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Aspen Release Notes

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Release information
{{#ifeq: Aspen | Berlin | | The current recommended release is Berlin Patch 8 Hotfix 1.}} {{#if: Aspen | {{ #switch: Aspen Berlin = The current general availability release for the Aspen family is Berlin Patch 8 Hotfix 1. Aspen = The current general availability release for the Aspen family is Aspen Patch 6.



These release notes describe changes and features that are included in the Aspen release. The Aspen release is focused on system scalability and resilience. Enhancements include:

  • Managed Documents: provides new electronic signature support and enhanced knowledge base integration.
  • IT Governance, Risk & Compliance: links risks and controls to entities, tracks authoritative source requirements in audits.
  • Project & Portfolio Management: offers new templates, task calculation and rollup, improved Microsoft Project import, and a new portfolio Gantt chart capability.
  • Zing Text Search: supports wildcards, Boolean operators, and improved international language searches.
  • Workflow: provides a timeline for workflow execution, the ability to roll back to a point in the workflow, and a new debug assistant.
  • Orchestration Automation: offers enhanced process packs for VMWare and Amazon EC2, Windows and Linux password management, and Active Directory user provisioning.

This release is {{#switch: {{{1}}} | CA = in a state of controlled availability (see release terminology). | GA = in a state of general availability (see release terminology). | no longer recommended for upgrades. If you want to upgrade an instance, consider a current version. }} {{#if: | {{#switch: {{{2}}} | public = To upgrade your instance, request an upgrade | For more information about how to upgrade your instance, see Requesting an Upgrade }}.}} For the Aspen release:

Build date: 12-01-2011_1423
Build tag: glide-october2011-10-28-2011
Note: See how to determine the version on your instance.

Release Name & Upgrade Process

The Aspen release introduces a new naming convention based on an alphabetical system (rather than seasons or months). For example, this release is Aspen and the next release name will begin with B.

ServiceNow introduces a new upgrade process with this release. For the first time, early adopters have an opportunity to install this release before it becomes generally available. Also, upgrades will occur over a window of several weeks, rather than all at once. Customers will be notified of their time window prior to any upgrades.

High Security and Access Control

With the Aspen release, a significant number of new ACLs were added to tables throughout the system. The vast majority of these new ACLs were added in support of the optional Platform Security Settings - High plugin, which includes a property to enforce a default deny security model. In the default deny model, if there is no ACL that grants access to a record, the user does not get access. On the other hand, default allow (the standard for instances created before this release) grants access if there are no ACLs denying access.

Instances using a default deny model need additional ACLs where none existed before. Without them, users might not be able to access required records.

In all application plugins in the Aspen release, we have taken care to ensure that any new ACLs specific to the default deny model are added to an instance only if the Platform Security Settings - High plugin is activated. This plugin is optional for instances created on the June 2011 release and prior.


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New in This Release

The Aspen release contains the following new or improved functionality.

Feature Description Activated
ODBC Driver
ODBC Data Source Administrator Properties
  • debug: Writes all HTTP-related network communication traffic to the ISQL console window.
  • gzip: Compresses all network data.
Automatic for all instances.
ODBC Version Checking A new tool checks the build date and time of the ODBC driver. Automatic for all instances.
MID Server
MID Server Capability The Resolve DNS capability resolves any DNS name into an IP address using a partial string match. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Scripted Value Matching The Capability Value Tests module enables administrators to create capabilities that find devices by using values that do not require exact string matching. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
MID Server Startup Error Logging The MID server startup logic has been improved. Expanded logging messages were added to provide additional information about the instance and MID Server and to identify specific errors for more effective troubleshooting. Automatic for all instances.
New MIDSystem Variable The getConfigParameter(String parameter name) MIDSystem variable was added to return the value of the named MID Server configuration parameter. Automatic for all instances.
Orchestration Automation
VMware Probe A single probe replaces the five VMware probes used in previous versions to run each of the MID Server VMware script includes. This probe can execute any MID Server script include in the ECC queue name set by a VMware Orchestration activity. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Active Directory Activities Six new activities enable an administrator to create, delete, and manage user accounts in Windows Active Directory with a ServiceNow Orchestration or to reset a password automatically from a user request. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Password Reset Activities Two new activities are available for resetting user passwords in Windows Active Directory and Linux. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Sharing Amazon EC2 Images Administrators can now share Amazon EC2 images from other accounts in ServiceNow. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Orchestration PowerShell Activities The following PowerShell activities are available in the Aspen release:
  • Change Service State: Starts or stops a Windows service on a remote machine.
  • Install: Installs an application on a Windows target machine.
  • Uninstall: Uninstalls an application from a Windows target machine.
Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Resolve DNS Name Activity Takes an IP address or a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and resolves it into one or more IP addresses. Automatic for instances running Orchestration Automation.
Discovering Microsoft SQL Server Clusters Discovery identifies Microsoft SQL Server instances differently if they are part of a cluster. An SQL Server instance is not listed as a related item in the CI record for the server that hosts the instance if the instance is part of an SQL Server cluster. Automatic for instances running Discovery.
General Discovery Enhancements This release contains a number of minor updates, including new types of data discovered, new scripting functionality for probes, and new MID Server parameters. All these enhancements are described in a summary section as well as in appropriate sections in the documentation set. Automatic for instances running Discovery.
DNS Name Resolver Probe Resolves DNS names into IP addresses for both Orchestration and Discovery. Automatic for instances running Discovery or Orchestration Automation.
Platform Administration
System Update Sets Enhancements Administrators now have improved controls for update sets. Automatic for all instances.
Upgrade History Enhancements Administrators can now filter skipped updates to see only the objects that have changed since the last upgrade. Automatic for all instances.
Image Upload Enhancements Image metadata (width, height, size, and format) is now stored automatically when a new image is uploaded. A category field is available to organize the image library. Also, a message now appears when an uploaded image may not be supported in Internet Explorer browsers. Automatic for all instances.
Workflow Timelines Provides a timeline view of history activities associated with a workflow context. Timelines display a linear calendar of activities, such as tasks and approvals, defined by their start and end dates. Automatic for all instances.
Workflow Execution Path Tracking A new highlighting feature in the Workflow Activity History enables administrators to troubleshoot workflows. A UI action in the right-click context menu colorizes execution and rollback paths to help locate activities that might have been left in an unresolved state after a workflow completes. Automatic for all instances.
Attachment Events The following events for attachments are included in this release:
  • attachment.uploaded: An attachment has been uploaded. If multiple attachments are uploaded to a record at one time, each attachment triggers a separate event.
  • attachment.deleted: An attachment has been deleted. This event is also triggered when the record containing the attachment is deleted. If a record is deleted that contains multiple attachments, a separate event is triggered for each attachment in the deleted record.
Automatic for all instances.
onCellEdit() Client scripts can now be defined to be triggered onCellEdit, to respond to use of the list editor. Automatic for all instances.
Improved Hierarchical Lists Controls have been improved for hierarchical lists, to include new display and paging options. Automatic for all instances.
Global Search Blocks in Content Management New global search blocks allow users with rights to the global search to use it in a content management site. Automatic for instances running Content Management..
Content Management, Live Feed Enhancement The ESS portal now includes the Portal - Live page and Live Feed dynamic block. Use these components to provide access to Live Feed from CMS pages. Automatic for new instances. Automatic for existing instances running Content Management.
Global Text Search Enhancements Global text search can now render results in parallel to improve performance. Administrators can configure this feature. Automatic for all instances.
High Security High Security settings are now enabled by default on all new instances of ServiceNow. Role-based controls have been added to allow increased privilege. Automatic for new instances.
Upload Multiple Image Files Administrators and users with the image_admin role can now upload multiple image files as a .zip file. Automatic for all instances.
Workflow "Rollback To" Activity The Rollback To activity transitions directly to the activity specified by the transition line attachments and determines which activities to reset based on the actual workflow sequence of activities and not the execution order. Automatic for all instances.
Zing Text Search Enhancements Administrators and users with the ts_admin role now have improved controls for text indexing. Automatic for all instances.
Ordered Email Processing plugin The new Ordered Email Processing plugin enables administrators to force inbound email actions to run in a prescribed order. In addition, administrators can add a command to the script for an action to halt processing after the script runs. Automatic for all instances.
Microsoft SCCM Integration 3.0 Version 3.0 of the SCCM integration uses a flat transition table to gather specific data from all the SCCM tables (except the Software table). ServiceNow maps to this flat table and to the SCCM Software table and imports the data into the CMDB, using Discovery Identifiers to update CIs created from from SCCM data with a resource ID. Activate the Integration - Microsoft SCCM plugin
ServiceNow Basics
Attachments Enhancements Users can now upload multiple attachments at the same time and rename files that are attached to records. Automatic for all instances.
Chat Enhancements New features are available for chat rooms, including the ability to create temporary rooms. Warning: The syntax for adding a custom help desk chat link to the ESS portal has changed. If you are using this feature, you must modify the link. Automatic for instances running Chat.
Top Searches Homepage The Top Searches homepage displays the most popular searches over the past hour, day, week, or month. The homepage includes widgets for specific tables and across the entire instance. Automatic for all instances.
Wildcard Searches Zing now supports wildcards in searches. Automatic for all instances.
Unicode and i18n Support in Zing Searches Zing indexes the full range of Unicode characters to provide internationalization support for searches. Previously, Zing indexed the ASCII character set only. Automatic for all instances.
Filtering Lists Using Multiple String Values List filters for string fields now support searching for multiple values with a comma delimited list. Automatic for all instances
Data Management
Data Policy New features are available for data policy, including the ability to convert from a UI policy to a data policy, enforcing a data policy on the UI, applying the data policy as a default, and debugging. Automatic for all instances.
Display Value Dictionary Overrides An administrator can now override a column display value for a specific, extended table, using the dictionary. References to records in a table in which a display value is overridden use the override value rather than the default value for the column. Automatic for all instances.
Task Management
Approval with E-Signature E-Signature approvals can now be defined on a table-by-table basis, and are enforced in the list view as well as the form. Automatic for instances running Approval with E-Signature.
Retroactive Pause and SLAs A property is now available that allows retroactive start SLAs to factor in pause time when calculating the elapsed time before the SLA was attached. Automatic for all instances.
Best Practice - New Call Wizard A new wizard allows service desk employees to begin recording information from a call before determining whether the issue is an incident or request. Available by request.
Process Applications
Incident Resolution Fields Plugin New Resolved and Resolved by fields track resolution information. Available by request.
Change Management Collision Detector Blackout and maintenance schedules now have condition fields. This allows blackout or maintenance schedules to be applied only to CIs that match a certain set of conditions. In addition, the plugin is now automatically enabled for new instances. Automatic for new instances. Automatic for existing instances running Change Management Collision Detector.
Project Portfolio Management New templates, task calculation and rollup, and improved Microsoft Project import are now available. A new portfolio Gantt chart view shows a summary of the projects included in a portfolio and project milestones in a read-only timeline. Automatic for instances running Project Portfolio Management.
Project Portfolio Management Security Major new security settings, including improved security on all PPM tables, are installed with this release. The new settings are applied to all upgraded instances (not just instances using high-security). Automatic for instances running Project Portfolio Management.
Gantt Chart Enhancements

The Gantt Chart functionality has been improved to prevent dragging or dropping tasks in the following cases:

  • If the task has already started (has an actual start date)
  • If the task has already ended (has an actual end date)
  • If the task has a time constraint of ASAP, since the system calculates the start date based on predecessors
Automatic for all instances.
Managed Documents Integration with E-Signature Activate the Approval with E-Signature plugin to require document approvers to provide a username and password. Automatic for instances running both Managed Documents and Approval with E-Signature.
Knowledge Document Extend the Managed Documents application by activating the Knowledge Document plugin. Use the new features to publish documents to the knowledge base. Before publishing, define information such as knowledge article type, topic, publication date, and expiration date. Activate the Knowledge Document plugin.
Encryption Scripting Functions Two new functions, removeContext and removeAllContexts, can be used in a script to remove encryption contexts that are available to a user session. Automatic for all instances.

Other Notable Changes

This release includes the following minor enhancements or performance improvements. This page contains the accumulated Notable Changes for the Aspen release.


See Fixes for a list of issues fixed in the Aspen release (logged in users only).