Preparing for ServiceNow Geneva

When I say, "Preparing for ServiceNow Geneva", it sounds like I am talking about a hurricane. The truth is that Geneva is like a hurricane, it will change the way you do business at your company.  In a good way of course. I can't tell you how excited I am for this upcoming release.

The new UI is great as expected. However it was the "Connect Chat" that I didn't expect to so powerful.  

Being able to discuss all ServiceNow records in a conversation real-time, wow what a new experience.  I am used to putting in an additional comment/work note, then waiting for a response, then replying.  In ServiceNow Geneva, you can just chat about an incident or any ServiceNow record and that time delay is eliminated.  It is a lot more immersive and more collaborative experience.  I think people will really like that, I know I will.

There are also a lot of little improvements that will make a big difference.  Every effort that ServiceNow has made to improve the user experience with UI looks, speed, and functionality will improve user opinions of the product.  

How can you prepare for Geneva?

1. Fix your existing data issues.

Do a review of your current system and see if you have any issues today you can fix before the upgrade.  Here are some articles you can use to check.

2. Upgrade and Patch

Some of the upgrades and patches to get to ServiceNow Fuji Patch 9 are huge.  If you haven't patched, your upgrade to ServiceNow Geneva is going to take a long time.  Some of the upgrades, especially ServiceNow Fuji, had database changes that took hours to complete.  If you can't afford a significant downtime, it is a good idea in my opinion to patch now instead of waiting for the big Geneva release.  Here is an helpful article to help you patch ServiceNow:  Tips for Upgrading and Patching ServiceNow

Another good idea to to get your Knowledge Management upgraded

3. Learn new technologies

ServiceNow Geneva will feature new coding technologies you'll likely have to learn.  I would say you don't have to be an expert on them on day 1, but it doesn't hurt to read up on them ahead of time.

AngularJS - Apache Jelly is being replaced with AngularJS.   I was actually a good Jelly coder, however that skill will go away much like my KML-SA Script, HP SC RAD, HP Connect-IT, Tririga, and all the other code languages I no longer use.  A lot of people hated Jelly, but I didn't mind it.  AngularJS will introduce new speed and functionality that you'll likely want to use.  I expect there will be some examples on the ServiceNow Geneva release that we can use to build our own customizations.  

Bootstrap.  This will make ServiceNow mobile-first.  This will be new to me.  This site is built via SquareSpace.  It uses bootstrap I think, but I don't handle the technical aspects of that.

OpenFrame.  Openframe is mentioned many times in the Geneva code.  This will be new to me too.

4. Increase task.short_description to 160 characters

I noticed in ServiceNow Geneva that task.short_description is 160 characters.  People have asked me to change this for years.  I was always nervous to change that due to possible issues.

Since Geneva has it, now is a good time to change it and overcome any issues before the upgrade.

You just go into the dictionary for task.short_description and increase to 160.  Test in a development instance first.

5. Clean up the Activity field

The activities (filtered) field on incidents, changes, problems, etc can get really cluttered if you include a lot of things to be shown.  When ServiceNow Geneva is released, the activity section is more like a conversation and not a history area.  Might as well clean up the activity area now instead of waiting.

This is just my opinion here.  You don't have to do this, but I think it helps.

Activity field cleanup

1. On every form that uses the Activities (filtered) field.  Customize activities and only leave these fields:

  • Assignment Group
  • Assigned to
  • State
  • Additional Comments
  • Work Notes

People can use the "History > List" functionality to view field history information.

Add an Emails Related list

1. Go to Relationships.  Add this relationship:

Name: Emails
Application: Global
Applies to table: Task [task]
Queries from table: Email [sys_email]
Query with:
current.addQuery("target_table", parent.sys_class_name);
current.addQuery("instance", parent.sys_id);

2. Adjust the Email default form.  (I personalized the default email form, because you can use the "inbox" view for more detailed email information)

Personalize Form Layout:

Email Default Form:
|- end split-|

3.  Add the email related list to a form (incident, change, etc)

  • Personalize > Related Lists > Emails

4. Add formatting to the list

  • List Control: Omit new button
  • List Layout: Subject, Recipients, Type, Created

6. Other

I am sure there are other things you can do too in order to prepare for Geneva.  I will add more to this post as I think of them.

Very exciting!