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Create a CI type for Service Mapping and Discovery

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Create a CI type for Service Mapping and Discovery

Every application in your organization must have a corresponding configuration item (CI) type which allows Service Mapping and Discovery to discover and process this application correctly.

Before you begin

Role required: sm_admin, personalize_dictionary, or admin

About this task

A wide range of preconfigured CI types that cover most commonly used applications are available to you. If your organization uses a less known or proprietary application that does not have a corresponding CI type, you must create it.

A CI type is a generic notion that is used by several ServiceNow applications, but there are some attributes that are specific to Service Mapping and Discovery.
Note: Some ServiceNow applications refer to CI types as CI classes.

A CI type (or class) contains several important definitions that apply to all CIs belonging to it:
  • CI attributes are added as fields to the CMDB tables.
  • Identifiers help Service Mapping and Discovery differentiate between new and existing CIs. For example, if there is an Apache Web Server CI type defined in the CMDB, and Service Mapping and Discovery both discover an Apache Web Server CI, the system processes it using identifiers. It then recognizes the discovered Apache Web Server CI as an updated version that already exists in the system, not a new Apache Web Server CI. For information about the attributes the system uses to identify CIs for different classes, see the identifier rules in Discovery identifiers.
  • There are reconciliation rules that help the ServiceNow platform to consolidate CI properties received from different applications correctly. These rules are necessary for organizations where more than one application participates in the discovery process. Reconciliation rules define how properties of the same CI discovered by different discovery sources are merged. For example, Service Mapping discovers the version and home directory attributes of an Apache Web Server CI, while Discovery discovers the version and patch level attributes for the same Apache Web Server CI. The ServiceNow platform applies the reconciliation rule and as a result Service Mapping does not overwrite the attributes found by Discovery.
  • Preconfigured CI types that come with the ServiceNow platform form a hierarchy where some CI types serve as parents to others who automatically receive their parent's attributes in addition to parameters you configure specifically for them. CI type hierarchy is used widely for configuring CI behavior, relationships, and display. Child CI types derive properties from their parents. In this example, the Apache Web Server CI is a child of the Web Server CI and derives many attributes from its parent, such as name, version, and model ID.

In addition to these CI type definitions, the horizontal discovery process uses a CI classification to define to which CI type a CI belongs. Create a device CI classification if you create a CI type for devices using SNMP and a process CI classification for an application CI type.


  1. Navigate to Configuration > CI Class Manager.
  2. To use an existing CI type as a parent for the new CI type, in the Class Hierarchy pane, navigate to the required CI type, right-click it and select Extend.
  3. Create a table to store the CI type attributes:
    Table 1. New table form
    Field Description
    Label CI type name. For example, Apache Web Server.

    The table name. For example, cmdb_ci_apache_web_server.

    Use a name similar to the other CMDB classes (for example, u_cmdb_ci_laptop).

    Extends table The table name of the parent CI type.

    All CI types are extensions of the Configuration Item [cmdb_ci] table or its child tables. For example, if the new class is Laptops, which is a subclass of Computers, select the cmdb_ci_computer table. If the new class is a top-level class, select the cmdb_ci table.

    The most commonly used parent CI types are:
    • cmdb_ci - basic
    • cmdb_ci_database - for databases
    • cmdb_ci_app_server - for application servers
    • cmdb_ci_infra_service - for infrastructure services
    • cmdb_ci_endpoint_inclusion - for entry points of the inclusion type
    • cmdb_ci_appl - for applications
    • cmdb_ci_web_server - for web servers
    • cmdb_ci_lb - for load balancers
    • cmdb_ci_endpoint - for entry points
  4. Configure how the instance determines if a discovered CI is an upgraded CI existing in the instance or a brand new CI. See Create or edit a CI identification rule.
    Warning: If there is no CI identification rule for a CI type, Service Mapping discovers CIs belonging to this type, but cannot interpret the results of the discovery process. In this case, the ServiceNow platform rejects the discovery results for these CIs and their information is not updated.
    1. On the Identifiers page, configure the parameters as follows:
      Table 2. Identifier form
      Field Description
      Name Use a meaningful name.
      Applies to Enter the CI type.
      Active Select the check box.
      Independent Clear the check box.
    2. Configure the identifier entry parameters as follows:
      Table 3. Identifier entry form
      Field Description
      Criterion attributes Select Class.
      Allow null attribute Select the check box.
      Priority If there is more than one identifier entry, add priority to determine the order in which Service Mapping applies these entries. If none of the identification criteria matches the discovered CI, this CI is new.
  5. (Optional) Configure the instance to consolidate CI properties received from different data sources correctly. See Create or edit a CI reconciliation rule Create or edit a CI reconciliation rule.
    Configure the following Service Mapping-related parameters correctly:
    Table 4. Reconciliation Definition form
    Field Description
    Data source Select ServiceWatch.
    Applies to Select the relevant CI type.
    Optional condition Set a condition if necessary.
    Note: If you do not create a CI reconciliation rule, data discovered by patterns is used to update CI properties.
  6. Configure the CI classification for your CI type:
    Note: There is no need to create CI classifications for hosts because these classifications are included in the base system.
  7. For CI types that represent inclusions, define the hierarchy for the new CI type. Clear the Reverse Relationship Direction check box while performing this configuration.
  8. If necessary, customize icons that represent CIs in maps.