With domain separation you can separate data, processes, and
administrative tasks into logically defined domains.
Domain separation is best for those customers who:
- Need to enforce absolute data segregation between business entities (data separation).
- Customize business process definitions and user interfaces for each domain (delegated
- Maintain some global processes and global reporting in a single instance.
- Separate data between service providers, customers, partners, or sub-organizations.
- Have minor or moderate process differences among customers.
Domain separation compared to separate instances
While domain separation provides multi-tenancy support, multi-tenancy is still contained
within a single instance. Some global properties, data, and processes are shared across all
domains. For example, having the system Remember me on the login page of the
system is global and cannot be specified per domain.
If you need complete and total separation of all system properties and do not require global
reporting or global processes, then separate instances are the best option.
Members of a domain see only the data contained within their domain or the child domains that
are lower in the domain hierarchy. By default, all users and all records are members of the
global domain unless an administrator assigns them to a particular domain. Once you assign a
user or a record to a domain, the instance compares the user's domain to the record's domain to
determine whether the user can view the record.
ServiceNow applications are defined with the following incremental support levels. These
levels are based on the perspective of actual use cases and personas.
Data Separation: Tenants see only data that they have permissions to
see. Tenants can be granted access to other tenant data, but cannot query tenant data if they
don't have access.
UI Separation: Supports a tenant-specific experience for UI elements
such as views, lists, labels, and so on.
Business Logic Separation: You can create tenant-specific system
policies such as email notifications, business rules, client scripts, UI policy, and UI
Hierarchical Modeling: Nested-multi-tenancy so parent tenants can
access child tenant resources. Business logic for parent tenants runs automatically for child
tenants, and can be overridden at any level.
Cross-Tenant Intelligence (Domain Scope): Handles automatically the
data, metadata, business logic, and processing context for tenants that have access to
additional tenant data.
In general, data defined at a higher level in the domain hierarchy is not visible at lower
levels in the hierarchy.
Domain path migrationDomain paths are used for all customers. Domain
numbering is not used. ServiceNow support can assist in the upgrade.
Alternatives to domain separation
Separate instances are a common alternative to domain separation. This provides a great degree
of flexibility in meeting the requirements for customers and stakeholders with little to no
impact on others.
Warning: Before activating domain separation, consult your representative to verify
that it is suitable for your environment. Domain separation adds a level of administration
overhead. Although it can be disabled, it cannot be removed from an instance.