ServiceNow upgrades made easy

Table of Contents

Reading time: 5 mins
Audience: ServiceNow architects, developers and release managers

Software upgrades have been historically a hassle for all companies, the software provider and their customers.

Integrations and configurations often lead into complicated upgrades where one needs to look back at the work done in the past and try to understand the reasons behind that work. The new upgrade will bring us new fresh functionality and those past changes might jeopardize parts of the new coming functionality.


To ease the work, we at Quality Clouds have been working lately on some new features which will help organisations to have smooth upgrades. Best practice says not to change code related out-of-the-box elements in ServiceNow instances. Quality Clouds identifies changes in the out-of-the-box-elements way before the upgrade comes. In this case, developers and architects can have a look to those at the right time, when it is fresh in their memories and not months later.


The upgradeability dashboard of Quality Clouds is populated after each scan.  The dashboard shows a list of all out-of-the-box-elements which have been modified in your instance. These configuration elements may be affected in a future upgrade, in which case it will be necessary to manually review them, and decide on the appropriate action.


By monitoring the information displayed on this dashboard, you can question the need to modify an Out of the Box element as soon as such a modification is performed, rather than having to wait a few months until the next upgrade cycle.

The dashboard is made up of three sections:

This section summarises the number of out-of-the-box-elements (OOTB) modifications detected in the instance. It also shows how many of the detected OOTB changes will be affected by the Jakarta to Kingston and Kingston to London upgrades. These should be investigated as priority as they are certain to generate skipped records when the upgrade is performed.

The next section is the full list of detected OOTB changes. The list shows the details of the OOTB configuration elements which have been modified in the instance. It is possible to filter the list by Configuration Element Type and by the user id of the developer who last modified the Configuration Element.

The third part of the dashboard is list of Configuration Elements affected in upcoming upgrades.

The list contains the following columns:

CE Type: The configuration Element type.
Application: The Service Now plugin which is associated with the Configuration Element.
CE Name: The name of the Configuration Element.
Updated By: The id of the developer who last modified the Configuration Element.
Updated On: The date and time at which the Configuration Element was last modified.
Update Action: The action which will be performed by the Upgrade. Normally this will be either Update, Delete, or Revert.
CE Upgrade Priority: The priority which ServiceNow assigns to the change, with 1 being the highest priority and 5 being lowest. This link describes the criteria which ServiceNow use to assign the Upgrade priority based on the Configuration Element Type.

By the way, can you spot another non-adherence to ServiceNow best practices by looking at the list? Tip: it is repeated 8 times.

Start your trial today and find out how easy or difficult your upgrade is going to be.

Update: ServiceNow Madrid release upgrade help available!

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Quality Clouds
Quality Clouds was created to address a significant gap in the tech industry: the challenge developers face with Salesforce and ServiceNow deployments. Identifying the risks of working on unknown systems, our founders sought to empower developers with essential insights for quality and governance in SaaS projects.

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