Feature Coverage: Search in Scripts and More

The challenge
As every single of our customers knows, ServiceNow makes it incredibly easy to add new tables and fields, create System Properties, or develop powerful scripts and workflows to ensure automation of some processes. However, after a few months or years, a ServiceNow administrator can face the following challenge when looking at an old customization: where did I use this in my instance? And therefore sometimes may appear the fear to disable a field or global Business Rule, to modify a Script Include or to alter a Workflow, not knowing exactly what all the potential impacts are.

The thinking
At Fruition Partners we dedicate our daily and nightly thoughts to making the life of our customers easier, and we wanted to come up with a solution both simple and powerful. Telling our customers “do not remove this field from the form, make a UI Policy to hide it, just in case…” was clearly not acceptable. We needed a feature that would allow a system administrator to know if a customization is still in use or not.

The (amazing!) solution
Almost two years ago (January 2011), we offered our customers a new feature that we called “Search in Scripts and More”. This feature is part of our Starter Pack. The idea was to be able to search in ServiceNow scripts and configurations to be able to find any customizations done. We decided not to use the Global Search feature for that, for the following reasons:

  • Keep the search results clean: we thought it would be better to separate the Global Search feature, more focused on data, and the “Search in Scripts and More” tool, which purpose is to look in scripts and configurations.
  • Enjoy list personalization: when viewing the results in the Global Search, the system uses the Default view for the columns to show. Having a separate tool allows us to let the system administrator have a different list layout, and even quickly personalize the columns.
  • Refine the search if too many results: using standard Related Lists allows us to benefit from all their power. If a search returns too many results for a table, simply add another layer of filtering. And of course, “Show matching” and “Filter out” work like a charm!

Very recently, we have decided to significantly improve our tool, to make it even better. It now searches through 60 tables in the system – in more than 100 fields – and even in the Workflows! No need to wonder anymore if this custom Reference field to the “Users” table is used as a Variable in a Workflow Approval: a quick search and you will know it right away! Even better, you can edit the Workflow in the Workflow Editor directly from the search result.

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Simple, and yet sooooo useful! 🙂

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