Quebec Release – what’s new on the Platform

It’s time, ServiceNow Quebec Release is here! And I have the latest Platform innovations for you. In this article, I’m covering some of the greatest new features available.

Today, Chuck Tomasi, Kreg Steppe and Jeremy Duncan from TechNow (ServiceNow) gave us a short but very interesting introduction to the new Quebec Release. If you are interested, try it on your own! Request your own PDI (personal developer instance) on the Developer Portal (all free).

Quebec Platform features:

UI Builder

With the UI Builder you can now design and personalize configurable workspaces and portals to improve the overall Now Experience! With the new designer, the ‘what you see is what you get’ approach immediately shows the final design and you can reuse the components you created, over and over again. It’s easier to configure and you have more possibilities. It also supports domain separated environments, so other entities will also benefit.

Data Classification

The new release allows you to increase the platform security wth data classification.
Data classification enables you to categorize fields as internal, restricted, confidential, etc. and lets you report very quickly on field categorization for regulatory compliance. It allows you also to manage fields via Rest and script APIs.

AI Search

With this improvement you’ll benefit from consumer-grade search experience, powered by AI. You (or your employees/customers) get relevant and actionable results, based on user context. Simply ask questions using natural, everyday language. One configuration allows you to reuse across different interactions. AI Search is now a native ServiceNow technology and available on all, Platform, Portal, and also Virtual Agent and Mobile Apps.

Process Optimization

This is part of the core platform, but only activated with the ITSM or CSM package. Process Optimization allows you to mine process flows to identify areas for improvement. Enable governance and controls based on process optimization roles. Track the business value of process improvements.

Virtual Agent enhancements

The Virtual Agent itself is also improved to allow you faster time to value with guided setup with recommendations and advanced authoring Tools. Improve business outcomes with automatically resolved incidents, actionable notifications and password reset while interacting and not even need to contact an agent. It also allows you to use AI-powered experiences with conversational analytics, NLU, workbench & intent discovery and AI search integration.

NLU Workbench

While NLU isn’t new, the NLU Workbench is. The Workbench allows you to manage models across apps and languages with a single unified view. You can create modules in sixteen languages quickly with dynamic vocabulary source tables and lists. Automatically identify topics to activate or build based on user data with intent Discovery.

Regression Framework

‘Regression Framework is part of Predictive Intelligence and is available with Pro or Enterprise packages. This new feature allows you to set better expectations with end users like, ‘based on workload, your could take X days to deliver’. You can estimate ranges with upper and lower values and improve planning by forecasting estimates.

Natural Language Query

This is not completely new, but completely improved. You can ask questions using natural, everyday language and get quick answers in the form of lists, values and charts. It’s very useful for ad hoc information. Easily filter and search your data for further outcome customization. You can now pin common or most used queries. Natural Language Query is now available in English, German, Japanese, Spanish and French and is part or a pro or analytics Q&A package.

Performance Analytics enhancements

One of the most useful improvements is the support for flexible calendars, like fiscal year requirements.

Reporting enhancements

Not only PA is improved, also the classic reporting gets an upgrade. Quickly perform calculations on specific fields while in report designer. Tailor reporting with multiple formatting options to highlight what’s most important.

Mobile Experience enhancements

The mobile apps also got new features with the Quebec release. As already mentions, AI Search is available on mobile, a smart and intuitive search experience across apps, people and workflows. Deeplink to seamlessly transitions to third-party apps with all relevant data coming to you. Card actions are also improved to reduce clicks and get work done quicker with dynamic on-card action prompts (like green checkmark or red x). In addition, the new version brings some new administrative improvements, such as a redundant logout and login to update metadata. With ITBM it’s also possible fo manage time sheets and also copy from another timesheet, like if you’re working for the same project all day to reduce effort.

Mobile Developer Tool enhancements

To improve mobile experience, also the Mobile Developer Tool was improved. With mobile Card Builder you can create custom templates and cards with presets and components in an intuitive designer. UI Rules (comparable with UI Policies) lets you apply field value calculations and UI styling to UI elements to simplify custom use cases. There is also a possibility for user impersonation, this makes developing mobile solutions easier.

IntegrationHub enhancements

Within IntegrationHub you’re now able to simplify inbound integrations with REST API trigger. You can also manage complex bi-directional process integrations with remote Sync. Perform data mapping with new modern UX for codeless ETL. Retrieve data easily with the JDBC data stream. Send one or more files to your instance with SFTP. Choose a specific MID server for your integration.

Flow Designer enhancements

Flow Designer got many improvements behind the scenes. The UX was revised and now resembles the workspace theme. Enhancements are made to OOTB flow actions with support for variable set and record producer. Greater developer support for performance, usability and security. When you create a new flow, you now get a guided tour which assists you in creating your flow. If you’re creating a flow and use the same actions multiple times, you can select them from the most recent action while adding a new action to the flow. You also have the chance to select the new action ‘Send notification’, this let’s you select one notification from the central notifications table and use it within your flow.

App customization

Within Studio, you can now customize scoped/OOTB or apps from the store to meet your requirements. However, not all apps are editable.

Paris Release Platform Features

Last Tuesday, Chuck Tomasi (Sr. Developer Evangelist, ServiceNow), Kreg Steppe (Program Manager, ServiceNow) and Jeremy Duncan (Platform Architect, ServiceNow)  announced in the TechNow podcast some of the upcoming Paris release platform features. This release is available by now with the early access program and in October for public.

I want to share some of the features with you and those are pretty cool! You can find all information of the upcoming release in the release notes.

You can try the new release and features in the developer portal and request your own PDI (Personal Developer Instance)
Some of the benefits of the developer portal:

  • Free personal developer instance
  • Early access to releases
  • Free learning plans
  • Script API documentation
  • Developer meet-up information
  • Developer events
  • Developer blog
  • Share content
  • Videos

The recording is now available on demand:
https://www.servicenow.com/events/on-demand-webinars.html

Please note, all features are in the safe harbour state and changes could affect.

Automated Test Framework (ATF)
Improved indexing
Buttons can now be indexed to select the right one.

Authentication

OpenID Connect SSO
OpenID Connect (OIDC) is an identity layer built on top of the Oauth protocol which provides a modern and intuitive SSO experience to you and your end users.

Self-Registration
External user self-registration enables a large group of users to register to a ServiceNow app without the help of an administrator.

Core Platform

Scoped data administration
With scoped data administration, administrators can now allow or disallow specific users to edit specific information within an application. Other users are not allowed to change those information.

Flow Designer

Order of Actions – Number
With the new release, the Actions in Flow Designer are now labled with an ongoing number, not longer dots for child actions. It’s easier now to identify the right action.

Duplicate Action Instance
Do you sometimes have to create multiple Actions which are nearly identical to each other? With the new icon next to Annotation and Trash Bin you can easily duplicate an Action, and the best is, it is already prefilled with the same Data Pills.

Ghost actions
With the new release, missing Spokes or Actions from an migrated Flow from your dev or test instance are now shown as a ‘Ghost Action’, also a message is displayed.

Make a decision
With a new flow logic, you are now able to easily make decisions based on certsin criterias.

Run with roles
Flows can only be executed with an system user or by the user who initiates session, and also with the roles of this user? But what if the flow needs to execute something where the user don’t has access to? With an very cool improvement, you are now able to add some temporary roles to this user to enable those specific Actions.

Those roles don’t have to be licensed, since they are temporary.

Send SMS Action
With a new Action, you can now send SMS to users.

User Access Control Critertia
This is also a very nice new feature. It’s something like domain separation, but not directly. You know there are hundrets of spokes available. Maybe an administratot know most of them or at least knows how to deal with numerous spokes installed. But what if an additional contributor needs to build flows or at least add or configure some Actions? Not only the high number of potentially installed Spokes are dangerous, also some Actions. You now can set permissions to enable some contributors to specific spokes, so they for example can edit or add Actions for systems or departments for which they are experts.

To do so, you can set those permissions in the Flow Menu.

IntegrationHub

Integration Authentication
With IntegrationAuthentication, you can now create new credentials without exit the Flow.

Process Automation Designer
Business Process Owners can now digitize,  visualize and manage end to end workflows to Business Services with an new Builder experience.

Upgrade Center
In the new Paris Release, there is a new Upgrade Center. Upgrades can be previewed or reviewed and you can manage skips with VTP.

This was only a short list of numerous new Platform Features in the Paris Release. Other cool improvements or coming features are in the Workspace, Studio, Playbook experience, Notifications, Platform backend, FlowAPI and FlowScriptAPI, Domain separation.

Referred Links
http://bit.ly/sn-break-point
https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/paris-release-notes/page/release-notes/family-release-notes.html

TechNow:
http://bit.ly/servicenow-technow
Community link: https://community.servicenow.com/community?id=community_blog&sys_id=4d6eaeaddbd0dbc01dcaf3231f961964
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkGSnjw5y2U7HkJd7YkVtX93pA5pl8KDM

Now Create – Deliver Successful Projects

Now Create is a new Framework to provide guidance on how to deliver successful projects on the ServiceNow Platform, gained from the insights and learnings of thousands of successful projects.

With Now Create, you are able to find methodologies for implementation, upgrade, enhancement, and landscape optimization projects. Assets containing detailed product specific guidance are attached to the methodology right where you need them.

The system also provides project related templates to accelerate execution, such as project charter, project report, raid logs, and many others. In Now Create, this collection of methodology and assets is called a success pack. A success pack is designed to deliver a specific successful project outcome, for example, an ITSM implementation or CSM upgrade.

Who Benefits from Now Create?

Every single person involved in the scoping and delivery of a ServiceNow project can benefit from Now Create. It doesn’t matter how technical your role is or which organization you belong to. Now Create is designed for everyone.

Before starting your project, Now Create’s content will guide you to define activities, skills, and resources required for success. This will support the definition of business cases, as well as allowing customers, partners, and ServiceNow teams to optimize the combined team resourcing.

Now Create provides an intuitive and simple way to explore the steps for successful project execution. During the first ServiceNow project, Now Create will act as a great companion as you ramp up. For seasoned ServiceNow practitioners, Now Create’s vast library of detailed and evergreen leading practices will keep you at the top of your game.

The system’s structured processes and leading practice assets drive higher quality and more predictable results with a faster time to value. By removing uncertainty, Now Create also reduces anxiety withing project teams. All of this reduces project risk and creates amazing business outcomes.

How Now Create Works

Within Now Create you can search for the right success pack for your project. You can use the fi lters or text based search to locate  the right success pack and then dive in to learn about the details of it.

After you discovered the right success pack for you, you can explore this success pack. The project follows hybrid waterfall methodology with sequential project phases and exit gates coupled with agile scrum development in the execution phase.

To learn more about any of the tasks on the overview page, simply click into it, and you will be presented with the task level details telling you why this is executed and the risk of not executing it.

On the Success Pack Overview page, you also can choose to download the success pack for loading into ServiceNow’s ITBM PPM product or other project execution tools.

How can I Access Now Create?

Now Create is part of the Now Learning Portal. However it can’t be found easily on the homepage, so I would recommend to directly access the Now Create homepage by visiting https://nowlearning.service-now.com/nowcreate

Review: ServiceNow: the Now Platform® Orlando Product Release Broadcast

Last Thursday the latest ServiceNow version Orlando was officially launched. Here you will find the most important information in case you were not able to attend or want to read the content again.

In the latest release Orlando, ServiceNow introduced more than 800 new features. The most important ones I would like to introduce you briefly:

  • Now Intelligence
  • Analytics Q&A
  • Mobile Branding
  • Mobile Analytics
  • Now Experience
  • ServiceNow Extension for VS Code

Now Intelligence

In the new release, everything is about intelligence. AI is still an unfulfilled promise. Everyone is talking about it but nobody knows how to address the topic. So ServiceNow has fulfilled that promise. True to the motto ‘Intelligence done right: Making work better for you’. Now Intelligence is now behind most applications.

Analytics Q&A (limted access)

What do you think when you read this? Q&A to the Analytics Application? That’s wrong. Analytics is a very interesting topic for the high management level, which needs fast reports and has no time to create them.

The trick is, you enter what information you are looking for in a search field and the Analytics Q&A application generates the required report.

Mobile Branding

With the Orlando release ServiceNow has responded to many customer requirements. One if the requirements is to adapt the available mobile applications. Not only the mobile theme colors can be customized, but also the app name, app description, app icon and splash screen image. With the new release, MAM (Mobile App Management) support is available.

Mobile Analytics

With the new release ServiceNow also introduces a possibility to check user data of mobile applications and thus further improve the stability and performance of the applications.

The ServiceNow Mobile Analytics application provides dashboard views to monitor key performance indicators for mobile application users created with the ServiceNow mobile platform. Visualize metrics and interactions to better understand the user experience and create more intuitive trips for your users.

Now Experience

Today the experience of the employees is broken. Employees have to navigate across several departments to do simple things.

The IT department is responsible for things like connecting to the Internet, needing a new device, resetting the password and much more. The HR department provides policies, changes the address and updates contact information. Facilities organizes office moves, books meeting rooms, a new desk. The Legal Department is responsible for providing evidence of compliance, reporting risks to the Board of Directors. The finance department takes care of payment problems, company credit cards, purchase of various utensils.

ServiceNow Employee Workflows transform the employee experience. How? ServiceNow combines everything in one platform – not only via website, but also via smartphone. This makes it easier for all employees to get things done, find information or whatever needs to be done.

ServiceNow Extension for VS Code

ServiceNow already provided an extension for Microsoft Visual Studio Code in the past. With the new release, this extension has been further improved.

From now on you can develop offline. As soon as an internet connection is available, the changes can be applied.  The extension also provides a 2-way-sync between VS Code and the ServiceNow instance. Furthermore, the extension provides code suggestions to use the correct syntax.