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Master ServiceNow with Martin Wood's second edition of his best-selling book



Mastering ServiceNow - Second Edition Martin Wood




If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to master the powerful cloud computing platform that is ServiceNow, you might want to check out the book Mastering ServiceNow - Second Edition by Martin Wood. This book is a revised and updated version of the first edition that was published in 2015. It covers all the essential topics that you need to know to become a proficient ServiceNow user, administrator, developer, or consultant.




Mastering ServiceNow - Second Edition Martin Wood



Martin Wood is a seasoned ServiceNow expert who has been working with the platform since 2008. He is a certified instructor, application developer, system administrator, implementation specialist, and IT service management professional. He has also authored several other books on ServiceNow, such as Learning ServiceNow and ServiceNow Application Development.


In this article, we will give you an overview of what you can expect from this book and how it can help you master ServiceNow.


What is ServiceNow and why use it?




ServiceNow is a cloud based platform that helps companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations. It was founded in 2004 by Fred Luddy, who wanted to create a better way of delivering IT services. Since then, it has grown into a leading provider of software as a service (SaaS) solutions that span across various domains, such as IT service management (ITSM), IT operations management (ITOM), IT business management (ITBM), customer service management (CSM), security operations (SecOps), human resources (HR), legal, finance, facilities, marketing, and more.


ServiceNow has many features and benefits that make it a popular choice for organizations of all sizes and industries. Some of these are:



  • It is highly customizable and configurable. You can tailor it to your specific needs and preferences using its built-in tools and capabilities.



  • It is scalable and reliable. You can handle large volumes of data and transactions without compromising performance or availability.



  • It is secure and compliant. You can protect your data and meet regulatory standards using its robust security features and controls.



  • It is innovative and intelligent. You can leverage its machine learning and artificial intelligence features to automate tasks, predict issues, and provide insights.



  • It is collaborative and user-friendly. You can enable seamless communication and collaboration across teams and departments using its mobile app, chatbot, virtual agent, and social media integrations.



  • It is integrated and connected. You can connect it with other systems and applications using its REST APIs, web services, and plugins.



How to get started with ServiceNow




If you are new to ServiceNow, you might be wondering how to get started with it. The good news is that ServiceNow offers a free developer instance that you can use to learn and experiment with the platform. A developer instance is a personal sandbox environment that gives you full access to all the features and functionalities of ServiceNow. You can create applications, modules, tables, fields, scripts, workflows, reports, dashboards, and more.


To get a free developer instance, you need to sign up for a developer account at https://developer.servicenow.com/. Once you have an account, you can request an instance from the Manage menu. You can choose from different versions of ServiceNow, such as Paris, Orlando, New York, Madrid, London, etc. You can also reset, upgrade, or delete your instance at any time.


Another way to get started with ServiceNow is to access the official documentation at https://docs.servicenow.com/. The documentation provides detailed information and instructions on how to use and configure the platform. You can find topics such as getting started guides, user guides, administration guides, developer guides, best practices, release notes, product documentation, API reference, glossary, and more.


How to customize and configure ServiceNow




One of the main advantages of ServiceNow is that it is highly customizable and configurable. You can use the platform's tools and capabilities to tailor it to your specific needs and preferences. Some of the ways you can customize and configure ServiceNow are:


How to create applications and modules




An application is a collection of modules that provide related functionality. A module is a link that opens a specific page or feature in ServiceNow. For example, the Incident application contains modules such as Create New, Open, Closed, Reports, etc.


You can create your own applications and modules using ServiceNow Studio. ServiceNow Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows you to build applications using a graphical user interface (GUI) or code. You can access ServiceNow Studio from the Navigator menu by typing studio.


To create an application in ServiceNow Studio, you need to follow these steps:



  • Click on Create Application.



  • Select the type of application you want to create: Start from scratch, Start from template, or Start from global.



  • Enter the name, description, logo, roles, and scope of your application.



  • Select the tables, files, and dependencies that you want to include in your application.



  • Click on Create.



To create a module in ServiceNow Studio, you need to follow these steps:



  • Select your application from the Application Explorer.



  • Right-click on the Application Menus folder and select New > Application Menu.



  • Enter the name and roles of your application menu.



  • Right-click on your application menu and select New > Module.



  • Enter the name, description, icon, link type, arguments, roles, and order of your module.



  • Click on Submit.



How to use scripting and automation




systems and applications. For example, you can use Flow Designer to create a flow that automatically creates a change request when a new software update is available.


To use scripting and automation in ServiceNow, you need to have some basic knowledge of programming languages and logic. You also need to have the appropriate roles and permissions to access and modify the scripts and workflows. Some of the roles and permissions that you need are:



  • admin: This role gives you full access to all the scripting and automation features and tools in ServiceNow.



  • flow_designer: This role allows you to create and edit flows and subflows in Flow Designer.



  • action_designer: This role allows you to create and edit actions and action inputs in Action Designer.



  • integration_hub_admin: This role allows you to manage IntegrationHub settings, spokes, credentials, and connections.



  • integration_hub_developer: This role allows you to create and edit custom spokes and actions in IntegrationHub.



How to integrate ServiceNow with other systems




ServiceNow is not an isolated platform. It can communicate and interact with other systems and applications using various methods and protocols. You can use ServiceNow to integrate with external systems such as email servers, web servers, databases, cloud services, social media platforms, etc. Some of the benefits of integrating ServiceNow with other systems are:



  • You can automate tasks across different systems and applications using workflows and scripts.



  • You can exchange data and information between different systems and applications using APIs and web services.



  • You can enhance your service delivery and customer satisfaction by providing seamless experiences across different channels and touchpoints.



One of the ways you can integrate ServiceNow with other systems is by using REST APIs. REST stands for Representational State Transfer, which is a standard for designing web services that use HTTP methods to access and manipulate resources. ServiceNow provides REST APIs for most of its applications and features, such as ITSM, ITOM, CSM, SecOps, HR, etc. You can use REST APIs to perform CRUD (create, read, update, delete) operations on records, tables, fields, attachments, etc. You can also use REST APIs to invoke scripts, workflows, actions, etc.


To use REST APIs in ServiceNow, you need to have some basic knowledge of HTTP methods, JSON format, authentication methods, etc. You also need to have the appropriate roles and permissions to access and modify the resources. Some of the roles and permissions that you need are:



  • rest_service: This role allows you to access REST APIs in ServiceNow.



  • snc_platform_rest_api_access: This permission allows you to access platform REST APIs in ServiceNow.



  • snc_external_rest_api_access: This permission allows you to access external REST APIs from ServiceNow.



  • snc_script_rest_api_access: This permission allows you to access script-based REST APIs in ServiceNow.



Another way you can integrate ServiceNow with other systems is by using IntegrationHub. IntegrationHub is a feature that allows you to connect ServiceNow with external systems using ready-made or custom spokes. A spoke is a collection of actions that perform specific operations on an external system. For example, the Slack spoke contains actions such as Send Message, Create Channel, Add User, etc. You can use spokes to create flows that automate tasks across different systems and applications.


To use IntegrationHub in ServiceNow, you need to have a separate subscription that enables this feature. You also need to have the appropriate roles and permissions to access and modify the spokes and actions. Some of the roles and permissions that you need are:



  • integration_hub_admin: This role allows you to manage IntegrationHub settings, spokes, credentials, and connections.



  • integration_hub_developer: This role allows you to create and edit custom spokes and actions in IntegrationHub.



  • integration_hub_operator: This role allows you to execute spokes and actions in IntegrationHub.



How to manage and optimize ServiceNow




ServiceNow is not a static platform. It is constantly evolving and improving with new features, updates, and releases. You need to manage and optimize your ServiceNow instance to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently. You also need to monitor, troubleshoot, and improve your ServiceNow performance to deliver high-quality services and outcomes. Some of the ways you can manage and optimize ServiceNow are:


How to use reports and dashboards




Reports and dashboards are essential tools for visualizing your data and metrics in ServiceNow. You can use reports and dashboards to track, measure, and analyze your service performance, trends, issues, opportunities, etc. You can also use reports and dashboards to communicate and share your insights and findings with your stakeholders and customers.


You can create and use reports and dashboards using the Report Designer and Dashboard Designer in ServiceNow. Report Designer is a tool that allows you to create various types of reports, such as lists, charts, gauges, calendars, maps, etc. Dashboard Designer is a tool that allows you to create interactive dashboards that display multiple reports in a single view. You can access Report Designer and Dashboard Designer from the Navigator menu by typing report or dashboard.


To create a report in Report Designer, you need to follow these steps:



  • Click on Create New.



  • Select the type of report you want to create: List, Pie, Bar, Gauge, etc.



  • Select the table or data source that you want to use for your report.



  • Configure the report settings, such as filters, fields, labels, colors, etc.



  • Click on Run to preview your report.



  • Click on Save to save your report.



To create a dashboard in Dashboard Designer, you need to follow these steps:



  • Click on Create New.



  • Select the layout of your dashboard: Single Pane, Two Pane, Three Pane, etc.



  • Add reports to your dashboard by dragging and dropping them from the Report List.



  • Configure the dashboard settings, such as title, description, refresh interval, etc.



  • Click on Publish to publish your dashboard.



How to use performance analytics




Performance analytics is a feature that allows you to measure and improve your service delivery and outcomes in ServiceNow. Performance analytics uses indicators, breakdowns, scores, targets, widgets, etc. to collect and display data over time. You can use performance analytics to identify bottlenecks, gaps, risks, opportunities, etc. in your service processes. You can also use performance analytics to align your service goals with your business objectives and strategies.


To use performance analytics in ServiceNow, you need to have a separate subscription that enables this feature. You also need to have the appropriate roles and permissions to access and modify the performance analytics components. Some of the roles and permissions that you need are:



  • pa_admin: This role allows you to administer performance analytics settings, indicators, breakdowns, scores, targets, widgets, etc.



scores, targets, widgets, etc.


  • pa_viewer: This role allows you to view performance analytics indicators, breakdowns, scores, targets, widgets, etc.



To use performance analytics in ServiceNow, you need to follow these steps:



  • Define the indicators that you want to measure and track. An indicator is a metric that represents a specific aspect of your service performance, such as number of incidents, average resolution time, customer satisfaction, etc.



  • Define the breakdowns that you want to use to segment and analyze your indicators. A breakdown is a dimension that splits an indicator into categories or groups, such as assignment group, priority, category, etc.



  • Define the scores that you want to collect and display for your indicators and breakdowns. A score is a value that represents the performance of an indicator or a breakdown at a specific point in time.



  • Define the targets that you want to set and compare for your indicators and breakdowns. A target is a value that represents the desired or expected performance of an indicator or a breakdown.



  • Define the widgets that you want to use to visualize your indicators, breakdowns, scores, and targets. A widget is a graphical component that displays data in various formats, such as charts, gauges, tables, lists, etc.



  • Create and publish dashboards that contain your widgets. A dashboard is a page that displays multiple widgets in a single view.



How to use machine learning and AI




Machine learning and AI are features that allow you to automate tasks, predict issues, and provide insights in ServiceNow. Machine learning and AI use data analysis methods that learn from data and algorithms to create models that perform specific operations. For example, you can use machine learning and AI to classify incidents, suggest solutions, detect anomalies, forecast trends, etc.


To use machine learning and AI in ServiceNow, you need to have a separate subscription that enables these features. You also need to have the appropriate roles and permissions to access and modify the machine learning and AI components. Some of the roles and permissions that you need are:



  • ml_admin: This role allows you to administer machine learning settings, models, solutions, etc.



  • ml_developer: This role allows you to create and edit machine learning models and solutions.



  • ml_operator: This role allows you to execute machine learning models and solutions.



To use machine learning and AI in ServiceNow, you need to follow these steps:



  • Define the problem that you want to solve or the goal that you want to achieve using machine learning and AI. For example, you might want to reduce incident resolution time, improve customer satisfaction, optimize resource allocation, etc.



  • Select the data source that you want to use for your machine learning and AI solution. A data source is a table or a report that contains the data that you want to analyze and model.



  • Select the type of machine learning model that you want to use for your solution. A model is a mathematical expression that approximates the relationship between the variables that appear in the data and enables the ability to predict one from the other. ServiceNow provides various types of models for different purposes, such as classification, regression, clustering, anomaly detection, forecasting, etc.



  • Create and train your machine learning model using the Predictive Intelligence Workbench. The Predictive Intelligence Workbench is a tool that allows you to build and test machine learning models using a graphical user interface (GUI) or code. You can access the Predictive Intelligence Workbench from the Navigator menu by typing predictive intelligence workbench.



  • Evaluate and refine your machine learning model using the Model Performance Dashboard. The Model Performance Dashboard is a tool that allows you to measure and improve your machine learning model's accuracy and performance using various metrics and feedback mechanisms.



  • Deploy and use your machine learning model in your workflows and processes. You can use your machine learning model as an action in Flow Designer or as a script in Scripted REST APIs.



How to advance your ServiceNow skills




If you have mastered the basics of ServiceNow and want to take your skills to the next level, you might be interested in learning more about the platform and its advanced features and capabilities. You might also want to pursue a career in ServiceNow and become a certified professional. Here are some of the ways you can advance your ServiceNow skills:


How to get certified in ServiceNow




ServiceNow offers various certification paths and exams for different roles and levels of expertise. Certification is a way to validate your knowledge and skills in ServiceNow and demonstrate your competence and credibility to your employers and customers. Some of the certification paths and exams that ServiceNow offers are:



  • Certified System Administrator (CSA): This certification validates your ability to configure, administer, and operate the Now Platform.



  • Certified Implementation Specialist (CIS): This certification validates your ability to implement, customize, and integrate specific ServiceNow applications.



  • Certified Application Developer (CAD): This certification validates your ability to design, develop, test, and deploy applications using ServiceNow Studio.



Certified Application Specialist (CAS): This certification validates your ability to design, develop, test, and deploy specific ServiceNow appl


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