ServiceNow Jakarta

ServiceNow released a new version of ServiceNow, codename Jakarta.  More amazing work by ServiceNow once again!

This article showcases just some of the new features I am excited about in this new release. For full release notes, check out the Jakarta Release notes.

Platform Changes

Assessments and Surveys

Domain separation for assessments

Assessments support domain separation. This is important for MSPs and customers that have multiple partners and subcompanies.

Survey widget

This is something that customers have asked for, and I don't have to build anymore.

If Service Portal is installed, you can use the Survey widget to set up surveys, quizzes, assessments, risk assessments, and attestations in Service Portal. Surveys for users on mobile devices are fully supported in Service Portal.

Calendars and Schedules

Fiscal Calendar

The Fiscal calendar plugin is now available in the ServiceNow platform. 

You can setup fiscal calendars and adjust the fiscal calendar periods in Fiscal Calendar generation.

Fiscal Calendar Generation

Fiscal Periods

Embedded help

Embedded help

Embedded help provides targeted help content to a user, based on their role. Some embedded help content comes with the base instance. You can create your own embedded help content as well.

Embedded help content appears in the right sidebar when the user clicks the help icon.

Embedded Help

Guided tours

A guided tour provides a way to create a demo with callouts to demonstrate how to do something in ServiceNow, such as how to perform a task.

Guided Tour

Import and Export

Export JSON

Along with other new import/export features, you can also do more with JSON

  • You can import JSON files.
  • You can export to JSON when using Export Sets.
  • You can export to JSON from a list.

This is really helpful when you are building integrations or exporting/importing data from other systems.

Knowledge Management

Article versioning

Create multiple versions of knowledge articles, track changes to updated articles, and compare two versions of an article. Capture feedback on specific article versions and, if needed, revert content to an older published version of an article.

Knowledge Management Advanced Installer

Checkout Button

Knowledge Article Versioning

Knowledge subscriptions

Subscribe to knowledge bases and knowledge articles. Subscribed users receive notifications when articles are created or modified. Authors receive notifications when content receives feedback and when content is updated by another author.

Knowledge Article Subscription

Knowledge Management Service Portal

Use knowledge management features on the Service Portal. Configure the home page with knowledge bases and article collections. Configure the search results page with multiple ways to filter and sort a list of search results. 

These features can be used in a standalone portal or moved into an existing service portal.

Knowledge Portal 1

Knowledge Portal 2

Knowledge Portal 3


Manage notification preferences from a central location

Set your own notification preferences, including personal subscriptions and channels (devices for receiving them). All users can set these preferences for themselves in the Notifications tab of the System Settings window. 

The personal notifications feature is awesome. Well as awesome as notifications get. :)

Notification Settings

Personal Notification

Personal Notification

Randomized watermarks

Notice that watermarks in email notifications for base systems include a random 20-character string to make each watermark unique. This random string reduces the possibility of a watermark being guessed or coincidentally matching the watermark of an email from another instance.

Email image filtering

Use new email properties to control how inbound email images are attached to target records and displayed in the activity formatter. These properties let you filter out unwanted, smaller email images, such as logos or email signatures, so that they are not attached to or shown in the activity formatter of target records.

This will really reduce the number of sys_attachments.  For companies that put logos in their emails, this will be a great help.


  • Forms load up to 37% faster!
  • Lists load up to 25% faster!

I don't know how those percentages are made, but it sounds great!


Client Software Delivery Application: Software Asset Management (SAM)

Supports an update to the SAM release, a release which provides significant enhancements over the standard SAM release, including data normalization for discovered assets.

Read more


Performance homepage

Features a fresh, updated interface and new functionality for investigating slowness in an instance. Includes data from the database and application tiers, and also custom ServiceNow metrics. The interface provides:

  • Zoom controls to expand each graph and view time series details
  • Aggregate summaries of time series graph data
  • Graph overlay capability to compare two different data sources within a single graph
  • Diagnostic event overlay on each graph that highlights performance anomalies

Performance Dashboard

Contextual Security Role Management

Prevents duplicate entries caused by inherited roles in the User Roles [sys_user_has_role] table. 

Inheritance Count

Service Portal

New Portal

Create a portal from directly within the Service Portal configuration page using the New Portal option on the configuration homepage.

Portal page Draft option

Select the Draft check box in a portal page so that pages remain unpublished in the portal. Draft pages display for Service Portal administrators but not end users.

New Portal

Draft Checkbox

Update Sets

Preview and commit update sets in batches

A batch update set is a group of update sets you can preview and commit in bulk. The system detects collisions based on "ancestry" and not on date comparisons.

Parent Field on Update Set

Preview update sets automatically

By default, the system automatically starts the preview process after retrieving an update set or changing the parent on a remote update set. To change this behavior , set the glide.update_set.auto_preview system property to false. In this case, you must start the preview process manually.

I never really thought about how long previews take, but some do take some time. This will help a lot!

User Interface

TinyMCE editor

The HTML field editor was updated with the following improvements.

  • Paste images, text, and formatted content all at once from Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel into a form HTML field. Helpful for migrations from other Knowledge Base applications!
  • New icons.
  • Video support for flash animations (.swf), MPEG-4 Video (.mp4), and WebM Video (.webm)

Navigate directly to a table

In the application navigator, append any valid table name with .config to navigate directly to the view of the table. For example, typing incident.config opens the incident table configuration view. Typing .CONFIG opens the view of a table in a new tab or window.



Workflow Welcome page

The Workflow Welcome page lists the published and checked-out workflows as well as links to further help. In this release, it does not include an RSS feed or embedded video.

So many developers will love this change.  They hated the embedded video.  Shout out to Ryan Taylor!

Workflow Editor without the video!

Business Management


In Jakarta, Agile Development is replaced with a new plugin Agile Development 2.0, which is not enabled by default on upgraded instances.

Agile Development is significantly enhanced with Agile Development 2.0. Previously, there were two places for supporting agile-based execution - 1) Agile Development module, and 2) Agile under Project Management.
Agile Development 2.0 provides the some of these features for a unified agile development environment:

  • Unified backlog - Maintain all your backlog in one location and associate backlog stories to a product or a project or both as desired. Ability to select stories from the backlog and execute them as a project.
  • Manage releases - A definite timeline to execute prioritized or selected stories from backlog.
  • Project based execution - Allows release backlog to be executed as one or more projects. Non project based execution - Allows release backlog to be executed by one or more assignment groups using their sprint schedules within a release timeline.
  • Assignment group - Use Assignment Group to create an assignment group of type Agile Team. Release team entity is no longer used. It eliminates the confusion between when to use release team versus assignment group. 
  • Generate sprints for Assignment Groups. It allows different groups to use different sprint schedules.

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

GRC:Vendor Risk Management

The new Vendor Risk Management application provides a centralized process for managing your organization's vendor portfolio and completing the vendor assessment and remediation lifecycle. Also, integrating with other GRC applications, provides top-down traceability for compliance with controls and risks.

Time Cards

Worker portal

Worker portal provides a single location for time card users to:

  • View all work (project and non-project work) assigned to them.
  • Record time for the work performed.

Worker Portal

Time card approver role

A new role timecard_approver facilitates the approval process. By default, project_manager and resource_manager inherit this role. However, timecard_approver role can be used independently without the project_manager or resource_manager roles too.

Prior to Jakarta, there was no time card approval role and an approver user had to be given time card admin role to approve time cards. The time card policy associated to a user determines who (project manager or resource manager) approves time cards for that user.

Project Portfolio Suite with Financials

Planning console

The overall user experience of Planning Console is improved. Keyboard navigation and actions, such as Copy partial project, Copy project, Add Child Tasks, and Project template are being introduced.

Planning Console

Project Status Portal

Project Status Portal replaces My Gantt. The portal provides the following features:

  • Helps you track the progress of all your projects. The set of projects to be tracked can be derived using any filter.
  • Provides a comprehensive view of all aspects of your projects, with the projects displayed in a report, work breakdown structure (WBS), and Gantt chart.
  • Enables you to share your project reports with different users.

Project Status Portal

IT Operations Management

Cloud Management

The ServiceNow® Cloud Management application is redesigned for the Jakarta release. It replaces the legacy Cloud Management application available in previous releases.

Integrate with your cloud environments

Link your Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, VMware vSphere, or private cloud vendor accounts to the instance through service accounts. You can also create cloud accounts, which are sets of service accounts that are each associated with one or more regions, also known as a logical datacenters (LDCs).

Create cloud catalog items

Use blueprints to create cloud catalog items and bundles of items that can be provisioned to your users.


New patterns for the Jakarta release

Several new patterns are available for horizontal discovery. Read more

Cloud discovery

The Discovery application can run discovery on resources in your Azure and AWS clouds.  Read more

Event Management

Predicted alerts

Alert correlation analyzes existing alerts in an automated alert group, to predict future alerts for that group. Predicted alerts can indicate future problems with the associated services. By viewing those predicted alerts in the Alert Console, you can take measures to prevent any anticipated problems.

Service Mapping

Discovery of configuration items hosted in the cloud

Discover Platform as a Service (PaaS) applications running on Microsoft Azure Web Sites or Amazon Web Services (AWS). Pattern Designer contains the new cloud rest call operation to extract information from configuration items of the PaaS type.

IT Service Management


ServiceNow® Benchmarks is a new application in the Jakarta release.

The Benchmarks feature gives you instant visibility into your key performance indicators (KPIs) and trends, as well as comparative insight relative to industry averages of your peers. You can contrast the performance of your organization with recognized industry standards, and view a side-by-side comparison of performance with global benchmarks.

They have added an application in ServiceNow to view the benchmarks and you don't have to solely use HI to view them anymore.

Change Management

ITIL best practices alignment

A new plugin that provides alignment with proven ITIL practices is introduced in this release. The Change Management Best Practice – Jakarta ( plugin is activated by default for your new customers. Customers who upgrade from a previous release must request the plugin, because activating it could break existing customizations.

Incident Management

ITIL best practices alignment

A new plugin that provides alignment with proven ITIL practices is introduced in this release. The Incident Management Best Practice – Jakarta ( plugin is activated by default for your new customers. Customers who upgrade from a previous release must request the plugin, because activating it could break existing customizations.

ITSM guided setup

A new plugin that provides a new, process-centric version of guided setup is introduced in this release. The ITSM Guided Setup plugin (com.snc.guided_setup_metadata.itsm) is active by default for new customers. Upgrading customers can activate the plugin to view the new version of guided setup.

Guided Setup 1

Guided Setup 2

Guided Setup 3

Guided Setup 3

Problem Management

ITIL best practices alignment

A new plugin that provides alignment with proven ITIL practices is introduced in this release. The Problem Management Best Practice – Jakarta ( plugin is activated by default for your new customers. Customers who upgrade from a previous release must request the plugin, because activating it could break existing customizations.

Service Catalog

Full feature support for variable editors on records created via record producers

The Applies on Target Record check box available in the Catalog UI Policies and Catalog Client Scripts submodules ensures that they are applicable on the default variable editors. Catalog UI Policies, Catalog Client Scripts, Catalog Data Lookups, Reference Qualifiers, and dependent reference fields are supported on the default variable editor used for records created via record producers. This support is applicable only for records created for task-extended tables via record producers.

Automated Test Framework for Service Catalog

Catalog administrators can write automated tests to validate their catalog items because Service Catalog is supported in the Automated Test Framework (ATF). You can write end-to-end tests for both the requester and fulfiller flows. You can perform the following functions as part of the ATF for Service Catalog:

  • Search for a catalog item or record producer
  • Open a specific catalog item or record producer
  • Set variable values
  • Set item quantity
  • Validate variable values
  • Validate variable states
  • Validate price and recurring price
  • Add items to the shopping cart
  • Order a catalog item
  • Submit a record producer

Note: Only catalog items and record producers are supported for Service Catalog in the ATF. Order guides are not supported in this release. ATF is not supported for Portal flows.

Service Level Agreement

ITIL best practices alignment

A new plugin that provides alignment with proven ITIL practices is introduced in this release. The Service Level Agreement Best Practice – Jakarta ( plugin is activated by default for new customers. Customers who upgrade from a previous release must request the plugin, because activating it could break existing customizations.

Performance Analytics and Reporting

Performance Analytics

Performance Analytics widgets on Service Portal

You can add Performance Analytics widgets to Service Portal pages.

Improved Forecasting

Provides best-fit forecasting based on available data using multiple algorithms. You are alerted before targets are met through notifications.


Create a report from an imported Microsoft Excel document

In addition to creating reports from tables and data sources maintained on your instance, you can import Excel spreadsheets (.xlsx files) of data maintained outside of your instance and create reports from those files.

Reports on Service Portal

You can show reports using Service Portal.

When you edit a portal, add the Report widget. Use the widget options to specify a report to show on the service portal and whether to show the title of the report.

Reports on SP

Interactive Analysis

Interactive Analysis enables you to quickly explore data using visualizations.

Note: This functionality requires Performance Analytics Premium.
From any list of records you can access an interactive set of reports on the list data, as well as manipulate the data by grouping, stacking, and applying interactive filters. You can click a visualization to drill down into the data.

Interactive Analysis


Responsive canvas dashboards are enabled by default on new instances. On upgrading instances, responsive canvas must be enabled by an administrator. If responsive canvas was enabled during Istanbul, it remains enabled after upgrade to Jakarta.

Responsive canvas further the transition to Performance Analytics and the end of dropzones.  

To take advantage of responsive dashboard functionality, you can migrate your existing homepage to a dashboard.

Dashboard Creation 1

Dashboard Creation 2

Dashboard Switcher

Security Operations

Security Operations Trusted Security Circles

ServiceNow Trusted Security Circles is a new application in the Jakarta release.

Threat intelligence sharing is combined with added automation and anonymity to create Trusted Security Circles as part of Security Operations.

Trusted Security Circles is a channel for sharing threat intelligence, in the form of observables, to a predetermined set of trusted peers, members of their supply chain, or globally. Circles are typically organized around industry, geography, and/or supply chain.

With Trusted Security Circles, security teams anonymously share observable data with industry peers. Responses in the form of the number of sightings per observable are generated automatically by each receiving instance of ServiceNow. When data from respective circles is compared, patterns can emerge to identify targeted attacks against a specific group or industry. These patterns serve as an early warning system to other members of a circle, and a security incident is automatically created when observable thresholds are met. Typically, this sharing happens while investigating a security incident.

Users with Security Incident Response can join the global ServiceNow Trusted Security Circle.

Trusted Security Circles provides mutual benefits: The sending organization can identify whether the activity happening to them is a targeted attack or more broad-based. The receiving organizations get an early warning of potential future attacks.

Security Operations Common Functionality

CISO dashboard

Covers activity in four different tabs:

  • Security Operations Center
  • Vulnerability Profile
  • Security Controls Profile
  • Business Risk Profile

Depending on the products installed, you see the appropriate tabs.
These dashboards use performance analytics to show you the security posture from these four dimensions.

Service Management


Communities is a new application in the Jakarta release.

It provides a place for you to engage and interact with your organization in various ways, including:

  • help quickly solve issues
  • learn about best practices from others
  • engage with your organization for product feedback

Use Communities to:

  • improve support call deflection because users help themselves via crowd-sourced knowledge
  • communicate product updates
  • increase engagement with existing customers and lure prospects

Community 1

Community 2

Community 3