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ServiceNow - Prep for CSA Certification

· 16 min read
Enea Krähenbühl

Collection of information I use to study for the CSA certification.

The Exam

Listing of which topics appear to what percentage in the exam:

DomainTopics / SubtopicsPercent
1Platform Overview and Navigation
  • ServiceNow Platform overview
  • Platform capabilities and services
  • The ServiceNow Instance
  • Next Experience Unified Navigation
2Instance Configuration
  • Installing applications and plugins
  • Personalizing/customizing the instance
  • Common user interfaces in the Platform
3Configuring Applications for Collaboration
  • Lists, Filters, and Tags
  • List and Form anatomy
  • Form Configuration
  • Form templates and saving options
  • Advanced Form Configuration
  • Task Management
  • Visual Task Boards (VTBs)
  • Reporting, Dashboards, and Performance Analytics
  • Notifications
4Self Service & Automation
  • Knowledge Management 
  • Service Catalog 
  • Flow Designer 
  • Virtual Agent
5Database Management
  • Data Schema
  • Application/Access Control 
  • Importing Data 
  • CMDB and CSDM
6Data Migration and Integration
  • UI Policies
  • Business Rules
  • System update sets
  • Scripting in ServiceNow


Platform Overview and Navigation / Instance Configuration

Predictive IntelligenceMachine Learning, determine field values during creation
Fred LuddyFounder ServiceNow
History TabQuickest way navigate back to recently viewed
SubmitCreates record and closes form
Configuration > Suggested RelationshipsCreate new relationship Role Menu (CMDB / CI Class)
System SettingsPersonalization of user interface
Application Platform-as-a-Service (aPaas)Cloud computing model of Servicenow
Platform interfacesNow Platform User Interface / Next Experience Unified Navigation, ServiceNow Mobile Apps / Now Mobile App, Service Portal / ESC
Self-Service usersUsers without assigned role permissions
User PresenceHelp improve collaborative effort. Shows currently online users on record.
Connect ChatReal time messaging tool, appears in "Banner Frame"
User Menu OptionsElevate Roles, Logout, Impersonate User
Incident > create newIncident => application; create new => module
Global SearchUsed to search whole instance
Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CICD) Spokebatch installInstall multiple applications, application customizations or plugins at once
Onboarding Component, first LoginWhen first login to Instance shown Onboarding
Variable TypesName for types of "form" / input element in SN
Banner Frame ElementsGlobal Search, User Menu, Help Icon, Contextual App Pill
report_publisherRole required to publish reports
sys_userdb name for user table
user menu > impersonateto impersonate user
Localization framework pluginRequried to translate content to multiple languages
Process Automation DesignerCreate "cross-enterprise" workflows, single unified process
Insert / Update DifferencesInsert/Submit creates new record, update saves existing, both close form upon clicking
Main Screen Elements in "All Menus"All (Applications & Modules), History, Navigation Filter, Favorites
Reporting Incident on Service Portal"Can We Help You?" Category in Service Catalog
Workflow Type in Now PlatformEmployee, Customer, Information Technology (IT)
Now Mobile App OSsApple iOS, Google Android
Icon to mark as favoriteStar
Welcome PageCustomized message at login
_Rule Selector for one field on recordtable.field
Next Experience UINew Design released in San Diego
Guided Setup indicator -> empty circleTask not yet started
ITIL abbrev.Information Technology Infrastructure Library
New Record, Form openInsert and Stay
Interact with SN, Primary Way (Since Rome)Now Platform UI
Prevent Users from creating Homepagescom.glideapp.home.deprecate_homepages = true
HI abbrev.Hosted Instance
Role for Helpdesk Technicianitil
Content FrameMain screen where homepages, dashboards, forms, list of records
SN Applications Workflow typesIT Workflows, Employee Workflows, Customer Workflows, Creator Workflows
Main Elements SN UI (Backend / Platform)Application Navigator, Content Frame, Banner Frame
GroupA set of users, share roles, sub-groups
SN Support & Data Centers Count10 Support Centers & 10 Data Centers
Automatic Notification for Partners when earning badgesfalse
Navigation filterName of application navigator search box
Reference field typeDisplays record of other tables
Replacement for mobile onboarding app (depr. San Diego)Now mobile app for hr service delivery
Email DigestSingle Email summary of activity
History TabDefault last 30 entries, not showing UI Pages / non-standard interfaces, in "application navigator" (ui position)
Now SupportMobile application for customer support (not customizable)
ITSM abbrev.Information Technology Service Management
Architecture of Now PlatformMulti-instance architecture
Mobile StudioCreate, manage, modify applets for SN Mobile
Searching in SNUsage of wildcard character (*), Global Search allows Bool Operators (need to be ALL CAPS)
Self-Service Appl.Available to all users
Now creatorsGet skills, earn badges; Levels: Pro, Legend, Star
Clicking on LogoReturns Home
Flushing Cache (Admin)By typing in the navigation filter
Management of Hosted Instances, upgrades etc.The Now Support (HI) (formerly known as HI Service Portal)
RoleSet of permissions
Best practices Assignment Rules / Predictive IntelligenceSetting an Assignment group and User based on Category and Subcategory. / Setting a User based on Category and Subcategory. / Setting an Assignment group and User based on the short description. / Setting an Assignment group based on Category and Subcategory.
UI Policy vs. Data PolicyA Data Policy runs on both Client and Server side

Configuring Applications for Collaboration

Lists, Filters, and Tags

List Column Context MenuActions: Export data, Quick Reports, configure
Creating FilterCondition builder (clicky) / Natural Language Query (type text to "AI")
Filter ConditionsAlias: Breadcrumbs; Parts: Field, Value, Operator
List interfaceParts: title bar, filters, breadcrumbs, columns of data; Double click on field: edit data inline
Create a favorite. Waysdrag breadcrumbs of filter to favorites tab / drag a record to favorties tab / click star button next to application / module
List versionsv3, v2
Role: List layoutpersonalize_list
List fieldHas "List field context menu"
List title menuShow, Refresh List, Create Favorite
Types of Context MenusList column context menu, form context menu
Create new viewright click header column "Configure > List Layout"
All Configuration ItemsConfiguration > Base items > All
Searching for RowsWildcard character in header search field
Save a filterName it, set visibility (group, person, everyone), save
Select multiple valuesShift + Up / Down Arrow / Shift + click and drag
Personalized ListIndicator: small green dot
Column in ListRepresents a field

Form Configuration / templates and saving options

Form LayoutHide or show fields in view
Updateupdates and closes form
SubmitVisible when create new record; Create and close form
SaveUpdates existing record, keeps form open
Form DesignerOptions on field: Handle, Remove, Edit; GUI Configure Forms; Add field: Field Navigator
Create record, stay openCopy indident, insert & stay
Record ProducerForm that adds record to system table
Delegated DevelopmentFor non-admins to develops apps
Template BarSelect diff. template to apply to form
ActivityRead-only record created, record created, updated
Activity StreamShown for a task under "Notes"
Function Fieldsarithmetics, coalesce concatenation and length
Configure Forms: Rolesamdin, personalize_form
Group related fielsSections

Task Management / Visual Task Boards (VTBs)

"All > Service Desk > My Work"Task Types: Requests, Security Cases, Visual Task Board Tasks, Change Requests, Incidents, Knowledge Base Submissions; Active tasks assigned to myself
"My Groups Work"Work Assigned to my group
Visual Task BoardsManage task by drap drop, identify process bottelnecks, track activity in one place. Collaboration tool; Types: Flexible, Guided, Freeform
TaskRecord, assigned to user, completed by user. Quicker resolution time, repeatable process, minimize human error.
Owner of VTBRights to: create, edit, delete sorting criteria
Inactivity MonitorsNotifies users for tasks when untouched for time
SLA Definition SequenceStart, Pause, Stop
Task SLA Tabletask_sla
SLM abbrev.Service Level Management; SLAs, OLAs and Underpinning Contracts
Assignment RulesAutomatically assigns tasks to users / groups. Create under "System Policy > Rules > Assignment"
Service Level Agreement (SLA)Track amount of time task open, ensure tasks complted on time
CommentsVisible by all users
SLA Type fieldTypes include SLA, OLA, UC in Field "Type"
SLA Enginge PRopertiesSErvice Level MAnagement > Properties > SLA Engine

Reporting, Dashboards, and Performance Analytics

FlowsAutoamte businesslogic for process / application
Report Designer Tab: DataReport Name, Source Type, and table / data source
Report Designer Tab: TypeReport visualisation format
Report Designer Tab: ConfigureDefine report grouping (Group By); aggregate field values --> standard deviation calculations, select fields
Report Designer Tab: Stylecolors, title, chart properties, color schmee
Report Designer Action: SharingDefault: Shared w/ report creator; Sharing Options: Publish, Export to PDF, Add to dashbaord, Schedule, Share
Multidimensional ChartsHeatmap, Bubble, Multi-level pivot table
Dashboards Landing PageNavigate via this to "Dashboard System Health"
PCI Configuration Controls scoreDashboard shows compliant security checks score
KPI Signals ApplicationConsiders behavior to signal variation
Anti-signalLet's know workflow under control
Responsive DashboardsUsers Widgets & Reports and Performance Analystics visualisation sharing
Time Series chartsArea, Column, Line, Spline, Step Line
Bar ChartsBar, Historgram, Horizontal Bar, Pareto
Score ChartsDial, Single Score, Speedometer
Pies and Donuts ChartsDonut, Pie, Semi donut
How to open ReportingView/Run application (menu), Context menu column header list view
Create Chart from List View (Context Menu)Bar Chart, Pie Chart
Menu List Reports"Reports > View/Run"
Recommended Way to Share ReportAction "Share"


SubscriptionsAllos users to manage notifiations, set in system settings
Notification TriggerSystem Event
NotificationsFound undeR: System Notification > Email > Notifications
Notifications Tab: When to sendCondition on which to send
Notifications Tab: What will it containallows overriding html, Select variables from record, apply template
Notifications Tab: Who will receiveTarget for notification
Inbound Email Action TypesChanges system table, reply to email, override agent acapacity for agents
Notification TypesEmail, Meeting Invitation, SMS

Self Service & Automation

Knowledge Management

Service Catalog

Flow Designer

Flow Designerautomate business logic, Replacement for Workflow Editor
Spokes in ServicENow CoreAks for approval, Creat Record, Delete Record
When to user Flow DesignerWhen Version higher than Jakarta, when starting from scratch w/ development
Flow TriggerSchedule (DAte, DAily, Weekly), Record, Application (SLA Task, Inbound email, MetricBase, Service Catalog)
Complex ObjectsTEmpalte can be saved to user in in/output in steps and actions
Process Automation DesignerProcessed document --> Automated Designs; Different Interface in Kanban / Playbook Style
Flow Designer Rolesflow_operator, action_designer, flow_designer

Virtual Agent

Virtual AGentAutomated chatting agent in service portal, common tasks, get info, make decisions
CApabilitesAnswering FAQ, Provide how to, perform diagnosis
Acessible ContentKnowledge Bases, Service Catalog, System REcords
Issue Auto ResolutionIntercept and help resolve submitted incidents
Link UnfurlingPreview for TExts-Links, Videos, Images; Deactivate: By updating system property com.glide.cs.enable_link_unfurling to false.
InterfacesService Portal, iOS, Android
Third Party Messaging SupportWorkplace (Google), MS Teams, Slack

Data Schema

Schema MapVisualisation of relationships between tables; From "Tables & Columns" menu accessed; Roles: personalize_dictionary, admin
Field Settings / Attributes for TableAll > System Definition > Tables & Columns
Dictionary (System Dictionary)Details tables, fields in system; Navigate: All > System Definition > Dictionary
Dictionary overrideOverride for field on inherited table (child), than on parent table; field dependencies, read-only status of field
One-to-many relationshipField in table references record other table
Core TablesType: parent, child, base
Record Number configurationAll > System Definition > Number Maintenance
Create new table (Moduels)Tables & Columns / Tables; Creates Default Modules: table label / plural table label
Many-to-many relationshipbi-directional relationship between tables, related records visible from both tables in related list
Dot-walkingIn Platform UI: Green with plus sign
Transaction LogSystem Logs > Transactions
Exempt from upgradeRecord altered from base, by customer
List Search: Starts with<value>%
Data PolicyRule forces data consistency
Start import setSystem Import Sets > Load Data
Table Relation TypesExtension, One-to-many, Many-to-many
Prefix Custom Tables (Global Scope)u_
CRUD abbrev.Create, REad, Update, Delete
Reference Lookup IconIdentifes reference fields, opens pop-up
Diff. Label extended TableAll > System Definition > Language File
sys_id32-character length, globally unique identifier

Application/Access Control

System Address FiltersConfigure to which emails communication allowed
Elevated RolesOnly in current sessions, select security_admin in elevate roles
Certificate based authentication methodsCommon Access Card (CAC), Personal Identity Verification (PIV)
Preferred Methods of Role ManagementUser in Group, Roles to group
ACL Rule Permissions Configuration OptionsRoles / Scripting who gets access / Conditions
Access control processing oderIn what order ACL evaluated
Role inhertianceA Role Instance inherits all child-roles from role
Create RoleAll > User Administration > Roles
Modules for SecurityHigh Security Settings, Security, Access control
Assignment RulesAll > System Policy > Rules > Assignment
User Authentication MethodsLDAP, SSO, Local DB
Assignment Lookup RulesType of assignment roles, only for incidents
ScopeEncapsules applications, identifies and restricts access to files and data
Create Assignment Lookup RuleAll > System Policy > Rules > Assignment Lookup Rules
contextual securitySystem security type, every level in SN Object hierarchy, control tables and fields

Importing Data

Transform MapRelationships between fields in an import set to field in system table
Transform Map: RulesDefines how data converted before saving
Data Source: OptionsLDAP, JDBC
Import File TypesExcel, XML, CSV
Roles: Mange Import Setsimport_admin, admin
Import Set: FiedlCan be mapped to multiple in target table
Automatic Mappin gUitlityAll field in source and target match
Coalesce FieldUpdates record with this field name & value, otherwise new; when more than one --> first one
Mapping assist utilityNot all field names match on source / target
ACLField (or table) fully inaccessible to users without certain role / permission


Key Tables in CMDBBase CI (cmdb), Configuration Item (cmdb_ci), CI Relationship (cmdb_rel_ci)
Dependency ViewsVisualize CIs and relationships; Navigate: Depencency Views > View Map
CSDM abbrev.Commo Service Data Model,; Standard terms and definitions, best practive cmdb data modeling, OOB cmdb core tables
Benefits CMDBLocating failed cahnges, assoc to incidents; impact analysis of proposed changes; assess problem trends pertaining to cis; manage incidents affecting cis
Service MappingDiscovers and models relationships between CIs, automatically fills into cmdb
LDAP abbrev.Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
Approach overlay service maps onto cmdbTop-down
Create suggested relationshipsAll > configuration > Relationships > Suggested Relationships
CMDB ComponentsDependency Views, Business Services, Processes
CI TypesTangible, intangible
Testing CMDB ContentQuick start tests
Manage CI ClassesAll > Configuration > CI Class Manager
MID abbrevManagement, Instrumentation, Discovery
Discoveryfinds devices and applications --> updates cmdb

Data Migration and Integration

UI Policies

Business Rules

System update sets

Scripting in ServiceNow