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Notable changes in Istanbul

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Notable changes in Istanbul

Complete the upgrade tasks where necessary to prepare an application or feature for the upgrade process, and complete appropriate migration tasks after the upgrade to protect your data and customizations from changes to the system.

Notable changes to applications and features

Application or feature Details
Change Management If you have completed an upgrade from a release prior to Geneva, you must perform the following tasks after you activate Change Management core to ensure that change types and customizations are updated.
  • If you had created newer change types in addition to the default change types, then you must customize them based on the new change types being introduced.
  • Modify the customizations that are affected to use the new change type values.
  • If you had the Bulk CI plugin installed, then install the Mass updates CI plugin for enhanced user experience and alignment with the new plugins.

For additional upgrade considerations, see Change Management upgrade instructions.

Computer Telephony Integration (CTI)

The requirements for the sys_cti_rule parameter have changed. See the Computer telephony integration release notes for details.

In preparation for your upgrade to Istanbul, ensure that you have a working CTI integration. Make and test the changes on an upgraded non-production instance before using the feature in production. For instructions, see KB0620953.


If you are currently using the legacy chat feature to provide help desk support, close any open help desk chats before activating Connect Support. Legacy chat and Connect Support cannot be used concurrently. When you activate Connect Support, the system automatically sets the state of all Chat Queue Entry [chat_queue_entry] records to Closed Complete. This ends any open help desk chats.


Review Dashboard upgrade information about enabling responsive canvas, adjusting customized dashboard layouts, and migrating permissions after an upgrade.

  • The VMware - vCenter probe that discovered all vCenter objects in previous releases is deprecated in the Istanbul release and replaced by multiple probes. For details about the new probes and steps you need to take to protect your customizations, see vCenter probe upgrade.
  • When you upgrade to Istanbul from a pre-Geneva release, you can still use the legacy identifiers provided with your instance or switch to the new CMDB identifiers by setting a system property. It is important to note that if Service Mapping is active on your instance, the CMDB identifiers are always used regardless of the property value. For details, see Discovery identifiers.
  • Upgrades to versions prior to Istanbul Patch 5 can take an excessive amount of time if the Discovery Log [discovery_log] or TCP Connection [cmdb_tcp] table contains a very large number of records. Upgrade performance issues occur when the sys_domain and sys_domain_path fields, used by domain separated systems, are added and populated in these tables. To improve performance, reduce the number of rows in the discovery_log or cmdb_tcp table prior to upgrading to ensure they contain somewhat less than 1 million rows.
    Important: If you remove records from the TCP Connection [cmdb_tcp] table, be sure to run any required Discovery after the upgrade to repopulate the table.
Event Management and Service Analytics

During an upgrade to the Istanbul release, a script converts and moves Event Management rules and events for the release. Even though this script runs automatically, there are configuration tasks you must complete after the upgrade. For more information, see Upgrade tasks for Event Management.

Financial Management
Important: If you are Geneva users with the financial_mgmt_admin, financial_analyst, or financial_mgmt_user roles, then you cannot access the Cost Transparency and Financial Planning application menus and modules after you upgrade to Helsinki. Reassign the new roles to your users.

Financial Management is no longer dependent on IT DataMart or uses IT DataMart. The DataMart Definitions have been upgraded to Financial Management Segments in Istanbul. New segments required for cost model or budget model must henceforth be created in Financial Management Segments.

GRC: Policy and Compliance Management
The GRC: UCF Import (com.snc.ucf_import_add_on) plugin was deprecated and replaced by the new GRC: Compliance UCF (com.sn_comp_ucf) plugin. See Policy and Compliance UCF upgrade instructions.
Note: If your GRC entitlement date is before December 1, 2016, you are entitled to a free UCF CCH account for the period of December 1, 2016 through November 30, 2018. For customers on Helsinki (Patch 7 and above), or Istanbul and whose effective GRC entitlement date start on Dec 1, 2016 or after, you need to sign up for a UCF CCH account and customize your basic subscription to include API Access. For more information about establishing a UCF CCH account, see Unified Compliance.
Human Resources (HR)
If you are an existing HRSM user on a release prior to Istanbul, you are using the HRSM Non-Scoped app that is activated with the Human Resource Application: Core plugin. After an upgrade to Istanbul, you can continue to use the HRSM Non-Scoped app.
Important: If you use Workday Integration, the Human Resources Application: Workday Integration plugin does not appear. To activate this plugin, consult your service manager. Do not activate the Human Resources Scoped App: Workday Integration plugin.

If you want to migrate to using the new HRSM Scoped app from the HRSM Non-Scoped app, consult your service manager. For Istanbul, there are two versions of the HR Service Management application. See HR Service Management release notes for details.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management has changed with Knowledge v3, which is enabled by default for all instances. For migration information, see Knowledge Management v3 migration.

Some of the key differences between Legacy Knowledge and Knowledge v3 are:
  • Multiple knowledge bases (instead of one knowledge base)
  • Separate customizable workflows available for each knowledge base (instead of a single lifecycle shared by all articles)
  • Category structure that supports any number of levels (instead of a two-level organizational structure using Topic and Category)
  • Permissions defined per knowledge base and article, using user criteria (instead of per article, using roles and ACLs)

For additional upgrade considerations, see the links under Migrate.

MID Server
For details on the following upgrade tasks, see MID Server upgrade to the Istanbul release.
  • To ensure that your MID Servers can upgrade successfully, run a series of manual tests for free disk space, access to the download server, and file permissions on the MID Server host.
    Important: After all MID Servers have been upgraded to Geneva or higher, complete the post-upgrade steps listed in the Workaround section of KB0597396.
  • This release introduces features such as application assignment and changes the way various applications select MID Servers. For information on how the upgrade handles defined capabilities, Discovery schedules, IP ranges you have configured, and default MID Servers for Orchestration, see the reference above.
  • In Istanbul, the MID Server can run SSH commands using either the J2SSH client or the proprietary ServiceNow® SNCSSH client. When you upgrade from Dublin or earlier, the MID Server property that controls the SSH client selection is not active in your upgraded instance, and the MID Server will use the J2SSH client by default. To enable the SNCSSH client, you must add the MID Server property and set it to true. Instances upgraded from Eureka or later have the SNCSSH client enabled by default, and no configuration is required. For details, see MID Server properties.
On-Call Scheduling
Upgrading from previous versions is automatic, and all events are recorded in the upgrade logs (System Diagnostics > Upgrade History).
  • The existing On-Call plugin has been changed. When you upgrade, the plugin changes are applied automatically (this action is not optional).
  • The group device functionality is deprecated in favor of a Catch All person.
  • On-call Scheduling replaces the existing business rules for escalations with escalations based on Graphical Workflow.
  • The workflow uses Notification Activities, so it sends emails and not SMS messages. It must be modified to use Create Events activities to send SMS messages.

See Upgrade to on-call scheduling for links to other changes that you should be aware of as you as you transition to on-call scheduling.

Project Portfolio Suite with Financials When you upgrade to Istanbul release, some changes are made to the resource plans. For details, see Project Portfolio Suite with Financials upgrade information.

Upgrades from earlier versions of the platform must activate the Report Security plugin manually to avoid overwriting custom ACLs. For instruction about enabling this plugin either before or after the upgrade, see Reporting upgrade information.

Report Charting v2 is automatically used, and Reporting v1 can no longer be used after an instance is upgraded.

The Report Charting v2 plugin uses the Highcharts charting library to generate reports on the client. This plugin generates all the reports in the ServiceNow report set.

Note: Scheduled reports, custom charts, and reports saved as PDF are generated on the server using the Highcharts charting library. As a result, these types of reports sometimes appear differently than reports generated on the client side.
Service Catalog Changes in the underlying service catalog data model affect the way you implement multiple service catalogs. These changes are automatic, but might impact your instance if you have made customizations, such as changes to the data model. For more information, see Upgrade to multiple service catalogs.
Service Mapping

For instances upgraded from earlier versions to Istanbul, Service Mapping uses a legacy algorithm to choose a MID Server for a discovery request. For instructions about configuring a MID Server in an upgraded instance, see MID Server configuration for Service Mapping in upgraded deployments and Configure a default MID Server for Service Mapping for upgraded deployments.

Web Services After upgrading to Helsinki, ServiceNow does not support outbound connections to TLSv1-only endpoints.