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ServiceNow has always been great to make traditionally difficult integration interfaces easy to setup and execute. This typically translates into a lot of point and click activities.

For the die-hard coders, like me, sometimes we want a little less point and clickedness to get our job done.

To learn about (and download) this new library, please visit my blog:  Scripted REST Calls in ServiceNow

John Andersen
Passionate fan of Custom Apps, Integrations, and Service Portal Experiences

Sometimes, the past is prologue. It just takes a while for current reality to catch up with the foreshadowing.

Take IT innovations that have transformed how business is done. By my lights, three of the first of these began transforming business in the 1400s.

  • Adoption of Arabic numerals made arithmetic possible, transforming merchants and trade in. (Ever try adding and subtracting Roman numerals? Not what you'd call agile.)
  • The invention of double-entry bookkeeping (in Italy or Croatia, depending on what and whom you believe) made accurate accounting, inventory assessment and business performance analysis possible for the first time. (Once you can count and record what you have, what you've sold and what you've bought, you can know what's making you money, what's costing you money, and how much.)
  • The first printing presses made it possible to share information consistently. Including, for example, how double-entry bookkeeping works. (Italian Luca Pacioli's treatise on the subject, while not the first recorded description of the technique, was arguably one of the first "business best-sellers.")


Taken together, these transformative innovations enabled something businesses never had before: a single, consistent, shareable version of the truth based on a single system of record. Something without which modern business would be impossible, or at least very different.


Today, some six centuries later, business IT has reached a similarly transformative evolutionary precipice. And like their earlier counterparts, many of today's IT innovations are focused squarely on transforming and improving how every modern enterprise does business.


The most exciting news about this where ServiceNow is concerned comes from ServiceNow customers. As demonstrated amply and ably by the examples in the ServiceNow Custom Application Showcase, ServiceNow customers are extending the value of ServiceNow well beyond IT in innovative, transformative ways. And these efforts are extending the lessons learned and successes achieved by IT across all types of enterprises, enabling consistently effective and agile shared services and service relationship management.


At the heart of these benefits? The ability to use ServiceNow to create a single system of record that enables a single, consistent, shareable version of the truth, within and beyond IT.


If you are or know of a ServiceNow customer who is delivering transformative innovation with the ServiceNow CreateNow Development Suite and the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform, now is the time to seek recognition of those efforts. How? By submitting a description of the relevant work for consideration during this year's Innovation of the Year Awards. Finalists will be featured at Knowledge14 during the keynote address from Fred Luddy, ServiceNow Founder and Chief Product Officer (and "the Steve Jobs of ITSM").


The deadline for Innovation of the Year entries is March 31, so if you haven't done so already, get yourself or your colleague signed up ASAP. (And if you or your colleague haven't yet registered for Knowledge14, "early bird" discount pricing ends at 11:59 p.m. US Pacific time on February 1, so get on it! (Then, please take my poll on the business value of your latest ServiceNow custom app, and stay tuned for future commentary from me on the results. Thanks in advance!)

This isn't 1972. Stop adding "...Gate" to anything vaguely scandalous. Nor is it 1978 and we're not in Jonestown. Stop drinking (laced) Kool-Aid.


We're equally guilty of language apathy in the enterprise software community. My biggest pet peeve is how we give good ideas marketable names then overuse them until they mean nothing. Case in point: "DevOps". There's no longer a consistent definition of what it means, when to use it, who it benefits, or how… yet countless Towers of Babel have been funded in the name of it. Two others: "social" (why? when?) and "big data" (how big?). Let's stop bastardizing these to rationalize lazy product design. From the (lengthy!) list, the one that's most bothersome is "mobile-first design".




A decade ago mobile was new, intriguing, misunderstood, and undervalued. A chorus of Statler and Waldorf naysayers threw rotten tomatoes from the balcony because they lacked the vision to see that screen resolution and battery life would improve, touch screens would fix usability, and wireless networks would become stable and ubiquitous. As those changed around 2007, that chorus of boos became a round of applause. By 2010, any software project could be justified as long as it was available on mobile devices.


…and that's where the problem started. We got distracted by the mobile euphoria hailstorm and stopped asking basic questions:

  • What's mobile? A device? Network? Lifestyle?
  • Why does it need to be mobile? How can we make it better for disconnected users?
  • What are the use cases? Who are the users? What problems are they solving?


It's product design 101 and yet the shiny object called "270,000 iPhones sold in the first 30 hours after launch" provided the veil we needed to hide design-last behind mobile-first. Google reveals the extent to which "mobile-first" has been bludgeoned beyond recognition: 505,000 search results and the first thousand or so are from authors, designers, and vendors preying on under-informed developers, product and project managers.


So we overuse and misuse "mobile-first". So what? It's 2014 and, ironically, we need to mature past mobile-first to restore the meaning and impact Luke Wroblewski intended when he coined it in 2009. He was the visionary who first published that "…designing for mobile first not only prepares us for explosive growth and new opportunities, it forces us to focus and enables us to innovate." Right on Jedi Master. Let's channel Luke and remember why mobile is so powerful.


Mobile is an essential complement to any well-designed product. At a time when 31% of consumers cite "mobile" as their primary method of accessing the web and there are nearly 6.6 billion mobile subscriptions (...and only 7.1 billion people!), it's redundant to "think mobile first". Heck, in the developed world, there are roughly 1.3 active mobile devices per person and the developing world which suffers from poor fixed infrastructure is gaining ground at a ferocious pace. We live mobile: first, middle, and last.


In the words of the CIO of one of our largest customers, "we stopped thinking mobile first… and started thinking mobile always." He volunteered that in a discussion about automating self-service. The conversation was unrelated to mobile yet he felt compelled to address it as part of his overall "Customer First" strategy. There's a reason why their stock price has appreciated 79% since he was hired!


"Mobile always" means never compromising the user experience and always adapting function to form. It means small screens don't suffer from limited features. They behave as if they're larger by incorporating contextual information like location and presence that are more valuable when leveraged remote. It means taking inspiration from brilliant apps like Sun and understanding why Color failed.


Mobile always means never needing to read a manual. It just works the way it should, the way other apps do, the way users think it should. Mobile first has become overused beyond recognition. Mobile always is the new mobile first.

It takes a team...

Posted by nsimha Employee Jan 21, 2014

Application development is usually a team effort.  Dublin introduces a brand new feature to help teams collaborate easily whether to create a new application, make an enhancement to an existing application or fix a bug while working on the next rev of the application.

For an introduction to what team development can do for you and your team start with this short video...


Once you've discovered or created something interesting, useful or cool, whether it's digital content or a delicious dessert based on a new recipe, what's the very next thing you're likely to do with that thing?

Why, share it, of course.

If you doubt the pervasiveness of this tendency, check any social media site or online content. Even those without a "like" button have a "share" button or link – and for those that don't, there are share features built into or easily added to most browsers.

And what's true for just about everything from cakes and cassoulet to digital content is equally true for custom applications, code snippets and even best practices related to application creation and deployment. I know this because ServiceNow customers have been sharing and collaborating on such resources since they discovered they could build custom applications on the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform.

Such collaboration and sharing previously required a fair amount of heavy lifting, or at the very least active participation in ServiceNow User Group (SNUG) meetings or Knowledge conference sessions. Some recent developments should lighten the load and expand and accelerate the urge to collaborate and share.

One such development is the addition of team development support features to the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform. With the Dublin release, the ServiceNow platform enables development teams to add resources rapidly, to manage multiple features and teams in parallel, and to schedule product releases predictably. Teams of developers working in parallel across features, releases, or geographies on the ServiceNow platform gain release management and code synchronization features that avoid the cost, hassle, and productivity drags that development conflicts can cause.

Another development that should spur more collaboration and sharing among those creating custom applications with ServiceNow is the newly enhanced and re-launched ServiceNow online community. Its location remains the same – But just about everything else about it has changed for the better.

One such change is a new section devoted to creators using the App Creator and the ServiceNow CreateNow Development Suite. A related change is that I have the honor of being one of the moderators of that section of the ServiceNow Community. Rather than describing it in excruciating detail here, I'll just say that I look forward to collaborating and sharing with you and your colleagues there soon. So make sure to register and post a profile, especially if you never did so at the original ServiceNow Community site. You'll be glad you did, especially if you're interested in discovering and interacting with other like-minded ServiceNow customers.

(A suggestion: once you're on board, you might consider starting by following the "CreateNow," "Service Automation Platform," "Business Applications" and "Share" areas within the Community. You can easily browse all the available "places" and "spaces," and follow as many as you like.)

One of the leading strengths of the ServiceNow Service Automation Platform is its ability to deliver mobile device support and social interaction features to any application running on the platform. The new team development features of the platform and new interactions made possible by the new ServiceNow Community site are similarly powerful and transformative.

If the past is an accurate harbinger, 2014 will be a great year for the growth and acceleration of collaboration and sharing among the members and supporters of the ServiceNow creator community. So request your upgrade to Dublin, get your Community profile posted, and start creating, collaborating and sharing what you've created and learned with the ServiceNow Community!

Marc Andreessen, internet wunderkind of Netscape fame who deserves credit for making web geekery cool, famously claimed in 2011 that "software is eating the world." He cited that in a decade, the cost of delivering internet-scale web services has decreased two orders of magnitude and continues to fall.



The future of technology - no, the future of globalization - is now controlled by a small number of application creators. They define the architectures, interfaces, and experiences that transform industries and define how we relate to the world. At ServiceNow, we celebrate them, connect them, enable them. We're proud of our role and even more proud of their accomplishments.


To help quantify the impact they're having, we're re-launching the Index of PaaS Activity (IPA) as the Application Creation Index (ACI). The shift is less a change in name and more a change in philosophy that reflects how customers use our platform.


Customers like RedHat, Land O'Lakes, and Tommy Bahama inspire us with stories about how they're fundamentally changing the nature of service delivery by empowering small teams with great app dev tools. The new name recognizes that the value application creators deliver isn't derived from the cloud services they consume but from their innovation - and the value metric for innovation is apps.


ACI January 2014.png

We'll calculate the index based on a weighted average of objective industry criteria that track the app dev movement. We'll take into account publicly-available data like stock prices, social media activity, and job postings plus our own data about custom application volume, trends, and usage patterns.


The index begins January with a score of 100. It will ebb and flow over time and we'll do our best to explain significant shifts as they happen. We'll always invite feedback, particularly insights that challenge our assumptions and conclusions.


In 2013, enterprise software re-emerged as the epicenter of technology innovation. In 2014, as an industry we'll finally acknowledge that application creators deserve the credit. Above all, we realize PaaS is passé, controlled by platform operators tasked with KTLO activities. By contrast, application creation is vibrant, controlled by doers defining the future of enterprise computing.


Software is eating the world. And we're hungrier than ever.


There are several good examples on blogs and the ServiceNow wiki of creating a popup-style dialog box to show form or list data from another ServiceNow form. I wanted to use those examples to create yet another scenario: From a ServiceNow list, right-click on a record and have an external website pop up as a dialog box and accept information from the list record that was selected.

In this example, users can browse incidents in their ServiceNow instance. In the list view, they can right-click an incident and choose an option to view related search results in Mozilla’s Open Directory Project ( The action will take the terms from the “Short Description” field on the selected incident and show search results on those terms from DMOZ.

To read more about how to set this up in your own instance read more at Pass form data to a Popup Dialog Window.

John Andersen
Passionate fan of Custom Apps, Integrations, and Service Portal Experiences

There are so many new  features to support custom application creation in in Dublin to get excited about.  I am going to highlight the top three

  • Team Development – This is the first native, distributed version control system natively built into the platform.  There is no need to integrate with any external source code control system. This new feature, which works alongside the update set framework, radically simplifies how a team of developers can work together to build a new application, work on patches to an application while working on the next release and supporting the dev->test->prod cycle.
  • Javascript Debugger – Dublin bring rich IDE type debugging experience to your browser. With the Javascript debugger you can  set breakpoints, inspect variables and more for server side Javascript all from your browser.
  • Enhanced App Creator – Calgary introduced AppCreator that made creating an application a breeze.    Dublin enhances it further – turn on  live feed on any table with a single click, create a service catalog entry for any table by configuring the fields you want.

Get started by watching these video on  team development and debugger.


Finally, be sure to check out the Dublin Release Notes for all the other exciting new features!

Are you a creator?

Posted by nsimha Employee Jan 9, 2014

Have you ever wondered why you can access thousands of apps on your phone, yet are stuck with e-mail and spreadsheets to do work in your enterprise?  And wished there was an app for that?  ServiceNow creators are doing just that in an enterprise – building useful business applications and changing the enterprise app landscape.


Application creation has traditionally been a complex, time consuming and expensive proposition – this has been due to the underlying complexity of the platforms and the highly technical skills needed to build applications.  Also, enhancing applications over time is neither easy nor cheap. These factors have resulted in a situation wherein IT is unable to meet the business demand for apps – leaving users to their own means.  According to a Gartner study this gap between the needs of the users and the IT’s ability to meet it, which they call the “IT debt” is approaching $1T!  Our mission at ServiceNow is to close that gap by – a) radically simplifying the platform and b) by empowering a new class of individuals to build and enhance the applications – the ServiceNow creators.

ServiceNow creators create new applications by using the CreateNow Development Suite.  These individuals need not have highly technical skills or even need to know coding to be able to create useful business applications.  They could be business analysts, system administrators or even savvy end users.  The CreateNow Development Suite allows these Creators to build and enhance applications with clicks. And deploying this platform whether to a single department or the entire enterprise is a snap, thanks to the underlying platform.

ServiceNow Creators have already built thousands of applications for HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing and more. Become a creator  lead the app revolution in your enterprise!

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