Getting Started with Automation Rules

This getting started article will help ticketing application administrators to configure automation rules. The user must have application administrator or system administrator permissions in TDAdmin.


Ticket automation rules enable you to automate some repeatable, consistent actions, such as automatically assigning a ticket to a group, changing its priority, and applying a workflow to a ticket. Automation rules can reduce the amount of time that technicians spend processing tickets. For example, if a technician assigns 20 similar tickets to the same group every week, you can create a rule to automatically assign tickets with those specific criteria to the appropriate group.

Each Ticketing Application has its own set of automation rules that function as a pre-configured series of steps that fire when a ticket is created. They are made up of an evaluation order, conditions, and actions. Automation rules are configured to match specific ticket values, such as the ticket's Service, Form, Acct/Dept, Requestor, etc. If the values in a new ticket match the rule criteria, pre-configured action(s) will be executed against the ticket.

These rules only apply when a new ticket is created, not when a ticket is edited, updated or commented on. Tickets are only evaluated once for automation rule processing, before any automation rules are run. The criteria that each of the automation rules evaluate against are the criteria the ticket had at the point it was created. This means that changes made by an automation rule will not be considered by subsequent automation rules. It should be noted that automation rules apply to tickets after it is created, which means that the ticket will create, then automation rules will be applied. When a rule is applied, it acts as a change to that ticket. This might impact your reporting on initial responsibility as the form selections/defaults for responsibility will be the initial assignment, if present.

Tickets created via the Excel import process are not affected by automation rules. Only tickets created via the Client Portal, Ticketing Application, web services or web API are affected by these rules.

Where to Find This

This feature appears in the TDAdmin interface. System administrators (those with access to TDAdmin) will be able to navigate directly to the admin functions in the ticketing application; application administrators (those without access to TDAdmin, but who are designated as application administrators for the ticketing app) will be able to navigate to the admin functions via the cog in the top right corner of the ticketing app (next to search) in TDNext.

Navigate to Automation Rules by following these paths:

  • TDAdmin > Applications > [Ticketing Application Name] > Automation Rules
  • TDNext > [Ticketing Application Name] > Cog in top right corner > Admin > Automation Rules

How Automation Rules are Evaluated

When a new ticket is created, the system looks at the field values saved in the ticket and compares them against the automation rules, one by one.

The evaluation order determines the sequence that the rules are looked at for a match. No matter how many automation rules you have, they are evaluated in sequential order, from lowest to highest.

More than one rule can be configured for the same field, with different actions for different values. This could be the case if one rule applies to tickets where Priority = High, and another where Priority = Medium. The action would execute for whichever of the two rules matched the value in the ticket’s Priority field.

Each rule can include a Stop on Match value, which means if the conditions of this rule are met, none of the rules after this rule will be evaluated.

Here is an example set of rules illustrating some of the evaluation order, criteria and actions:

  • Rule 1, evaluation order 10 – If the Priority is equal to High, notify the IT Manager and Stop processing further rules.
  • Rule 2, evaluation order 20 – If the Service is equal to New Password, assign to the IT Service Desk group.
  • Rule 3, evaluation order 30 – If the Priority is equal to Medium, assign to the IT Service Desk group.
  • Rule 4, evaluation order 40 – If the Service is equal to New Account, assign to Workflow Account Provisioning Workflow and notify Identity and Access group.
  • Rule 5, evaluation order 50 – If the Acct/Dept is the President’s Office, assign to SLA VIP.

Two or More Rules with the Same Evaluation Order

If you have two or more rules with the same evaluation order, the rules will be evaluated in alphabetical order. That said, we recommend giving each automation rule its own evaluation order unless you're sure the rules will never both attach to the same ticket.

For example, it would probably be OK for these two automation rules to have the same order:

  • (evaluation order 10) Rule #1: If Ticket Type = "X"
  • (evaluation order 10) Rule #2: If Ticket Type = "Y"

It would be OK for these to have the same evaluation order because there's no way for the same ticket to have two different ticket types.

However, it would probably NOT be a good idea for these two automation rules to have the same order:

  • (evaluation order 10) Rule #1: If Ticket Type = "X"
  • (evaluation order 10) Rule #2: If Priority = "High"

That's because both these rules could attach to the same ticket. You might then start to be confused about which rule is being evaluated first.

Automation Criteria Use the Ticket's Values at The Time of Ticket Creation

Even if an automation rule changes a value in a ticket, subsequent automation rule criteria will continue to evaluate against the original ticket value.

Consider this scenario:

  • Ticket 123 is created with Acct/Dept set to "Example" and responsible set to "" (i.e. responsible is blank)
  • Automation rule #1 has criteria "If responsible is not set AND acct/dept = Example," then "set responsible to Group X."
  • Automation rule #2 has criteria "if responsible is not set" and rule "set responsible to Group Y"

In the above scenario, ticket 123's responsible value will be set to Group Y, not Group X. Automation rule #1 matches and sets responsible to Group X. Automation rule #2 then matches based on the ticket's values at the point of creation and sets responsible to Group Y.

Creating an Automation Rule

Create a new automation rule

To create a new rule:

  1. In TDAdmin, navigate to Applications > [Ticketing Application Name] > Automation Rules.
  2. Click the +New button.
  3. On the New Automation Rule page, enter a Name that indicates what the rule does.
  4. Enter the Evaluation Order.
  5. If you want the automation to stop running when this rule is processed, leave the Stop on Match box checked. To continue processing rules, uncheck it.
  6. Enter a brief Description of how the automation rule affects tickets.
  7. Click Save.
  8. On the newly created Automation Rule Detail page, click the Edit button.
  9. Click the Active checkbox.

    Active automation rules will not take effect until at least one condition is specified. Thus, a rule must both be Active and have at least one configuration rule before it is evaluated upon ticket creation.

Configure the automation conditions

To set up the conditions which must be met for the rule’s actions to be executed on the ticket:

  1. Select a Column from the dropdown.
  2. Choose an Operator from the dropdown if needed.
  3. Select the Value that must be matched in the new ticket.
    Learn more about using the Advanced Filter here.

Configure the automation actions

To set up the actions that execute on tickets that match the rule conditions:

  1. Select the relevant action(s)
  2. Select the appropriate values from the dropdowns and/or lookup fields.
  3. When you have selected the actions/values you need for the rule, click Save.

Note that while it is possible to select all actions, in practice you will typically only select a few at most for a given rule.

Automation Rule Best Practices

  • Leave space between evaluation order numbers to leave room for adding rules later.
    For example, you could number your rules 10, 20, 30 so you could add 15, 25, 36, 37 later. You could really give yourself lots of room like 1000, 2000, 3000. Don’t worry about using large numbers.
  • Cluster your automation rules by type. For example, you might want to have rules 1000-1999 be about prioritization, rules 2000-2999 be about service level agreements, and rules 3000-3999 to be about assignment.
  • Be judicious about using Stop on Match. While it is okay to use Stop on Match for every rule, if you want more than one automation rule to apply on a ticket, you will need to review all uses of Stop on Match to make sure they're appropriate.
  • Consider putting default values such as "if responsible is not set then set to Service Desk," early in your evaluation order so that later rules can overwrite the default.

Gotchas & Pitfalls

  • The most common issue with the use of automation rules is unintended consequences, whereby some tickets are not processed in the desired/intended way. This is usually the result of conflicts created by a combination of an incorrect evaluation order and application of Stop on Match.
  • Remember that even if an automation rule changes a value in a ticket, subsequent automation rule criteria will continue to evaluate against the original ticket value.
  • Some automation rule condition sets can get lengthy and complex – following the best practices listed above will help to mitigate this.


Article ID: 42141
Tue 11/7/17 4:04 PM
Thu 10/21/21 6:17 PM