Fred Luddy's Wednesday morning keynote at Knowledge15 was packed full of information on enhancements coming to the ServiceNow platform. In addition to providing some interesting history on the evolution of the company and the platform, Luddy, Dave Wright, Troy Azmoon, and Jerry Jones gave a look at some of these enhancements. Here's a glimpse of some of what they had to offer along with a tech tip for your CMDB from this morning's lab.

Day 2 Keynote: Enabling Everything as a Service, Fred Luddy, ServiceNow

Native iOS Application

With the Geneva release, ServiceNow will be offering a native iOS application. The app features a user experience that centers on the flow of interactions between ServiceNow users rather than on traditional forms. While forms are still available behind the scenes, users will interact in real time and actively engage with technicians. Users will see when a technician is viewing an incident and even when that technician is typing a response on the record. Other features of the app include:

  • Use bar code scanning
  • Upload images from your device
  • Provide your location using the maps API
  • Sync favorites automatically between the mobile app and your desktop browser
  • Handle approvals with intuitive mobile swipe functionality—even from push notifications provided outside of the app
  • Preview documents within the app for a variety of document types (PDF, Excel, Word, etc.)
  • Configure the badge icon for the app to display a variety of numbers based on user needs, e.g. approvals pending count, priority 1 incidents count
  • Share your location as a field services technician for set periods of time in order to provide visibility for enhanced service and response time

Service Portal

The new user Service Portal is built using Bootstrap, AngularJS, and the REST API in order to interact with JSON layers on the server. It avoids the use of standard forms and lists, has no iframes, and is free of Jelly XML! Developers and users can all be excited about these enhancements. It has an enhanced look and feel to improve user experience, and similar to the iOS app, the Service Portal provides users with real time information on interactions. As technicians view and interact with the record, an end user can see these actions taking place ("Joe Tech is typing", etc.). These enhancements lead to a user's desired outcome much more quickly and with less frustration for all parties. Development options have improved for administrators of varied levels of skill, including a JSFiddle-like interface for more advanced developers to create and modify widgets.

ServiceNow Connect

In addition to the improvements for end user interactions with technicians, IT staff will have an enhanced experience for interacting with users as well.

  • Visual Task Boards can be utilized for real time collaboration.
  • Updates made by other technicians to an open record are pushed to all who are viewing the record, effectively eliminating issues with overwriting concurrent changes. These updates will be flagged with a lightning icon on the form to provide visibility.
  • Active lists will show who is working in the system.
  • Techs can work straight from the activity stream without having to drill into records for all interactions.

In-browser IDE

The new in-browser IDE will provide an enhanced developer experience. The "Application Explorer" menu will provide access to all relevant application files broken down into sections such as Data Model, Standard UI (Form Views, Lists), Advanced UI (Filters, UI Actions), Navigation, Business Automation (Business Rules), etc. A tabbed view of records is available in the main content block. Searching capabilities will allow developers to find references to function calls (or any code) in order to facilitate easier modifications should parameter inputs change or other adjustments be needed.

Apple Watch App

Geneva will be utilizing Apple's latest product and will provide an Apple Watch app. The app will allow users to view charts, lists of incidents and approvals, activity streams for incidents, and other data. Comments can even be added to records using quick responses and voice recognition.

Configuration Management: Get the Most Value from Your CMDB, Niall Kritzinger, Georg Maureder, ServiceNow

I'll wrap up with a tech tip from this morning's CMDB lab. The ability to create service baselines provides a mechanism for maintaining the integrity of the CMDB and controlling unauthorized changes to infrastructure. Once a service baseline has been created, the Configuration Manager can view changes to the Configuration items that fall under that service. Changes will show when they are proposed through a Change Request record and when they are adjusted outside of the Change Management process. These modifications to CIs can easily be accepted if appropriate, or a Configuration Manager can choose to follow up if a change was not authorized.