Configuration Items (CI’s) can be automated, but on occasions CI’s must be manually maintained. The ServiceNow Service Catalog provides a great front-end to manually manage your CI’s. System administrators and general IT users alike can benefit from an easy-to-use catalog front-end. Here’s a quick how-to for ServiceNow CI Management.
- User friendly catalog front-end
- Add, update or remove CI’s
- Usable for Business Services, Applications and any other class of CI
- Determine appropriate action depending on the user
The catalog portion of this can be fairly complicated to build depending on your environment but will provide users with a simple way to manage CIs. The image below is an example of the catalog front-end portion.
For this demonstration, we’ve used two different types of CIs (Business Service and Application,) but it can be built for as many as required. Depending on which CI type is selected, it will drive which CI specific fields are available. Also included are the different actions which can be taken on a CI: Add, Update, Remove.
When the action “Add” is selected, it will provide a blank form for the user to provide information on the given CI.
When “Update” is selected, the catalog will show a reference field to select which CI they want to update. Once a CI is selected it will automatically populate all of the given fields with information associated with the CI – this way to end-user can see what they are updating.
When “Remove” is selected, the CI reference field remains and when a CI is selected it will populate the visible fields, similar to Update. Users will not have the ability to update the CI.
Behind the Scenes
A custom table is suggested to hold your Configuration Management requests. When the submission is complete it will kick of a custom workflow which will decide on the appropriate actions to take depending on:
- The type of CI
- The type of action being taken
- Who has submit the request
For instance, if a system administrator wanted to quickly update an Application, the workflow could bypass approvals since the user has correct permission. Whereas, if a general IT user wanted to update an application, certain approvals would be created first.
The ServiceNow workflow engine provides some useful tools in determining which actions to take per type of request. It’s also easily customizable, so if the process changes it won’t require any coding to implement those changes into the workflow.
Below is an example of what the workflow for a ServiceNow CI Management request might look like.