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1 Post authored by: Abhinav Gupta

How many catalog items are built or enhanced every month in your company? How many of the edits involve data changes to question choices? How many workflows are required to support these items? What if catalog forms and workflows could be standardized and simplified by using data look-ups rather than relying on configuration changes to silo-ed catalog items and workflows?


As Service Catalog usage grows in an organization, catalog admins have to handle a lot of demand for new items and changes to existing items including changes to workflow to support evolving business processes. A lot of the development effort and resources spent in managing silo-ed items and customized workflows can be eliminated by adopting a data driven approach:


  1. Catalog Item variables are often not standardized and contain a multitude of drop down values that require catalog admins to update choice values within the variable record (aka configuration changes). By leveraging reference variables that look-up data from a table, choice value maintenance can be as easy as any maintenance of data elements like Groups or Locations. Creating new items is simplified by bundling these reference variables into reusable variable sets.
  2. Request fulfillment workflows can get pretty complex when trying to handle evolving business processes from various business units, locations, vendors etc. By routing approvals and tasks based on data look-up, a single workflow can be reused to support multiple fulfillment processes across catalog items. Creating new and updating existing workflows then just become a matter of data maintenance.


Centralizing the data and functionality within your catalog provides an easy way to:

  1. Reduce build time of catalog items by reusing already defined logic
  2. Create a cohesive experience for end users by reusing variable sets
  3. Consolidate multiple catalog items
  4. Allow catalog admins to use Item Creator to generate catalog items with localized approvals and other complex workflow elements with no coding necessary.


This year at creatorcon me and my colleagues – rbaumont and aremtulla - from KPMG are leading a hands on workshop on building a data driven catalog. Attendees will experience KPMG’s vision of “data-driven” catalog items and associated workflows. They will learn how to create a catalog items using Item Designer in which select-able options on the form, location based approvals as well as task assignment can be driven by supporting data tables.


If you are interested in attending, please sign up for this workshop at CreatorCon using the session builder.  If you have additional questions, please post them below.

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