Understanding Service Portal

Service Portal provides a modular user interface framework for quick and easy building of application portals and dashboards for the platform. It helps developers and non‑technical administrators create attractive and engaging user experiences that drive employee adoption of critical enterprise applications.

How do you use Service Portal?

Service Portal is an application included in the platform UI, however it includes a visual layer for you to do most of your configuration. In the application navigator, navigate to Service Portal > Service Portal configuration to view the configuration page.

The Service Portal configuration page provides a unique, intuitive way of viewing all the pieces of your portal and how they interact with one another. The configuration page allows you to take advantage of a real-time preview, while configuring portal settings. Use each of the tiles on the configuration homepage to assemble the different components of your portal.

If you prefer the platform layout for configuring Service Portal, you still have the option of creating your portal components within the platform UI. The two options are not separate. Everything you create in the Service Portal configuration page also appears in a table in the platform UI.

Who uses Service Portal?

Several different kinds of users can configure a portal.
  • Limited coding: Service Portal was designed so that even users with limited coding ability or knowledge of the platform UI could set up a portal.
  • ServiceNow Experts: Users with an understanding of the ServiceNow platform can create portals, set up URL redirects, and view all the components of the portal in a table. Most portal configuration takes place in the Service Portal configuration page, but in specific circumstances, Service Portal administrators may need to do additional configuration directly within the platform.
  • Developers: Advanced customizations and new widget creation should be done by a developer or someone who understands AngularJS and Twitter bootstrap.
In all cases, the user configuring a portal must have the admin or sp_admin role.

Basic concepts

You should have a basic understanding of all the following components that make up a portal:
  • Themes: Themes define the look and feel of the whole portal, but can be overridden by other style configurations.
  • Pages: Pages control where and how you store portal content. Pages do not have a defined relationship to portal records, they simply exist.
  • Widgets: Components in Service Portal are called widgets. You can use HTML templates, CSS, client scripts, server scripts, and any JavaScript dependencies to define what a widget does. From an AngularJS standpoint, widgets are essentially a superset of an Angular directive.
  • Most of the data in Service Portal is managed in different locations throughout the system.

    For example, if you are building a knowledge portal, the data exists in Service Portal, but the knowledge articles are authored and managed in the Knowledge application. The same is true for any other type of content you plan to leverage. Take time to understand which tables contain and control the data you are working with in Service Portal.

Additional resources

Service Portal is built using several well known technologies. Use the following websites as resources to help you understand and configure your portal: