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Using Schedules

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

The ServiceNow Wiki is no longer being updated.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


Overview

Schedules are rules that include or exclude time for various actions or tasks. Use schedules to specify when service level agreements or inactivity monitors are active, or to specify when on-call rotations should take effect. For example, if a service level agreement is set to an 8-5 Weekdays schedule, the SLA only counts time during those hours.

Defining Schedules

Schedules are configured with two types of records:

  • Schedule records specify a time zone and a type of schedule and use one or more schedule entries. Schedule records are saved in the Schedule [cmn_schedule] table.
  • Schedule entry records specify the time periods that are included or excluded from a schedule. Schedule entries are saved in the Schedule Entry [cmn_schedule_span] table.

Creating a Schedule

  1. Navigate to System Scheduler > Schedules > Schedules.
  2. Select a pre-existing schedule or click New to create a new one.
  3. Complete the fields on the form (see table).
    Note: The Schedule form displays a warning message if there are no active entries defined for the current schedule. If your schedule is a child schedule that only contains exclusions, ignore the message because exclusions are non-active entries.
  4. Right-click the header bar and click Save.
  5. Configure one or more schedule entries.
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The default Schedule form for the 8-5 weekdays schedule.

Field Description
Name Enter a unique name for the schedule.
Time Zone Select the time zone for the schedule. If you select Floating, the time zone will be relative to whatever is accessing the item at any given time. For example, if a resource manager in Amsterdam sets a floating schedule for 8:00A.M.–5:00P.M., a user in San Jose sees the schedule as 8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M. When a schedule is defined in a specific time zone, users in different time zones see the schedule with their own time zone applied.
Parent Select a parent schedule to constrain the new schedule.
Type Enter a label that describes the purpose of the schedule. You can also use one of these system terms to determine how to process certain schedules:
  • excluded: excludes time periods from SLA counts.
  • maintenance: specifies time periods where change management activities are allowed. A schedule containing maintenance schedule entries cannot also contain blackout schedule entries.
  • blackout: excludes time periods from change management schedules. A schedule containing blackout schedule entries cannot also contain maintenance schedule entries.
Description [Optional] Describe the schedule.
Note
Note: If you create a schedule of type maintenance and save the record, a UI policy hides the Type field from the form. To view or change the value for the Type field, view the list of schedules rather than the schedule form and add the Type column if necessary. You can double click the cell for the value in the Type column and modify from the list view.


Creating a Schedule Entry

  1. Open a schedule record.
  2. In the Schedule Entries related list, click New.
  3. Complete the fields on the form (see table) to add a time period that is either included (for example, Show as is Busy) or excluded (Type is Excluded).
  4. Click Submit.
  5. Create as many schedule entries as necessary.
  6. [Optional] In the Child Schedules related list, click Edit and select the child schedule to include in this schedule. For example, select the U.S. Holidays schedule to exclude common U.S. holidays from your work schedule.
Note
Note: Schedules only include schedule entries from a parent and its direct child schedules. Schedule entries from a child schedule of another child schedule are not included in a parent schedule. For example, if schedules B and C both have schedule A as their parent schedule, then the schedule entries for both schedules B and C are included in schedule A. However, if the parent schedule of schedule C is schedule B, the schedule entries for schedule C are excluded from schedule A.


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The default Schedule Entry form used by the 8-5 weekdays schedule.

Field Description
Name Enter a unique name for the schedule entry.
Type Select the type of schedule entry this applies to.
Show As Select an option to indicate how the schedule entry should be displayed in calendar applications and how it should interact with other schedule entries.
When Enter the date and time to which the schedule entry applies. If the schedule entry applies to a full 24-hour day, select the All day check box.
Repeats Select a repetition interval for the schedule entry, if any. If you select a repetition interval, ServiceNow displays other fields to further specify the repeat interval.
Repeat every Select how often the schedule repeats daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. This field is only visible when the Repeats field has a value of Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Yearly.
Repeat on Select the days of the week a weekly schedule repeats on. This field is only visible when the Repeats field has a value of Weekly.
Monthly type Select how a monthly schedule repeats. This field is only visible when the Repeats field has a value of Monthly. Monthly repeat options include:
  • Repeat on a specific day of the month
  • Repeat on a specific day in a specific week of the month
  • Repeat on the last day of the month
  • Repeat on a specific week day in the last week of the month
Yearly type Select how a yearly schedule repeats. This field is only visible when the Repeats field has a value of Yearly. Yearly repeat options include:
  • Repeat on a specific day of the year
  • Repeat on a floating day
Float week Select which week of the month a floating yearly schedule repeats on. This field is only visible when the Yearly type field has a value of Floating.
Float day Select which day of the week a floating yearly schedule repeats on. This field is only visible when the Yearly type field has a value of Floating.
Month Select which month of the year a floating yearly schedule repeats on. This field is only visible when the Yearly type field has a value of Floating.
Repeat until Select a repetition end date. If you leave this field blank, the schedule repeats indefinitely.
Type [Optional] Enter a schedule entry description or use one of these system terms to determine how to process certain schedules. See Creating a Schedule for descriptions of the system terms. This field does not appear by default for new schedule entries, but you can configure the form to add it. If you enter Excluded in this field, the entire schedule entry is excluded from the schedule.

Repeating Monthly Schedules

For monthly schedules (Repeat is set to Monthly) that start on a particular day of the month (Monthly type is set to Day of the month), you can specify the following options:

Day of the Week

ServiceNow offers two methods to compute what day of the week a monthly schedule repeats on:

  • Day: This method computes the day of the week to repeat on by determining the order of the selected starting date within the month. For example, if the selected starting date appears on the first Monday in the month, the schedule repeats every first Monday of every month.
  • Week: This legacy method computes the day of the month to repeat on by determining what week number the selected starting date appears in the month. For example, if the starting date is a Monday during the second week of the month, the schedule repeats the second Monday of every month.

The system property glide.schedules.repeat_nth determines what method your instance uses to compute what day a repeating monthly schedule occurs on. By default, instances use the more accurate Day method.

Note
Note: Use the Week method to maintain backwards compatibility with customized schedule logic.


The following example illustrates computing what day of the week a monthly schedule repeats on.

  1. Navigate to sys_properties.list.
  2. Open the glide.schedules.repeat_nth property.
  3. Verify that the Value is set to day.
  4. Navigate to System Scheduler > Schedules > Schedules, define a new schedule, and click Submit.
  5. Open the new schedule and in the Schedule Entries related list, create a new entry with the following parameters:
    • When: November 5, 2012 at 10:00 to November 5, 2012 at 11:00
    • Repeats: Monthly
    • Monthly type: Day of the Week
    • Starting: November 5 (note that November 5 is the first Monday in the month, but it is in the second week)
    November 2012 Calendar
  6. Click Submit.
  7. Open the Schedule Entry.
    Note that the form says Every month on the first Mon.
    The first few dates this schedule will run are:
    • November 5, 2012 (1st Monday of the month)
    • December 3, 2012 (1st Monday of the month)
    • January 7, 2012 (1st Monday of the month)
  8. If the Value on the glide.schedules.repeat_nth property is set to week instead of day in step 3, the first few dates this schedule will run are:
    • November 5, 2012 (Schedule starts on Monday in the 2nd week of the month)
    • December 10, 2012 (2nd Monday in the month)
    • January 14, 2012 (2nd Monday in the month)

Fifth Instance of a Day of the Week

When selecting a date near the end of a month for a repeating monthly schedule, it is possible to select a date that computes to the fifth instance of that week day. ServiceNow offers three options for handling months that do not have a matching fifth instance of the selected day.

  • Last: ServiceNow selects the last instance of the week day in the month.
  • Next: ServiceNow selects the first instance of the week day in the next month.
  • Strict: ServiceNow skips any month without a matching fifth instance and selects only months that have a matching fifth instance.

The system property glide.schedules.fifth controls how a schedule entry that selects the fifth occurrence of a week day behaves in months containing only four occurrences of that day. This property is only valid when the glide.schedules.repeat_nth property is set to Day.

The following example illustrates computing what day of the month a schedule repeats on when the schedule starts on the fifth instance of a week day in the month.

  1. Navigate to sys_properties.list.
  2. Open the glide.schedules.fifth property.
  3. Verify that the Value is set to last.
  4. Navigate to System Scheduler > Schedules > Schedules, define a new schedule, and click Submit.
  5. Open the new schedule and in the Schedule Entries related list, create a new entry with the following parameters:
    • When: November 29, 2012 at 10:00 to November 29, 2012 at 11:00
    • Repeats: Monthly
    • Monthly type: Day of the Week
    • Starting: November 29 (note that November 29 is the fifth Thursday in the month)
    November 2012 Calendar
  6. Click Submit.
  7. Open the same schedule entry.
    Note that the form says "Every month on the fifth Thu."
    The schedule for the first three months is computed as:
    • November 29, 2012 (5th Thursday of the month)
    • December 27, 2012 (Last Thursday of the month)
    • January 31, 2013 (5th Thursday of the month)
  8. If the Value on the glide.schedules.fifth property is set to next instead of last in step 3, the schedule for the first three months is computed as:
    • November 29, 2012 (5th Thursday of the month)
    • January 3, 2012 (1st Thursday of the next month since December 2012 does not have five Thursdays)
    • January 31, 2013 (5th Thursday of the month)
  9. If the Value on the glide.schedules.fifth property is set to strict instead of last in step 3, the schedule for the first three months is computed as:
    • November 29, 2012 (5th Thursday of the month)
    • No meeting (December 2012 skipped because it does not have five Thursdays)
    • January 31, 2013 (5th Thursday of the month)

Parent and Child Schedules

Schedules can have one of two parent-child relationship with other schedules.

  • Parent field: When a schedule record lists a value for the Parent field, schedule entries from the parent schedule apply to both the parent schedule and the child schedule. By default, there are no sample schedules that use the Parent field.
  • Child schedule: When a schedule record has one or more child schedules in the Child Schedules related list, schedule entries from the child schedule apply to the containing schedule. By default, there are several sample schedules that use child schedules. For example, see the 8-5 weekdays excluding holidays schedule that includes the U.S. Holidays schedule.

Parent and child schedules cannot contain conflicting schedule entry types. For example, a schedule containing maintenance schedule entries cannot also contain blackout schedule entries. Nor can a maintenance schedule have a child schedule containing blackout schedule entries.

Parent schedules are not valid if they are only exclusionary. They must have at least one entry that is not of type Excluded.

Note
Note: The Show Schedule related link only shows schedule entries from the current schedule record. The view does not include any schedule entries from related child schedules. For example, when showing the 8-5 weekdays excluding holidays schedule, holidays do not show as excluded because the holiday schedule is a child schedule.


Holidays

Each individual holiday can be defined as a schedule entry to create exceptions to existing schedules. For instance, if an SLA requires an incident be resolved within three business days excluding Christmas, create a schedule entry for Christmas to ensure that SLAs do not count Christmas when calculating elapsed time, even if it falls within the work week.

Because schedules can be included in other schedules through a parent-child relationship, it is also possible to create a holiday schedule and include it in other schedules to keep holidays consistent.

The following example shows a holiday schedule.

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A schedule for U.S. holidays.

The following example shows a schedule that includes the holiday schedule shown above.

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The U.S. holiday schedule used by another schedule.

Creating Holiday Schedules for Multiple Regions

You can use the following method to support multiple regions that all follow the same work schedule (for example, an 8-5 weekdays schedule) but have different holiday schedules.

  1. Create a holiday schedule for each region. For example, U.S. Holidays, British Holidays, and Australian Holidays.
  2. Add the work schedule as a child schedule to each region's holiday schedule.

This method requires making <number of schedules> + 1 total schedules. If you instead make the regional holiday schedule a child schedule of the work hours schedule, you will need to create a separate work hours schedule for each region. The total number of schedules in this case is <number of schedules> x 2 schedules.