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Glossary of Terms

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Below is a list of terms and definitions as they apply to the ServiceNow platform.


access control list rule or ACL rule: An ACL rule controls what data users can access and how they can access it. ACL rules require users to pass a set of requirements to gain access to particular data.

account: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, accounts represent companies that are sales prospects or customers.

activity: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, activities track sales-related actions, such as email messages, phone calls, or meetings. Activities may be associated with a contact, account, or opportunity.

admin: A user with the admin (administrator) role in ServiceNow has permission to perform almost all functions. The term admin usually includes both the global admin, and the admin for a given application. For example, both the admin and catalog_admin roles have rights to administer the service catalog.

affinity: Affinity is the association of a computer or network device to its credentials as established by ServiceNow Discovery or Orchestration. Once a device is matched with its credentials, the relationship is written to a database table, and those credentials are used to query the device in subsequent discoveries and workflow activities.

agent: An agent is the name of an external system (integration) that writes messages to the Queue [ecc_queue] table. For example, the agent name for a MID Server is in the form, where xxx is the name of a particular MID Server.

aggregation relationship paths: Depending on how CI relationships are defined, not all of the associations will be useful when aggregating expenses to parent CIs. The Relationship Path records define which relationships to traverse based on the class of the parent and child, and/or the type of relationship linking the two CIs.

allocation rule: Allocation rules define how to process each expense line to generate one or more expense allocation records. Rule conditions are based on data from the expense line source.

allocation unit: An allocation unit tracks the total capacity of a business service as well as the number of units being consumed as defined by the CI Cost Center Relationship records.

API functions: API functions are small, globally defined sets of remote functions that can be performed on a targeted resource.

application: An application is a packaged set of configuration records that provides a business solution. Administrators can use the ServiceNow platform to build and manage custom applications.

application file: An application file associates a configuration record with an application and contains metadata for the record.

application menu: An application menu is a grouping of modules as they appear in the application navigator. Users may refer to an application menu as simply an application.

application navigator: The application navigator is a navigation bar on the left side of the screen that displays a list of applications and modules.

approval: An approval is a task within a workflow that requests an action (approval or denial) from a user or user group before the workflow continues.

approval rules: Approval rules are the configured steps required to approve a service or catalog request.

assessable record: In the Assessments application, an assessable record links a record you want to evaluate, such as the company record for Amazon or the user record for a sales representative, to a metric type, such as vendors or employees. You define sets of assessable records when you create metric types.

assessment instance: In the Assessments application, an assessment instance represents one occurrence of an assessment questionnaire assigned to one user.

asset: An asset is any hardware, software, or consumable found in the business environment. Assets of a service provider include anything that could contribute to the delivery of a service.

asset class: An asset class is a group of assets all stored in the same database table (alm_asset or a table that extends alm_asset). In ServiceNow, the default asset classes are hardware, software, and consumables. If the default classes are not appropriate for a specific group of assets, a custom asset class can be created.

audit: ServiceNow defines audit as follows:

automation task: See scheduled job.


backlog: A backlog in the scrum agile development environment is an ordered list of stories that team members agree to work on during a sprint. The scrum process uses three backlogs: product, release, and sprint.

base class: A base class is a table which is extended but does not extend any other tables.

baseline (CI): A CI baseline is a snapshot of a configuration item as it appears in your system in its basic form. All the changes you make to that configuration item since the snapshot was created are displayed on the CI form as basic attribute changes. When a baseline is created, the attributes of the CI are captured as well as all first-level relationships for the CI. Any changes to the base CI or to any related CI will be captured and displayed.

banner frame: The banner frame is the portion across the top of every page that contains the logo and basic global navigation choices.

blackout window: A blackout window is a schedule that defines a period of time in which no changes should be performed. The Change Management Collision Detector plugin uses blackout windows to detect conflicting changes.

bookmark: In UI11, a bookmark is a link to information in the ServiceNow system. All users create and manage their own bookmarks, which appear on the edge.

breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs are filters displayed as a series of links above the record list. Click the individual elements of the path to see a different view.

breakdowns. Sometimes also called dimensions or drill-downs, breakdowns divide data in different ways. For example, incidents can be divided by priority or by assignment group. In Performance Analytics, data can be subdivided two levels deep for further analysis. A first-level breakdown could be by priority, for example grouping all Critical incidents. In this example, a second-level breakdown could be by assignment group, subdividing Critical incidents into, for example, Service Desk, Database, CAB, and so on. The breakdowns can also be turned around; for example, first by assignment group and then by priority, creating a so-called breakdown matrix.

bubble chart: In the Assessments application, a bubble chart is a graph with three axes that plots the assessment results for multiple assessable records. Use bubble charts to determine the relative standing of assessable records in selected categories, with an emphasis on one category.

budget: Tracks planned and actual expenses allocated to one or more cost centers.

budget cost center relationship: A budget can represent one or more cost centers. The Budget Cost Center Relationship table represents the association.

bundled model: A bundled model is a single model comprised of individual models. For example, a laptop, printer, keyboard, and mouse can be combined in a single, bundled model.

burn down chart: The burn down chart is used by scrum masters in an agile development environment to view ideal sprint progress against actual sprint progress.

business rule: A business rule is a piece of JavaScript configured to run when a record is inserted, updated, or deleted, or when a table is queried. A business rule can be set to run before or after the database action has occurred. In the case of a query, the business rule should run before the database operation, so that the data returned to the user is appropriate to his system privileges (user roles). A typical business rule might execute a script after a user updates an incident or escalates the priority of a change request.

business service: A business service is a service (such as email or electronic messaging) delivered to customers by business units. The business service is supported by an IT infrastructure of configuration items (CI).

Business Service Management (BSM): A BSM map is a graphical display of the configuration items (CIs) within a system and their relationships to one another.


call: a simple record used with service desk call, to record basic call information from a customer contact.

camel case: Camel case is the convention of removing the spaces between words and using an uppercase letter to start each word in a multiple word name. In Live Feed, consider using camel case to create a tag that is more than one word long. For example, to create a topic about the service desk, use #ServiceDesk.

capabilities: MID Server capabilities define the specific functions of a MID Server within an IP address range. The base system functionality enables an administrator to select specific capabilities (such as SSH, SNMP, and PowerShell) for the probes launched by each MID Server.

category: In the service catalog, a category is a grouping that organizes catalog items. Each catalog item, order guide, record producer, content item, and subcategory appears as a single item within a category or subcategory.

category user: In the Assessments application, a category user is a person who knows about a specific metric category. One person can be a category user for multiple categories. Examples of category users include a vendor manager who oversees all purchasing operations, or a supervisor of a sales team.

catalog item: A catalog item is any unique item or service in the service catalog that can be ordered by the end user. To specify how a catalog item is procured, who works on it, or how it is delivered, the item must be tied to a service catalog fulfillment process.

certification: See data certification.

change: A change is the addition, modification, or removal of anything that could have an effect on IT services.

chat: Chat allows users to communicate via instant message with other users in a ServiceNow instance (requires the Chat plugin).

chat action: Chat actions are additional items that appear in the chat window menu (requires the Chat plugin).

chat queue: Chat queues define the schedules, support staff, and system messages for help desk chat (requires the Chat plugin).

chat queue agent: Chat queue agents are service desk staff that provide support for a help desk chat queue (requires the Chat plugin). To support a particular queue, a user must be a member of the assignment group for the queue.

checkout: In the service catalog, checkout is the stage during the ordering process at which an item is either purchased (one-step checkout) or is available for review and editing before purchase (two-step checkout).

CI cost: A CI cost is the total of cost of a configuration item. The CI cost is typically associated with a single CI.

CI cost center relationship: A CI cost center relationship is a record associating a cost center to a business service that it consumes and the number of units it uses. This is used to calculate the number of allocated units to update the allocation unit record.

CI rate card: A CI rate card represents a collection of recurring CI costs associated with a collection of configuration items. Rate cards are usually designed around a certain cost model. An example might be a certain model server running in the New York datacenter. The costs associated could be different than the same server model running in the London datacenter. Each model would have a separate rate card.

CI rate card cost: A CI rate card cost is a recurring cost definition that is processed monthly for each CI in the rate card. The rate card is a template that duplicates each cost for each CI, as opposed to managing individual cost records.

class: A class is a table that extends or is extended by another table.

content item: A content item is a service catalog item that provides information instead of goods or services. Content items may reference knowledge articles, static blocks of text, or external web-based content.

contract: A binding agreement between two parties usually containing information such as start date, end date, terms and conditions, renewal information, and financial terms.

clickthrough: Clickthrough is a property that allows users to open a referenced record in the current window. Reference icons allow clickthrough by default. Administrators may also enable pop-up icons, which open a referenced record in another window.

client script: A client script is a JavaScript you create to run in the client browser. ServiceNow supports the following script types:

  • onLoad() runs when a form is loaded.
  • onChange() runs when a particular widget changes value.
  • onSubmit() runs when a form is submitted.
  • onCellEdit() runs when a cell on a list changes value.

clone: A clone is a snapshot of your production ServiceNow instance that you use to refresh your test or development environments.

cluster: A cluster is a ServiceNow instance comprised of two or more nodes: one or more interface nodes to which all user requests from the browser are directed, and worker nodes that handle discrete operations, such as Discovery probes. A cluster can exist on the same physical machine or on separate machines. In a cluster, all the nodes point to the same database and have the same instance ID. The node and cluster concept only applies to instances hosted in a Gen1 datacenter.

coalescence: Coalescence is the method by which import sets may update existing records in a destination production table, rather than simply inserting new records. When coalescence is configured for a field, the import set application attempts to match the source value to the currently existing target value on a production table for updating. If the source value does not match, a new record is created.

collision: A collision is when an incoming customer update in an update set applies to the same object as a newer local customer update. The system update sets preview lets administrators determine whether or not the incoming customer update is applied.

condition builder: A condition builder constructs a condition statement with a series of contextually generated fields. Condition builders are used in filters, survey administration, access control administration, and other areas.

configuration item (CI): Any computer, device, or piece of software in the CMDB. A CI's record includes all relevant data, such as manufacturer, vendor, and location.

configuration page: The configuration page is the module within the content management system (CMS) that sets the global defaults for content pages and sites.

configure: Configuring a form or list changes the layout and appearance of the form or list and may add, remove, and rearrange fields and columns. Configuring a form or list is called personalizing in versions prior to Fuji.

configuration management database (CMDB): The CMDB is a database of the configuration items (CI) and their relationships within an enterprise network.

configuration record: Configuration records are the types of records that define an application, such as tables, roles, menus, or business rules. Tables that contain configuration records extend the Application File [sys_metadata] table (starting with the Fuji release). In versions prior to the Fuji release, the Application File Types table defines which tables contain configuration records.

conflict: A conflict is a record generated by the change management collision detector when a scheduled change overlaps with other changes or is otherwise improperly scheduled. Conflict records detail the type of conflict and what items or schedules were in conflict.

consumable asset: A consumable asset is tracked qualitatively and can be transferred in quantities greater than 0. Details such as all locations where the consumable is installed are not tracked. Examples of assets that are often managed as consumables include pencils, chairs, and monitor stands.

contact: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, contacts represent sales contacts at companies. A contact is linked to an account and hence is assigned to the sales representative for the account.

contact definition: used with contact management, provides a set of conditions to determine which user or group to assign to a specific responsibilities for a record such as an incident alert.

contact responsibility: used with contact management, provides a contact label to associate with records such as incident alerts.

content block: In the content management system, a content block is an item that can be added to a homepage or a content page, and which contains a defined form of content, such as static HTML, a report, or a list.

content frame: The content frame is the main area of the primary user interface. The content frame displays pages to which a user navigates.

content link: In the content management system, a content link is a record on the Content Link [content_link] table that contains a URL. Content links are used by list blocks to generate a list of links rather than a list of records.

Content management system (CMS): The content management system is an application that enables users to create a custom interface for the ServiceNow platform and ServiceNow applications. The CMS can also be used to create websites.

content page: A content page is a web page generated by the content management system.

content site: In the content management system, a content site is a series of content pages grouped together with the same base URL, intended for the same group of users.

content type: In the content management system, a content type is a series of definitions that control list blocks.

context menu: A context menu provides a limited set of actions based on the current state, or context. In ServiceNow, context menus are right-click menus. Administrators can customize context menus.

contract: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, contracts manage sales records for products or services. Contracts may have a limited time frame, track specific post-sale details, and identify renewal opportunities.

cost center: A generic representation of a business entity. This will be used as the primary link between IT costs and the business users consuming IT services.

critical path: Linked project tasks that determine how long the project takes to complete.

current release: Customers can upgrade instances to a current ServiceNow release.

current update set: A current update set is an update set that has been selected using the Update Set Picker. Customizations made by a user will be added to the user's current update set.

customer update: A customer update is a record on the Customer Updates [sys_update_xml] table that stores an individual change to a record. Customer updates are used to preserve customizations during upgrades and to transfer changes between instances with update sets.

customizable record: A customizable record is a record that is tracked by update sets.

customization: A customization is a change to a customizable record.


dashboard: A dashboard is a collection of lists, graphs, charts, or other content items that automatically refresh.

data certification: Periodic or on-demand validations of data.

data source: A data source can be from a file or a Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) connection. Data sources are used to create an import set so that data can be processed, if necessary, prior to being mapped onto a production table. Data sources support the following remote file retrieval methods: FTP. FTPS (Auth SSL, Auth TLS, Implicit SSL, Implicit TLS), HTTP, HTTPS, SCP.

database catalog: A database catalog lists all the catalog objects, or databases, discovered for an instance of a database.

decision matrix: In the Assessments application, a decision matrix is a graph with two axes that plots the assessment results for multiple assessable records. Use decision matrixes to determine the relative standing of assessable records in selected metric categories.

Default update set: The Default update set is an update set that can be used to store customizations that are not meant for transfer.

delivery plan: See Execution plan.

depreciation: Decrease in value of an asset.

derived field: A derived field is a field that is not in the primary table being displayed, but is instead a field that is obtained by following a reference from the primary table to some other table.

detail block: In the content management system, a detail block is a content block that displays the lists, forms, catalog items, or knowledge articles of a given table.

detail page: In the content management system, a detail page is a page that contains a detail block and is used to display content from ServiceNow tables.

device: A device in ServiceNow is a notification delivery endpoint object, such as email or a cell phone, used to receive messages generated from within the system.

dictionary: The system dictionary is a table, [sys_dictionary], that describes the tables and fields in an instance. It stores field data types, character limits, default values, dependencies, and other attributes.

dictionary override: A dictionary override is a declaration in the dictionary that overrides a dictionary entry's behavior on an extended table.

Discovery: Discovery is a purchasable feature that searches the network for all attached computers and devices, then populates the CMDB with configuration, provisioning, and current status information for each.

document feed: a live feed group that is associated with a record, such as an incident or change.

domain: A domain is a unique section of a single instance used to separate data, processes, and UI elements while still sharing global properties and global processes across the entire instance.

dot-walking: Dot-walking describes the structure of a variable in a script that contains one or more reference fields, separated by a dot for each table involved. For example, you want to create a script that determines whether a caller in an incident is configured as a VIP. The variable for the referenced caller_id field might be defined as:
<source lang="javascript">var caller = g_form.getReference('caller_id'); </source> To get the information on whether the user is a VIP, the script dot-walks to the vip field in the User [sys_user] table with the following condition:
<source lang="javascript"> if ('true') </source>

dropzone: A dropzone is an area on a content page in the content management system or a homepage where content can be added.

dynamic HTML block: In the content management system, a dynamic HTML block is a content block which renders Jelly script in a content page.


ECC Queue: The External Communication Channel (ECC) Queue is a database table that is normally queried, updated, and inserted into by external systems such as the MID Server used for Discovery. The ECC Queue is the normal connection point between ServiceNow and external systems. Records saved to the Queue [ecc_queue] table are in the form of messages from external systems.

edge: The edge is the gray toolbar on the left side of the screen in UI11. It provides the ability to show or hide the banner frame or the application navigator, split the screen horizontally or vertically, and create and access bookmarks.

email client: The ServiceNow email client enables you to send email directly from any record (such as an incident, change request, problem, or user record). By default, this functionality is disabled. Administrators can enable the functionality by changing the dictionary entry for each appropriate application.

enterprise license: An enterprise license is a software license for large customers that provides some flexibility, an agreed upon discount price, and a mechanism for easy administration.

entitlement: Software entitlements enable asset managers to define the people or machines to which a specific, purchased software license is assigned.

events: A system event is a configured marker in JavaScript that triggers an email notification alerting specific users when a table is changed or queried. Events are created in business rules and are triggered when a record is inserted, updated, or deleted. You can use existing system events or create your own to react to specific record changes.

execution plan: An execution plan describes how a service catalog item is procured, configured, and installed. Each execution plan contains one or more tasks, defining work that needs to be completed by a specific fulfillment group as part of the overall request fulfillment process.

execution task: An execution plan, also called a delivery plan, is made up of one or more execution tasks. Each task represents work that needs to be completed by a specific group as part of the overall execution process.

expense aggregation: An expense aggregation collects and represents all of the direct expenses from child CIs using the existing CMDB relationship mappings. Individual CI expenses are useful for only that CI. Expense aggregation shows how much an entire business service or application costs to operate.

expense allocation: A record representing a relationship between an expense line and any other record (target) such as a cost center, company, department, user. This is generally considered a "show-back" type of allocation since it's used to show the business the expenses they may be responsible for. This is a different concept than "charge-back" because it allows some additional costs or discounts before a true charge-back is generated. If manipulating the allocation amount is unnecessary, then this record could be considered a charge-back record.

expense line: Expense lines represent a point in time expense amount and the record that incurred or generated the expense. Recurring CI costs are processed monthly to generate expense lines for the previous month. Other applications could also generate expense lines, such as a task expense or time worked expense.


favorites: A list of recently viewed forms, lists, and pages on the tablet interface.

feature: A ServiceNow feature provides a complete solution that customers can implement to add value to their organization. New features are only available as part of a feature release.

feed: A feed is a stream of related messages that are posted in Live Feed.

feed navigator: In Live Feed, the feed navigator allows users to view and filter by tags in one click. The feed navigator is available in the Social IT > Company Feed with Layout module.

field: A field contains an individual item of data on a record in a table.

field status indicator: A field status indicator is a colored symbol or vertical bar that may appear to the left of form elements. These indicators convey field status, such as mandatory, read-only, and modified. Field status indicator appearance varies depending on the version of the UI in use.

filter: A filter is a set of conditions applied to a table that lets you find and work with a subset of the table's data.

fixed assets: A container for holding other assets.

flash movie block: In the content management system, a flash movie block is a content block that embeds a flash movie into a content page.

flyout: In UI11, a flyout is a window that opens on top of the current screen. Flyout windows allow users to view information without navigating away from open panes.

follow-on task: A Compliance audit automatically generates and assigns follow-on tasks to correct discrepancies detected between the expected state of a CI and the actual state.

form: A form is a page that allows users to view and enter data on a record in a table.

formatter: A formatter is a user interface (UI) element (not a field) used to display complex content in a form. The content in formatters can be controlled by UI macros.

frame: In the content management system, a frame is a UI Macro that defines how the outside edges of content blocks are rendered by calling a CSS declaration in a style sheet.

fulfillment group: A fulfillment group works on execution or workflow tasks when fulfilling a request. For example, as part of fulfilling a request for a new laptop, one fulfillment group may install software and a separate fulfillment group might physically deliver the laptop.


gauge: A gauge is an item that can be added to a homepage or content page (content management system). Gauges display data in a variety of formats, such as charts and lists.

Glide: Glide is an extensible Web 2.0 development platform written in Java that facilitates rapid development of forms-based workflow applications (work orders, trouble ticketing, and project management, for example).

glide list: A glide list is an array of values, often referenced from another table, that are stored in a single field (example, the Watch List field in the task table).

GlideForm (g_form): GlideForm.js is the JavaScript class used to customize forms. This class contains the g_form object. GlideForm.js, and the g_form object only run on the client.

GlideScriptable class: A JavaScript class that replaces a Java Packages call.

global UI script: A global UI script is available on any form in the system. Administrators can create global UI scripts.

workflow designer: The workflow designer is an interface that displays workflow activities and transitions.

grid editing: Grid editing, or spreadsheet edit mode, allows users to modify data in list view using keyboard navigation, similar to entering data in a spreadsheet. Administrators can enable spreadsheet edit mode for lists by setting the glide.ui.list_edit_grid property to true.

group: A group is a collection of users who perform a specific role in the company, such as Network Support.


hashtag: Hashags are words marked with a hash (#) symbol in Live Feed 2.0 messages. Hashtags are a way to categorize messages by keyword or topic for improved search results. In versions prior to Fuji, hashtags were called tags.

help context: A help context is a record that creates a link to context-sensitive help for a list, form, or record in ServiceNow.

help desk chat: Help desk chat allows users to communicate directly with service desk staff via instant messaging in a ServiceNow instance (requires the Chat plugin).

history set: A history set is a record on the Record History [sys_history_set] table that stores the changes to a record on an audited table over time.

homepage: A homepage is a dashboard that consists of navigational elements, functional controls, and system information (gauges). When a user first logs in to ServiceNow, the system homepage appears. Administrators can create other global homepages to provide an overview of frequently used information by application. Users can customize homepages for their personal use.

hotfix: A hotfix supports existing ServiceNow functionality with a specific problem fix. It may not include any previous fixes for a given release. See Release Terminology.

HR Case: within the HR Service Management application, records created to hold details of HR requests.

HR change: within the HR Service Management application, records created to hold details of HR requests for employee onboarding, move, and offboarding.

HR Task: within the HR Service Management application, records defining specific steps within the processing of HR cases.

HTML field: An HTML field is a field which holds HTML and provides an HTML editor interface.

HTML sanitizer: feature that allows the clean up of HTML markup in HTML fields to remove unwanted code.

human resources: An application providing a human resources (HR) system within ServiceNow.


IBM PVU licenses: Processor Value Unit (PVU) is a unit of measurement defined by IBM to determine software licensing costs based on processor (with processor defined as each core on a socket) and/or server model. Each software package has a price defined as a number of points or PVUs per core. For a complete explanation of IBM PVU licensing for distributed software, see the IBM PVU Table on the IBM website.

identifiers: An identifier is a Discovery process that uses identification data that identify probes return to determine whether a device found during a Discovery already exists in the CMDB. The identifier then determines what Discovery does next: update an existing CI, create a new CI, or do nothing.

iFrame block: In the content management system, an iFrame block is a content block that can render any URL within an iFrame embedded in a content page.

image library: The image library is an interface that allows for easy management and use of uploaded images.

impact: Impact is a measure of the effect of an incident, problem or change on business processes. Impact is often based on how service levels will be affected. Impact and urgency are used to assign priority.

implementation: An implementation is the initial process of establishing a ServiceNow instance.

import set: An import set is a set of data imported into ServiceNow from an external data source. Imported data is stored in the temporary Import Set table, where a transform map maps the data to existing tables in ServiceNow.

inbound email action: An inbound email action is a defined script triggered by an email that the system mailbox receives.

incident: An incident is an unplanned interruption to an IT service or a reduction in the quality of an IT service. Failure of a configuration item that has not yet impacted service is also an incident.

incident alert: a record created and processed via incident alert management, to help manage and track communications around a high-priority incident or other issue.

incident alert management: an application enabling organizations to create and manage communications related to major business issues or incidents.

indicators, Also known as metrics, business metrics, or KPIs, indicators are statistics that businesses track to measure current conditions and to forecast business trends. Indicators are usually presented in scorecards, dashboards, and graphs to make them easier to read and understand.

instance: A instance is an individual implementation of the ServiceNow platform. Each instance has a unique address (usually and many customers have multiple instances (such as sandbox, development, and production instances).

integration: An integration is a process by which the ServiceNow platform can be made to work with a third-party application or web service.

interactive: An interactive transaction is a transaction generated by a user, as opposed to a background or system process.

introduction to tasks: An introduction to task is a type of record that represents a task within an ITIL process.

IP network: An IP network contains all the IP addresses in a network or a subnet, including the network address (the lowest address in the range) and the broadcast address (the highest address in the range). When Discovery pings an IP network, it discards the results from these addresses to avoid reporting devices more than once. IP network discoveries generally produce more accurate results than searches of IP address ranges.


journal field: A journal field is an input field that can allow, store, or display input. Examples of journal fields are single-string fields and multi-line text boxes such as Comments fields.

journal stream: A journal stream is a real-time, sequential display of journal field entries, such as comments and work notes, from a group of records. You can, for example, view a stream of incident work notes. The stream automatically aggregates all of the journal field entries from incidents and displays them, starting with the most recently updated record.


layout: A layout is an arrangement of dropzones on a homepage or content page (content management system).

label: A keyword or set of keywords applied to records to help group and organize them. Labels appear in the application navigator as links. Labels are called tags starting with the Eureka release.

lane: A logical grouping of items in a 3D timeline visualization. For example, one lane might show pending projects while another lane shows open projects.

lead: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, leads represent salespeople at prospective customer companies. Lead records store contact information and a basic company profile.

left navigation bar: See application navigator.

legacy: A legacy page within the Wiki describes obsolete functionality. Legacy pages are left on the Wiki to allow users with older versions of the ServiceNow platform to retain the documentation.

license base: A license base is a record that displays the requirements of a software license and the details of how the license is being used by configuration items (CI) and named users. License base records calculate the expiration level and the compliance status of a software license.

list block: In the content management system, a list block is a content block that generates a series of lists from tables in the instance.

list definition: A list definition is a UI macro that defines a list block.

local update set: A local update set is an update set created on the current instance so it can be moved to another instance.

login rule: A login rule determines what site entry page the user sees after logging in.


maintenance schedule: A maintenance schedule is a schedule that defines when changes can be scheduled, defined in the Maintenance Schedules plugin. Changes scheduled for times outside the maintenance schedule are flagged as improperly scheduled.

managed document: A stored and secure document controlled using workflows and categorization options. Managed documents are often internal, such as policies, procedures, compliance information, and knowledge articles.

marker: A bar indicating the start of a month in a 3D timeline visualization.

memory leak: A memory leak occurs when a computer program uses but does not release system memory, causing a decrease in available memory for the computer.

metric: In the Assessments application, a metric is a trait or value used to evaluate assessable records. A metric can measure subjective or objective values. Different methods enable you to use a metric as a question on an assessment questionnaire or as a script that queries the database directly. Examples of metrics include perceived courtesy of sales representatives, or number of incidents per vendor.

metric category: In the Assessments application, a metric category represents a theme for evaluating assessable records. Categories contain one or more individual metrics, which define specific traits or values that comprise the theme. Examples of categories include overall vendor performance, or quality of delivery services.

metric type: In the Assessments application, a metric type defines a set of records you want to evaluate, such as vendors, projects, or employees. These records are called assessable records.

model: Models are specific versions or various configurations of an asset or configuration item, for example, an IBM ThinkPad T60p laptop computer. A model can be in more than one model category. For example, a laptop can be a computer AND a server.

model category: A model category defines how assets, configuration items, and other items (for example, contracts, consumables, and licenses) are related to each other. A model category can be related to many models, and many models can be related to a single model category. For example, a specific model of a workstation can be included the computer model category and the server model category.

modular templating: In project management, modular templating is the process of copying an existing task and using it as a template for a new task. This technique allows for smaller sub-projects to be copied from a larger project structure and applied individually.

module: A module is any link in the application navigator that opens a page in the content frame or in a separate tab or window.


navigation menu: See application navigator.

node: A node is a distinct application server process within a single ServiceNow instance. An instance can have two or more nodes (known as a cluster) depending upon system load and other active features, such as Discovery. Each node has a different URL but points to the same database and has the same instance ID. The interface node in an instance (there can be two or more) handles all the user requests from the browser. Worker nodes handle such tasks as MID Server probes and schedule and event processing in high load systems. Nodes typically exist on the same physical server, but can run on different machines.

non-consumable asset: A non-consumable asset corresponds to configuration items defined in the system. Configuration item information, such as changes of status and location, is tracked. Non-consumable assets must be transferred as a single entity with a quantity of 1. Examples of assets often managed as non-consumables include computers and servers.

nonce: A nonce is a random value used once during login for authentication to prevent a malicious user from performing a replay attack to gain access to your system. An authentication agent (typically a network server) uses a nonce, an ID value, and a predefined secret shared by both the sender and the peer to authenticate the login.

notification device: A notification device in ServiceNow is a notification delivery endpoint object, such as email or a cell phone, used to receive messages generated from within the ServiceNow platform.

Notify: a feature enabling organizations to send notifications via text messages and voicemails. It also allows conference calls between ServiceNow users to enable quick communications.


OID: An OID is an object identifier (called a system OID in Discovery) that is required identification on any SNMP device. Some devices provide a unique OID that Discovery can use to identify the device. Other OIDs are not unique and cannot be used to establish the identity of a device. ServiceNow provides a list of over 400 unique OIDs.

OLAP analysis: OLAP analysis is a method of data analysis for reporting with cubes. OLAP was deprecated in Spring 2010 Stable 1 in favor of Pivot Tables.

opportunity: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, opportunities track potential sales of products or services to accounts.

order: Order is the sequence in which a condition should be evaluated if more than one matching condition exists. The order is evaluated from the lowest value to the highest value.

order guides: An order guide is a type of service catalog item that guides a user through an ordering process. Order guides give customers an easy way to order multiple related items using a single request.

ou: In LDAP, ou is used to describe an organizational unit and indicates functional areas within an organization, such as ou=people, ou=groups, ou=devices, and so on. Lower level OUs might be used used to break down these categories even further.


patch: A patch release supports existing ServiceNow functionality with a collection of problem fixes. It includes all previously issued hotfixes for a given release. See Release Terminology.

panel: A block that represents an item record in a 2D timeline visualization, or a block that represents one or more item records in a 3D timeline visualization.

performance metric: A performance metric measures and evaluates the effectiveness of IT service management processes.

perspective: Menu perspective allows a user with access rights to switch between different menu structures based on other roles. For example, an administrator can switch his menu view to the helpdesk user’s perspective to check whether that user’s role provides appropriate access rights.

personal task: a simple record available to Self-Service users, to manage their own personal tasks.

pivot table report: A pivot table report shows the summary of aggregated data and enables you to quickly investigate the source of the summarized data. Non-empty cells have tooltips that report the number of records the cell represents. Clicking a non-empty cell drills through to display a breakdown of those records.

platform: The platform is the complete set of the ServiceNow software services.

plugin: A plugin is an extension to the existing platform that is activated to add functionality to the platform. Many plugins can be activated by the administrator but some require assistance from ServiceNow Technical Support.

polling: Polling is the method by which the browser gets information from the server to send instant messages in Chat. The polling method for Chat is configured with the glide.short_poll_delay property.

pop-up: A pop-up is a customizable information box about any field in a ServiceNow record that is displayed from a reference icon. You can define the fields to display in pop-ups and set the wait delay for the action.

pre-allocated asset: An asset that is in stock (with a quantity possibly greater than one), but is not yet a financial liability. The allocation process makes the pre-allocated asset a recognized asset.

predecessor task: A project task that, upon completion, is followed by another task.

previous release: A previous release is still supported but newer release versions are recommended. All ServiceNow releases are supported with patches and hotfixes for two feature release cycles.

priority: The priority of an incident, problem, or change ticket indicates how quickly the service desk should address the ticket. ITIL suggests that priority be made dependent on Impact and Urgency.

probes: ServiceNow probes are pieces of code that a MID Server uses to determine important characteristics of addressable devices for Discovery. The platform creates these probes from templates that are configured to communicate with a device using its own language (SSH, WMI, etc). Probes can determine a device's operating system, processor speed, amount of RAM, and so on.

problem:: A problem is a cause of one or more incidents. The cause is not usually known at the time a problem record is created and the problem management process is responsible for further investigation.

process application: A process application provides a structured set of activities designed to support a business process or function. It provides measurable business value for stakeholders. Process application covers both ITIL applications like incident management and non-ITIL applications like facilities management.

process guide: A process guide is an optional advanced approval engine that you select instead of the default approval rules. A process guide can use the following approval logic:

  • Any approvals in which the approval of any member of an approval group is required, rather than the approval of all members.
  • Sequenced approvals in which the system polls each approver in a configured sequence until one of them grants approval.
You can create process guides for the following operations:
  • Catalog requests
  • Change request
  • Catalog tasks
  • Change tasks

procurement: The act of obtaining materials or services. Asset and procurement managers create purchase orders, manage receiving slips, and source items for request.

product: In the Sales Force Automation plugin, products store detailed information about the products or services offered. Products may be associated with competitor products to identify vendor replacement sales opportunities.

product catalog: A set of information about individual assets and models (not services).

project time constraint: A restriction on a project task that determines when it should start.

purchase order: Business documents created by buyers to specify the items, quantities, and prices for products they purchase from a specific seller.

purchase order line item: Individual items on a purchase order that specify items to order.


rate card: Provides detailed price information, usually following a cost model. Rate cards can be created for contracts, configuration items, tasks, or labor costs.

rate card CIs: The collection of CIs linked to a Rate Card.

range set: A range set is a collection of IP ranges, IP addresseses, or IP networks that you can assign to a ServiceNow Discovery schedule. A typical use of range sets is to define all the addressable devices in a specific location.

receiving slip: A record of assets received. Usually associated with a purchase order.

receiving slip line: Individual items on a receiving slip that specify items received.

record: A record is an entry in a database table.

record producer: A record producer is an item (which may include one or more catalog items), allowing customers to add information to the database through the service catalog front end. It provides a user-friendly alternative to the regular form interface for ESS users.

reference field: A reference field draws data from a different table. Reference fields can appear in a variable separated from the source field by a dot (dot-walking).

reference icon: A reference icon displays customizable information about fields in ServiceNow forms when you point the mouse to the icon. Reference icons appear on some forms and in all list views, enabling you to view abbreviated versions of records.

reference key: The reference key allows administrators to identify a field other than sys_id to use as the unique identifier for the reference field. The value of the reference key field, instead of the sys_id, is stored in the database for that reference field.

reference qualifier: Reference qualifiers are used to filter the data that is selectable for a reference field, using either the autocomplete support or the magnifying glass lookup icon.

registry: Use the registry to add a new event to the database. After you create an event in business rules, you must register the event before it can be used for email notification.

related links: Related links provide access to additional functions from forms or lists. Administrators can add related links using UI actions.

relation type: A relation type is a record that defines the relationship between two records. This may include CI relation types, Knowledge relation types, or Task relation types.

release: A release is the result of a software development effort intended for customer use.

remote update set: A remote update set is an update set that has been created on another instance and brought over via the Update Source.

renderer: A renderer defines a customized look-and-feel for a component of the service catalog homepage. For example, a category renderer defines how that category will be displayed.

report: A report is a graphical representation of data within the platform.

request: A request is generated in ServiceNow when a customer places an order from the service catalog. The request is processed via request fulfillment.

request fulfillment: Request fulfillment is the process of delivering ordered service catalog items to a customer.

resource: A "resource" is an individual or groups that can work on tasks.

resource plan: "Resource plans" are created by project managers and used to request resources, track effort, and track costs associated with a project.

resource pool: A resource pool is a configuration on an ESX Server that defines the maximum amount of resources a virtual machine template in that pool can consume. A configurable property enables resource pools to expand when necessary if the ESX Server has additional resources to spare.

result state: A result state is the path that Discovery takes after it attempts to match the identity of a device it has discovered in the network with a CI in the CMDB. The result state determines if Discovery continues or stops after it receives the answer to its query.

risk: A possible event that could cause harm or loss, or affect the ability to achieve objectives. A risk is measured by the probability of a threat, the vulnerability of the asset to that threat, and the impact it would have if it occurred.

role: A role is a category that can be assigned to a group or user, and can be granted access to particular parts of the system. Once access has been granted to a role, all of the groups or users assigned to that role are granted the same access. Roles can also contain other roles; access granted to a role will be granted to any roles that contain it. To learn more, see Creating Roles.

rollback: A rollback workflow activity moves processing backward to a specified activity in the workflow. A rollback activity can be used to reset activities that have already executed back to their original state. For more information, see Approval and Rollback Activities.

rollup task: A parent task in the context of aggregating child task items (such as effort or resources) into a larger calculation.

rota: A rota in the On-Call Scheduling application is the top-level definition of on-call shift hour patterns, personnel lists, and notification rules for a group.


schedule item: A schedule item is a particular instance of a scheduled job.

scheduled job: A scheduled job is a record that performs a given task regularly based on a schedule. Scheduled jobs can generate and distribute reports, generate records from templates, or run a script.

schema map: a visual display showing details of tables and their relationships within the database schema.

scope: In Service Portfolio Management, scope refers to the detailed service parameters that define the limits of a business service.

scorecard: In the Assessments application, a scorecard provides a visual breakdown of an assessable record's performance, based on assessment results. Use scorecards to view a variety of data summaries for one assessable record. The Vendor Performance application provides an enhanced scorecard view for vendors. For more information, see Vendor Scorecards.

scrum: Scrum is an iterative and incremental framework for project management mainly deployed in agile software development environments. Scrum is characterized by brief development cycles, called sprints, in which a feature is created, tested, and released.

search chains: Search chains are used to provide search suggestions in Zing text search. Search chains generate suggestions by tracking occurrences of similar searches, in order, over time.

search page: In the content management system, a search page is a content page used to display search results.

semaphores: Semaphores protect shared resources by controlling the number of user transactions that can be run in parallel.

server script: A server script is a script that is processed by the server.

service: A service is an application or feature that performs activities in support of either business applications or the ServiceNow platform.

service catalog: The service catalog is the central repository of goods and services that the IT help desk provides for its users. Users can directly request these services and items from the service catalog.

service desk call: an application allowing ITIL users to create a call record and quickly capture basic information from a customer contact, before deciding whether the call is an incident, a problem, a change, or a service catalog request.

Service Level Agreement (SLA): A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a defined rule that measures the elapsed time of an open task. After a set period of time, the SLA promotes the open task by one escalation level, from Normal to Moderate, Moderate to High, and High to Overdue.

service level contract: A service level contract is a defined master class that controls one or more SLAs. Assigning a service level contract to a particular incident will help find the most appropriate SLA.

shopping cart: A shopping cart is a screen in the service catalog that shows the items currently being ordered.

short polling: Polling is the method by which the browser gets information from the server to send instant messages in Chat. With short polling, the browser sends a request to the server in fixed intervals as defined by the glide.short_poll_delay property. For example, open a new request every 1000 milliseconds, receive an immediate (possibly empty) response, and close the connection.

single sign-on (SSO): Single sign-on is a method of access control that enables a user to log in once and gain access to the resources of multiple software systems without being prompted to log in again. After logging in to their company portal page, end users are pre-authenticated on their ServiceNow instance.

site entry page: In the content management system, a site entry page is a content page designed to appear when a user first arrives at a content site.

slider: A tool used to navigate 3D view timelines.

slider track: An alternate view of panels displayed in both 2D and 3D timeline visualizations.

slushbucket: A slushbucket is a two-column interface for choosing multiple selections from an available pool of items.

Social IT: Social IT is the use of social media technology (such as instant messaging and microblogging) to enhance IT operations.

software license: A software license is a legal document that explains the use of a specific, copyright-protected software program. Software licenses commonly state the number of copies, usually 1 or 2, of the specific software program the end user can legally use.

sourcing: Process of obtaining an asset, either by ordering from a vendor or transferring from one stockroom to another. An item obtainable in this way is said to be sourceable.

span: A span is an individual bar in a ServiceNow timeline that measures the start and end date for a configured activity on a ServiceNow table. When you create a span in a timeline, you can define attributes such as color, text format, and tooltip content.

spreadsheet edit mode: Also called grid editing, allows users to modify data in list view using keyboard navigation, similar to entering data in a spreadsheet. Administrators can enable spreadsheet edit mode for lists by setting the glide.ui.list_edit_grid property to true.

stakeholder: In the Assessments application, a stakeholder is a category user who knows about a specific assessable record, such as a vendor. Examples of stakeholders include a vendor manager who coordinates purchases from Amazon, or a supervisor of a sales team who manages a specific employee.

static HTML block: In the content management system, a static HTML block is a content block that renders HTML within a content page.

stock rules: Stock rules are defined criteria stating that when inventory of a particular asset in a stockroom reaches a specified threshold, a certain number should either be transferred from another stockroom or ordered from a vendor.

stockroom: Stockrooms are places where assets are stored.

stop word: Stop words are common words that are not indexed because they are not meaningful in search results. Articles, conjunctions, personal pronouns, and prepositions are examples of words that may be configured as stop words for Zing text search.

story: A story or user story is a brief statement of a product requirement or a customer business case that is used in the scrum method of agile software development. Typically, stories are expressed in plain language to help the reader understand what the software should accomplish.

story points: In scrum, story points are arbitrary measurements of the effort (not necessarily the time) required to complete a story, based on the estimates of scrum team members.

structured problem analysis: an application allowing problem managers to investigate the cause of a problem or incident, using the problem solving methodology developed by Kepner-Tregoe.

style sheet: In the content management system, a style sheet is a CSS document that defines the styles for content pages.

subscription license: Asubscription license is an annual or multi-year software license that provides the right to use the software and to obtain software updates and service.

successor task: A project task that cannot start until another task finishes.

subflow: A subflow is a workflow that is launched by a separate, parent workflow.

sudo: The sudo program runs on UNIX and allows a system administrator to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root while logging all commands and arguments. Sudo operates on a per-command basis and is not a replacement for the shell.

Summary Set [sys_report_summary] table: The Summary Set [sys_report_summary] table temporarily holds the necessary information for rendering a chart. This table is enabled by the Custom Charts plugin.

summary view: A pop-up window that appears when a user clicks a panel in either the 2D or 3D timeline visualization. The summary view contains additional information about the record. Timeline administrators configure what information appears in the summary view.

supported release: All ServiceNow releases are supported with patches and hotfixes for two feature release cycles.

sys_id: Each record in ServiceNow is identified by a unique 32-character GUID (Globally Unique ID) called a sys_id. The same sys_id value will never be generated twice, ensuring every record created in every table in every instance of ServiceNow in the world has a unique identifying value.


table: A table is a collection of records in a database.

tag: The meaning of this term varies by context:

  • In Live Feed 1.0: a tag is a word marked with a hash (#) symbol in messages. Tags are a way to categorize messages by keyword or topic for improved search results. In Live Feed 2.0, tags are called hashtags.
  • In the system: a tag is a keyword or set of keywords that users can create and apply to records. Tags are used to group and organize records both on the desktop interface and on the tablet interface. Tags are called labels in versions prior to Eureka.

Task [task] table: The Task [task] table is one of the core tables provided in the base system. It provides a series of standard fields used on each of the tables that extend it, such as the Incident [incident] and Problem [problem] tables.

terms and conditions: Provisions, requirements, rules, specifications, and standards included in contracts.

theme: In the content management system, a theme is a grouping of style sheets.

tracked customizations: Tracked customizations are customizations to tables that are recorded in update sets.

transfer order: Transfer orders are created to move assets between company stockrooms.

transfer order lines: Transfer order lines appear on transfer orders. Use transfer order lines to add multiple assets to one transfer order.

transaction: A transaction is any foreground process requested by the user (URL request).

transform map: A transform map matches fields from an import set to fields in a single destination table. A single import set field can be mapped to multiple fields in the destination table.

Transport Layer Security (TLS): TLS is encrypted email communication between mail servers. TLS encrypts the communication between the ServiceNow mail server and a customer’s remote mail server. No certificate exchange or validation is done. ServiceNow can both send and receive email via TLS.

tree picker: A tree picker is a navigational tool for selecting from hierarchical lists.


UI action: A UI action adds button, link, or context menu items on forms and lists, making the UI more interactive, customizable, and specific to user activities. UI actions can contain scripts that define custom functionality.

UI macro: A UI macro is a reusable Jelly script that can be called from a UI page.

update set: An update set is a collection of customizations made to a customer instance that can be transferred to another instance. When an instance is customized, the change is added automatically to the current update set. There can be only one current update set at a time.

update set picker: The update set picker is a choice list in the instance header bar that lets the user select which update set stores customizations the user makes.

update source: An update source is a ServiceNow instance that the current instance can pull update sets from.

URL suffix: In the content management system, a URL suffix defines the URL of a content page. Both content sites and content pages have their own URL suffixes, and are generated in the format:

<path to your instance> + /<site suffix> + /<page suffix> + .do


validation script: A validation script controls the formatting of user input into data fields and displays an error message for syntax violations. For example, you can create a script that enforces the proper formatting of an email address entered by a user.

variable: A service catalog variable provides options to tailor a catalog item to customer needs. Variables can be stored, accessed from multiple places, and passed between tasks during request fulfillment.

variable set: A service catalog variable set is a group of variables that can be used as a unit by multiple service catalog items.

velocity chart: In scrum, a velocity chart shows how much effort (in points) a team can handle in one sprint, measured over time. This calculation helps the scrum master predict how much load a team can handle in future sprints.

vendor catalog: A list of suppliers that provide goods.

view: A view is a saved version of a configured form or list. Views enable users to quickly display the same form or list in multiple ways. Administrators can create custom views.

visual task board: A visual task board is a graphics-rich interface for managing task records.


watch list: See glide list.

watermark: A watermark is a label on a notification email that includes the autonumbered identifier of the source record (such as incident, problem, or change request). By default, watermarks are included on every email notification, but they can be configured differently. Watermarks enable separate emails regarding the same incident to be associated with one another and not be treated as separate incidents.

welcome page: A welcome page is displayed to site visitors before they log in.

web service: A web service allows diverse applications to communicate with each other. ServiceNow supports both inbound (provider) and outbound (consumer) web services.

widget: In Performance Analytics, widget configurations are used to view, set up, edit, and manage properties for dashboards and visualization types: time series, scores, lists, and breakdowns. A widget determines how data is presented on dashboards. For example, as a chart, latest score, speedometer, dial, scorecard, or column. Many variations are possible. Widgets are always linked to an indicator.

wizard: A wizard is a user interface element that provides a step-by-step sequence of dialog boxes to lead the user through a procedure.

work management: The process of managing work tasks of any kind that need to be performed on location.

workbench: A graphical interface that allows users to interact with the application. Different workbenches have different characteristics.

workflow: A workflow is a configured, automatic process for addressing a task.

workflow activity: Workflow activities are the individual actions the workflow performs as it runs. This can include (but is not limited to) performing scripts, manipulating records, waiting for a set period of time, or logging an event.

workflow field: A workflow field in a task record stores and displays the location of the task record in the workflow.