ServiceNow Helsinki: The 10 features we LOVE

Did you know that Helsinki was called the “Daughter of the Baltic” and is located on the tip of a peninsula and on 315 islands? We are here talking about the Finnish capital of course, but  ServiceNow Helsinki, released just today, could probably be called “Daughter of the Cloud” and contains something like 315 new features. As it is already a tradition for each release, we will present our ten favourites in this blog post!

1. Service-oriented processes
At Fruition Partners we advise our customers from day 1 to be “service-centric”. We strongly believe that, in order to best serve the internal and external customers, an IT department must have a clear view of the services it supports. Well, good news! ServiceNow Helsinki will come with an out-of-the-box “Business service” field at task level, so you will no longer need to create your own.


2. Refined Graphical User Interface
You know how the smallest things can make the biggest differences, right? So you will be thrilled to gradually discover the tiny improvements made to the graphical user interface in the Helsinki release. Here are three examples that should convince you:

  • When you need to do some dot-walking in a filter, you now have a multi-pane drop-down list. Have a look at the screenshot below to see how cool this is.
  • What about combining the “Group by” and quick Pie Chart/Bar Chart features that have been in the lists forever? Try to group some values in a list in Helsinki, and you will see that the tool offers you a very nice way to visualize your groupings and exclude some of them from the results.
  • Did you miss the split view in lists that was removed in ServiceNow Geneva? It is now back in Helsinki, but in a slightly different layout. The list in the middle pane will show only the most useful information, while the right pane will display the details of the selected record.



3. Service Portal
This one is big! ServiceNow Helsinki comes with a complete new portal builder feature. Though the Content Management System (CMS) will still exist, Service Portal is the new way of creating an elegant, user-friendly and responsive self-service portal for your users. And why limit yourself to only one? Depending on your requirements, you may want to have several portals, targeted at different populations.
Forget about iframes or complex Jelly pages, the Service Portal Designer feature will make your life easier and your portal deployment projects faster! And together with the Branding Editor, Page Editor and Widget Editor, it will ensure that you can create re-usable, easy to maintain content and align your user experience with your brand identity.

New Service Portal Helsinki release

4. Project Portfolio Suite
Already with the ServiceNow Geneva release we got some great improvements in PPM features. But there is more coming around in Project Portfolio Suite in Helsinki especially concerning managing the financial aspects of projects and improved dashboards. Helsinki will also come with a Service Portal for Project Management.

ProjectPortfolioSuite ServiceNow Helsinki

5. ITSM Guided Setup
You need to go quick with your ServiceNow implementation? The ITSM Guided Setup is the feature you have always dreamed of! It consists of 10 easy to complete steps that take you through the configuration of your company, connectivity, people and standard ITSM processes.

ITSM Guided Setup ServiceNow Helsinki

6. Improvements to the Catalog
The Service Catalog (at Fruition Partners we prefer to call it Request Catalog, to avoid confusion with the ITIL Service Catalog) has been in ServiceNow for a very long time, but it is still going through some improvements version after version. In Helsinki, a long awaited feature is now available out-of-the-box: Watch List type variables.  Another nice enhancement: the cart of Order Guides can be differentiated from the “normal” cart. This allows you to make sure your users cannot add an extra item in a pre-defined bundle, or cannot remove one item before they place their order.

Improvements To The Catalog ServiceNow Helsinki

7. Built-in support of the XLSX format
Have you ever imported an Excel file in ServiceNow? If yes, you know that the only accepted Excel format was XLS. Was? Yes, was! ServiceNow Helsinki will save you the hassle of converting your Excel files before importing them, but now also exports the data in XLSX.

XLSX Format ServiceNow Helsinki

8. Code Search
This one is for the nerds! Code Search Groups and Tables are the main way to configure how your developers can find strings of code within various tables in your instance. Scoped applications can ship their own Search Groups, optimized for searching the tables and records used in that application. By defining a Search Group and Search Tables, you are letting developers know where the important scriptable parts of your application can be found.

Code Search ServiceNow Helsinki

9. Performance Analytics
ServiceNow Performance Analytics offers advanced reporting capabilities and in Helsinki it becomes even easier to present data to stakeholders. ServiceNow developers really focused on usability and here are a couple of improvements that will make a difference in this field:

  • Responsive Canvas: Performance Analytics Dashboards can now be responsive, to make sure their layout adapts no matter what device your users are using to access them.
  • Breakdown Builder: This feature will assist you in the creation of breakdowns for your indicators. This becomes a painless job, making sure you do not have duplicated breakdowns and automatically matching your breakdown to the correct field.
  • In-form analytics builder: In-form analytics were introduced in Geneva, but Helsinki now allows you to customize them and present the analytics you need, accessible from any form.
  • Workbench improvements: You probably love the Workbench feature, introduced in Geneva, as much as we do! Good news, Helsinki makes it even better! You can now have real-time data in a Workbench, see analytics deltas and even access the records from there.

Apart from that, the set of reports and homepages have been refreshed. That means more beautiful dashboards and visualizations for you, with a lot of “content packs” for the different processes that can be handled in ServiceNow.

10.HR Service Management
Let us finish this top 10 with a non-IT (major) feature: HR Service Management. In ServiceNow Helsinki, the HR Portal gets a new look and has been completely redeveloped to use the new Service Portal capabilities of ServiceNow Helsinki (see our number 3). Prebuilt widgets can be used to create your portal the way you want (e.g.: the “My To Do List” widget provides an indicator and launching point for any open employee tasks, such as reviewing and signing a document with the e-signature capability).
With Helsinki also the HR PDF document templates and E-Signature are introduced in ServiceNow to make it even easier to complete documentation and E-signed documents can then be securely stored as PDF. For example HR document templates can be used to generate PDF documents that include information from an employee’s HR profile, like PDF employment verification letters for existing employees.


Is that all? Nope! Helsinki will bring enhancements in many more areas, and we will make our best at Fruition Partners to let you know about them.

If you are looking for assistance in either upgrading to Helsinki or implementing some of the applications introduced, you can contact Fruition Partners. We will be happy to support you gain maximum value out of your ServiceNow platform.

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    Showing 10 comments
    • William

      What do we do if I upgraded and don’t see any of the screenshots you have from section 2?

      • Alain Müller

        Hi Will,

        Thanks for your comment! The new graphical user interface (UI16) was introduced in Geneva, and has only be slightly refined in Helsinki. The first thing you should do is ensure that the plugin “UI16 [com.glide.ui.ui16]” is enabled in your instance. If this is the case, that you are running Helsinki and that you do not see the new UI, I fear something went wrong in the upgrade process and you should contact the ServiceNow support.
        Do not hesitate to reach to me if you have more questions.

        Best Regards,

      • Laurent

        Actually you need the plugin List v3 for that (com.glide.ui.list_v3)

        • Alain Müller

          That is right, Laurent. Thanks for your comment!


      Great info collation. This Service Portal & HR Service Management already started catching so many ears.

    • JC

      “In Helsinki, a long awaited feature is now available out-of-the-box: Watch List type variables.”

      That sounds great, but I’m not finding any information regarding a new Watch List type variable in Helsinki:

      Is there something I’m missing?

      • Alain Müller

        Hello JC,

        Thanks for your comment.
        Please be informed that there is no new “Watch List” VARIABLE TYPE in Helsinki, but that you can now transform the existing “List Collector” variable into a watch list, by adding the “glide_list” attribute to the Variable attributes.
        You will find the Variable attributes in the “Default Value” tab when editing the Variable.

        Hope this helps.
        Kind Regards,


        • Anna Silva.S

          Hi Alain Müller,

          Thanks for your info,
          It’s really more helpful,

          But I have a query that I’m unable to find out any “Single Line Text” to add external users into the watch list i.e.Non registered users.
          Is there any way to include this..
          Please help me…

          • Alain Müller

            Hello Anna,

            Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately there is no way to have the feature allowing to add non-registered users in a Catalog Watch list in Helsinki or Istanbul (let us cross our fingers so that it will come with Jakarta!). This is for now only possible on a Watch list of a standard form.

            Best Regards,


    • Vinoth

      Excellent Article!! Keep up the good work

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