ServiceNow Istanbul – What’s New?

If it’s not obvious from my most recent content, I’ve been spending the bulk of my time in ServiceNow.  For those of you who don’t know, ServiceNow is an enterprise application platform that is commonly used for its flagship ITSM/ITIL application.  While IT Service Management is its main use, the platform allows business developers to quickly deploy integrations and services in a cloud and mobile ready state with less effort than building from bare metal.

One of the most recent announcements is for the latest major release, called Istanbul.  This latest version passed into general availability this month and has many exciting new features.  I recently attended a webinar that covered the highlights.  You can find the recorded session here.

Automated Testing – This is the piece that ties back into my most recent series on testing.  The automated testing suite in Istanbul is probably the feature I’m most excited about.  The Automated Testing Feature gives developers a native toolkit for building test suites for both UI and server-side unit testing.  Tests can be organized by feature or combined into multiple testing suites for regression testing for future releases.  I’m a fan!

Debugger ‘2.0’ – One of the challenges on this platform is the debugging implementation.  Often, I find myself avoiding the native debugger in favor of logging by hand or using the browser console to detect issues on the platform.

Istanbul restores a debugger tool that was popular in pre-Geneva releases but was turned off some time ago due to functionality issues.  The updated tool runs in its own window and allows developers to add breakpoints specific to them for working with their code.  This means that developers can simultaneously use the same functions while not stepping on each other’s toes with unwanted test cruft.

HTTP Message Logging – For those of us who work with external integrations involving critical business functions, failed event captures in this space can result in unnecessary impact and reduced confidence in your service delivery strategy.  Adding to this is the possibility of finger-pointing between dev groups and a lot of guesswork in troubleshooting the failure.

Istanbul attempts to help with this by breaking out HTTP message logging out of the box and adding it by default.  This not only helps with visibility and troubleshooting of integration issues in production, but development and testing of new integrations.

Email Unsubscribe – One of the common user complaints that come with new platforms is the volume of email that comes by default.  While the platform already allows users to pick and choose what notifications they want to receive, often there’s a disconnect between the actual notification and the setting users might need to change.

One new feature of Istanbul allows developers to add an Unsubscribe link to notifications they send.  This allows notification recipients to opt out of that traffic with a single click in the moment rather than forcing them to log into their user configuration and then remember which notification they’re stopping.

Email WYSIWYG Editor – User experience is often an afterthought or even forgotten when working with a business application.  Part of improving that experience involves delivering content in a more polished manner, rather than just spamming people with walls of text.

While the previous email template editor allowed for markup content, developers were limited to a code only interface, which involves a lot of guesswork in practice.  Istanbul adds a WSYIWYG editor which will allow for quicker delivery of user friendly web-style content in notifications from ServiceNow.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them here or address them to

Thanks for looking in!