It is ServiceNow’s new release season! With the Paris release in Early Access, we will show some enhancements targeted around being more effective and efficient as a developer. To get access to these new things, you have to upgrade! This article will be about the new features available to help scope the size of the effort and improve the Admin/Dev team’s upgrade experience.
New in Paris is the Upgrade Center. The upgrade center is made up of a few parts. The first we will look at is the revamped upgrade monitor. The old module under system diagnostics -> upgrade monitor has been renamed to upgrade monitor (legacy). The new one is located under Upgrade Center -> Upgrade Monitor.
You can see part of the new upgrade center above. Once your upgrade has been performed, the upgrade monitor takes you to the upgrade summary. In the summary, find out what’s new and changed allows you to get to the documentation you need. The next section allows you to review and perform the resolutions for the skipped records. Introduced to improve this is a Skipped Record Visual Task Board (VTB).
The new visual task board allows you to assign the skipped list to your team for review and remediation. The labels you can see below help call out important details like code changed and product family so the right resource can be tasked to review the skipped entry. The most important thing in the tags for me, which would have helped speed up my upgrades, is the code has changed tag, as that is the priority to review for most entry types.
The product counts and code change labels get their own unique visualization on the upgrade summary page.
The VTB is driven by a new table which syncs data to the existing skipped record disposition records. upgrade_history_task paired with the existing sys_upgrade_history_log entries. Along with the new task records, is the ability to capture the disposition of the skipped entries into update sets. Those entries can be moved up the instances and then populates the old resolution details related list you will find at the bottom of the history task entries.
Note: Changing the state from the VTB does not perform the UI Actions for upgrade resolution disposition. So, if you are reverting to the base system, you need to click the Revert to Base System UI Action, which will change the state, along with the appropriate adjustments to the application file in question.
Included as a new feature in Paris is the Upgrade Preview. The preview feature will be most useful for your next upgrade after Paris. We will dive into much more detail about the preview center before Quebec upgrade time when it is most useful to you.
In the preview center, you can pick from the appropriate upgrade options (you won’t have many or any choices depending on when you check), which are aligned with what you would see in the instance management options for your instance in HI. There is a schedule option that connects with HI. Once you pick the upgrade, you would like to preview an estimate that will be provided based on information in your instance, and other upgrade timings for similar upgrade choices.
Launching the preview will retrieve the new upgrade, and compare that with your existing system. The upgrade preview upgrade will proceed very similarly to the upgrade process. The upgrade engine will compare your existing application files to the upgrade ones, find the differences. It will then check to see which application files have been modified and then generate the estimated skipped list. Once it is complete, the upgrade preview will display all the estimated changes and skipped records to the preview summary window.
One last suggestion which comes to the front in the preview is ATF results. Please run any testing, inlucding ATF, which you have for your ServiceNow instance prior to the upgrade, so when you run the testing post upgrade you know which failed tests were the result of the upgrade.
Upgrades have gotten lots of incremental improvements over the past couple of years to streamline and improve them. Paris offers quite a few excellent new additions.