Gary Sherman
December 20, 2016



Rule Properties

Rule properties are used in a number of places throughout the Dovetail suite, including:

Business Rule ConditionsBusiness Rule Action MessagesCanned Response VariablesTask Manager PropertiesEmail Log Templates

Traditionally, a rule property would traverse a path through the schema, starting from the base object, and ending at a column.

For example, the Contact First Name property for a case would use the path case_reporter2contact:first_name.

However, there are instances where a path cannot be traversed, or where a calculation needs to be made.



For example, you may wish to fire a business rule only if all of the subcases on a case have been closed.

So your two business rule conditions would be:

Number of Subcases is greater than zeroNumber of Open Subcases is equal to zero

Or, you may wish to fire a business rule if the

Gary Sherman
December 6, 2016

One of the things we’ve been experimenting with here at Dovetail is the SelfService Timeline.

When looking at a case in Dovetail Agent, a support agent can see some details about what activities a customer performed within our Selfservice app around the time they created a case.

Agents can see:

When a customer logged inWhat searches they performed, along with how many search results they got backWhich solutions (knowledgebase articles) they viewedAny comments/feedback left on a solution

It shows any activities that customer within a 1 hour window before and after the case was created.

This arms agents with additional information and context about what the customer did around the time they created a case, and agents can avoid providing the same information to a customer.



Improve knowledge sharing

In addition, it gives the

Gary Sherman
December 5, 2016

I’ve had multiple people inquire lately about the focus_obj2act_entry relation.

It’s definitely a bit of a magic relation, and can be confusing, so I figured it was time to blog about it.

Demystifying focus_obj2act_entry


Business rule properties allow you to define a value that is determined by traversing through the schema starting from a particular object.

For example, the Site Name property for a Case has a path of case_reporter2site:name. So when this rule property gets resolved, the property evaluator knows how to turn that schema path into actual SQL, such as:

Pretty straightforward.


focus_obj2act_entry properties

When looking at existing business rule properties, you may notice that some of them start with the relation focus_obj2act_entry.

For example, the Logger property uses focus_obj2act_entry:act_entry2user:login_name



Notice the “focus_obj2act_entry”

Sam Tyson
November 18, 2016

Adding customizations in Dovetail Agent, as of version 13, incorporates numerous changes that make the application easier to customize and extend.

Stepping through a simple example will demonstrate how those changes make it easy to add a customization.



This example shows a customization to enhance the console, adding some eye-catching color for Cases that have a severity level that needs attention. If a Case has a Medium severity, the row should be pink, orange for a High severity Case, and if a Case severity is Urgent, then make the row red.

By default, all rows in the console have a white background, so adding some colors will make those cases stand out. Cases with severity levels below Medium will still have the white background.



To accomplish this customization, the Cases with raised severity shown in the Case grid on the console need to have

Gary Sherman
November 14, 2016

I recently posted about how to Query Anything with Dovetail Agent. Specifically I showed how to setup a custom query for part inventory.

In this post, we’ll look at creating a specialized flavor of a existing query.

We have built-in query capabilities for work items (including cases), but instead, lets walk-through an example of allowing for querying on case activities.


For example, show me how many cases were dispatched to the benefits queue in the last 90 days.

For case activities, we’ll need to query the activity log (table_act_entry). In general, I discourage querying against this table using your online production database, as it’s typically the biggest table in the database, and queries against this table can adversely affect performance for everyone using the system. But, depending on your particular use

Gary Sherman

Recently, I talked about the new SDK Toolkit Extension in Dovetail Carrier, which allows for executing methods within the Dovetail SDK Toolkits, without writing any code.

I also discussed how I was able to remove some custom scripts from our own production environment, and replaced them with this new SDK Toolkit extension.

I absolutely LOVE this new capability within the system, and I’m super excited to see how our customers use this power.


I received an email from one of our customers this past week detailing how they’ve been able to take advantage of this new functionality.

Just wanted to pass along that we implemented a biz rule action to call into the Support SDK directly in PROD.  Pretty awesome stuff!   Use case here is that an external process

Gary Sherman
November 11, 2016

In this post, we’ll look at how to create new ad-hoc queries to query anything in your system, purely via configuration.

For those that have been around the Clarify/Dovetail/First Choice space for a while, you might remember that we used to have an add-on product for the Clarify Client named Query Anything. So yes, this post title is a nod to that. 

This is a continuation of the series on queries within Dovetail Agent, so it might be useful to first review the previous posts:

An overview of configuring queries in Dovetail AgentHow to override the baseline queries



Out of the box, Dovetail Agent allows for ad-hoc queries on:

AccountsContactsContractsEmployeesSite PartsSites

These are all great – but its common that we want to query on other objects – other baseline Clarify objects, or

Gary Sherman
November 10, 2016

In my last post, I covered the Query Filter Config files, and how they’re used to define a query.

Now, lets have a look at how we can override the baseline queries, customizing them for your specific implementation.




Customizing a filter config doesn’t mean you have to write rewrite the existing ones. You can write a config file just describing the customizations you need.

We call these Filter Overrides.

Using filter overrides, we can:

remove a Columnremove a Facetremove a Fieldadd a Facetadd a Fieldadd a Columnadd a Join


Example Filter Override

This is an example of a custom filter override file.

We’ll override the Cases query, which is part of My Work, and adhoc queries on Work Items.


Lets walk through the different elements and see how they’re used.



The filter element allows us to define

Gary Sherman
November 8, 2016

I’ve talked in the past about the power of queries within Dovetail Agent and how end users can build and use them.

In this post, I’ll dive a bit deeper into how queries are configured, and how they can be configured and customized.




Query Configuration

Queries within the app are driven by filter config files. This includes:

Adhoc Queries available from the top-level Query menu, including:Work Items (Case/Subcase/Solution/Change Request/Part Request)Accounts, Contacts, Contracts, Employees, Site Parts, SitesCustom queriesTabs that contain filterable queries (such as the Contacts tab on the Site page)


Filter Config Files

Filter Config Files are XML files that define:

what tables/views are being queriedjoinswhat filters (facets) are available for the user to filter the query bywhat non-facet fields are queried for use in output datawhat output data is returned to the front-end of

Gary Sherman
November 4, 2016

Within Dovetail Agent, we support both Subcases, and Parent-Child Cases.

A common question is: What’s the difference, and when would I use one vs the other?

So lets address that question here.




Subcases allow for multiple employees to work in parallel on a single Case.  You can “subcontract” pieces of the work to other employees.


For example, we may have a Case for a New Employee. As part of that, we can create 3 subcases:

Create a General subcase for setting up the employee’s network account and dispatch to the Network queue. Create an Administrative subcase for ordering business cards and assign to the office

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