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Use Configuration Items and Configuration Management

Learn how to use and set up Configuration Management in Service Desk.

Use Configuration Items and Configuration Management

Configuration Management allows you create, track and maintain Configuration Items and their relationships within an account. Configuration items can be any individual, location or device connected to your account. By adding enough Configuration Items and their relationships, you can build up an interconnected database of people, machines and locations, which helps you maintain control over them and their affiliated incidents, changes and problems. In ITIL, this is known as a Configuration Management DataBase (CMDB). Service Desk makes collecting and tracking all of this data as easy as possible.

Configuration management is all about identifying, defining and mapping all your assets and their relationships to one another. It's also about maintaining control over these assets (or 'Configuration Items') through effective incident, problem and release and change management. Understand what affects what, what's causing you the most trouble, and where your hot spots are. Configuration is a complex subject, and one of the hardest ITIL processes to implement. An in-depth description of configuration management can be found on Wikipedia's ITIL page.

Access Configuration Management

You can access the features in this article at Service Desk > Config Management.
Note:  If you do not have this option in your Service Desk drop-down menu, you do not have Configuration Management rights. Only administrators on your account can give you those rights.
On the Configuration Management home page, you can navigate the hierarchy, create categories, and even change the desired attributes for each category. For each Configuration Item, can also see the number of related incidents, problems, changes and releases.

Configuration Management User Roles

All agents have the ability to link Configuration Items to incidents, problems, changes, releases and knowledge articles, regardless of their Configuration permissions. Account administrators can also choose to grant configuration management access on a per-user basis at Configure > Users > select user. Administrators can choose to give agents 1, both or neither of the following permissions:
  • Config Management User These agents can access the Configuration Management section, where they can add, edit, browse and delete Configuration Items and their relationships
  • Config Management Administrator These agents have the same permissions as Config Management Users, but can also manage configuration categories, attributes and relationship types.

About Configuration Items

Configuration Items vary widely, but include anything related to your account that you want to track. Examples of Configuration Items include software and applications, locations and offices, employees and customers, documentation, hardware and companies, and even your incidents, changes and customers. Each Configuration Item must include the following:
  • Name and description
  • Category (and possibly sub-categories, if applicable)
  • Direct relationships with other Configuration Items


Every Configuration Item must have a category (and possibly sub-categories) that define what type of item it is. Service Desk includes 7 default categories: companies, documentation, hardware, locations, people, services and software. Categories and subcategories can be added, edited or deleted from the Configuration Management home page by clicking Manage Categories in the right navigation (to manage subcategories, select a category then click Manage Subcategories in the right navigation).
Note:  If you create subcategories, then any Configuration Item added to that subcategory will automatically inherit its parent attributes. When browsing the Configuration Items, simply use the links in the right navigation to manage the categories and attributes.


You can also label your Configuration Items with attributes, which can be anything related to the item (much like custom fields). Attributes are a free-form text field, so they are simply a place to capture whatever information is relevant to supporting the piece of equipment. For example, for servers you might wish to add the IP address, server specs, warranty details, and primary contact information. You can add, edit and delete Attributes from the Configuration Management home page by clicking Manage Attributes in the right navigation.


Configuration items are interlinked with each other using relationships, which define the type of relationship each item has with any other items it is related to. Service Desk comes with a set of commonly used relationships, but you can also edit these and/or add additional relationship types from the Configuration Management home page by clicking Manage Relationship Types in the right navigation. Relationships are further categorized by the strength of the relationship, as follows:
  • Hard – This configuration item will be directly affected if the related item is out of commission.
  • Soft – This configuration item will not be directly affected if the related item is out of commission.
  • Redundant – This only applies when you have more than one related item with a redundant relationship (i.e., this Configuration item will only be affected if all redundantly related items are out of commission).

Related articles

Getting Started with Configuration Management

Create & Delete Configuration Items

View & Manage Configuration Items

Article last updated: 27 September, 2022