CMS and Service Portal

CMS was introduced as an alternative to the platform UI. With the introduction of Service Portal, creating delightful user experiences on top of the ServiceNow platform has become much easier, which has made it a compelling alternative to CMS.

What happens to my CMS site?

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. CMS and Service Portal are completely separate.

Why migrate to Service Portal?

Service Portal serves to address all of the pain points associated with CMS. It’s a simple, more delightful experience with different levels of configuration. Basic users with less technical ability can assemble a simple site; while more advanced users can configure themes, widgets, and pages.

CMS to Service Portal migration

Service Portal comes with widgets for various components such as Catalog, Knowledge, and Incidents. Even though there is no direct migration path between the two, the underlying part of your CMS site can use those components to migrate over without complete re-implementation. The migration effort may vary depending on the customizations made to components.

What's the difference between Service Portal and CMS?

While Service Portal is essentially an upgrade to the existing CMS service, there are several major differences.
  • Underlying technology: CMS uses Jelly which is not as widely used and therefore difficult to find resources. Service Portal instead uses AngularJS, which is a JavaScript framework that is better known to experienced developers.
  • Visual layer: Service Portal is a self-contained app on top of the ServiceNow platform that essentially creates a visual layer between the user and the content. The visual layer makes for better control of the styling and responsive design. CMS on the other hand uses iframes which are notoriously difficult to work with and limited in terms of styling and susceptible to upgrade issues.