Glossary of Terms

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These terms relate to the concepts and products described in this document.


A user of Supportworks.

Analyst Portal

A Web-based application allowing analysts to log, examine and progress requests, access the Knowledgebase, and access more detailed functionality using ActiveX, which exactly reflects the forms you use.

Availability Management

The process of defining, analysing, planning, measuring and improving all aspects of the availability of IT services. Availability Management in Supportworks is handled within Services and Configuration Items.


A snapshot of the status of a Configuration Item (CI) at a particular time. This snapshot is useful as a reference of the original state and as a comparison against the current position.

Business Customer

The person who is the recipient of a Service. This person will be able to raise Service Requests for that Service, using the SelfService Portal.

Business Owner

The person who is the sponsor (from a Business Perspective) for a Service. This person will get a specific view of the Service from within the SelfService Portal.

Business Process

A process that is used to progress Change and Release Requests. A Business Process consists of one or more stages, each of which may be contain one or more specific Tasks.


A Supportworks feature allowing you to book meetings and organise time.


A general term for a request by or for a customer, for support, information or appropriate action. Within Supportworks ITSM, Incidents, Problems, Known Errors, and Requests for Change are all types of call.

Call Details form

A form displaying the details of a call, as obtained from the call record.

Call diary

A history of all significant changes to a call, linked to the corresponding call record.


A label used to classify CIs, for searching and reporting purposes. Common Categories include: Hardware, Document, User and so on.


This is the addition, modification or removal of anything - normally a Configuration Item - that could have an effect on IT services. A Change can be a replacement or fix if the Configuration Item is a functional asset, or generation or modification if the item is a procedural document or process. Within Supportworks, Changes are represented by RFCs.

Change Management

The Process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all Changes. The primary objective of Change Management is to enable beneficial Changes to be made, with minimum disruption to IT Services.

Change Request

A request for a change to a CI. Change Requests are initiated by creating a Request For Change (RFC) form.

Charge Centre

A departmental group within an organisation, against which cross-charging may or may not be applied.

Configuration Item (CI)

Some component of your system's infrastructure - for example, a piece of hardware.

Configuration Management

The process of identifying and defining the Configuration items in a system, recording and reporting the status of Configuration Items and Requests for Change, and verifying the completeness and correctness of CIs.

Configuration Management Database (CMDB)

This is the series of database tables used for storing information on the supported Configuration Items, their categories and their dependency relationships. They include the Configuration Item table, the Configuration Item Type table and the Configuration Item Dependency table.

Configuration Type A record in Supportworks, used to provide a common set of "template" information, which can then be applied to a set of CIs.


A written understanding between two parties, for example between Customers and yourselves.


This is any individual person within your organisation, or within a client organisation, who receives services such as support from your team.


See Supportworks Dashboard.

Definitive Media Library (DML)

One or more locations in which the definitive and approved versions of all software Configuration Items are securely stored. In Supportworks, DML records are accessible for Service and CI details.


A change of status which has significance for the management of a Configuration Item or an IT Service. Events can trigger specific processes and actions within Supportworks - for example, logging an Incident or a Problem for an Event associated with a particular CI.


A measure of the effect of an Incident, Problem or Change on Business Processes. Often equal to the extent to which an incident leads to distortion of agreed or expected service levels. Within Supportworks, Impact and Urgency can be used to define default Priority levels.


An unplanned event, which may cause an interruption to a service, or a reduction in the quality of a service. Within Supportworks, an Incident record is a type of request. Incidents are managed using Incident Management.


A feature of Supportworks allowing your organisation to store, access and make available support knowledge.

Known Error (KE)

This is created from a Problem, when a workaround for that Problem has been identified. Known Errors will have root causes, and are resolved using either a temporary workaround or a permanent fix. The resolution may or may not require a Change Request.

My Library

A feature of Supportworks allowing your organisation to store common and individual files and Web resources.

Operational Level Agreement (OLA) An agreement between an IT Service Provider and another part of the same Organisation, to support the IT Service Provider's delivery of IT Services to Customers (as defined in SLAs).

Operator script

A set of questions assigned to a call profile, for the support analyst to ask the customer when logging a new call.


This is either your own organisation or any client organisation to which your organisation is contracted to provide IT support.


The (unknown) underlying cause of one or more Incidents. The key defining factor of a Problem is that it will affect more than one customer, whether they report an Incident or not. If multiple Incidents arising from the same root cause have been raised, they can all be associated with a single Problem. Within Supportworks, Problems are types of requests, and are handled with Problem Management.


A hierarchical categorisation applied to a request when logging it. Subsequently used to aid searching and reporting.


A collection of hardware, software, documentation, processes or other Components required to implement one or more approved Changes to IT Services. Within Supportworks, a Release record is a type of request, and is handled with Release Management.

Request For Change (RFC)

See Change.

Request Fulfilment

The process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all Service Requests.


The co-ordinated performance of one or more "activities" by one or more people on behalf of someone else. A Service has at least two participants: a performer who will perform the activities involved, and a customer who accepts the activities.

Services take be Business Services (Front Office) or IT Technical Services (Back Office).

Service Catalog

A list of services that an organization provides to its employees or customers. A Service Catalog is the customer-visible part of the Service Portfolio.

Service Delivery

Delivery of the services that the business requires to support users, including:

  • Service Level Management
  • Capacity Management
  • IT Service Continuity Management
  • Availability Management
  • Financial Management

Service Desk

The single point of contact between the Service Provider and the Users. A typical Service Desk manages Incidents and Service Requests, and also handles communication with the Users.

Service Level Agreement (SLA)

A formal agreement between a Service Provider (such as a Service Desk) and that provider's customers, to provide a certain level of service. Within Supportworks, SLAs can be associated with OLAs.

Service Level Management

This is the process responsible for ensuring that the agreed IT services are delivered when and where they are supposed to be. Service Level Management functions within Supportworks include management for Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Operational Level Agreements (OLAs), and Support Contracts.

Service Portfolio

The complete set of Services that are managed by a Service Provider. The Service Portfolio is used to manage the entire Lifecycle of all Services, and includes three Categories:

  • Service Pipeline (proposed or in Development)
  • Service Catalog (Live or available for Deployment)
  • Retired Services.

Within Supportworks, the Service Portfolio is handled by Service Portfolio Management functions.

Service Request

A request from a User for access to a Business Service. For example, to provide standard IT Services for a new User. Service Requests are handled by Request Fulfilment.


An area (such as a department) within an Organisation.

Support Contract

Within Supportworks, there are two meanings for this:

  1. An agreement between your organisation and a third-part supplier, managed as part of Service Level Management, as an implementation of the ITIL "Underpinning Contract" concept.
  2. An agreement between your organisation and one of your client organisations; defining the contractual details for the service you provide to them.

Support group

A named group of support analysts.

Support Request

This is any request, made via SelfService, that relates to a failure in the IT infrastructure. The customer either submits the relevant details for logging in the system, or they request a call-back from the service desk. In the former case, the request becomes an Incident, whereas, in the latter case, it becomes a call whose class is Callback.

Supportworks Client

The main Supportworks application interface used by the support analysts to carry out their job.

Supportworks Dashboard

A Supportworks application, used to display real-time call related information in the form of graphs.

Supportworks ESP (Enterprise Support Platform)

A fully integrated platform for automating and managing Request and Service Management related business processes. The Supportworks ESP is the foundation of Hornbill's Employee, Customer and Business Support solutions.

Supportworks Messenger

A Supportworks application that shows notification messages regarding call actions on a real-time basis, and that runs automatically when you start the Supportworks Client.

Supportworks SelfService

A Supportworks application, allowing your supported customers to log, track and update calls to your helpdesk over the Web.

Supportworks server

The controlling "heart" of Supportworks ESP, holding all central configuration information.


This is an optional component of a stage within a Business Process. Tasks define the specific activities to be carried out at any stage.

Third-party Supplier

A person, group, or business who are required to ensure successful delivery of a Service - such as a hardware maintenance company. Requirements for Third Parties are specified in Support Contracts.

Underpinning Contract

See Support Contract.


A measure of how long it will be until an Incident, Problem or Change has a significant impact on the Business. For example a high Impact Incident may have low Urgency, if the Impact will not affect the Business until the end of the financial year. Within Supportworks, Impact and Urgency can be used to define default SLA levels.