Creating and Editing Service Catalog Items


Introduction

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Ground / House Rules

  1. You are responsible for testing and verifying your item for content completeness, readability, and functionality.
  2. You are responsible for verifying that all fulfillers are informed and ready to respond to request items.
  3. The Service Catalog team reserves the right to edit the content and format of any service catalog item, including the right to take any service catalog item out of the Active state until further changes can be agreed upon.
  4. Do not edit any catalog items that you did not create.
    (To request changes made to an item that you did not create, contact 4Help by clicking Get Help at the 4Help portal.)
  5. You are responsible for reviewing each of your published service catalog items every 6 months or less.
  6. You are responsible for maintaining any links on that catalog item, including but not limited to other catalog items or KBs within ServiceNow. It is your responsibility to ensure the links are accurate and up-to-date, and review any linked content.
  7. You are responsible for making each published item comply with the mandatory quality assurance metrics.
  8. Important: Before creating a new item, consider:
    If this service is related to, or part of, or a modification of another service that already exists in the service catalog, please contact the Service Catalog Team to discuss whether the new service should be a separate, stand - alone, catalog item, or a Service Offering of an existing catalog item.

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Getting Access to the Service Catalog

If you have ever used ServiceNow to work on incidents, service catalog, or the knowledgebase, you already have a license to use ServiceNow.

If you do not know whether you have a license or not, go ahead and try to log on by following the instructions in the below section. If you cannot complete the instructions, ask a manager of a relevant ServiceNow group to add you to their group.

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Logging on to ServiceNow

  1. Go to the 4Help portal.
  2. Log on with your VT Username passphrase, and if prompted, 2-factor authentication.
  3. Depending on where you are taken:
    • If you see the 4Help page that customers typically use, with “Order Something”, “Knowledge Base”, “Get Help” and other things:
      1. In the top-right corner of the page, click your name.
      2. From the drop-down, click Service Desk View.
      3. If you do not see Service Desk View, you need a license to use ServiceNow. Have a manager of a relevant ServiceNow group to add you to their group.D:
    • If you see the Virginia Tech logo, “Virginia Tech 4Help”, and some charts and graphs, you are correctly logged on to ServiceNow.

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Submit the ServiceNow Editor Item

To obtain access to create or edit Service Catalog items and workflows, the person wanting access must request the ServiceNow: Knowledge or Catalog Editor Access service catalog item.

  1. If you are not already logged in to ServiceNow, go to 4help.vt.edu and log in with VT Username and passphrase.
  2. In the search box on the 4Help portal, type: editor.
  3. Click ServiceNow: Knowledge or Catalog Editor Access in the search results.
  4. Click Request this service.
  5. Answer the two questions as follows:
    1. Question 1: Click the drop-down, and click Add.
    2. Question 2: Click the drop-down, and click Service Catalog Editors.
  6. Click Submit.
  7. You will receive an automated email upon submission and another automated email when access has been granted.
  8. This process is not instantaneous.
  9. Once you receive the automated email that your request has been fulfilled or completed, for the changes to take effect, log out of ServiceNow, and log completely out of the Login system, and then log back into ServiceNow.

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Role Definitions Defined by Service Catalog Team

Virginia Tech Information Technology Service Management Service Owner

“IT Service Management is the implementation and management of quality IT services that meet the needs of the business.  IT Service Management is performed by IT service providers through an appropriate mix of people, process and information technology. Service Management is a set of specialized organizational capabilities for providing value to customers in the form of services. A service is defined as a means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve, but without the ownership of specific costs and risks.”  [i]

[i] "Copyright © AXELOS Limited 2012. All rights reserved. Material is reproduced with the permission of AXELOS"

"ITIL® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited"

Service Owner

Overview:  A Service Owner is a role/person responsible for managing one or more services throughout their entire lifecycle. Service owners are instrumental in the development of service strategy and are responsible for their content in the Service Catalog/Portfolio. By using the ITIL framework within IT Service Management (ITSM) we work to ensure that IT Services are provided to our customers in a clearly defined, dedicated, value-driven and cost-efficient manner.  When our IT Services are clearly defined, their success can be measured and, when necessary, specific improvement measures can be introduced.  

Profile: Is accountable for the availability, performance, quality, and cost of one or more services.  Deals directly with the Service Customer or proxy, usually in the context of a Service Level Agreement, Operating Level Agreement, or an Underpinning Contract.  Uses the Service Catalog to set User and Service Customer expectations.  Service Owner is responsible for day-to-day operation of the service.

Responsibilities:

*SCMR – Service Catalog Maintenance Request

Service Catalog Content Owner

Responsibilities include:

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Definition and Difference between Content Item and Requestable Catalog Item

There are two types of items or entries in the Service Catalog:

  1. content items (also referred to as content only items, text items, text only items, non-requestable items) and
  2. catalog items (also referred to as requestable items, items with a workflow, and maintain items).

Content only entries provide information about a service to readers. Content items include sub-category entries which contain, correlate, and describe multiple, related service entries together. Sub-category entries allow readers to find similar services from one page. There can also be sub-sub-category entries, which are sub-category items within a sub-category item. Content only service entries provide information, but do not have automation built into them. Automation means a reader could click a button to submit a request that then causes further action to occur.

From the service portal view (the view that customers see), content items can be identified by an icon of a sheet of paper beside them, while requestable items will have an icon of a shopping cart beside them.

So, a requestable item is an entry that includes a workflow that enables automation. In some cases, for now, it may make sense for some items to be content items instead of requestable items so that the items are represented in the service catalog and can provide people with information. In order to evolve and improve the Service Catalog, the Service Catalog team asks units, whenever possible, to move away from manual approvals and paper-based forms and instead make their services requestable by adding automation to them by developing a ServiceNow workflow.

To make your items requestable, examine your business processes to see how they might be automated and incorporated into ServiceNow, and then develop a ServiceNow workflow.  An EXAMPLE requestable item can be found in the Service Catalog, if you are logged in and already have catalog editor permissions, and might be helpful to you. 

You and / or your team should review the business processes associated with each of your service entries in the Service Catalog to see how automation can be built into them to improve the customer's experience. Automation can be developed by establishing workflows to complete processes and thus reduce or eliminate manual interactions. For more details on workflows and automation, see the EXAMPLE requestable item in the Service Catalog, if you are logged in and already have catalog editor permissions.

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Contents

Instructions

Creating a Requestable Service Catalog Item

Important: Before creating a new item, consider:
If this service is related to, or part of, or a modification of another service that already exists in the service catalog, please contact the Service Catalog Team to discuss whether the new service should be a separate, stand - alone, catalog item, or a Service Offering of an existing catalog item.

Tip: It will be easier to create an item if you and your department have already defined the business process(es) needed for this requestable item. For assistance or questions about designing a business process, submit the ServiceNow: Become a Partner Consultation and Training catalog item, and click Service Catalog.

Once you create a Catalog item (requestable or otherwise), you will not have the access to delete it. For more information, see the relevant section of this document.

Tip: Remember to save often, because ServiceNow will timeout if you do not save or update the page for a period of time, or if you logout of Login in another tab of the same browser.

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In the left menu column, click Service Catalog to expand the menu.
    (If you do not have a Service Catalog menu item, see Getting Access to Edit the Service Catalog & Workflow.)
  3. In the left menu column, under the Service Catalog heading, click Maintain Items.
  4. Click New.
  5. Complete the textual information. (You may copy / paste from an existing catalog item.)
    1. In the Name: text box, type the name of the service as you want it to display.
    2. To the right of Catalogs, click the lock.
    3. Start typing: IT Service Catalog.
    4. From the drop-down that appears, click IT Service Catalog.
      (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and click from there.)
    5. In the Category text box, type the name of the top-most category under which the item should appear.
    6. As you type, results will appear and change. Click the category with “IT Service Catalog” after it.
      (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and select from there.)
    7. In the Parent text box, type the name of the category which should be directly over this item.
      This Parent category may contain the same category as the Category field. (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and select from there.)
    8. In the Service Owner text box, type the name or VT Username of the service owner.
      (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and select from there.)
    9. In the Fulfillment group text box, type the name of the ServiceNow group that will be completing the request and tasks items and will be doing the work to get the requested service to the customer. As you type, from the drop-down that appears, click the group.
    10. In the Short description text box, type a short phrase to be displayed as lighter-colored text underneath the name of the service.
    11. In the Description text box, type or paste the information required for a service. (To see what information is required, go to the Format or Requestable Item section on this page.)
      Important: For “How do I get it”, be sure to use the text from the Format or Requestable Item section on this page.
    12. Click Save to save your work and load additional catalog settings.
  6. Create variables. Variables define the questions to ask the user who is ordering the item.
    1. Once you have saved the page, scroll down to or select the tab of the Variables section
    2. For each question or type of information you want from the customer:
      1. Next to Variables, click New to start creating a new variable.
      2. From the Type: drop-down, click the format for this question. Common examples are: Checkbox, Multiple Choice, Select Box (sometimes called a drop-down), Single Line Text, Reference (used to allow the customer to lookup and / or select information from another table in ServiceNow, such as users, groups, etc)
      3. Important! If you create a reference variable to ask for the name of a Virginia Tech affiliate, you MUST restrict the variable to faculty/staff by following the instructions at the other section of this document. You must do this for each reference variable in each item.
      4. If you want this question to be required to be answered, place a check in the Mandatory check box.
      5. If you want this question to appear above or below other questions on the catalog page, type a number in the Order text box. Variables with lower numbers will appear higher above variables with higher numbers..
      6. Under the Question heading, in the Question text box, type a number, a period, then a space, and then the Question as you want it to display on the catalog page.
        (By typing a number and a period (“1.”) and then the question, readers will have an easier time differentiating between questions and understanding the order of the questions.)
      7. In the Name text box, type a single word with no whitespace to describe this question. This Name will be how ServiceNow refers to this question.
      8. Click Save to save your work.
      9. Optionally, if you want a value / answer to be pre-filled or pre-selected:
        1. Scroll down to the Default Value heading or tab.
        2. In the Default value text box, type the value that you want to be pre-selected or pre-filled.
        3. Click Save to save your work.
      10. If your question type is Multiple Choice or another type with multiple answer selections:
        1. Scroll down to the Question Choices section or tab.
        2. Next to Question Choices, click New.
        3. In the Text text box, type the text that you want displayed as one of the answer choices.
        4. In the Value text box, type a single word which ServiceNow will use to refer to this value.
        5. Click Submit.
      11. If your question type is Reference, follow the instructions at the other section of this document.
  7. Connect a Workflow to the catalog item.
    1. (Workflows are recommended over execution plans for ease of setup, and the service catalog team has more experience and thus can help more with workflows than with execution plans.)
    2. To add a workflow that you previously created, on the catalog item page, under the Process Engine heading, in the Workflow text box, type or search for and select the workflow.
      1. Remember to select from the drop-down that auto-populates.
      2. (To create a workflow, see the Create a Workflow section of this document.)
  8. Save your changes by clicking Save or Update.
  9. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Creating a New Service Catalog Item with No Processes (Text-Only)

To create an item with text (including links, headings, tables) only:

Important: Before creating a new item, consider:
If this service is related to, or part of, or a modification of another service that already exists in the service catalog, please contact the Service Catalog Team to discuss whether the new service should be a separate, stand - alone, catalog item, or a Service Offering of an existing catalog item.

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In the left menu column, click the Service Catalog menu heading to expand the menu.
  3. Under the Service Catalog heading, click Content Items.
  4. In the right pane, near the top, click New.
  5. Complete the textual information.
    1. In the Name: text box, type the name of the service as you want it to display.
    2. Set the Content type drop-down to Catalog Content.
    3. To the right of Catalogs, click the lock.
    4. Start typing: IT Service Catalog.
    5. From the drop-down that appears, click IT Service Catalog.
      (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and select from there.)
    6. In the Category text box, start typing the name of the top-most category under which the item should appear.
    7. As you type, results will appear and change. Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate, and then click the category with “IT Service Catalog” after it from there.
    8. Complete the Parent text box.
      • If the item is not a sub-category item, in the Parent text box, type the name of the category which should be directly over this item. This Parent category may contain the same category as the Category field. (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and click from there.)
      • If the item is a sub-category item, clear the Parent text box.
  6. In the Service Owner text box, type the name or VT Username of the service owner.
    (Make sure to wait for the drop-down to populate and click from there.)
  7. In the Short description text box, type a short phrase to be displayed as lighter-colored text underneath the name of the service.
  8. In the Description text box, type or paste the information required for a service. (To see what information is required, go to the Format section on this page.)
  9. Click Save when finished to save your work.
  10. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items for the new item.

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Editing an Existing Service Catalog Item

To edit an existing item:

Important: Before creating a new item, consider:
If this service is related to, or part of, or a modification of another service that already exists in the service catalog, please contact the Service Catalog Team to discuss whether the new service should be a separate, stand - alone, catalog item, or a Service Offering of an existing catalog item.

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In the left menu column, click the Service Catalog menu heading to expand the menu.
    (If you do not have a Service Catalog menu item, see Getting Access to Edit the Service Catalog & Workflow.)
  3. Click the appropriate link.
    • To find a text-only catalog item, click Content Items.
    • To find a requestable catalog item with a process, click Maintain Items.
  4. Find the item you want to edit, and click the link of the name of the item.
    (You can sort by any of the columns by clicking on the column heading.)
    (You may have to change the filters. To do so, above the list of items, click the funnel. Change the filters as appropriate and click Run.)
  5. Make any changes you want.
  6. Save your work often. To save your work, click either Update or Save.
  7. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Using the ServiceNow Text Editor

See:

Templates of Required Content Headings

Template / Format of Text in a Requestable Catalog Item (Item with Workflow)

Name
Use simple, non-jargon words that would be most searched for
Do not include the word "Request"
If applicable, include the vendor name in parenthesis after the service name
Example: Add Feature to App X
Example: Appeal to Restore Email Sending
Example: Microsoft 365

Short Description
Must be less than 150 characters, including white space
Short h3 phrase that starts with an action verb, does not mention Virginia Tech, does not just repeat the title, and does not just list options
Example: Get centrally-supported and hosted server space
Example: Obtain an account for performing reports
Example: Learn about localized virtualization services

Long Description

Must be less than 450 characters

Include text here to give readers a general overview of what service(s) will be described. This text should not overwhelm the reader with a lot of details, but just enough information to decide if they want to read further.
Do not include any bullets, numbering, or headings.

What are the features and benefits?

Include text to describe what the service does or offers, and / or how it is different from similar services
Bullets, numbering, tables and other formatting are allowed

Who can use it?

Examples:

How do you get it?

For content items, this can be a single sentence with a hyperlink to the service and instructions of which credentials (PID / Hokies / etc) to use.

For (requestable) catalog items, the following must included at a minimum, and other text may be added:

Log in, and then click Request this Service.

How much does it cost?

If there is a cost associated, state it in U.S. dollars.

Example $125

Example: $50 per year

If there is no cost, use:

No charge

Where do you get help?

If getting help is to submit a ticket through ServiceNow, use exactly the following:

Click Get Help in the menu at the top of the page.

FAQs and Documentation

Optional for both Content and Catalog items
A bulleted list of hyperlinks and / or question and answer pairs

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Template / Format of a Content Item

Name
Use simple, non-jargon words that would be most searched for
Do not include the word "Request"
If applicable, include the vendor name in parenthesis after the service name
Example: Add Feature to App X
Example: Appeal to Restore Email Sending
Example: Microsoft 365

Short Description
Must be less than 150 characters, including white space
Short h3 phrase that starts with an action verb, does not mention Virginia Tech, does not just repeat the title, and does not just list options
Example: Get centrally-supported and hosted server space
Example: Obtain an account for performing reports
Example: Learn about localized virtualization services

Long Description

Must be less than 450 characters

Include text here to give readers a general overview of what service(s) will be described. This text should not overwhelm the reader with a lot of details, but just enough information to decide if they want to read further.
Do not include any bullets, numbering, or headings.

What are the features and benefits?

Include text to describe what the service does or offers, and / or how it is different from similar services
Bullets, numbering, tables and other formatting are allowed

Who can use it?

Examples:

How do you get it?

For content items, this can be a single sentence with a hyperlink to the service and instructions of which credentials (PID / Hokies / etc) to use.

For (requestable) catalog items, the following must included at a minimum, and other text may be added:

Log in, and then click Request this Service.

How much does it cost?

If there is a cost associated, state it in U.S. dollars.

Example $125

Example: $50 per year

If there is no cost, use:

No charge

Where do you get help?

If getting help is to submit a ticket through ServiceNow, use exactly the following:

Click Get Help in the menu at the top of the page.

FAQs and Documentation

Optional for both Content and Catalog items
A bulleted list of hyperlinks and / or question and answer pairs

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To Test Your Service Catalog Item

In the dev environment, while editing the catalog item, near Save and Update, click Try It (SP).

Note: Try It (SP) will only be available when the Active checkbox is checked for the item.

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To “Move” an Item from the Development Environment to the Production Environment (QA Rubric)

  1. In the dev environment, edit and save the item(s), variables, scripts, and all other things that you want to be copied to production.
  2. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.
  3. The Quality Assurance (QA) team will review the catalog item using the Excel spreadsheet rubric at CurrentQARubric and give you feedback on requirements and suggestions.

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To Delete, Remove, or Archive an Existing Service Catalog Item

Once you create a Catalog item (requestable or otherwise), you will not have the access to delete it.

To have a catalog item deleted, submit an incident to 4Help at http://4help.vt.edu for the Service Catalog admins, including:

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Making Existing Text-Only Content Item into a Requestable Catalog Item

There is no automated process to convert or transition a Content Item to Catalog Item or vice versa.

If there is already a Content Item (text-only item) that you want to make / convert / change into a requestable item, there are multiple steps that you should follow in the order below:

  1. Create the requestable item in the Dev environment by following the instructions at the relevant section of this document.
    (You may want to copy and paste the text from the existing Content Item to the text box of the new Catalog Item.)
  2. In the Dev environment, deactivate the Content Item that will be replaced by the requestable item.
  3. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items for the new requestable item.

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Copy and Reuse or Modify a Workflow

  1. You may copy a workflow without checking out the workflow or negatively affecting it in any way. (However, checking out a workflow that your group does not own is not advised, because no one else can view or edit the workflow when it is checked out.)
  2. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  3. In the left menu column, in the Filter navigator text box, start typing: workflow.
  4. Under Workflow, click Workflow Editor.
  5. A new tab or window will load. In the new tab or window, in the left pane, click the link of an existing Workflow that you think you’d like to build off of.
  6. Once you find a Workflow you’d like to copy, in the left pane, to the left of the name of the Workflow, click menu, represented by three horizontal lines.
  7. From the drop-down, click Copy.
  8. In the text box, type a name for your copied workflow.
  9. Click OK. The new, copied workflow will load.
  10. You can now make any changes or additions to the workflow and / or publish it.

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Create a Workflow

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In the left menu column of ServiceNow, click the Workflow heading to expand the menu.
  3. In the left menu column, under Workflow, click Workflow Editor.
  4. A new tab or window will load. In the new tab or window, in the left pane, click the link of an existing Workflow that you think you’d like to build off of.
    (You may completely change the Workflow, but you must pick one to start with.)
  5. Once you find a pre-made Workflow you’d like to build off of, in the left pane, to the left of the name of the Workflow, click menu, represented by three horizontal lines.
  6. From the drop-down, click Copy.
  7. In the text box, type a name for your copied workflow.
  8. Click OK to accept the name. The new, copied workflow will load.
  9. Make any changes you want to the workflow. (Working with workflows is outside the scope of this document.)
  10. Create the stages for your workflow that will ensure automation and communication with the customer. To view and edit the stages:
    1. In the left (main) pane, to the right of the workflow name, click Workflow Properties that is represented by an "i" in a circle.
    2. Scroll down to the Stages heading.
    3. Remember that the customers will see the full name of the stage when they look at their requested item. For this reason, you should create stages with informative and useful names, and create enough stages to accurately represent to the customer what is being done with their request at the time that they look.
    4. To remove a stage, click the red X to the left of the name of the stage.
    5. To add a stage, click Insert a row....
    6. When you are finished with stages, click Update to save your changes.
  11. Make sure to add at least one Catalog Task item, which is where you assign the work to be done to an individual or a group. That individual or group carries out the work and will then mark the ServiceNow request item as complete. To add a Catalog Task:
    1. In the right pane, click Core.
    2. To expand the Core Activities menu, click the arrow.
    3. To expand the Tasks menu, click the arrow.
    4. Drag the Catalog Task item to your workflow.
    5. In the Name: text box, type a simple name for this workflow item.
    6. In the Stage text box, start typing the name of a stage you created. Click the Stage from the drop-down.
    7. In the Fulfillment Group or Assigned To text boxes, start typing the name of the group or the individual who will be responsible for this task. Click the name from the drop-down.
    8. Important: In the Short Description and the Instructions text box, type as much detail about the task, how and where it is to be performed, and what is to be accomplished. These details will be displayed on each Task item in ServiceNow that someone works on, and providing details helps ensure that the task is completed even if job roles change or another person unfamiliar with the request and process has to temporarily fulfill this task.
  12. When finished, in the top-right area of the left pane, click Validate, which is represented by a checked box.
  13. Review any warnings or critical messages and take action as appropriate.
  14. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Create Stages in Your Workflow

To ensure the automation and flow of any workflow, be sure to create and use stages. Stages can automatically change the "state" of a request item when something in the workflow starts or finishes. The name of each stage will be visible to the customer, so descriptive and informative stage names are a good way to automatically communicate what is happening to the customer.

For instructions on using stages, see the Create a Workflow section above, in step 10.

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Common or Useful Actions

Using Spell Check in Browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Edge)

Most browsers have a built-in spell check that automatically underlines misspelled words in red for text boxes that are longer than one line, such as the Description field However, you can force the browser to spell check any text box, such as Title, Short Description, Variable Question Text, etc.

If your browser does not spell check all of the fields, you can copy and paste the content from the text box in ServiceNow into Microsoft Word, an online Google Document, or similar desktop or online application, and then use the spell check feature of that program.

  1. Make sure to press the spacebar key on the keyboard after the final word to have that final word included in the spell check.
  2. Look for words that are underlined in red.
  3. To correct a word that is underlined in red:
    1. Right-click the word that is underlined in red.
    2. From the drop-down that appears, click the correct spelling. (Spelling choices will be at the top of the drop-down.)
    3. If you do not see the correct spelling that you wanted, you will have to use a dictionary, such as in Microsoft Word, online, or a physical dictionary.

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(I suggest using a new browser tab/window for this, so you can continue editing in the other tab / window.)

  1. Go to 4help.vt.edu so that you are viewing the user-facing portion.
  2. Click IT Service Catalog.
  3. Navigate to the service catalog item you want.
  4. The URL in the address bar of the browser at the top of the page is the URL to share or use as a link.

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  1. Create your requestable item, including the Workflow by following the instructions at the other section of this document.
  2. In the Workflow editor, double-click the Notification item box of the email that you want to have the Virginia Tech logo header. (You will have to do this for each Notification box in each Workflow.)
  3. In the Message: text box, at the top of the text box, type or paste the following code, including the opening and closing angled brackets:

    <img src="VTSCheader.png" width="760" height="74"/>

  4. In the Message: text box, continue editing or typing the rest of your message.
  5. When you are finished making changes, click Save to close the Notification dialog window.
  6. When you are finished making changes, validate and then publish the Workflow by following the instructions at the other section of this document.

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How to Ask / Get Default Customer Information using Existing Variables

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. Create the requestable item, and save it.
  3. Scroll down to the Variable Sets section or tab.
  4. To the right of the Variable Sets heading, click Edit.
    Make sure you are editing Variable Sets instead of Variables.
  5. Under Collection, in the text box, start typing: requester
  6. Click Requester Information - Read.
  7. Click the right arrow (>) to move the highlighted set to the Variable Sets List.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Save the changes to the catalog item.

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Using Reference Field Variables (Asking Customer for a Name)

Note: You do not have to ask customers for their own name, department, or other basic information. That information is collected automatically by ServiceNow and can be referenced in your workflow by using system variables. Use the system variable “current.request.opened_by” to get the PID (“current.request.opened_by.user_name”) or other info about the logged in user that submitted the request.

To ask a customer for the name of another Virginia Tech affiliate, such as their department head or supervisor, use a variable of the reference field type so that they can type the person’s name or VT Username in the field, and suggestions will appear in a drop-down box.

Due to confidentiality concerns, you must limit what suggestions appear to only faculty and staff. In other words, the customer will not be able to select or see the name or VT Username of any Virginia Tech student.

To do this:

  1. Start creating your requestable item by following the instructions at the other section in this document.
  2. Start creating the variable for collecting a person’s name.
  3. From the Type: drop-down, click Reference.
  4. Type the question text, variable name, and any help text you want.
  5. Go to the Type Specifications tab or section.
  6. From the Reference drop-down, click User [sys_user].
  7. Verify that the Use reference qualifier drop-down is set to Simple.
  8. Next to Reference qual condition, from the left drop-down, click Virginia Tech Affiliations.
  9. From the middle drop-down, click contains.
  10. In the text box on the right, type: VT-Staff
    Correct capitalization is required; you may want to copy and paste.
  11. Click OR to add another filter condition.
  12. In the second text box that appears, type: VT-Faculty
    Correct capitalization is required; you may want to copy and paste.
  13. The filter conditions should now appear as in the screenshot below:
    Image of the above instructions
  14. Click Save to save changes to this variable.
  15. Important: You will need to repeat this process for each reference variable on each item.

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Catalog or Requestable Item in Multiple Categories

To have a content item or requestable catalog item in more than one category at the same time, instead of making duplicate items, make a single item and do the following:

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In the Edit mode of the content or requestable catalog item, as you normally would, near the top of the page, in the Category text box, start typing the name of the top-most category.
  3. As you type, results will appear and change. From the drop-down that appears, click the category you want that has "IT Service Catalog" to the right of it.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Scroll down to the Categories tab or section.
  6. To the right of Categories, click Edit....
  7. In the left column, select the other category(ies) you want this item to be in.
  8. Click the right arrow (>).
  9. Click Save.
  10. Be sure to click Save to save the changes to your item.
  11. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Using JavaScript Code as Client Scripts to Validate Question Answer Format

If you use a question/variable to ask a customer to provide data in a free-form format, you can write JavaScript code to validate the customer's answer conforms to a format, set of allowed characters, or other restrictions. This could speed up delivery of the requested item by helping to avoid mis-typed information.

For example, if your question/variable asks for a phone number, you can use JavaScript in the Client Scripts of ServiceNow to verify that the answer contains only 10 numbers and no alphabetic characters.

To do this:

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. In your requestable catalog item, create and save the question/variable.
  3. On the main Edit page of your requestable catalog item, scroll down to or click the tab: Catalog Client Scripts.
  4. To the right of Catalog Client Scripts, click New.
  5. In the Name text box, type a name for this script.
  6. From the Applies to drop-down, click whether this script should apply to a single catalog item or an entire variable set that is used on multiple catalog items.
  7. From the Type drop-down, click when this script will be activated. For validating customer input, consider using either:
    • onChange - This script of data validation would run at the time when the customer moves the cursor away from the text box of the specified question/variable.
    • onSubmit - This script of data validation would run only when Submit is pressed.
  8. From the Variable Name drop-down, select the question/variable that this script will validate.
  9. In the Script text box, edit and add to the JavaScript code that is automatically generated. For help or examples of JavaScript, code search Google.
  10. Remember to Save often!
  11. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

To see an example of a script (VT-check web url) that our ServiceNow developers made to validate the information a customer types when asked for a URL:

  1. In the left menu of ServiceNow, near the top, in the Filter navigator text box, type: client scripts
  2. Click the Catalog Client Scripts link to view all scripts for all catalog items.
  3. Search for or browse to the VT-check web url script
  4. Click the VT-check web url name to view the script.

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Using JavaScript Code as Client Scripts to Pre-Populate / Pre-Fill Customer Information

For your requestable items, if you want information about the customer that is requesting the item (such as name / VT Username / email / VT phone number), to make a better experience for the customer, you can write a Client Script to automatically fill in the information that ServiceNow has about the customer. The customer can then edit the pre-filled information if they want. To do this:

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. On the main Edit page of your requestable catalog item, scroll down to or click the tab: Catalog Client Scripts.
  3. To the right of Catalog Client Scripts, click New.
  4. In the Name text box, type a name for this script.
  5. From the Applies to drop-down, click whether this script should apply to a single catalog item or an entire variable set that is used on multiple catalog items.
  6. From the Type drop-down, click onLoad so that the information is pre-filled as soon as the catalog item page finishes loading.
  7. In the Script text box, edit and add to the JavaScript code that is automatically generated. For help or examples of JavaScript, code search Google.
  8. Remember to Save often!
  9. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

To see an example of a script (VT_get_userinfo) that our ServiceNow developers made to pre-fill customer information on the help request form at 4help.vt.edu:

  1. In the left menu of ServiceNow, near the top, in the Filter navigator text box, type: client scripts
  2. Click the Catalog Client Scripts link to view all scripts for all catalog items.
  3. Search for or browse to the VT_get_userinfo script
  4. Click the VT_get_userinfo name to view the script.

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Having Customer Download and / or Upload Attachment to Requestable Service Catalog Item

If there is a form that cannot be re-created with variables of a requestable service catalog item that customers must submit as part of requesting an item, you can provide the form for the customer to download, complete, and then attach to their request submission. To do this:

      1. We strongly recommend reading all of the steps before starting to familiarize yourself with the entire process.
      2. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow at: http://4help.vt.edu/.
      3. Create the requestable item, including typing the required text and variables / questions.
      4. Create a new variable / question that requires the customer to check a box to confirm that they have attached a file.
        1. On the requestable item edit page, under Variables, click New to start creating a new variable.
        2. From the Type: drop-down, click CheckBox.
        3. Place a check in the Mandatory check box.
        4. Optionally, type a number in the Order text box.
        5. In the Question text box, type: Yes, I have attached the required file.
        6. In the Name text box, type a name that you want for this question variable.
        7. Click Submit to save this variable.
      5. Create a script that verifies that a file is attached when the request is submitted. This does not verify that the correct file was submitted.
        1. On the requestable item page, under the Catalog Client Scripts heading, click New to start creating a new script.
        2. In the Name text box, type a name you want to identify this script by.
        3. From the Type drop-down, click onSubmit.
        4. In the Script text box, clear all of the text.
        5. Copy and paste the following text into the Script text box:
          --
          function onSubmit() {
            try { //Works in non-portal ui
            var attachments = document.getElementById('header_attachment_list_label');
            if (attachments.style.visibility == 'hidden' || attachments.style.display == 'none' ) {
            alert('You must attach the completed file before submitting this request.');
            return false;
            }
            } catch(e) { //For Service Portal
            var count = getSCAttachmentCount();
            if(count <= 0) {
            alert('You must attach the completed file before submitting this request.');
            return false;
            }
            }
          }   
          --
        6. Click Save to save the script.
      6. Upload the form (Word or PDF file of 25 MB or less) to the requestable item by following the instructions at the Add / Upload a File Attachment section.
      7. Create a clickable link near the questions for downloading the file.
        1. In the body of the text, create a clickable link to the attachment, so that you can determine what the URL of the uploaded file is. For instructions, see the Link to an Attachment section.
        2. Save the changes to the requestable catalog item.
        3. Determine the URL of the file attached to the catalog item.
          1. Click once on the link to the attachment to make it the active object.
          2. In the editor toolbar, click Insert / Edit, which is represented by a paperclip.
          3. Highlight all of the text in the URL: text box.
          4. Copy and paste that text to a Notepad or Word document so that you can use it later.
          5. Click Cancel to close the Insert/Modify Link text box.
        4. Add text and a link to the file to the Instructions of the checkbox variable.
          1. Under Variables, click the name of the CheckBox variable you made earlier.
          2. In the Instructions text box, type: Click here to download the required form.
          3. Highlight all of the text you just typed.
          4. In the editor toolbar, click Insert/edit, which is represented by a paperclip.
          5. In the URL: text box, paste the URL that you copied earlier.
          6. Click OK to save the URL changes.
          7. Click Save to save changes to this variable.
      8. Go back to the requestable catalog item, and delete the link you temporarily made in the body text.
      9. Save the changes to the requestable catalog item.
      10. Click Try It (SP) to test that the file is able to be downloaded, completed, and uploaded with a request.
      11. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Verifying that a Customer Uploaded an Attachment

  1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
  2. Create the requestable item, including typing the required text and variables / questions.
  3. Create a script that verifies that a file is attached when the request is submitted. This does not verify that the correct file was submitted.
    1. On the requestable item page, under the Catalog Client Scripts heading, click New to start creating a new script.
    2. In the Name text box, type a name you want to identify this script by.
    3. From the Type drop-down, click onSubmit.
    4. In the Script text box, clear all of the text.
    5. Make sure that the Active check box is checked as well as the Applies on boxes as appropriate.
  4. Copy and paste the following code into the script field:

    --

    function onSubmit() {

    try { //Works in non-portal ui

    var attachments = document.getElementById('header_attachment_list_label');

    if (attachments.style.visibility == 'hidden' || attachments.style.display == 'none' ) {

    alert('You must attach the completed form before submitting this request.');

    return false;

    }

    } catch(e) { //For Service Portal

    var count = getSCAttachmentCount();

    if(count <= 0) {

    alert('You must attach the completed form before submitting this request.');

    return false;

    }

    }

    }

    --

  5. To change the error text displayed, you can change the text/string parameter that is passed in both function calls to alert(). Make sure to change it in both function calls (two places in the code).
  6. If you require multiple attachments, the 0 in the condition check on line 10 of the given code can be incremented as required to check for multiple attachments as appropriate.
  7. Click Save to save the script.
  8. Save the changes to the requestable item.

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Best Practice: Review Catalog Items Once per Year

Each time you create a new service catalog item and make it active (published), please consider creating a calendar reminder, either in Outlook or your smartphone, to review, check, and verify it once every 365 days. That way, you have a scheduled, automated notification to make sure all content is still accurate and that all links are still working correctly.

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Items Restricted to Departments, Groups, or Not Publicly Available

By default, each catalog item will be viewable to the public, including people not logged in to ServiceNow.

If you want to limit or restrict who can view the item, for example, to one department, or to specific people, before publishing the item, set who the item is accessible for by doing the following:

    1. Log on to the Dev environment of ServiceNow.
    2. On the edit page of the catalog item, scroll down to the Available for tab or section.
    3. To the right of the Available for heading, click Edit.
    4. For each group you want to be able to view the item:
      1. In the Collection list on the left, click the name of the group.
        (If you do not see a group that fits your business needs, submit an incident to 4help to discuss your needs with the ServiceNow Dev team.)
      2. Click the right arrow to move the selected group to the Available for list on the right.
    5. When finished selecting groups, click Save.
    6. Click Save to save the changes to the catalog item.
    7. Fill out and submit the request item for moving catalog items.

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Working, Approving, Fulfilling, Completing Request Items and / or Catalog Tasks

All approvals, requested items, catalog tasks and the actual performing of the work should be done in ServiceNow after logging into ServiceNow. Work cannot be completed from the automated ServiceNow emails; your workflow should be designed so that work is assigned and recorded in ServiceNow. This way ServiceNow can provide a report on the work. ServiceNow cannot report on work that you do outside of ServiceNow, such as by telephone call or email.

Approvals

To find approvals that are waiting for your action:

  1. Go to the service portal customer-viewpoint of 4Help at: http://4help.vt.edu
  2. If you are not already logged in, log in so that you are looking at the "How can we help?" search box and image of the Bridge.
  3. In the top menu, to the left of your name, click Approvals.
  4. To view more information about the request, click the link of the request. On the next page, you will see the workflow and details of the requested item.
  5. Click either Approve or Reject.
  6. You are now done with the approval; however, there may be other request items or catalog tasks that  you or someone else needs to do to complete the workflow.

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Request Items

Request items are where the majority of the work should be done and recorded. Also, the text box in each request item is what allows you to communicate with the customer, so be aware that text saved in the "Additional Comments" field in the request item will be sent to the customer.

To view and work on request items:

  1.  Log into the service desk view of ServiceNow at http://4help.vt.edu/, where people take and work incidents.
  2. In the left menu column, to expand the menu, click the Service Desk menu category.
  3. In the left menu column, under Service Desk, click the My Groups Unassigned Work heading.
    (Also try My Groups Work, My Groups Pending Work, and My Approvals to potentially see other items.)
  4. In the Number column, click the "RITMXXXXXX" number of the item you want to view and work.
  5. Important: Assign the item to yourself. In the Assigned to text box, start typing your name. Click your name from the drop-down. Click Save to save the assignment change.
  6. If you want to send an email to the customer that requested the item:
    1. Verify that you are on a Requested Item screen by looking for "Requested Item - RITMXXXX" near the top.
    2. Scroll down to the Additional Comments box which is between the Variables and Activity log.
    3. In the Additional Comments text box, type any text that you want the customer to receive via email.
    4. Below the Additional Comments text box, click Post.
  7. After you complete the work required by the requested item, close the requested item. To do this, on the Requested Item screen, from the State drop-down, click Closed Complete, Closed Incomplete, or Closed Skipped. The only difference between those three options is the wording.

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Setting or Changing the Priority of Requested Item or Catalog Task

  1. Log into the service desk view of ServiceNow, where people take and work incidents.
  2. Find and view the requested item or catalog task of which you want to change the priority field.
    • You can either use the left menu column, under Service Desk, and try clicking "My work" or "My Groups work" and looking through the list there.
    • Or if you know the RITM number, you can type "RITMXXXXXX" into the top-most search box of ServiceNow in the top-right corner.
  3. The Priority drop-down will be set to 3 - Normal by default. To change that, from the Priority drop-down, click one of the following:
    • 1 - Critical
    • 2 - High
    • 4 - Low
  4. Click Save to save your changes.

Within a workflow, you can set or change the Priority:

To change the value of the Priority of a requested item, from within the workflow, use a "Set Values" action to set the value of the Priority field.

However, to change the value of the Priority of a catalog task, from within the workflow, use a Catalog Task action, and manually use the Priority drop-down to select the new Priority.

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Communicating with Customers via Requested Items

You must be in the Requested Item to communicate to customers from ServiceNow. There is no way to communicate with customers from within a ServiceNow Request or Task.

  1. Log into the service desk view of ServiceNow where people take and work incidents.
  2. Find and view the requested item that you want to communicate about.
    • You can either use the left menu column, under Service Desk, and try clicking "My work" or "My Groups work" and looking through the list there.
    • Or if you know the RITM number, you can type "RITMXXXXXX" into the top-most search box of ServiceNow in the top-right corner.
  3. Important: Assign the item to yourself. In the Assigned to text box, start typing your name. Click your name from the drop-down. Click Save to save the assignment change.
  4. To send an email to the customer that requested the item:
    1. Verify that you are on a Requested Item screen by looking for "Requested Item - RITMXXXX" near the top.
    2. Scroll down to the Additional Comments box which is between the Variables and Activity log.
    3. In the Additional Comments text box, type any text that you want the customer to receive via email.
    4. Below the Additional Comments text box, click Post.

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