Mátyás Nemes

The new ServiceNow Tokyo release is here, and it includes a number of improvements that will please developers and implementers. Let’s take a look at a few of the new features and improvements that we’re looking forward to in ServiceNow Tokyo. 

ServiceNow Tokyo upgrades to ECMAScript 2021

From a developer standpoint, one of the biggest improvements in ServiceNow Tokyo is its upgrade to ECMAScript 2021 (ES12). Before Tokyo, ServiceNow only supported the ECMAScript 5 standard. Newer versions have come out since then, and developers have been missing out on useful functionality, like arrow functions, defining variables with let and const, default function parameters, destructuring, and many others.

These new JavaScript features will help developers to write cleaner, more maintainable code, enabling them to create more value in less time.

ES12 is only available in scoped applications and not in global, but you don’t need to install any plugins or activate any system properties - you can use it straight away. Legacy code will continue to work.

Data filtration in ServiceNow Tokyo

Data security is another area where Tokyo has improved. Data filtration controls access to tables and records based on subject attributes when performing read queries. It’s a separate form of access control that works alongside existing access control lists (ACLs). Certain criteria records can be created for specific user attributes which the user must possess in order to access the data protected by data filtration rules. These attributes can be the user’s roles, groups, or network information. Once the criteria records are defined, administrators also need to create a data filter, to determine which records should be protected by the filtration rule.

Data filtration rules behave similarly to before-query business rules: there are no problems with the pagination of displayed records, and no message is displayed when some records are hidden.

Update/delete jobs in ServiceNow Tokyo

Every database operation holds a certain amount of risk. When updating records, we might overwrite some values which we did not intend to, and when deleting records, we might delete some additional records due to cascading delete rules (rules which define how a referencing record should behave when the referenced record is deleted). Therefore, performing these operations always has to be done with precautions.

Up until this point, ServiceNow offered two ways to delete records from a table: using the dedicated UI actions, or scripting. However, both methods have their pros and cons. The UI actions are easy to use, but there’s no preview information available on the records that are about to be deleted and will always run the business logic implemented for the affected records, resulting in a slow transaction and unwanted side effects. Using a script provides a lot of flexibility, but making any mistake in the query can result in the deletion of additional records.

There’s a safer way now in Tokyo to delete records, which is using a delete job. You can specify the table and condition, but unlike table cleanup records, you can run them on demand or schedule them, as opposed to table cleanup records that happen once an hour.

Update/delete jobs also include a related list, which allows you to view the cascading records up to 3 levels. This makes for a very safe way to delete records; if you have records that are going to reference something that is about to be deleted, you can check before you delete. If you still made a mistake, there is an option to roll back the operation. The same applies for updating records, but of course, you need to specify the fields and values to be updated.

Translated email notifications

Translated email notifications are another long-awaited update coming in ServiceNow Tokyo. This feature enables you to send notifications in multiple languages according to the user’s preferred language. Static translations can be set up very easily on the advanced view of the notification. You just need to create the translated versions of the notification, and the system will check the recipient’s preferred language once the notification is sent and choose the correct language.

You can also request a translation, which can be fulfilled by a translator.

Tokyo also includes the ability to use dynamic translations via service providers such as IBM, Microsoft or Google.

ServiceNow Tokyo’s Admin Center

Admin Center is a central hub for platform owners and admins to easily access platform capabilities, discover new applications, and get actionable insights. It is broken up to two parts, Admin Home and IT Adoption Journeys, also known as Adoption Blueprints.

Admin Home is a workspace that allows administrators to check their work in one place, has a few reports regarding application statuses, incident ages, and also a 'review your work' section, where you can review your assignments (like incidents, tasks etc. assigned to you). In the approvals section, the items waiting for your approval are displayed on a card element, with all necessary details visible to decide between approval and rejection.

The other part is the IT adoption journeys, or Adoption Blueprints.

Adoption Blueprints display the applications and features available and the recommended solutions to achieve business goals (like optimizing a process, reducing service operation cost, or simplifying and automating transactions), and to manage risk (mainly by improving prioritization, efficiency and reporting). Essentially they are action plans based on a business need and get the most out of your ServiceNow license. Once you select a blueprint, Admin Center will also give you recommendations of applications that can be installed to achieve your business goals.

Enterprise Asset Management in ServiceNow Tokyo

The ServiceNow Tokyo release also includes a new application, Enterprise Asset Management, which provides a comprehensive end to end solution for maintaining your assets, minimizing costly downtime, and maximizing the asset's usable life. It provides an accurate and actionable asset estate view, reduces asset planning to deployment time, reduces cost by reducing maintenance frequency and reduces disruption to operations by minimizing unplanned maintenance.

We already have ITOM solutions in ServiceNow, such as software-and hardware asset management, but Enterprise Asset Management puts emphasis on the utilization of assets for better productivity and cost management, and also not limited to just IT-related devices, but rather to any asset within the organization that somehow support functions like procurement, inventory or HR, so any physical business asset, not just software or hardware.

The purpose is to get a larger picture of goals by tracking worker skills, HR tasks, and asset information and to achieve this, EAM involves supply chain management, work management and asset maintenance.

Tracking and managing assets is crucial to industry operations, that's why it plays a big role in EAM. Some key features and function of EAM include: 

  • Track assets throughout their lifecycle
  • Request loaner items
  • Create transfer orders
  • Audit your asset inventory
  • Run reports to calculate risk
  • Manage expiring contracts
  • Use Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) to manage the process of repairing or replacing defective assets
  • Use recall orders to manage assets that were recalled by the manufacturer

This article is based on a presentation by Mátyás Nemes at GuideVision’s RADAR 44. RADAR is an internal knowledge-sharing platform whose overall goal is to boost and enhance internal knowledge sharing. We publish summaries of selected presentations from RADAR both as a way to inform the overall ServiceNow community and as an insight into the way we work. If you’re interested in learning more about careers at GuideVision, find out more here.

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