Improve IT Service Delivery with ServiceNow’s Service Portal Solution

Today’s workforce is distributed across various locations and for most businesses, offering enterprise-level services to employees or end-users is a challenging task. The challenge grows manifolds when enterprises have disconnected systems and processes. The ServiceNow Service Portal can solve these problems and scaleup enterprise-level service delivery capabilities.

How ServiceNow’s Service Portal Improves Service Delivery

At the enterprise level, end-users have trouble accessing enterprise applications, be it an issue with order logging, Payroll, PTO requests, travel requests, or  IT requests.  The Service Portal facilitates a self-service option for the end-user which lets it provides access to information and tools to easily resolve issues on their own without needing tech support. Transparency is a key benefit to the Service Portal. A Service Portal for end-users helps not only make requests but also tracks the status of tickets and views previous requests. The Service Portal’s UI provides a mobile-friendly self-service experience for a user for quick and easy app building.

Benefits of Service Portal

  • Accessible to end-users
  • Easy to customize with administration
  • Better UI Experience
  • Delivers all platform features and services to end-users in a single page
  • Automatic layout adjustments on any device (Ex: Tablets, mobile, etc.)
  • Supports modern technologies – HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, Angular JS, JavaScript.
  • Reusable content with widgets

Understanding Components of Service Portal in ServiceNow

The ServiceNow’s Service Portal is made up of two main components, framework and portal. The framework contains APIs, angular services, directives, and tools to develop portals. Portals are made up of a cluster of pages and each page is addressed by a page ID.  The following service portal components make up a service portal and these are listed as modules under the Service Portal menu on an application navigator filter.

ServiceNow Service Portal Components Diagram

Figure: ServiceNow Service Portal Components

1. Overview: Visualizations of the dashboard provide a list of features under each section.

2. Service Portal Configuration: The configuration page allows admins and developers to add customization. Options include Branding Editor, Designer, Page Editor, Widget Editor, New Portal, Get Help.

3. Portals: Whenever a new portal is created, the user must provide all configuration settings. These are listed as baseline portals.

4. Announcements: Announcements are listed in the portal. These are used to broadcast messages to users. This can be displayed in a banner or widget instance. One can specify the notification to be posted with styles, start time, or end time of the message in the configuration settings.

5. Themes: Themes define the look and feel of the service portal UI. Developers can choose existing themes or develop their own. A theme has different sections:

    • Header: Customize the header section of a portal and attach to the theme
    • Footer: Customize the footer section of a portal and attach to the theme
    • CSS includes: Add any number of CSS files to the theme
    • JS includes: Add the JS files to the theme

6. Page Route Maps: Allows page routing to other pages and allows routing to cloned pages.

7. Pages: A page is a collection of containers, rows, columns that contain widgets, and its instance options built using the Portal Designer. Multiple portals use the same pages. The best practice is to create a new page and use it accordingly.

ServiceNow Service portal Page layout

Figure: Service Portal Page layout

8. Widget Instances:  Whenever you place a widget through a page designer, widget instance gets created by default and provides all the instance options. For example, IconLink.

9. Widgets: Components in the Service Portal are called widgets. You can use HTML, CSS, client scripts, server scripts, and any JS dependencies to define what a widget does. From an AngularJS point of view, widgets are the essentials of an Angular directive.

    • Dependencies: Can add dependencies of a script.
    • Angular Providers: They are reusable scripts that can be added into widget client scripts. For high performances, use Angular providers instead of overloading your client controllers with persistent data and extra logic. The angular provider has Factory, Service, and Directives.
    • Angular ng-templates: Can create new templates.

10. CSS: Create new stylesheets by creating a new option or include an external stylesheet URL.

11. Log Entries: Service portal related logs are listed here.

12. Menus: For every portal, a menu needs to be created/attached from the existing list. The navigation path from ServiceNow view is service portalàMenus. All menus are listed here based on the selection of the Title from the Main Menu field.

13. Headers & Footers: For every portal, a unique header and footer are attached. One can attach from theme settings.

14. Search Sources: Search Sources are used to filter the data either using tables or a script. For every portal, a default typehead search is available. These search terms are from Search Sources attached to a portal.

15. System Properties: All the service portal properties are listed in system properties.

Srilaxmi Dadigala is a ServiceNow Senior developer at V-Soft ConsultingAbout the Author

Srilaxmi Dadigala works as a Senior ServiceNow Developer at V-Soft Consulting. She holds 10 years of experience in the software industry as a developer. She is a certified ServiceNow Admin and Implementation Specialist. In ServiceNow, her expertise is into the service portal and ITSM. Apart from being a ServiceNow developer, she is highly skilled in PHP programming (backend and frontend), Angular JS, jQuery, MySQL, and SQL.

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