with FreshService/Desk that make me 99.9% sure they are not going to implement this. One of their marketing pages (link: http://freshservice.com/online-service-desk-software) says "No strings[...]You can export everything anytime." but that is patently false.
The part of the CMDB that makes it useful is the relationships- You can store lists of stuff (assets, CIs, etc. etc.) in spreadsheets, but it's the ability to store relational data that makes a CMDB useful- And not only can you not export relationships, but currently it's not even on their roadmap. I got this response from Praveen when I asked about exporting relationships:
"Exporting the CI with relationships is not in roadmap for now but will taken as a feature request for future"
Maybe they'll change their mind in the future, but until then I will not be using any Fresh[x] products because I don't want to be locked in to their solution.
Sorry for the confusion/miscommunication here. We are coming up with a host of upgrades in the reporting module pretty soon which will also feature automated mailing.
I know I did jump the gun by promising you something a bit too early. The thing is we have been spending a lot of time in getting the basics right (we are but a year and a half old product) before going in for the "good to have" features. In the time since I promised you the feature, we have rolled out our now famous service catalog, contract management, integration with Bomgar, Box, mobile apps (for agents and users), barcode scanning through our iOS app and much more. In the same time, we also went from a few hundred customers to close to 4000 customers. Hence, we had to get back to strengthening our infrastructure and scale engineering accordingly. The scaling up part was actually a pretty good problem to have. :)
And the premise of Fresh[x] products is that we do not lock in your data. All your data is available at any point in time in your admin console (Screenshot below). Not locking in customers is something that is in our basic product philosophy.
Let me know if I can help you with anything else.
I see this is quite an old topic but currently I'm working on using Power BI to display Fresh Service information in an easy to use and shareable dashboard. A scheduled export is key to this functionality as it means I don't have to manually update the data every day or once a week.
The export feature is there, we just need the ability to schedule it on a weekly or daily basis.
I have exactly the same question as Kevin. A PowerBI connection would be highly appreciated.
I have the same need