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Notifications

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Note
Note: This article applies to Fuji and earlier releases. For more current information, see Notifications at http://docs.servicenow.com

The ServiceNow Wiki is no longer being updated. Visit http://docs.servicenow.com for the latest product documentation.

Overview

Notifications are important communication tools that keep users informed of events that concern them. You can use email and SMS notifications to send and receive communication from within the system. Notifications are triggered by system events, but unlike business rules, require no scripting knowledge. You can send notifications to email addresses and SMS devices, such as cell phones. Notifications can also be forced to override any user preferences or settings. This ensures the correct users always receive important notifications.

Users can subscribe to notifications of interest or unsubscribe from notifications that they do not want with the subscription based notifications feature.

The subscription based notifications feature enables users to subscribe to notifications of interest or unsubscribe from notifications that they do not want . This feature also enables administrators to send mandatory notifications that users cannot block. A separate interface enables you to select the devices and service providers for SMS notifications.

Email Notifications

For email messages, an administrator writes a simple form email that is sent out every time a certain event occurs. The Email Notification form uses variables to return field values from the table generating the notification. For example, an email notification generated by an incident can contain information about who opened the incident, the incident's priority, and the description.

Users can enable or disable the email notifications for themselves. They can also define more specific rules regarding which email notifications to receive if subscription based notifications are active. Users who receive email notifications can respond to the email, which triggers an inbound email action. Inbound email actions are the other half of the communication functionality that email notifications provide. By responding to email notifications, users can interact with the system through their email provider, without logging in to the instance.

Configure Email Properties

Configure your SMTP and POP server settings in the email properties. The default settings are intended for the ServiceNow mail server and need not be changed unless you intend to use your own SMTP or POP server.

Create Events and Business Rules

If the events in the base system do not provide the necessary level of detail, or do not suit your customized instance, create custom events to trigger notifications. See Events and Email Notification for details. If you create custom events, make sure to create business rules that use these events.

Create Email Notifications

Create the email notifications for your users. The base ServiceNow system provides many useful notifications. Create new records or edit an existing notification if the default functionality does not suit your business needs. Edit the notification message either in the notification record or in the email template the notification uses.

Configure Email Addresses and Subscribe to Notifications

Users can subscribe to or unsubscribe from with the subscription based notifications feature. This provides users with the flexibility of configuring the email notifications they see and the delivery method.

Additionally, this feature allows administrators to create additional email addresses that notifications should be sent to. Follow the tasks in Getting Started to set up and use subscription based notifications.

Create or Update ServiceNow Records via Email

Use inbound email actions to perform various actions in ServiceNow. Inbound email actions behave like business rules and use conditions and scripts to perform tasks. These are some of the typical actions that an inbound email can perform:

  • Create new users
  • Assign tasks
  • Update or create tasks (incidents, problems, change requests)
  • Add attachments to records

SMS Notifications

Short messaging service (SMS) is the standard protocol used to deliver short text messages to cell phones. Most cell phones support SMS, even if they do not support more sophisticated messaging like email. ServiceNow can deliver alerts and notifications to SMS devices in addition to delivering standard email notifications. This is particularly useful when critical events require immediate attention and an email notification may be too slow.

SMS messages, unlike emails, are limited to extremely short text strings, 140 characters in most cases. To compensate for this limitation, subscription based notifications provide the SMS alternate field for the Email Template and Email Notifications forms. Administrators can use this field to enter brief messages for SMS notifications.

ServiceNow sends SMS messages through an SMTP gateway to the cell phone companies. The carriers then forward the information to the devices. If the cell phone provider has an SMTP gateway, it can send SMS messages.

To configure notifications for SMS devices, such as cell phones, perform the following tasks.

Note
Note: Your instance can send SMS messages if your carrier provides an SMTP to SMS gateway service. Verify this with your carrier.

Create Events and Business Rules

If base system events do not provide the necessary level of detail, or do not suit your customized system, you can create events to trigger notifications. See Events and Email Notification for details. If you create events, you must register the events and create business rules that use the events.

Create Notifications for Users

The base ServiceNow system provides many useful notifications. You can create new records or edit an existing notification if the base system functionality does not suit your business needs. You can edit the SMS notification message in the SMS alternate field in either the notification record or in the email template the notification uses. The SMS alternate field enables you to configure SMS messages that meet the 140 character limit.

Create an SMS Device

Configure SMS devices and select the carrier in the Notification Preferences form.

Subscribe to the Notification

Allow users to subscribe or unsubscribe from notifications on their SMS device or block delivery of certain notifications in the Notification Preferences form.

Social IT Notifications

Social IT table notifications generate automatic live feed messages or chat messages. When a record is inserted or updated on a specific table and the notification conditions are met, a live feed or chat message is generated. Live feed messages can be posted to the company feed or to any group. Chat messages are posted to the chat room that is associated with the record.

To learn more, see Setting Up Live Feed Table Notifications.

Enhancements

Fuji

Eureka

  • Properties are available to limit the number and total size of email attachments allowed per email (Eureka Patch 4).
  • Email notifications created in Eureka are in a rich HTML format.
  • Administrators have the option of converting individual existing email notifications to the rich HTML format.
  • Images can be inserted into email notifications with an image picker in the WYSIWYG editor.
  • Images linked with URLs relative to a particular instance are converted to absolute URLs, preventing broken links.
  • Mail scripts are condensed into a single, easy-to-read line that can be reused in multiple email notifications.
  • A Newlines to HTML check box has been added to the Email Script form to help ensure backward compatibility with older scripts.
  • Properties are available for controlling the conditions by which recipient notifications are logged.
  • Administrators can filter device notifications using a schedule.

Dublin

  • The Mail Properties page layout has changed.
  • The Mail Diagnostics section provides information about the current state of your email configuration.
  • A system property, glide.smtp.encryption, in the Outgoing Mail Server section of the Mail Properties page has been added to replace the glide.smtp.secure and glide.smtp.tls properties for specifying how to encrypt communications with the SMTP server.
  • The following system properties are private to prevent their values from being copied to new instances during clone requests or as part of update sets: glide.email.override.url, glide.email.user, glide.pop3.secure, and glide.smtp.auth.