CMS and Service Portal

Service Portal was designed to be a compelling alternative to CMS with a very refined user experience. It is not meant to share the exact same functionality with CMS or the platform UI. Users who have very sophisticated experiences delivered through CMS might need to reinvest some time to move to the Service Portal, especially if you use complex catalog items in CMS.

What happens to my CMS site when you activate Service Portal?

ServiceNow continues to support CMS in current and upcoming releases. If you have existing CMS sites and activate Service Portal on your instance, your CMS sites will continue to work, as CMS and Service Portal are completely separate.

CMS to Service Portal migration

Service Portal comes with widgets for various components such as Catalog, Knowledge, and user Self Service. Even though there is no direct migration path between the two, there may be some items, such as some catalog items or knowledge articles which may simply work in Service Portal without any effort. The migration effort varies depending on the customizations made to components.

What is the difference between Service Portal and CMS?

Service Portal is an alternative based on more modern technologies to the existing CMS service and there are several major differences.
  • Underlying technology: CMS uses Jelly which is not widely used, making it difficult to find resources. Service Portal instead uses AngularJS, which is a JavaScript framework that is better known and easier to find information on.
  • Visual layer: CMS uses iFrames which can be difficult to work with and limited in terms of styling and susceptible to upgrade issues. Service Portal, on the other hand, is a self-contained app that essentially creates a visual layer between the user and the content. The abstraction of the visual layer makes for better control of the styling and responsive design.

Service Portal and Service Catalog

Service Portal also takes a more streamlined approach to Service Catalog items. The intent is to ensure that the items display well on a mobile device, and feel more familiar to the consumer of the catalog. As a result, it is possible that complex, multi-column catalog items that are supported in CMS will need to be reconsidered to work in Service Portal.