Alternate Subject


Table of contents

Important Information - Before You Start

The alternate subject configuration is done within the configuration of the SR types and incident templates, in the reference data management. The "Octopus Administrator" permission is required. 

It is recommended to already have structured the Custom form of your SR or incident template before you start. This will help you decide which variable to include in the alternate subject. 

This type of advanced configuration is more complex and requires more time, a good knowledge of Octopus is an asset. It will be very important to validate (run tests) before you apply the results in production with you workgroups. 


This option allows the generation of a request wtih a subject different from the template's name. The alternate subject works with expressions from the Custom form (personalized variables) or with the Octopus variables. 

You can see the results bellow. In our scenario, the Web form contains an alternate subject that uses Octopus variables to obtain the first and last name of the user as well as a personalize variable that enters the date for a move. 

The alternate subject will work for requests created from the Web Portal as well as in the Octopus application. 

However, if the variables used in the subject are provided by information from the Custom form, this one will become mandatory.


This is the result you get once the form is completed, when using the alternate subject: 

How It Works

To configure the alternate subjects, an Octopus User must have "Octopus administrator" rights and must access the configuration of the SR type or incident templates via "Tools>Reference data management…" and go to "Service Request\Types" or "Incident\Template

To understand the way the alternate subject works we will add an alternate subject to the "Moving IT Equipment" service request

Octopus Variables

You can add variables that already exist in Octopus. From within the alternate subject line, press  and select the variable that you want to use. In our example we will display the first and last name of the user. 



Custom Variables

To add a custom variable in the alternate subject, you need to use the fields from the Web form. In order to do this, name the variable as define bellow. 

  1. the name of the filed must be in double square brackets and preceded by a dollar sign ($): $Field
  2. if the field name is made out of more then one word, the spaces must be taken out $NameOfTheField
  3. if the name of the field is found spelled the same way in more then one field, for example, an "Other" field, then you must add the section header name to the field name in order to create the variable: $NameOfSection.NameOfTheField

Let's go back to our equipment move form and add the date of the requested move in the alternate subject. The alternate subject must contain the section and the associated variable. 

  • The name of the section is Identification and planning 
  • The variable we will use will be:
    • $MovingDate
  • With the name of the section we get:
    • $Identificationandplanning.MovingDate

TRICK: Copy the field as is form the Web form and then take out the spaces and non-supported characters

Supported Characters

You can use the following characters in the names of the headers and fields: 
accents are supported

Unsupported Characters

Certain characters are not supported; if they are part of the header or field name they must be taken out from the variables. 
Period (.) 
Comma (,) 
Brackets ( )
Apostrophe (')

For example if the field in your form is named "Date, Time" you will write it DateTime in the subject.
Help us improve our articles

Help us improve our articles