Orchestration release notes

ServiceNow® Orchestration application enhancements and updates in the Helsinki release.

Activation information

The Orchestration (com.snc.runbook_automation) plugin is available as a separate subscription from the rest of the ServiceNow platform. To purchase a subscription, contact your ServiceNow account manager. The account manager arranges the plugin activation on your production and sub-production instances, generally within a few days.

New in the Helsinki release

Microsoft Azure activity pack
Azure AD activities add or remove users to Azure Active Directory, manage security group membership, and assign or remove Office 365 licenses for individual users.
Workday activity pack
Workday activities can change employee information in Workday and gather information from Workday to update ServiceNow records or pass data to other external systems. A workflow is included that updates or creates a ServiceNow sys_user record and creates an Active Directory account.
Active Directory activity
The Remove User from Group activity removes a user from a group in Windows Active Directory.
External credential storage for activity designer templates
REST, SOAP, and JDBC activity templates were updated to use credentials stored on the Credentials [discovery_credentials] table. As a result, activities created with these templates can use external credential storage systems for authentication.
Client Software Distribution enhancements
  • Entitled users can order software from the service catalog on behalf of another user.
  • Administrators can revoke unentitled software installations through SCCM if the software is a member of an SCCM collection.
  • Extension points in CSD allow customers to implement their own software deployment process from providers such as Casper, Altiris, or LANDesk. Advanced configuration procedures are provided in separate documentation that is intended for developer use only.
Activity designer input testing enhancements
  • The input testing feature in the Orchestration activity designer provides filtering capabilities for the variables list.
  • You can display different variable views, reset values to their defaults, and clear all test values.
  • Reopen the test form from a parsing rule, substitute different test values, and create a different payload.
  • Copy the entire payload to the parsing rules.
Encryption support for the activity designer
You can protect sensitive data passed from Orchestration activities by encrypting input and output variables in activity designer templates. A data type of Encrypted was added to the designer template to allow encryption of input variables. When an output variable is encrypted in the template, the input payload of the corresponding ECC Queue is encrypted. Output variables passed to a downstream activity as input variables maintain their encryption throughout processing.
Auto-mapping of REST activity output variables
The ServiceNow activity designer lets you map parameter values in a REST test payload to variables in the Outputs stage automatically.
Basic authentication credentials for SOAP and REST activities
The Credentials [discovery_credentials] table supports Basic Authentication credentials which can be used to override SOAP or REST message credentials in activity designer templates.

Changed in the Helsinki release

  • JDBC data sources are replaced in activity templates with JDBC credentials from the Credentials [discovery_credentials] table. A table called JDBC Connection [jdbc_connection] contains the credential strings that custom JDBC Orchestration activities must connect to various target databases. The Helsinki upgrade process replaces the JDBC data sources with the new JDBC connections. Existing JDBC custom activities are converted to use the new connections and credential records.
  • The SOAP Request activity is deprecated and unavailable for all new workflows. Workflows from a previous version that use SOAP Request can continue to do so. To call a SOAP message in a new workflow, the best practice is to create a custom activity using the SOAP activity designer template.
  • The Run Command activity is deprecated and unavailable for all new workflows. Workflows from a previous version that use Run Command can continue to do so. To use this functionality in a new workflow, create a custom activity using the SSH provider template in the activity designer.
  • The Run Probe activity is deprecated and unavailable for all new workflows. Workflows from a previous version that use Run Probe can continue to do so. To use this functionality in a new workflow, create a custom activity using the Probe template in the activity designer.
  • A category in the Workflow Editor called Orchestration - Deprecated contains non-scoped activities that are allowed in new workflows, but discouraged.
  • Activity designer tabs were replaced with a stage indicator. Click-able stages at the top of the activity designer form indicate the current stage of the activity with a blue underscore. Designers can move in either direction through the stages.