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Create CI types for Service Mapping and Discovery

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Create CI types for Service Mapping and Discovery

Create CI types for applications and devices, which are not supported in the base system.

Before you begin

Verify that there is no existing CI type for this application or device.

Role required: sm_admin, personalize_dictionary, or admin

About this task

Every application and host in your organization must have a corresponding configuration item (CI) type which allows Service Mapping and Discovery to discover and process this application correctly.
Note: The Discovery and the CMDB interface refers to CI types as CI classes. The Service Mapping interface uses the term CI type.

A wide range of preconfigured CI types that cover most commonly used applications are available to you. If your organization uses a less known or proprietary application that does not have a corresponding CI type, you must create it.

A CI type is a generic notion that is used by several ServiceNow applications, but there are some attributes that are specific to Service Mapping and Discovery.

A CI type (or class) contains several important definitions that apply to all CIs belonging to it, such as:
  • CI attributes are added as fields to the CMDB tables.
  • Identifiers help Service Mapping and Discovery to differentiate between new and existing CIs. For example, if there is an Apache Web Server CI type defined in the CMDB, and Service Mapping and Discovery both discover an Apache Web Server CI, it processes it using identifiers. It then recognizes it as an updated version of the Apache Web Server CI that already exists in the system, not a new Apache Web Server CI.
  • There are reconciliation rules that help the Now Platform to consolidate CI attributes received from different applications correctly. These rules are necessary for organizations where more than one application participates in the discovery process. Reconciliation rules define how attributes of the same CI discovered by different discovery sources are merged. For example, Service Mapping discovers the version and home directory attributes of an Apache Web Server CI, while Discovery discovers the version and patch level attributes for the same Apache Web Server CI. The Now Platform applies the reconciliation rule and as a result Service Mapping does not overwrite the attributes found by Discovery.
  • Related items, both CIs and non-CIs, serve as a reference and provide additional information about the CI. For example, you can define a serial number, a port and an network APR table as related items for a hardware server. The system does not use these items for identification. After you configure related items for the CI type, you can use horizontal discovery for CIs of this type together with their related items. For information, see Discover related items together with the main CI.
    Note: Non-CIs are items that do not extend the Configuration Item [cmdb_ci] table. Examples of non-CIs are ports, serial numbers, or Network ARP tables.
  • CMDB stores CI class in the form of a hierarchy where some CI classes are parents to other CI classes, who automatically derive their parent's attributes in addition to attributes you configure specifically for child CI classes. CI class hierarchy is used widely for configuring CI behavior, relationships, and display. In this example, the Apache Web Server CI is a child of the Web Server CI and derives many attributes from its parent, such as name, version, model ID. By default, child CI classes inherit identifiers from their parent CI classes.

In addition to these CI type definitions, the horizontal discovery process uses a CI classification to define to which CI type a CI belongs. Create a device CI classification if you create a CI type for devices using SNMP and a process CI classification for an application CI type.


  1. Navigate to Configuration > CI Class Manager.
  2. To use an existing CI type as a parent for the new CI type, click Hierarchy to display the CI Classes list. Click the context menu for the required CI type and select Add Child Class.
  3. Create a table to store the CI type attributes:
    Table 1. New table form
    Field Description
    Label CI type name. For example, Apache Web Server.

    The table name. For example, cmdb_ci_apache_web_server.

    Use a name similar to the other CMDB classes (for example, u_cmdb_ci_laptop).

    Extends table The table name of the parent CI type.

    All CI types are extensions of the Configuration Item [cmdb_ci] table or its child tables. For example, if the new class is Laptops, which is a subclass of Computers, select the cmdb_ci_computer table. If the new class is a top-level class, select the cmdb_ci table.

    The most commonly used parent CI types are:
    • cmdb_ci - basic
    • cmdb_ci_database - for databases
    • cmdb_ci_app_server - for application servers
    • cmdb_ci_infra_service - for infrastructure services
    • cmdb_ci_endpoint_inclusion - for entry points of the inclusion type
    • cmdb_ci_appl - for applications
    • cmdb_ci_web_server - for web servers
    • cmdb_ci_lb - for load balancers
    • cmdb_ci_endpoint - for entry points
  4. Configure how the instance determines if a discovered CI is an upgraded CI existing in the instance or a brand new CI. See Create or edit a CI identification rule for detailed procedure.
    Warning: If there is no CI identification rule for a CI type, Service Mapping discovers CIs belonging to this type, but cannot interpret the results of the discovery process. In this case, the Now Platform rejects the discovery results for these CIs and their information is not updated.
    1. On the Identifiers page, configure the parameters as follows:
      Table 2. Identifier form
      Field Description
      Name Use a meaningful name.
      Applies to Enter the CI type.
      Active Select the check box.
      Independent Clear the check box.
    2. Configure the identifier entry parameters as follows:
      Table 3. Identifier entry form
      Field Description
      Criterion attributes Select the attribute that you want to use for identifying the CI. For example, Class, Installation directory, or Serial number.
      Allow null attribute Select the check box.
      Priority If there is more than one identifier entry, add priority to determine the order in which Service Mapping applies these entries. If none of the identification criteria matches the discovered CI, this CI is new.
  5. (Optional) Configure the instance to consolidate CI attributes received from different data sources correctly. See Create or edit a CI reconciliation rule.
    Configure the following Service Mapping-related parameters correctly:
    Table 5. Reconciliation Definition form
    Field Description
    Data source Select ServiceWatch.
    Applies to Select the relevant CI type.
    Optional condition Set a condition if necessary.
    Note: If you do not create a CI reconciliation rule, data discovered by patterns is used to update CI attributes.
  6. Configure the CI classification for your CI type:
    Note: There is no need to create CI classifications for hosts because these classifications are included in the base system.
  7. For CI types that represent inclusions, define the hierarchy for the new CI type. Clear the Reverse Relationship Direction check box while performing this configuration.
  8. If necessary, customize icons that represent CIs in maps.