As you may know, the newest addition to the ServiceNow family “Madrid” will be released sometime this year. In addition to a new interface, bug fixes, and enhancements, it's also expected to include several new updates to Service Portal. In this article, we will go over some of the changes to Service Portal as well as some of the new mobile features available in Madrid. New Service Portal Features Mobile App Defects & Enhancements by Product Highlighted Features SCSS Support in CSS Includes — By far the most exciting new feature in Service Portal is SASS support within CSS Includes. Up until now, SASS has only been available for use within the Page, Instance, and the Widget... but I would argue that the most relevant and needed place for SASS is within the CSS Includes on the theme. So, I'm very excited to finally have this feature supported in Service Portal, and it will certainly make it easier to develop turn-key themes for Service Portal. Multiple Catalog Support — Enables requesters to browse and search for items across multiple catalogs by adding these catalogs to the Catalogs related list when configuring a portal. This has been a long requested feature, but honestly... I'm not a fan of how it was implemented. It certainly checks the "multi-catalog support" checkbox, but in my opinion, this is not an intuitive implementation. Users of the portal don't know what a Service Catalog is, so how are they going to understand when and why to change catalogs. Multiple Knowledge Base Support — Enables users to browse and search for articles across multiple knowledge bases by adding these knowledge bases to the Knowledge Bases related list when configuring a portal. Similar to the multi-catalog support... it's nice to see this finally supported, but I don't think portal users really care to browse through multiple Knowledge Bases just to find an article. My Requests Page — Enable requesters to view open or closed requests, incidents, and tasks in Service Portal using the My Requests page. It's nice to finally see this page finally improved, and I like the support for combining both Tasks, Incidents & Requests, but it's also limited to just the 3 tables... it would have been nice if this called a Script Include so that additional tables could be added without cloning the widget. Request Cloning — Clone a submitted request by selecting multiple users in the Also request for list of the Additional Actions section. La Jolla Branding — Activates the latest ServiceNow branding, which includes WCAG-AA compliance for contrast. Not really much of a feature, but it does update the stock portal theme to reflect the new branding colors. Multifactor Authentication— Adds a two-step verification requirement in which users enter more than one set of credentials for authentication of an instance. This second layer of authorization is generated by a token from the user's mobile device using the Google Authentification mechanism as the token provider. Users can require multifactor authentication for their own login credentials. Administrators can require multifactor authentication for any user login credentials. Additional Reading: SCSS Support in CSS Includes Multiple Catalog Support Multiple Knowledge Base Support My Requests Page Request Cloning La Jolla Branding Multifactor Authentication Mobile App Although not Service Portal per se, perhaps one of the most exciting features of the Madrid release is the new mobile capabilities. The ServiceNow Agent mobile app is a native app for both iOS and Android, and by default lets users manage incidents, collaborate, respond to approval requests, access the knowledge base, and receive push notifications. But the most exciting feature is the ability to configure and write custom applications within the app. The mobile app is built on a hierarchy and you can have several applications for the mobile app and limit user access by roles. Each application contains folders to help separate applets. Applets are miniature applications that contain various screens with more information. Data items determine the information that appears in each applet. For example, an applet for My High Priority Incidents would have a data item that pulls information from the system to create a list of incidents that are only assigned to that user and have a priority of Critical or High. Additional Reading: ServiceNow Mobile Release Notes Mobile App ServiceNow Studio Mobile Configuration Defects & Enhancement by Product In addition to all the new features, the Madrid release includes well over 200 defect fixes for ServicePortal. Below I've highlighted just a few of the changes, broken down by product. Service Portal The activity log section overlaps the variables section after an upgrade Unable to edit fields with sp-editable-field (e.g. on user profile) in Service Portal due to REST error if mandatory fields are on the form Search page id=search doesn't refresh results while searching for a different term Date validation client script conflicts with built-in validation in Service Portal Translations of Service Portal translated_text fields are not captured in update sets Labels are not displayed for the checkbox on Service Portal Variables not cascading in Service Portal TinyMCE attached images are stored with the table name kb_social_qa_question in sys_attachment_list Setting for the date picker for the first day of the week is not working in Service Portal Scripted UI policies no longer work on Service Portal or mobile in London if 'Isolate Script' is true or for scoped apps Cannot create Standard Changes via the catalog on Service Portal Guided Tours Trying to create guided tours on the Service Portal sometimes fails with the error message "gtd_portal_title should ends with delimiter;" Service Catalog Catalog item count in SC Category page is not accurate when user criteria is used The Service Catalog Service Portal plugin must not be activated before the core Service Portal plugin Using catalog client scripts to set the value of a choice variable to boolean true or false does not work Help Information for a Variable in Service Portal — The Expand help for all questions field at the catalog item level and the "Always Expanded" field at the variable level are applicable in Service Portal. Portal Settings — Define the catalog item behavior in Service Portal using portal settings. Service Catalog Enhancements for Automated Test Framework — Write automated end-to-end tests for requester flows to validate the following for Service Catalog: Order guide in Service Portal, Multi-row variable sets of a catalog item in Service Portal and Variable editor in the Now Platform. Knowledge Management Knowledge articles created using article templates are not displayed correctly in Service Portal Facets for glide list field types — Configure facets for glide list field types on the Knowledge Service Portal search results page. Multi-language search facet — Select which languages to display your search results using the language facet in the Knowledge Walkup Experience — Use Agent Workspace to access and complete interactions at a walk-up queue location. Agent Workspace for Walk-up Experience provides a more efficient, integrated, and intuitive fulfiller experience. New to the Madrid release, the Walk-Up Experience includes: Agent Workspace for Walk-up Experience fulfillers Walk-up appointment scheduling Walk-up queue length notification Walk-up support when a queue is closed Tables Walk-up service channel Upgrade Changes Announcements — Announcements are active on new instances. Fonts — The Font Awesome library has been upgraded to version 4.7 and includes new icon names and syntax changes. Guided Tour Designer — With the Madrid release, you can also enable guided tours to run on Service Portal pages. Validation Script — Validate user input in a specific field type using a validation script. Overall, the Madrid release seems to be very promising with a nice mixture of changes, upgrades, and much-needed fixes. I am definitely looking forward to this release and all it entails. If you'd like to see the full list of the Madrid changes, check out the release notes here. If you know of some additional features in Service Portal not mentioned here, or if there is a feature that you're very excited about, please let me know in the comments below.
The team at NewRocket recently collaborated with a major medical center in Southern California on their multi-department service portal. This non-profit hospital and multi-specialty academic health science center employs a staff of over 2,000 physicians and 10,000 employees. NewRocket proposed developing a single portal to facilitate a seamless user experience while still preserving individual department identities. “With a relentless, persona-based focus on the user experience, NewRocket ensured our Service Portal replacement solved our request inefficiencies while simultaneously being easier to use. Our developers, fulfillers, approvers and requesters love it!” Portal Features The portal features a user-centric design model that allows for quick access to ticket status as well as the ability to favorite content throughout the portal. The use of simple icons and contextual search creates an easy to use system for interacting with the IT & HR departments. The portal has been well received by both the employees and administrators. Multiple business units (IT, HR) Custom designed responsive theme Uses out-of-box widgets for core functionality Categorized typeahead search results My Account page Support for user delegates Favoriting of catalog items and articles Integrated live chat Take a look at the portal and let us know what you think in the comments below.
I'll be attending Now Summit in Santa Clara next week. If anyone is available and would like to talk Service Portal, I'm leaving some time slots open on my calendar. I'll be available in between and after sessions from Wednesday evening to Thursday at 5pm. Please click the button below to access my calendar. Looking forward to meeting you! Nathan Firth – Meet at Now Summit Santa Clara
By now all of you should have noticed that you can request a personal developer instance of ServiceNow running the latest London release. Also with the new London release comes several new enhancements to the Service Portal. Here's a quick highlight of some of the new features: Faceted Search The Faceted Search widget replaces the Search Page widget and adds support for: Faceted Search Filters Pagination What's awesome: I love that the facets live as part of the search source so that we can customize the facets as well as add custom facets to our search sources What could be improved: The whole search page is a giant widget including the typeahead search and the breadcrumbs. This makes it difficult to customize. What if we have a theme without breadcrumbs? What if I want to move the search? Having the whole page be one giant widget is just not a good idea. It does not improve the typeahead results which is how the majority of users use the search Virtual Agent Enable your users to interact with a chatbot or live agent through various Virtual Agent interfaces. What's awesome: Nice modern interface Integrates nicely with Connect Chat What could be improved: It's not free (requires additional licensing) Takes a really long time to load Guided Tours Create a guided tour for a Service Portal page to guide users through the content step by step. What's awesome: Supports auto launch Supports (limited) HTML Easy to use designer interface What could be improved: No support for page overlays (darkens the page behind the dialog) Dialogs don't stay fixed when the user scrolls the page Automated Test Framework Write automated tests to validate Service Portal forms. What's awesome: We now have support for automated tests in Service Portal What could be improved: So far it's just limited to forms and service catalog Validation Scripts Validate user input in a specific field type using a validation script. My thoughts: As far as I can tell, this validates field types and not tied to a specific table, also would not affect catalog items or record producers... so honestly, I'm not really sure when this would be useful. If you know of some common use-cases, I'd love to hear them in the comments. For further reading, please see the official ServiceNow London Release Notes for Service Portal.
I'm so excited to be speaking at Knowledge again, and this year I'm bringing the whole NewRocket team with me. I will also be scheduling some appointments to meet with any customers interested in talking about Service Portal. Nothing formal, just looking forward to meeting many of you and learning more about how you're using Service Portal. If you're interested in meeting at Knowledge, please click the button below to access my calendar. Let's Meet at K18
NewRocket will be hosting 3 informative talks geared to help you take your service portal to new heights. These sessions are packed with relatable information and actionable takeaways. Make sure to add these sessions to your agenda today because they are filling up fast To schedule you Knowledge18 sessions, go to: https://www.servicenowevents.com/servicenowknowledge18/myevent_home.php Adding Gamification To Your Service Portal Gamification is a great way to add incentives for users to explore and use the service portal repeatedly. In this session, we will demonstrate how to implement gamification in the Service Portal to introduce users to the portal and encourage them to complete certain tasks. DATE / TIME - May 8, 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm SESSION ID - CCDT0626 SESSION TYPE - CreatorCon Developer Theater TOPIC - CreatorCon Building A Better Service Portal: Lessons From The Field After helping dozens of organizations deliver Service Portals, we want to share what works and what doesn't. If you are starting your service portal journey, this session will help you take the right path. DATE / TIME - May 8, 5:00 pm - 5:50 pm SESSION ID - CCB0442 SESSION TYPE - CreatorCon Breakout TOPIC - CreatorCon Unlocking Service Portal Widgets In this session, you will learn practical techniques to make your controller and server scripts more maintainable, flexible and powerful by embracing good coding practices, encapsulation, and decoupling. DATE / TIME - May 10, 3:50 pm - 4:40 pm SESSION ID - CCB0371 SESSION TYPE - CreatorCon Breakout TOPIC - CreatorCon
NewRocket had the pleasure of collaborating with Scripps Networks Interactive to deliver an IT service portal to support their diverse company. Scripps Networks is a leading developer of lifestyle content for television and the Internet. The company's brands include HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country. The previous Scripps Networks CMS-based portal did not provide the usability they were looking for nor did it align with their new branding guidelines. Improving these key areas was critical for the redesign of the portal. “NewRocket delivered on a portal that not only fit our branding guidelines but packs in functionality with a design aesthetic that is visually inviting. Our end user experience has greatly improved by making our content and catalog offerings forefront and easily searchable all in an appealing display. The team was fantastic to work with and their expertise and guidance helped make our portal successful.” - Judy March, IT Service Delivery Manager Portal Features The new portal provides users with quick access to search, the IT service catalog, frequently asked questions and news. NewRocket embraced the extensive, yet flexible branding guidelines to visually identify different sections of the portal. These visual and structural changes help users quickly understand the page contents and complete the desired task. Some other highlights include: Quick access to open requests, incidents and approvals through My Items mega menu in header Direct access to the top level service catalog categories from the home page Consistent access to support options in footer Several custom developed widgets including news, sub-categories, and knowledge base homepage Responsive layout for mobile and tablet users Watch the video for a quick tour and leave us a comment about what you think of the portal.
Great news! We just added a new Service Portal documentation section. This material was originally created by the Service Portal development team. However, the original documentation on GitHub has since been removed, so we have decided to pick up where they left off. Our goal is that the maintenance of this documentation will become a community effort. Check it out here: https://serviceportal.io/docs/
We are excited to announce the launch of the free widget download page on ServicePortal.io. Since day 1, ServicePortal.io has existed to be a resources and source of inspiration for the ServiceNow Community. With the launch of the new widgets page, we can now share some of the most frequently requested widgets with all of our followers. Not all of them will be complex, many of the most frequently used widgets are pretty simple. Our goal is to develop and give away at least one new widget per month. We believe that collaboration is key to success for all of us in the ServiceNow Community. If you have any suggestions or comments about our widgets, please let us know. View Free Widgets Page