Whether you use custom fields or tags depends on where you need to attach the metadata labels



TagsCustom Fields
Imported from cloud providers into SESConfigured in SES
Attached to cloud resourcesAttached to customers or cloud accounts
Defined by users/customersDefined by you (SES partners)
View-able and editable by customersNot view-able or editable by customers



Custom fields


Custom fields are metadata that help you integrate SES billing and marketplace data with third-party systems.

There are two types of custom fields:

  • Customer fields – Unique metadata fields that are applied to SES-defined customers.
  • Cloud account fields – In SES, a customer can be associated with multiple cloud accounts. Cloud account fields allow you to differentiate accounts from each other for a given customer.

Custom fields are not visible to or editable by end users. This is important for SAP integrations, for example, because you cannot allow your customers to edit resource labels if those labels are necessary inputs to your billing system.

Any project codes and internal codes are meaningless to SES, but they might, for example, tell your internal systems which business unit owns the customer relationship, what their compensation schema is relative to that usage for that business unit, and how the invoice is routed through your internal systems.


How custom fields work

First, you attach custom fields as metadata to a customer or cloud account.

Then, your existing third-party systems – such as ERP or billing systems – can translate this metadata into relevant fields.


        SAP account Example

        A commonly used customer field for a SAP account might be named and labeled something like SAP_ID_Internal, where Internal can be any code.

        This field would not be visible to a customer, but would be attached to a customer entity for integration with an SAP system.



Configure a custom field


GO TO SETTINGS > COST MANAGEMENT > CUSTOMER FIELDS

OR

GO TO SETTINGS > COST MANAGEMENT > GO TO CLOUD ACCOUNT FIELDS

  1. Click Add.
  2. Enter a descriptive name.

    The name is a unique key that you can use in querying the API.

  3. Enter a descriptive label.

    The label is the human-readable name that appears in reports and dashboards.

    Note: It is not required, but it might be a best practice for the name and the label to be the same.
  4. (Optional) By default, custom fields are included in billing reports as an added column that you can use to group, sort, and filter data.

    Including custom fields in billing reports is relevant for IaaS resellers, for example. You can disable this feature by clicking the slider.

  5. Click Save.


Populate custom fields


After you create a custom field, it is available to be populated with metadata values within each customer or partner. Custom Cloud Account Fields function in the same way, except the metadata is attached to an account within a customer entity.


Once populated, you can use these fields to filter and query reports and dashboards.

In addition, you can add custom fields to invoice headers. In Settings > Billing > Invoice Options, select Include custom fields in invoice header.


For customers

GO TO CUSTOMERS

  1. Edit a customer and select Custom fields or Cloud accounts.
  2. Enter customer-specific or account-specific data into the custom fields.

For partners

GO TO PARTNERS

  1. Edit a partner and select Custom fields.
  2. Enter partner-specific data into the custom fields.

 

*Example

Let’s say you have many customers that are covered by a limited number of sales people. For commission reports, 

you need to allocate each customer to a salesperson.


To accomplish this, create a custom customer field named "Salesperson" and define this value within each SES customer.

After the field is defined and populated, you can customize your SES dashboards and reports to group content by these values.


Create the custom field



Populate the custom field


Use the custom field in a deployment



Configure tags


A cloud tag is typically a resource ID metadata that says, for example, "This specific virtual machine was used for this particular reason."

Tags are user-defined, typically. Because they're user defined through the console when the cloud resource is launched, tags are in the 

hands of users and thus can be edited by users.

Like custom fields, tags are a kind of metadata. Tags enable end users to categorize their cloud resources in different ways, for example, 

by purpose, owner, or environment. This is useful when end users have many resources of the same type. They can quickly identify a specific 

resource based on the tags they've assigned to it.


Note: Different cloud providers might have different names for tags. For instance, in GCP, they're called labels.



View, search, and edit tags


GO TO COST MANAGEMENT >TAGS


Columns:

  • Cloud Provider – The originator of the cloud resource. Example: Amazon Web Services.
  • Tag Key Name – The name of the tag, defined by the end user.
  • Renamed Tag Key – The new name for the tag, defined by you.
  • Active – If yes, the tag appears in SES dashboards and reports.

To find tags or filter the list, use the search function.

To edit a tag, select the tag and click Edit.


The editable attributes are:

  • Renamed Tag Key
  • Available in Dashboards and Reports (makes the tag "Active")