ServiceNow: London Release (Updated features)

Greetings…

Welcome to my second post on London release the latest version released by ServiceNow.

As you guys can guess from the title that I am going to talk about some of the key updates, which in my point of view will help each user of Now platform, whether he/she is a developer or an end-user.

In my previous post I have shared some of the New features of London release titled “ServiceNow: London Release (New features)“.I hope that was helpful for you.

If you haven’t gone through it I will suggest please go through it and let me know in the comments was it helpful and What am I missing? and I’ll add it in.

So let’s dive in…

Updated Features and Products

1. IT Operations Management

Cloud Management:

  • Create scoped applications using the ServiceNow Studio to support new cloud providers and configuration management providers.
  • Move content, created in the Cloud Management application, from one environment to the other using ServiceNow Update Sets.

Discovery:

  • Discovery can recognize an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Organization account and automatically create member service accounts in the instance. If an event occurs on a database in your AWS or Azure cloud, or on a Web Server in your Azure cloud, the event triggers the horizontal discovery process using a pattern to update the CMDB.
  • Use the new and updated patterns that enable Discovery to find new types of Configuration Items (CIs), such as Oracle database clusters, Red Hat clusters, and F5 load balancer clusters.

Event Management:

  • Create alert management rules that respond to alerts. The alert management rule actions are integrated with Flow Designer, which enables you to use subflows to resolve the cause of the alert.
  • Use the Overall Event Count field in the Alert [em_alert] table to track how many events are bound to the alert.
  • Use application services to organize, maintain, and monitor services in your organization. An application service is a set of interconnected applications and hosts that are configured to offer a service to the organization.

Operational Intelligence:

  • Operational Intelligence enhances Event Management by providing alert data analysis and reports.
  • Use a central location to view important reports about anomaly alerts and promoted alerts, in relation to Event Management alerts.
  • Query metric data for configuration items (CIs) for which metric data is collected. CIs for the query can be from different sources such as application services, relationships, or a list of anomalous CIs. Query results are displayed in charts which let you further understand system behavior.
  • Use an anomaly model to test anomaly detection for a small set of specific CIs and metrics, before actually enabling anomaly detection for those CIs and metrics. Model testing simulates anomaly detection using actual metric data. You can then view the results in the Insights Explorer which is pre-loaded with the test results. You can compare anomaly test scores and the computed bounds to the results of actual anomaly detection.

Service Mapping:

  • Use application services to create, maintain, and manage services in a unified way in Service Mapping, the CMDB, and other ServiceNow applications.
  • The Service Map Planner module is deprecated. If you used this feature prior to upgrading, the Service Map Planner module is not removed from upgraded deployments.
2. IT Service Management

Asset Management:

  • Can create a relationship between contracts using two contract fields. Specify the contract number assigned by the vendor in the Contract number field. Reference a parent contract using a lookup list in the Parent contract field, or create a new parent contract.
  • Track the approval history of a contract using a related list instead of the contract approval history journal.
  • The Approval History tab has been removed from the Contract Management form, and was replaced by the Approval History related list.

Benchmarks:

  • The Benchmarks application gives you instant visibility into your key performance indicators (KPIs) and trends, as well as comparative insight relative to industry averages of your peers.
  • Email notifications are sent to the Benchmarks admin role only. Notifications include monthly global score availability, historical data recalculation, and KPI updates.

Change Management:

  • A new Change Schedules scoped application is introduced. Here you can define an unlimited number of change schedules which include related definitions allowing the display of related change tasks.
  • A new Source list is added to the Blackout Schedules and Maintenance Schedules forms. From the Source list, you can select the source of the blackout schedule, which includes Business Service, Change Request, and CI Class options.
  • Enhanced the approval summarizer in approval records associated with a change request to include additional information from the change request record.

Incident Communications Management:

  • A new state model for incident communication plan is introduced. This state model is available only for new users. The new state model has three states: Open, Closed, and Canceled.
  • Renamed Incident Alert Management as Incident Communications Management.
  • Renamed Incident Alert as Incident Communication Plan.
  • Renamed Incident Alert Tasks as Incident Communication Tasks.
  • Renamed Incident Alert Management as Incident Communications Management.
  • Renamed My Alerts as My Communication Plans.
  • Renamed the Incident Alert Management plugin (com.snc.iam) as the Incident Communications Management plugin.
  • Incident Communication Plan form: Removed the Activity and Post Incident Review sections.
  • Conference call participants who are fetched frequently in a conference call option is no longer a part of the recommended list in the conference call participant dialog.
  • Disabled the UI action View PIR Report.
  • Removed the Send SMS UI Action.

Incident Management:

  • The Show “Create Incident” link property is removed from the Incident Management Properties UI because this field is related to Knowledge Management.
  • The major incident manager is responsible for a major incident when a child incident is promoted. Currently, even though the incident is promoted to a major incident, a caller has access to resolve or reopen the major incident.
  • Starting this release, an ESS user is unable to resolve, reopen, or close a major incident even if the user is the caller.Click Create Request from the context menu on the Incident form and select a record producer to create the request.
  • Introduced a new UI action Create Standard Change to create a standard change request from an incident which redirects the user to the Standard Change Catalog. Previously, only a normal or emergency change request could be created from an incident.
  • Use the Close open Incident Tasks when Incident is closed or canceled property to close open incident tasks when the incident is closed or canceled.
  • Use the Close open Incident Communication Plans when Incident is closed or canceled property to close open incident communication plans when the incident is closed or canceled.
  • Use the Close open Incident Communication Tasks when an Incident Communication Plan is closed or canceled property to close open incident communication tasks when an incident communication plan is closed or canceled.
  • Use the Enable auto closure of incidents based on Resolution date. Setting this to ‘No’ will make auto closure to run based on the Updated date property to auto-close incidents based on the resolution date of the incident instead of the last updated date.
  • If an ITIL user reopens the parent incident, the parent incident and child incidents reopen. Both the parent and the child incident state are set to In Progress.
  • If an ESS user reopens the parent incident, the parent incident state is set to In Progress, but the child incidents are not reopened.
  • When an ITIL or an ESS user adds a child, the child incident state is set to In Progress. When the parent incident is resolved, the child incident state also changes to Resolved.
  • Added a new Demote Major Incident UI option to the context menu of the Incident form. After a major incident candidate is promoted as a major incident and the major incident state changes to Accepted, a major incident manager can decide to demote a major incident by clicking Demote Major Incident.
  • ITIL users can see the Business Service Management (BSM) map or dependency view for a business service on the Incident, Problem, and Change request form.

Service Level Management:

  • Added a feature called SLA breakdowns. When activated and configured, you can generate breakdown data for each task SLA record by the Assignment group and the Assigned to field, capturing every user and group that owned the related task, the order they owned it, the amount of time and percentage of SLA duration their ownership consumed, and whether the SLA was breached while they owned the task. SLA breakdowns helps identify which users or groups helped to achieve an SLA or identify users and groups who most contributed to an SLA breach.
  • Deprecated and replaced the SLA homepage with an all new SLA Overview dashboard.
  • Added field styles to the Task SLA list view, replacing the legacy colored dots with a bar graph which is colored based on the amount of SLA duration that has elapsed.
  • Service Catalog:
  • Removed sc_cat_item_producer from the exclusion list of the glide.sc.item.order_guide_exclusion property.
  • Use a multi-row variable set to capture variable data in a table layout while submitting a catalog item request for a group of entities.
  • Use the Checkout Shopping Cart server test step configuration to test the submission of a shopping cart in the Now Platform and Service Portal.
  • Use the Assert Type field in the Search for a Catalog Item test step configuration to specify the condition for the success of the test step.
  • Use the Permission tab while creating a variable to specify the read, write, and create roles of the variable.Variable set is elevated as a first-class citizen in Service Catalog. Like variables, a variable set has read, write, and create roles. If roles are provided for a variable set, the roles are applicable for the variables within the set. Roles of an individual variable are overridden by the roles of the variable set.
  • Use the following Service Catalog parameters to link the parent record to the child record when using the catalog experience, that is, when a catalog is launched from a parent record (for example, incident).
    1. Sysparm_parent_sys_id
    2. Sysparm_parent_table
    3. sysparm_view
3. Performance Analytics and Reporting

Performance Analytics:

  • The previous scheduled job, which was run for all Spotlight groups at once, has been removed and replaced with scheduled jobs set for each Spotlight group.
  • View, analyze, and edit your performance analytics components including widgets, indicators, and breakdowns, from a single view. By viewing the hierarchy of components and the relationships between them, you can see immediately who is impacted by a change and what the effects of your changes are.
  • Track breakdowns back to indicator sources and configure the breakdown matrix using an intuitive UI. Collect and manage two-breakdown combinations for automated indicators in a new UI.
  • Added the ability to search for phrases, not only individual words, in indicator text fields.
  • Added the ability to run all active, applicable diagnostics for one indicator. Previously, you could only run one diagnostic for all applicable records, or all diagnostics for all applicable records.
  • Added the Random Forest method for time series, which creates a multitude of decision trees based on the historical data and then outputs the mean prediction of the trees.

Reporting:

  • Report on extended table fields more easily with reworked dot-walking functionality.
  • Restrict views of content derived from a table or views of reports with aggregated data grouped by a field specified in the ACL. Prevents users from seeing unauthorized data.Apply filters to database views as well as to all tables in a hierarchy.
  • When creating or editing time series reports that contain multiple datasets, you can choose to have time points with missing data plotted as gaps rather than as zero values.

Dashboards:

  • Dashboard styling and visualization options improved, including the ability to hide widget headers and change the colors of the dashboard background, widget header, and widget title.
  • Users with the dashboard_admin role have full view, edit, delete, and share privileges on all dashboards in the instance, including inactive dashboards.
4. Application development

Contextual development environment:

  • Move existing globally scoped metadata files between global applications, or remove files from the currently selected global application.
  • Delete or uninstall globally scoped applications only if they are empty. If a globally scoped application has associated metadata files, you must first remove the metadata files and return them to the global scope, or move them to another global application.
  • Roll back installed scoped applications, including those applications in the global scope. When you do a rollback, you remove all code, table, and file updates that occurred in the initial installation. This rollback does not affect the global application record.
  • To remove the global application record, you must instead perform an uninstall of the application.
  • Create and embed custom code hooks, called extension points, into scoped and global application base code. You can use extension points to designate where custom scripts can be called and then processed to extend base Now Platform functionality.
  • Using extension points to integrate custom scripts eliminates the need to embed them directly into core application code, which prevents breakage of application upgrade paths.
  • Allows or denies access of a specific application resource in a source scope to all application resources in a target scope.
  • Allows or denies access of all application resources in a source scope to a specific application resource, such as a business rule, table, Script Include, or event, in a target scope.

Delegated development and deployment:

  • The development and deployment functions enable non-administrators to develop and deploy applications.Assign a non-administrator user or group as a developer or deployment resource for a specific application.
  • You can set permissions that designate what specific actions the assigned user can perform in the current instance.
  • Assign roles that enable non-admin users to install or upgrade all applications in specific instances. You delegate these tasks by manually assigning specific user roles per instance.
5. Service Portal
  • Enable your end users to filter search results for a more meaningful result set. Create facets for simple or advanced search sources.Limit the number of results that a search source displays at one time to improve performance. End users can load more results as needed.
  • Use the glide.service-portal.notification_timeout.seconds system property to set the duration in seconds that error and info messages remain on the screen before they are auto-dismissed. If set to 0, messages do not auto-dismiss and require that a user close them. The default value is 5.
  • Validate user input in a specific field type using a validation script. In new instances, Service Portal includes XML, Script, Script (Plain), Email, and Version validation scripts by default.
  • The To field is no longer required when creating announcements. If the field is not defined, the announcement continues to display until it is deactivated.

These were some of the key updated which I thought will be helpful. And if i have to choose one favorite update out of all these I will choose the 2nd point mentioned in service portal i.e; able to set the duration of display of an error and info messages on screen.

Let me know in the comments that which one is yours favorite update.

And if you have missed the london release webinar you can click here to see the video.

You can refer to product documentation of serviceNow for more detail notes on the new release features.

For any assistance regarding Now platform or any IT solutions feel free to contact us on www.zetechno.com

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Thank you!