Wouldn’t it be great if there was another blog post that could add to your collection of valuable ServiceNow secrets? If you’ve been in the ServiceNow space for long enough, you start to pick up on little things here and there. Like that the “HI” acronym for the ServiceNow HI Support site stands for “Hosted ITIL”, one of the older version names for the system, or that ServiceNow the company used to go by the name “GlideSoft”, which inspired the prefix for ServiceNow JavaScript classes such as GlideRecord or GlideUser.

There are useful things to know about the ServiceNow system—things that make managing your instance or developing new functionality a breeze. You might have come across a few helpful tricks of your own if you’ve played around in the system, discovered a long forgotten Community post, or spoken to other ServiceNow users at the Knowledge Conference or your local ServiceNow User Group meetings.

Well, if you’ve coming looking for more practical ServiceNow know-how, you’ve come to the right place! For Part I of this series, let’s look at some of the best hidden or not-so-obvious ServiceNow features for system administrators or advanced users.

1. .list, .do/.form, .config

Navigating to an entire list of records for a table can be tricky, especially if the module for accessing the table is hard to find or doesn’t exist. If you know the name of the table, in the filter navigator search box towards the top left of the system, enter table_name.list to navigate directly to the list view for the table. For example, type in incident.list, problem.list, or change_request.list to get to the Incident, Problem or Change tables respectively.

The same trick works for creating new records, as typing table_name.do or table_name.form will open the default view for a new record on a table. Typing incident.do is a quick way to open the form to create a new Incident.

Finally, for ServiceNow administrators looking to review the Business Rules, Client Scripts, and other configuration files for a table can type table_name.config into the filter navigator.

Pro Tip: Type the .suffix in all caps to open a new window on your browser instead (e.g., incident.LIST, incident.DO, incident.CONFIG).

2. Wildcard searching

Searching for specific data in the system can be difficult but knowing the default wildcard characters can you help you narrow your search results in no time. Wildcard searching is available in the Global Text Search, the Knowledge Base, the list view of any table, and in reference fields. Here is a list of all available wildcards.

*search-term -or – %searchterm% Search for values that contain search-term.
%search-term Search for values that end with search-term.
search-term% Search for values that start with search-term.
=search-term Search for values that equal search-term.
!*searchterm Search for values that do not contain search-term.
!%searchterm Search for values that do not end with search-term.
!=searchterm Search for values that do not equal searchterm.


Pro Tip: Typing two asterisks ** into a reference field displays the first 15 results for the reference table’s data.

3. Pre-filter large tables with the filter list view

If you have a particularly large table in the system, say something with millions of rows like incident_metric or syslog, loading the default list view may take a long time or may even fail to load at all! If you’re looking for a specific set of data on a large table, try opening up the filter view for the table so you can pre-filter data before you make any queries.

To load the filter view for a table, type the following into your browser’s URL navigator: https://INSTANCE.service-now.com/TABLENAME_list.do?sysparm_filter_only=true

Replace INSTANCE with the name of your ServiceNow instance and TABLENAME with the true table name you would like to load.

Table Incident Metrics

4. Cancelling long running transactions

If you’ve ever accidentally hit the option for viewing ALL the records on a large table, or else started some process that leaves you stuck and stranded, it might be a good idea to cancel your current transaction. This is especially useful for system administrators looking to stop long running scripts that are causing problems for your instance. However, you’ll want to use this trick with extreme caution, so as not to negatively affect anything in the system. Only cancel your transaction if you’re certain that it won’t cause problems if it stops (e.g.,. Loading large lists, form views, or pages).

To cancel transactions for your current user session, type the following in your browser’s URL navigator:  https://INSTANCE.service-now.com/cancel_my_transaction.do

More documentation for this feature can be found here. If you are a system administrator, you can learn more about transaction cancellation here and here.

Pro Tip: To view all active transactions in the system, navigate to the module “Active Transactions (All Nodes)” under the “System Diagnostics” application menu.

5. Advanced system dashboards – System Health & Security, API Usage

As a ServiceNow system administrator, having a comprehensive understanding of the current state of your instance’s health and performance is important. Fortunately, there are a variety of dashboards in the system that provide information about system architectural components, API utilization, and instance security.

  • ServiceNow Performance Homepage – View a collection of performance metrics associated with your instance and the machine where your instance is hosted.
  • System Diagnostics Homepage – Provides an overview of useful diagnostic information about a running instance and cluster nodes.
  • REST & SOAP API Analytics Dashboards – A series of dashboards that present the overall analytics for API usage, analytics per API, and analytics per requesting user.
  • Instance Security Center – A separate portal that allows you to monitor the compliance level of instance security controls, view security event monitoring metrics, and configure and maintain instance security settings.

Instance Security Center

What’s your favorite ServiceNow secret? Stay tuned for Part II of this series, where we explore the best hidden features for advanced system administrators and developers.

If you’d like to learn even more ServiceNow tips and tricks, connect with the Covestic team at servicenow@covestic.com. You can also check out another one of our ServiceNow tips and tricks blogs here.