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A ServiceNow update activity updates an existing record from a ServiceNow connection and is used as a target in an operation. After configuring a ServiceNow connection, you can configure as many ServiceNow activities as you like for each ServiceNow connection.

Known Issues

When configuring a ServiceNow update activity, you should be aware of these current known issues:

  • Operations with ServiceNow update activities change data when values aren't accepted by ServiceNow
    • Summary: Operations using a ServiceNow update activity write all records regardless of whether values are accepted in ServiceNow, replacing unacceptable values with the default value of the field, which in some cases could be null values.
    • Additional Info: There is no error reported in the operation log or record of the values having been changed.
  • Operations with ServiceNow update activities using incorrectly formatted DateTime data fail to write the record
    • Summary: Operations that use a ServiceNow update activity to attempt to write incorrectly formatted DateTime data will report success with an error but fail to update the record.
    • Additional Info: The error message returned does not report the wrong date format as a cause.
  • Custom tables in ServiceNow are not immediately visible
    • Summary: The ServiceNow connector invalidates the cache maintained for the ServiceNow metadata. This metadata is cached for performance. The cache is reset every two hours.
    • Additional Info: Users won’t see the newly-created metadata such as tables in Cloud Studio until the cache is invalidated.
    • Workaround: Users working in a development environment running on Cloud Agents will need to wait two hours from the last cache reset to see the new tables. Users working in a development environment running on Private Agents can restart the private agents to reset the cache.

Creating a ServiceNow Activity

From the design canvas, open the Connectivity tab of the design component palette:

Connectivity tab

Within the Endpoints filter, click the ServiceNow connection block to display activities that are available to be used with a ServiceNow connection:

Connectivity tab

To create an activity that can be configured, the activity must first be added to an operation on the design canvas. To add an activity to an operation, drag the activity block from the palette to the operation.

For more information about the parts of an operation and adding activities to operations, see Operation Creation and Configuration.

Accessing Menu Actions

After a ServiceNow activity has been added to an operation, menu actions for that activity are accessible from the project pane in either the Workflows or the Components tabs, and from the design canvas:

  • Project Pane: In the Workflows or Components tab of the project pane, hover over an activity name and click the actions menu icon to open the actions menu.

  • Design Canvas: Within the operation, click an existing activity block to open the actions menu.

Each of these menu actions is available:

  • View/Edit: This opens the activity configuration screen for you to configure the activity. For details, see Configuring a ServiceNow Update Activity later on this page.

  • Delete: This is used to permanently delete the activity.

  • Rename: This positions the cursor on the activity name in the project pane for you to make edits.

  • View Dependencies: This changes the view in the project pane to display any other parts of the project that the activity is dependent on.

  • Remove: Available only from the actions menu on the design canvas, this removes the activity as a step in the operation without deleting it from the project. When you remove an activity that is adjacent to a transformation, if schemas are provided within that activity, they will no longer be referenced by the transformation. Removed components can be accessed or permanently deleted from the project pane.

  • Deploy: This deploys the activity and any components it is dependent on.

  • Configurable Deploy: This opens the deployment screen, where you can select project components to deploy.

  • Add to group: This opens a prompt to create a new custom group or to add the component to an existing group.

  • Duplicate: This creates a copy of the activity as a new, unreferenced component. Upon creating the component copy, the cursor is positioned on the component name within the project pane for you to rename the component.

Configuring a ServiceNow Update Activity

Follow these steps to configure a ServiceNow update activity:

  • Step 1 – Select an Object
  • Step 2 – Review Data Schema

Step 1 – Select an Object

Connectivity tab

  • Name: Enter a name to use to identify the ServiceNow update activity. The name must be unique for each update activity and must not contain forward slashes (/) or colons (:).

  • Select an Object: This section displays objects available in the ServiceNow endpoint. When reopening an existing activity configuration, only the selected object is displayed instead of reloading the entire object list.

    • Selected ServiceNow Object: After an object is selected, it will be listed here.
    • Search: Enter any part of the object name into the search box to filter the list of objects. The search is not case-sensitive. If objects are already displayed within the table, the table results will be filtered in real time with each keystroke. To reload objects from the endpoint when searching, enter search criteria and then refresh, as described below.
    • Refresh: Click the refresh icon Refresh icon or the word Refresh to reload objects from the ServiceNow endpoint. This may be useful if you have recently added objects to the ServiceNow instance. This action refreshes all metadata used to build the table of objects displayed in the configuration.
    • Select an Object: Within the table, click anywhere on a row to select an object. Only one object can be selected. The information available for each object is fetched from the ServiceNow endpoint:
      • Name: The object name from ServiceNow.
      • Description: The object description from ServiceNow.

    TIP: ServiceNow Personal Developer Instances are known to "go to sleep" if you haven't recently logged in to the ServiceNow UI. If the table does not populate with available objects, first ensure that the ServiceNow instance is active, and then ensure you are connected to it by reopening the ServiceNow connection and retesting the credentials.

  • Save & Exit: If enabled, click to save the configuration for this step and close the activity configuration.

  • Next: Click to temporarily store the configuration for this step and continue to the next step. The
    configuration will not be saved until you click the Finished button on the last step.

  • Discard Changes: After making changes, click Discard Changes to close the configuration without saving changes made to any step. A message will ask you to confirm that you want to discard changes.

Step 2 – Review Data Schema

Connectivity tab

  • Data Schema: The request and response data schemas for ServiceNow will be displayed. If the operation uses a transformation, the data schemas will be displayed again later during the transformation mapping process, where you can map to target fields using source objects, scripts, variables, custom values, and more.

    The ServiceNow connector uses the ServiceNow API. Refer to the schemas documentation for information on the schema fields.

  • Back: Click to temporarily store the configuration for this step and return to the previous step.

  • Finished: Click to save the configuration for all steps and close the activity configuration.

Next Steps

After configuring a ServiceNow update activity, complete the configuration of the operation by adding and configuring other activities, transformations, or scripts as operation steps. You can also configure an operation's operation settings, which include the ability to chain operations together that are in the same or different workflows.

ServiceNow update activities can be used as a target with these operation patterns:

Other patterns are not valid using ServiceNow update activities. See the validation patterns on the Operation Validity page.

To use the activity with scripting functions, write the data to a temporary location and then use that temporary location in the scripting function.

When ready, deploy and run the operation and validate behavior by checking the operation logs.

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Last updated:  Nov 12, 2019

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