Custom Native Mobile Apps on ServiceNow

I get asked a lot about mobile and how to deliver branded mobile experiences on ServiceNow. For years the answer has been to use Service Portal since it's responsive and can be themed to function really well on mobile devices. This has worked quite well for many use-cases, but it still requires accessing through a browser or ServiceNow Classic, and it's still not the same experience that we've all come to expect from a native mobile app. 54% of employees expect their employers to provide mobile-optimized tools Source: https://research.servicenow.com/ Some of this has changed with the release of the Now Mobile app, but it is ServiceNow branded, lives in the app stores under ServiceNow's name, and requires entering of the instance name and credentials. It may be great for roled users, fulfillers, or users at least familiar with ServiceNow, but there are still many use-cases when using the Now Mobile app does not seem ideal. Consider, for example: Local governments or municipalities enabling anonymous citizens to report issues Universities using ServiceNow for managing student requests Product companies offering support via ServiceNow to its customers Enterprise organizations wanting to provide their employees with a tailored and branded experience In many of these cases, it seems the ideal scenario would be a dedicated app, in the app stores, with the organization's branding, and with the specific features for that target audience. This compelled us to explore what it would take to develop cross-platform mobile apps. Apps fully integrated with ServiceNow, with custom branding, feature specific UI's, and taking full advantage of the mobile capabilities such as geolocation, maps, push notifications, and camera features. We've chosen to build our current platform on React Native, as this allows for both iOS and Android apps with a single code base, but we're also exploring a version in Swift and Java. In the video above, you can see some of the example apps that we've been prototyping. The goal of the project has been to follow the same conventions as Now Mobile, leveraging the same APIs, ensuring a sustainable architecture. As of this writing, we have not yet released any publicly available apps into the store... but we are working with some of our early adopter customers on some innovative new mobile solutions. To learn more about these projects and our native mobile capabilities, please contact us or visit newrocket.com for more information. I would love to hear your comments or feedback below. What are some use-cases where a mobile app could really improve the user experience?

Titans of Now: Nathan Firth

Last week I had the awesome opportunity of being interviewed by Robert Fedoruk on his YouTube Channel. We discussed Service Portal, the mobile frontier, and the new ServiceNow UI framework. Have a listen and let me know what you think!

GlideSPScriptable Cheat Sheet

Overview Did you know there are over 60 server-side methods available in GlideSPScriptable ($sp)? Many of these methods are hidden or not documented, so we've combed through all the widgets and source code to provide you with this cheat sheet that includes all of the $sp methods available in Service Portal. Now updated for the New York release. Save time and maximize your productivity with this quick reference document for you to use day-to-day. Enjoy!

Service Portal Features in New York

The New York release of ServiceNow is finally here and includes a number of useful features, enhancements, and bug fixes to the Service Portal. In this article, we will review some of the new features and larger changes. New Features Agent Chat Your users can initiate and maintain an Agent Chat conversation in any portal page. You can now also create a script to pass portal-specific data to Agent Chat. For example, pass the name of your knowledge base to a Virtual Agent conversation. To enable, simply install the "Agent Chat" plugin, and create a configuration through the "Service Portal > Agent Chat" module. Official documentation Search Analytics & Suggestions Generate relevant search suggestions for your users and monitor search analytics to understand what your users are searching for. When you enable Search Suggestions, suggestions appear automatically when users enter text into search fields in the Service Portal. Official documentation Text index groups Configure a text index group to make Service Portal search results more relevant to your end-users. The base system text index group includes the Catalog items, Knowledge, and Social Q&A Questions tables. Official documentation Antivirus Scanning support for attachments View the health status of file attachments in Service Portal. Antivirus Scanning scans files in the Attachments [sys_attachments] table by default. When viewed from a Service Portal page, attachments may not be available for download depending on their health status. Official documentation Reset Password Although not much of a feature, you can now enable your users to reset their password from the Login widget using the Password Reset application. When the user clicks "Forgot Password?", the system redirects the user to the page value specified in the "glide.security.password_reset.uri" system property. Official documentation Service Catalog Related Catalog Items & Knowledge Articles Configure related items and articles for a catalog item to provide additional information or alternatives. These articles and items are displayed in the catalog item page in Service Portal. Official documentation Knowledge Management Route Map The "kb_article" page now routes to the "kb_article_view" page which is part of the Knowledge Management Service Portal which includes a number of features such as feedback and versioning. Multi Knowledge Bases Configure which knowledge bases to display on the Knowledge Management Service Portal Article Comments User can now reply and like comments as well as add links, attachments, or images to comments. Official documentation Automated Test Framework Open Service Portal Page Open a portal page in the Automated Test Framework. When building automated tests, test designers must first open a page in a portal before testing UI components on the page. Official documentation The New York release seems to be very promising with a nice mixture of features, enhancements, and much-needed bug fixes (over 150+ that I've counted). I am definitely looking forward to this release and all it entails. Check out all the New York release notes here. If you know of some additional features in Service Portal not mentioned here, please let me know in the comments below.

Service Catalog Item Wizard in Service Portal

We've had a number of clients ask about structuring catalog item forms as more of a "wizard" that only renders one section at a time. After thinking about it for a while, I realized that I could use the GlideForm API to programmatically hide and show the different sections (containers). So over the past couple of weeks, I've been working on a new widget that simply interacts with the out-of-box catalog item widget, and uses the API's to add all of the wizard-like capabilities. I think it turned out pretty cool, it's fully themeable, and best of all, it does not require cloning of any widgets. I still have a few more features to add, and I'm also considering adding an accompanying library of Variable Sets that provide a more graphical UI than the out-of-box catalog variables. If all goes well, I may end up including the widget in our RocketFuel library of widgets, so if you're interested in adding some wizard-like capabilities to your portal, feel free to contact me and we can schedule a demo. I'd love to hear what you guys think in the comments below. Is this a useful widget? Does this improve the user experience of the service catalog item form?

Featured Portal: Informatica

OVERVIEW Informatica is an Enterprise Cloud Data Management leader that accelerates data-driven digital transformation headquartered in Redwood City, California. Informatica enables companies to fuel innovation, become more agile and realize new growth opportunities, resulting in intelligent market disruptions. Informatica came to NewRocket to increase user satisfaction, simplify the process, and encourage self-service with their employee service portal. SERVICES Research & Insights Wireframe Design Clickable Prototypes Catalog Consulting High Fidelity Mockups Service Portal Development NewRocket was an integral member of our team and critical for providing the expertise and guidance we needed to make the Informatica IT Service Center a successful reality. We have been very satisfied with everything NewRocket has provided us and plan to continue to use them as needed in the future. - Scott Hiner, Senior IT Communications Manager THE CHALLENGE Informatica’s original portal although designed to accommodate multiple departments did not provide an intuitive experience that allowed users to easily navigate the content of the portal. The portal also served as a hub to other business platforms which diluted its original purpose to focus on service delivery. THE SOLUTION NewRocket developed a dashboard-like homepage that allowed relevant content from all parts of the portal to be easily accessible. Three main calls to action were created to guide users into the experience and help them to filter through the content to find what was most relevant to their needs. Customized widgets were also added to help facilitate feedback and to integrate dynamic content throughout the portal.

Creating Extraordinary Service Portals on ServiceNow

Check out our new Service Portal showcase video, featuring some of the 70+ portals we've designed and developed over the past 3 years. If you're interested in talking to us about your Service Portal project, you can book some time on our calendar here: https://calendly.com/newrocket/60min Or visit our website newrocket.com

Portal Localization Breakout at Knowledge 2019

Want to learn about how to localize your Service Portal? Learn how during our breakout session at K19! Service Portal localization presents a unique set of challenges. After localizing several portals in multiple languages, we've identified some best practices that make the process of extracting strings, managing the translation process and validating the translations less painful. DATE / TIME – Thur, May 9, 12:30 pm – 1:10 pm SESSION ID – CCB0784 SESSION TYPE – CreatorCon Breakout TRACK – CreatorCon Hope to see you there! The NewRocket Team – K19 Agenda

Let’s Meet at Knowledge 2019!

We’ll be attending Knowledge 2019 in Las Vegas in May! Be the first to check out our brand new LaunchPad Theme and RocketFuel UI Design System. What if you could completely redesign your service portal in just a few minutes? With our new custom design accelerators, you can. Meet with us at K19 to demo our brand new LaunchPad Themes and RocketFuel UI Design System. Together, these innovative new products can take your portal from 0 to 60 in just a few clicks. We will be available in between and after sessions from Monday through Friday. If you would like to lock in a time to meet with us, click the link below to add a meeting on our calendar. We'll see you in Vegas! Nathan Firth - Meet us at K19