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Content Management - Versions Prior to Fuji

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Note: This article applies to Fuji and earlier releases. For more current information, see Content Management Overview at

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The Content Management System (CMS) is a ServiceNow application that primarily enables users to create a custom interface for the ServiceNow platform and ServiceNow applications. The CMS application is powerful and flexible, so customers have used it for a wide variety of projects from creating entire websites to integrating with other products. The Content Management application is active by default.

A CMS typically requires a systems administrator or a web developer to set up and add features, but non-technical users can use the application as a website maintenance tool to make changes to a website. For more information, see CMS Planning.

Timing is important when considering the addition of content management. Successful deployments of the content management system usually take place after phase one processes (for example, Incident, Problem, Change, Catalog, and Knowledge) are in place. This is especially true if the team has limited website design experience. Waiting until phase two of deployment gives administrators time to work in ServiceNow and to understand how the organization uses the system and what business needs it meets.

Also consider the maturity level of data in the ServiceNow system. Depending on the ITIL processes used, content management will only be useful and effective once the data within ServiceNow is established. Ensure that hierarchies, tasks, and workflows are well defined. For example, before creating a catalog front end, confirm that the service catalog has been in place for some time, has been used, and contains data. The same is true for a knowledge management front end, particularly when high ratings or view counts define article placement on the page.

Following are several CMS project ideas:

  • Design a company-wide service catalog that offers a collection of services.
  • Present a customized UI for a knowledge base.
  • Create customized login pages, search pages, views of lists, tables, charts, or graphs.
  • Design a complete website.
  • Integrate ServiceNow with other company applications.
  • Build a tailored self-service portal for end users that is in compliance with a corporate style guide.

Activating the Content Management System

The Content Management System application and the ESS Portal (implemented within Content Management) application are automatically installed on new instances. If they are not active on your instance, administrators can activate them.

Example Sites

There are two common interface approaches within the ServiceNow community:

  • An image and text-based interface similar to
  • A search-based interface similar to Google

Both approaches have been used successfully. The approach you select depends on the needs of the people using the data and how easy it is to train them. While the two design philosophies are different, both approaches share the common goal of UI simplicity.

To view information about several websites created by Service-Now using the CMS, please see the following:

The ESS Portal

The sample site included in the base system, the ESS portal, uses an image and text-based design that illustrates how the platform can be themed to match corporate branding guidelines. The ESS portal is based on common designs found throughout the ServiceNow community.

Icon-based menu interface similar to shopping sites and modern operating systems. Uses a menu and imagery based experience that guides user navigation within the system hierarchies.
Icon-based menu interface.

A ServiceNow Customer Example

At the ServiceNow Knowledge11 user conference, the CERN European Laboratory for Particle Physics presented the CERN Portal that was created with the CMS using a search-based design. The search-based interface (similar to Google) is becoming more and more popular for use in the scientific and medical sectors of the ServiceNow community.

Search-based interface that feels familiar to anyone who has ever used Google.
Search-based interface that feels familiar to anyone who has ever used Google.

Getting Started