Orchestration release notes

ServiceNow® Orchestration application enhancements and updates in the Istanbul 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 Istanbul release

Credential troubleshooting for activity designer
A credential debugging feature in the activity designer displays detailed troubleshooting information when an activity cannot authenticate on the target during a test. A tab in the test form displays the target IP address, the credential type, and the details of failed credentials, expressed as a JSON string.
Software leases for Client Software Distribution (CSD)
  • CSD allows users requesting software from the service catalog to define lease start and end dates. Lease end dates are only available for selection if the software is configured for revocation (uninstallation).
  • Users of software deployed by CSD can request a lease extensionrequest a lease extension if an end date was defined when the software was ordered. Lease extensions may be subject to approvals.
Microsoft PowerShell protocol and troubleshooting documentation
A detailed discussion of the protocols that PowerShell activities use to communicate with Windows hosts is included in the PowerShell activity pack documentation set. Also included are procedures for troubleshooting authentication and access denied errors that prevent PowerShell activities from running commands on a target host.
Orchestration Runtime plugin
The Orchestration Runtime plugin contains all the Orchestration features required to automate tasks for certain applications without requiring an Orchestration subscription. This plugin provides access to the Packs and Data tabs in the Workflow Editor, which gives users access to custom activities for their applications and allows them to reuse data from the databus.
System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) GET activity filter
A MID Server script filters the payloads from all GET activities built with the SCCM provider template and returns only specific attributes for the applications on the SCCM server. This filter reduces the size of the payload, while providing the most desirable application data.
ActivityLogger API
A system property allows activity creators to configure debugging for the pre-processing and post-processing scripts in activity provider templates. The resulting error messages are displayed in log entries in workflow contexts.
MID Server service account for Microsoft PowerShell
You can force activities built with the PowerShell activity template to use the credentials of the MID Server service. When the MID Server service account is specified, the activity does not try any other credentials and does not allow the use of credential tags.
MID Server selection
Configure a MID Server that Orchestration automatically selects for an activity based on capabilities, the IP addresses of target devices, and the application that the MID Server is allowed to use.

Changed in this release

  • Deprecated activities: The following activities from previous versions were converted with the Orchestration activity designer and can now store input and output variables in the databus. If you have a workflow created in a previous release that uses the legacy versions of these activities, your workflow will continue to work normally after upgrading to Istanbul. However, all new workflows must use the custom versions of these activities.
  • Activity_creator role: The activity_creator role is now required to view the Custom tab in the Workflow Editor. Users without this role can only access the Packs and Data tabs needed to create automations for certain ServiceNow applications, but cannot access the custom features that require an Orchestration subscription. In previous releases, users with the activity_creator role could access all Orchestration tabs in the Workflow Editor.