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22 Posts authored by: nsimha Employee

cfs.jpegBuilt an app on ServiceNow Platform that your boss can't stop gushing over? Integrated ServiceNow with a big, hairy ERP system that still gives you nightmares?  Established governance around ServiceNow Platform for your organization?  Consider yourself an expert developer? Then we want to hear from you!


Share your success and best practices at CreatorCon, the largest gathering of Service Management developers by submitting your proposal here.  If you are accepted as a speaker, we will give you a complementary pass to the conference.  Look forward to hearing from you.



Call for speaker details

CreatorCon event page

As we reported in our previous blogs -  part 1 and part 2, one of our customers held a very successful hackathon that concluded today.  After the event, I spent some time with Shiva Ramachandran(SR) their IT Director and the main sponsor for the event this year to get his thoughts on the event.


NS > Shiva, congrats on pulling off a very successful hackathon. I liked the super hero theme and how it blended creativity with fun. How do you feel?

SR> Very excited to see the energy and enthusiasm of all the teams and the creativity that has been exhibited.  shiva.jpg


NS > This is the second year your company is running a hackathon on ServiceNow – what was the original inspiration for this event and what value do you see for your organization?

SR>  We have folks coming up with ideas all the time.  We wanted to channel that creativity and provide a conduit by allowing a few days for them to work on some of the areas that they are very passionate about.  As you can see all these ideas are areas where the teams are trying to solve the problems faced on a day-to-day basis.


NS >  I was really impressed by the business value of these apps - these were not just apps that were cool for its own sake, the teams could articulate the cost saving or productivity improvements in quantifiable terms.  What are your plans to take the promising apps that were developed in this event and actually roll it out in your environment?

SR>  Many of the ideas that were created at the hackathon last year have already been implemented and are in production.  We plan to do the same this year.


NS > Any best practices that you would want to share with others in the ServiceNow community that may want to hold their own hackathon?

SR>  Planning and communication are the key.  You need to start with leadership to champion this and have your customers and other stakeholders participate in it.  Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Make the team excited so that they can work on this.  Clear their plate so that they can focus on this activity.  Work with ServiceNow teams to have their support so that they can provide the instances and help with folks during the hackathon.  Most importantly have some fun!


NS > That is great advice.  Final question, what is it with the weather - it is always this hot in Phoenix?  It is supposed to be fall and it is 102 degrees.

SR> Ha ha ha…..  Not always.  It starts to cool down in October and becomes good weather till April.


NS > Thank you Shiva for letting us be a part of your event and even letting me wear the superhero cloak.  I look forward to seeing you at Knowledge 16 and attending your next hackathon!


The coding is done, the red bull supply has run out and now it is time for judges to pick the winning entry.  As @Martin reported in his blog yesterday one of our large customers held a hackathon on ServiceNow platform - their second year holding such an event.  Today each team was given 15 minutes to do a demo of their app to a panel of judges. The team names Mighty Legends, Blue Monsters, Flying Robots etc. were in tune with the superhero theme of the event and added to the fun.  It was truly amazing to see what the teams had built in about a day - a mobile app with speech recognition, dev op tools, integrating change management with Lync and many more.  Each of these apps either solved an existing issue in their current environment or showed how a simple app can help save money or help them work more efficiently.  As an example, one of the teams figured out that better collaboration would help them meet or exceed their SLA commitments.  Another team built an app to help quickly size a project effort and an estimated cost savings of $500K.  Not bad for about a day's work!






The grand prize was awarded to a team that built an elegant solution to enable code reuse and sharing - they built a component repository that enables anyone in the organization to easily share code with each other.


This is similar to ServiceNow share in intent but is designed to handle code sharing in any language and is meant for internal use.  Developers can contribute to the repository by filling out a simple form and others can search, download and use it.  The front end was built using AngularJS to give it a slick, modern interface.  Reuse is a hallmark of good software engineering and thanks to the ingenuity of this team and the power of ServiceNow platform developers can build apps faster than before. Our hearty congrats to the winners and all the teams!             


Part 3 : Interview with the sponsor of the event>>

rodeo.jpegCreateNow makes building apps fun and easy - over forty of our customers and partners in beautiful Calgary built their first app yesterday at the App Dev Workshop.  We have been holding these free, four hour App Dev Workshop across the globe and if you are interested to have one in your city please ping me or contact your local sales team.  You can also go through the material by following the instructions here.  You will need your own instance, which you can get it for free by signing up for our developer program.  While you are on the developer site, check out all the other training we have available.


Looking for ideas on what app to build - check out the app showcase and let us know if you want your app featured there.

CreatorCon - its a wrap

Posted by nsimha Employee Apr 30, 2015


Developer oriented activities and sessions have been a part of Knowledge since the first knowledge event in 2010.  And every year based on feedback from the attendees, we kept adding to the number of developer sessions.  And every year developers wanted even more.  So this year in addition to the 140 developer oriented sessions and activities we had at Knowledge, we decided to do a post conference just for developers.  When we started planning the event, we didnt quite know what to expect in terms of attendance.  We were blown away by the response - and had to scramble to add capacity, repeat many of the sessions to accommodate the demand and increase the number of slots we had for taking the certification exam.


Here are a few highlights

Keynote by Pat Casey and Fred Luddy -  Pat and Fred went down the memory lane on how ServiceNow has evolved over years and our incredible customers.  One of the things that resonated with me was a comment made by Fred on his goal of making the platform accessible to a larger group of developers to build apps.  He noted that those that have invested in older technologies are usually reluctant to adopt a new tool, but any tool that gives power to a wider audience always wins. This is true of most disruptive technologies and certainly about out platform which enables a wide spectrum of developers.


Workshops and Breakouts - Great technical content - most of it at intermediate and advanced level.  We have made all the content available here.  In the coming days, we will record the most popular ones and share it with the community.


HackZone - It was fun to watch developers control disco lights with ServiceNow.  Also, interesting was the ideas it triggered - one developer wanted to integrate a card reader into his facility management app, another wanted to integrate SmartThings in a data center to pinpoint the rack where the failed CI is located.


Certified Application Developer - we introduced a brand new certification.  rbeeman if officially the first certified developer.  Congrats Robert!


Meet the experts at Developer Lounge and the booths we had for the developer program, community and store.  Lot of great conversation and ideas.  Please keep the conversation and questions going in this community.


Party at House of Blues - what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas :-)

We have made all the workshop material - guides and the presentations available on the developer community.  To get to the material, please follow the instructions below.  We will make the breakout material available after the conference.

NOTE - not every workshop has both a guide and a presentation. If a particular workshop only has one document, that is the only document you will need to complete the workshop successfully.  


1) Log into the community.  You have to be logged in to access the material.


[After I posted this blog, @Ben Phillips and dan.bruhn showed me a better way to get to the content directly - just follow this link to skip step 2 and 3.)


2) Navigate to content tab in Developer Community.


3) Filter for "creatorconworkshop"


4) Click on your workshop guide or presentation and download it.



Look forward to seeing you in the workshops today and tomorrow!

Wow!   What a keynote this morning that outlined the vision of how to manage everything as a service and covered the major product areas - Service Management, ServiceNow Express, ITOM and platform.  If you missed it you can watch it here.   There is a lot for developers to be excited about and I want to pick a few from the platform section of the keynote -


1) Architecture matters - Pat Casey, VP and GM of the platform business unit kicked of his section of the keynote by highlighting ServiceNow's multi-instance architecture and contrasting it with multi-tenant architecture.  I will expand on this theme in a later blog but in a nutshell, a multi-instance architecture gives customers the control they need on their instances and does not impose any architecture driven limitations on how developers should build apps. 


2) Scoped Applications in Fuji - this is a new feature that is a must understand if you want to build apps on Fuji - we are covering this in depth at CreatorCon take a look at this blog here for more details.


3) ServiceNow Store is live - you can buy apps and sell apps - read more details here.


4) Developer Studio a full featured Integrated Development Environment(IDE) built for  professional developers.  Stop by at the ExpoNow pavilion to get a look at this new tool or attend the session at CreatorCon.


5) CreateNow Developer Program is now available to all developers - all the learning, support, tools and ofcourse your very own instance to build apps.  More details here.


We will be sharing a lot more details on all these areas in the coming days - stay tuned.  And for those of you who are participating in the CreateNow Hackathon tonite - all the best!

Is the UI of your application intuitive and engaging?  Does it capture your company's brand and identity?  . The Content Management System (CMS) allows admins and developers to build custom user interface on ServiceNow.  sdaasdasd, Principal Solution Architect at Linium will lead a workshop at CreatorCon that goes beyond the basics of CMS and will open your eyes to the art of possible with CMS.  At the end of the workshop you will learn to build a site that looks like below - he will teach you how to incorporate Font Awesome and bootstrap to make your CMS site truly awesome.  Sean has helped many ServiceNow customers leverage CMS in their organizations in an innovative manner and we are really excited that he will be sharing his knowledge with the community. 

P.S:  The CMS session is close to capacity (as are a few other sessions).  Please add them this and other sessions you want to attend to reserve your spot.


CreatorCon intilect page.png

What is better than an ice cold beer? bender_bending_rodriguez_by_car0003-d5tdyps.png Having it delivered by a robot.  And cooler than that is learning how to program this functionality in ServiceNow.  josephpardy and strumble will teach you just that in their "API Through Examples" breakout.  They will have fruBot at CreatorCon and will teach you how to program it.  Read about their session on their blog.  fruBot is a lot cuter than Bender and has an API.  Even if your employer or significant other won't let you buy and program a great labor saving bot, knowledge of how to integrate with APIs is extremely useful.  Everything is becoming programmable via APIs - thermostat in your home to your car to lights in your home.  You can also get a taste of this at the hackzone as well where we will have other IoT devices that you can program yourself.


We are not sure if fruBot can actually open bottles yet so you may want to bring a bottle opener just in case.  #CreatorCon

When I started at ServiceNow almost three years ago one of the first things I did was to talk to our developers on how they are using our platform.  One of the developers I met sreedhar.jpegearly on ms3550  showed me multiple apps he and his team had built - apps that replaced legacy systems they had (giving them not only modern functionality but also saving money on maintenance cost) and apps for new areas of their business. They have continued on this journey of building custom apps on the ServiceNow platform. Sreedhar is a wealth of knowledge on how to best use the platform - everything from what the right fit applications are to technical best practices.

I caught up with Sreedhar recently and asked him a few questions about Knowledge15 and CreatorCon.  He is a Knowledge veteran and this year in addition to presenting at Knowledge he is planning to attend as many of the sessions at CreatorCon as possible - his shortlist includes reporting, under the hood and Store sessions. And ofcourse the parties!  His advice for first time attendees was to identify sessions that they can learn from and immediately apply the learning at work when they go back.  His other piece of advice was to network with other attendees. And that is one of the biggest value you get from attending Knowledge and CreatorCon, the learning that comes from interacting with other attendees like Sreedhar.   If you have attended any of the previous Knowledge events or even a @SNUG in your city, you know how welcoming and open the ServiceNow community is - I urge you take advantage of your presence at Knowledge and CreatorCon to network and learn from other experts.  Checkout the The specified item was not found. section of the Knowledge site on how you can begin your networking even before you get there.

And that would be Application Scope.  The goal behind application scope is to ensure that an application running in an instance of ServiceNow plays nicely with every other application running on that instance i.e. doesn’t impact other applications adversely.  This applies to all applications whether built by ServiceNow, developed in-house by the enterprise or purchased from a partner.  If you are familiar with namespaces in other languages like Java, it is somewhat similar to that however unlike namespaces application scope has broader implications and affects code visibility, access control, versioning and more. Since this is a fairly fundamental change in the platform in Fuji, we have multiple sessions at CreatorCon on this topic.

@Joe Davis from our product development groups and a key platform architect will be leading a breakout titled Under the hood - Application Model on Thursday afternoon.  This session will go over all the implications of application scope through short demos.  Also on Thursday afternoon, you can also attend a hands on workshop - Converting pre-Fuji applications to scoped applications that is being conducted by   Bobby and David Gatley.  Bobby and David are back Friday morning to deliver another workshop  Managing application lifecycle with application model in Fuji .  We are ofcourse chaperoning Bobby and David Thursday evening at the House of Blues party so that they do make it to the conference Friday morning.  All applications that are to be listed on the Store has to be scoped applications so this topic will get coverage in Building Orchestration Applications and getting them ready for ServiceNow Store workshop being delivered by jonokoster and carleen


This is also one of the focus areas in our developer lounge so if you cant attend one of these sessions, you can still get your questions answered. 


I encourage you to check out the wiki documentation and this blog by David Gatley to get yourself familiar with application scope.  Also, please post any questions that you may have on this topic below for our presenters.


Mobile is eating the world - smartphones outsold PC's for the first time in 2011 and it is estimated that a quarter of the world's population will have a smartphone by 2016. With the proliferation of smartphones comes the demand for new mobile applications.  As a developer building custom applications on ServiceNow mobile shouldn't be an afterthought. The capabilities of smartphones - location, camera, touch ID to name just a few can open up a whole world of possibilities on the types of apps you can build and the user experience you can deliver. The good news is that you have multiple options to build mobile apps with ServiceNow

1) Take advantage of the smartphone interface in the platform - The smartphone interface provides functionality to make your application functionality accessible in a mobile friendly fashion.  The form designer additionally allows you to define mobile specific views.  This may be sufficient for many custom applications where the focus is on enabling users of the applications to access a subset of the functionality easily through their mobile devices.

2) Build a native mobile application - These are applications that are custom built for a specific platform - iOS, Android etc. and access ServiceNow through APIs.  This approach has the advantage that the user experience and application functionality can be highly optimized by taking advantage of the capabilities of the device.  The disadvantage of this approach is the cost and complexity - developers will have to code to native APIs of these platforms and if multiple platforms need to be supported, it would mean building the application on each of the platform.

3) Build once on a container using HTML5, deploy to any OS - this approach is sometimes also called the hybrid approach.  Essentially, developers build on top of a container that abstracts away the differences in mobile OS and makes device capabilities available in an uniform manner.  Developers can write standard HTML5 code (JavaScript, CSS etc.) and call ServiceNow APIs to build the application.  Apache Cordova is a popular open source container that supports this style of development.


This year at #CreatorCon, nabilenayet a senior solutions consultant with Evergreen Systems is leading a hands on workshop to build a Conference Companion app using Apache Cordova and ServiceNow. confcompanion.pngIn teaching you how to build this app, you will learn how to access the device camera, location and contact list with simple javascript commands, and synchronize data to and from a ServiceNow instance.  He will also be covering general mobile design principles. 

If you are interested in attending, please sign up for this workshop at CreatorCon using the session builder.  If you have additional questions for nabil.m.enayet please post them below. 

Want to understand how some feature of the platform works or why it works the way it does - just stop by the developer lounge. At  #CreatorCon we have a dedicated area where you can meet and interact with our product development engineers. We have identified the following five focus areas for the developer lounge


  • UI/UX - UI Development using UI pages, CMS, integrating other JS libraries etc.
  • Application Model in Fuji - application scoping, upgrading etc.
  • Building Applications - Application creation, team development
  • Domain Separation
  • Integration - REST, OAuth and best practices
  • Building an application for Store - certification and listing


The developer lounge will be open through CreatorCon.  Hope to see you there.

This year there is one more reason to attend Knowledge and that is to attend  CreatorCon the inaugural ServiceNow Developer conference.  Starting on Thursday, April 23rd and running through Friday afternoon, CreatorCon is packed with learning and networking opportunities. Here are a few things you can look forward to


Keynote by Pat Casey and Fred Luddy - Pat Casey, GM of ServiceNow platform business unit and Fred Luddy our founder will kick of the conference with their keynote - get ready to be educated and inspired to build the next generation of cloud applications.


Project Led Workshops - These hour and a half workshops led by the top experts on ServiceNow platform with give you hands on experience on the new Fuji application model, building a mobile application, CMS, Killer UX, Advanced scripting and a lot more.  The workshops are designed to give you the knowledge you can apply in your job right away.


Demo led breakouts - These breakouts are slide light and code / demo heavy to educate you on the newest features and best practices.  Topics include integration best practices, application testing, performance tuning, using APIs effectively.


Certified Application Developer Exam - Be among the first few to get certified as an Application Developer on ServiceNow platform  You can take the exam on site and we are waiving the exam fee ($150) if you take the exam during CreatorCon.


Developer Lounge - Grab a drink and discuss APIs, UI, Domain separation or any other platform topics with our product engineers and product managers.


HackZone - Release your inner geek by playing with Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are integrated with ServiceNow.  A P1 incident just doesnt have to change color on the screen, you can get it to light up a philips hue bulb.  Or have it get displayed on a pebble smart watch.


And attend a great party at the legendary House of Blues


And now for the best part - CreatorCon is absolutely free with your Knowledge registration.  Don't miss it  - the learning from this conference will make you a better developer.

Hackathons are a win-win

Posted by nsimha Employee Oct 23, 2014

Earlier this week a few of us from ServiceNow had the privilege of participating in a hackathon put together by one of our customers for their employees.  Fueled by  ServiceNow Platform, a lot of Red Bull and other caffeinated beverages it ran from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon.  There were over 90 participants organized into 14 teams across the globe and each team built a complete app by the end of the event.  These apps demonstrated how the power of the platform combined with creativity can quickly deliver tremendous business value.  Here is a sampling of the applications built in less than two days...

  • Timecard management application to eliminate several manual processes
  • Integration between ServiceNow and Microsoft Outlook to do automated delegation
  • Applications to support DevOps
  • Mobile applications to support customized notifications and approvals


Hackathons are a great way to unleash creativity, foster team work and learn.  We see this every year at our CreateNow Hackathons at Knowledge and we are seeing an increasing number of customers hold internal hackathons. Holding a hackathon takes some planning but it is not too hard. Here are a few tips to make it successful:

  • Time to plan: Give yourself at least six weeks, more if you are part of a large organization and/or the team are geographically distributed
  • Have a volunteer team to help organize: There are lot of details to take care of and having colleagues to help is crucial.
  • Market the event: Get the word out in multiple ways - internal collaboration site, e-mail, posters etc..  Brand it with a cool catchy theme.
  • Setup a simple registration page: built on ServiceNow of course :-).
  • Get an executive sponsor: Some one who can help you market the event as well as approve the time and budget required
  • Have a easy way for participants to ask questions and get help: for this event we setup a private group on community and had both ServiceNow and customer representatives monitor it.
  • Give each team their own instance for the duration of the hackathon: we at ServiceNow can help you with that.
  • Decide on judging criteria, the judges and prizes: Pick judges who get the spirit of a hackathon and will also encourage participation.
  • Publish the results after the event - highlight what was done and encourage the teams to share their experience with their peers


Finally, have fun!  Most of us are in this field since we like technology and enjoy building stuff - hackathons are a great way to do that.  Participants can build things they like freed from any constraints and the management sees what is possible - a true win win!   Go ahead and put together a hackathon at your company and let us know how we can help.

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