Populate the CMDB You can populate the CMDB by using Discovery, by importing information from another source, by integrating with an existing external CMDB, or by manually creating CIs. When you populate the CMDB with information, you create a record for each configuration item in the cmdb_ci table or on one of the tables that extend that table. ITIL configuration management auto-discovery The key to any configuration management business practice is the initial and on-going inventory or discovery of what you own. The ServiceNow platform provides three options for auto-discovery: The separate and highly robust Discovery product. A lightweight native discovery tool, called Help the Help Desk, as part of the overall CMDB. Help the Help Desk enables organizations to proactively scan their network to discover all Windows-based PCs and the software packages installed on those PCs. This WMI-based discovery is included in the core ServiceNow functionality, in the Self Service application, at no additional cost. For organizations that want to leverage the discovery technologies they already have deployed (SMS, Tally NetCensus, LanDesk, and so on), the ServiceNow platform supports integrations to those technologies via web services. Scanned data can be mapped directly into the CMDB. For further information on designing, constructing, and maintaining the CMDB, see white papers CMDB Design & Configuration and CMDB Design. Discovery The Discovery product automatically populates the CMDB. Discovery runs probes and sensors to collect information on hardware on the network, software running on that hardware, and the relationships between all the items found. This information is sent back to the ServiceNow instance, and is used to populate the CMDB. Figure 1. Discovery overview Import information from another source Information can be imported to the CMDB using import sets. Import sets find files of information (in formats such as XML, Excel, or CSV), import them, and transform them onto the required table. This process can be scheduled or performed on demand. To import relationships between CIs, use import sets to populate the table [cmdb_rel_ci] with information on the parent, the child, and the nature of the relationship. The [cmdb_rel_ci] table displays a list of all CI relationships and is useful when importing CI data. Figure 2. Import set overview Integrate with an existing external CMDB If the data required for the CMDB is already being collected by another CMDB, it is possible to collect the information from that CMDB in an automated process. Figure 3. CMDB import integration overview CMDB instance API Use the CMDB instance API to populate the CMDB by creating or updating CMDB tables. Manually create a CI Create a single CI for a specific class. The role required is based on the selected table settings. Use the CI Class Manager: Navigate to Configuration > CI Class Manager. Click Hierarchy to display the list of CI Classes. Select the class to use for the CI. In the class navigation bar, select CI List and then on the CI list view, click New. Fill out the CI form and then click Submit. Or, directly use a table: Navigate to and expand Configuration and then elect the class to use for the CI, such as Business Services. In the navigation filter of the application navigator, enter the table label (such as 'Linux'), or the table name in the format of <table name>.list (such as 'cmdb_ci_linux_server.list'). Then, press Enter. In the list view of the table, click New and fill out the form fields for the table. Click Submit.