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Express conversion to Enterprise considerations

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Express conversion to Enterprise considerations

Consider four core areas of functionality when planning your upgrade from the ServiceNow Express platform to the ServiceNow Enterprise platform. In these areas, Enterprise platform capabilities are more configurable, powerful, and flexible than in the Express platform.

Approval rule to workflow

As part of your migration from the Express platform to the Enterprise platform, reconsider your approval rules.

  • In the Express platform, approval rules are applied to a record based on conditions when the record is saved. Approval rules run only when requested, and always occur first for catalog requests.
  • In the Enterprise platform, approvals are an activity that is generally defined within the graphical workflow. This provides enhanced flexibility as you can define approval loops, re-approvals, and approvals that are nested at the beginning or end of a workflow. Reminder tasks can be defined to remind approvers that they need to take action.

Service level agreement (SLA) engine

The Express SLA engine is also record-based. In the Enterprise platform, the SLA engine has additional features, such as the ability to schedule jobs to auto-calculate time passed or time remaining metrics. In addition, workflow can be used to configure additional SLA complexity. You can activate the Service Level Management and SLA timeline plugins if they are not already active.


The Express platform uses simple security for create, read, update, delete (CRUD) access through the dictionary. The Enterprise platform uses contextual security for more robust access control, referred to as access control lists (ACLs) or access control rules. During the conversion, your CRUD settings are converted to ACLs. The conversion does not change any of your security access.

The Enterprise platform offers additional benefits in the area of security. Security-based plugins are available and provide column level encryption, edge encryption, or encryption for data at rest.

There are also a greater number of roles available in the Enterprise platform that provide more granular options for granting access to the appropriate users to take action. Going forward, you will manage security settings using ACLs. For more information, see System security.

Development Instance

On the Enterprise platform, you can utilize a development instance in addition to your production instance. The development instance gives you a place to test and validate new Enterprise configurations. As you make changes to the development instance, you can use update sets to track and push the configurations to your production instance.

Scripting and other configuration options

As an administrator of a ServiceNow Enterprise instance, you have more configuration options available than in an Express instance. For example, there are additional field types on forms and an extensive list of dictionary options for fields or tables.

Administrators have access to core ServiceNow platform features such as scripted business rules, client scripts, UI actions, UI pages, UI Macros, UI scripts, script includes, script actions, and so on. Administrators have access to all tables and dictionary entries, and can use scripting to accomplish any change in the instance. Examples of custom configurations include the following.
  • You can use UI actions to define custom buttons.
  • You can use Client scripts to define client-side scripts to run calculations or change fields dynamically before the form is saved.

Revisit your Express process as regards workflow and configuration in the context of how the Enterprise platform works. Determine ways to optimize your process based on Enterprise platform flexibility.