ServiceNow WorkflowIT: Part 2

Deep linking

Deep-Linking from ServiceNow to Other Systems

Deep links from ServiceNow to outside systems are becoming more and more popular in ServiceNow implementation projects. They can provide measurable speed, user experience, accuracy, and scalability value. If you are planning to leverage deep links in your ServiceNow solution project, there are some things to keep in mind in regards to what to expect and how to plan for success.

ServiceNow integrates very well with a growing number of other business systems.  Larger ServiceNow implementation projects frequently include integrations with outside systems to create a better user experience and automate processes to grow the business. In these integrations, ServiceNow and outside systems can sometimes authenticate users seamlessly, and trade information that drives functionality so that capabilities are less siloed, and users have access to more data without physically changing applications.

What is Deep Linking?

One of the ways that the integration between ServiceNow and outside systems is accessible to users is by “deep-linking” – putting a link in a ServiceNow form, notification, UI, knowledge article, or other places critical to creating a smooth process. These deep links are often configured to initiate a process on the outside system with the user already logged-in, and relevant data already passed over.

Using Deep Links

In Production, this can provide simplicity and consistency which are the goals of every new system. During the implementation project, though, the project schedule and resources must include allowances for the maintenance of the deep links so that the system behaves as expected at every stage of development.

Updating deep links to other systems can be significant work in the development and code migration processes of a project – especially if there are a lot of them. If the deep link is connecting to services on another system, as opposed to a static information page, the link will probably connect to a non-Production instance of the other system, so that the service isn’t being triggered in Production while the ServiceNow side is in development.

For instance, if there are a dozen knowledge articles with unique deep links to another system to initiate different processes, a developer would need a dozen non-Production URLs for the links to the other system.  At the bare minimum, each of those dozen links would need to be updated in the ServiceNow Knowledge article before being used in Production, so that the links point to the other system’s Production instance, and tasks are engaged in Production on both sides. If the outside system has more than one sub-Production instance, like ServiceNow usually does, the admins of the outside system may require that ServiceNow’s deep links connect to each instance for testing, which means another set of URL updates in the articles for each instance as the code moves up the chain.

Maintaining deep links during development, which is usually necessary to build and test functionality in ServiceNow, must be managed carefully at each stage of the project.

Planning for the right resources, inter-system coordination, and work time to perform these deep link updates will keep the integrated systems working well together. A ServiceNow solution with its deep links managed well allows the value of the solution to shine at all stages of development and contributes to keeping the project on schedule.

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