Top 6 K18 Takeaways for ServiceNow Developers

 

Elizabeth Skogquist, Solutions Consultant at Aeritae

The ServiceNow User Conference, Knowledge18 took place a little less than a month ago, and I’m still digesting everything I learned that week! From the updated ServiceNow branding to the messaging which aligns perfectly with Aeritae’s mission, along with the incredible amount of networking, there was much to take in.

However, those things aside, there was usable content to take-away from the labs and immediately put into practice.  Below I share a few of those takeaways– I’m looking forward to incorporating these insights and lessons learned in my day-to-day work!


1) Platform learning during Pre-Conference Training

The Pre-Conference training was insightful for the application being trained.  As well, I gained the benefit of some platform insights which will provide me efficiencies moving around within the platform.

Insights: The table listing, form design and configuration shortcuts are frequently used from the navigation search field in the platform.  Using caps in your extensions presents a new window with the results, leaving the window you were working in ready for its next steps – that saves a click or two!

See example:

Additionally, we learned to obtain plugin activation details with the following:

Sys_store_app.list

  • This provides a listing of all the components installed from activating a plug-in

Takeaway: These plug-in activation details will be great for studying for the certification test.


2.) SAM in London 

This lab’s purpose was to provide new capabilities for the Software Asset Management User.

Insights:

  • Publisher packs, subscription management: Entitlement Import Error Report
  • What If Analysis: Monitoring licenses with dynamic reports, software licenses and portfolio management
  • More automation

Takeaway: Automation felt like a theme for many sessions attended–greater efficiencies for both developers and users.


3.) Machine Learning / AI

This lab’s purpose was to focus on deployment best practices.

Insights:

  • Easy to use form for configuring training
  • Recommend only 30K records for learning to occur
  • Training happens on another network of servers, so won’t affect performance of instance from which it was initiated
  • Defined for predicting one field at a time, however they can be used with others after training is completed

Takeaway: Although this is an added cost for clients, the efficiency for auto assignments, prioritization, etc., could free up Service Desk agents time. We are curious to understand how much more effective and accurate this effort is compared to CI auto-assignment.


4.) Vulnerability Response in Action

This lab utilized Discovery, Vulnerability, Security, Incident and Threat.

Insights: The lab was set up using a Guided Tour (available with Jakarta) which meant little keyboard work and more following the path with pointers to specific details of the form explaining the purpose and/or use of the data and form contents.  This assured the information on the form or obtained from the data findings were clearly pointed out.

Takeaway: The Guided Tour would be a great option for any training session!


5.) Flow Designer

Participated in a session which highlighted the capabilities of Flow Designer.

Insights:

  • Presents process flow in English-like language.
  • Has the ability to step through flow and presents data values at each step (nice feature).

Takeaway: This is ideal for citizen developers to set-up automation, however could also be beneficial for simplified workflows being built by developers. Today’s workflow editor will remain in the platform, as advanced scripting and complex flow designs are not available in Flow Designer today, nor anticipated in the near future.


6.) Script Debugger

Participated in a session that covered a number of programming best practices.  My first time with hands on the ServiceNow script debugger (available in Istanbul) for line by line server debugging.

Insights: I used another tool (Xplorer, available in the app store) to do this which required some data setup. Knowing this is available within the platform, will prevent the need for that additional set-up time to get to the testing.

Takeaway: Good tool for server side script debugging. Provides the flexibility to work with a subset of the script to pinpoint issues.


My final takeaway from K18 this year is that labs can be beneficial because you get some hands-on training and education. However, definitely keep in mind that it does require a time commitment and, based on the lab, it may or may not deliver the ROI you were hoping for. I’d recommend prioritizing the sessions and labs conducted by ServiceNow Product Managers as I found those to be most beneficial. See you at K19!

mm
Elizabeth Skogquist