The Beginner’s Guide to ServiceNow (Part 1): How to start and continue?


If you have been involved with IT in any capacity over the last years, you have probably heard the name ServiceNow. That is because in just a short period of time, this PaaS (Platform-as-a-service provider) has become one of the major players in the world of IT management. And with the company increasingly servicing the public sector, the ubiquity of ServiceNow products is only expected to grow.

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What is ServiceNow?

ServiceNow, Inc. is a cloud computing company headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It was founded in 2003 by Fred Luddy, the previous CTO of software companies Peregrine Systems and Remedy Corporation.

You can find more information in the following sources:

1. ServiceNow

This is your technical documentation library.

2. ServiceNow Product Documentation –

The product documentation covers the key features and capabilities of the ServiceNow platform and the available applications. It works on a how-to basis, giving you focused help to accomplish specific tasks

3. ServiceNow

The community is very popular and useful. Most of the times you will receive the right answer to your questions. It is composed by ServiceNow employees, consultants and customers.

4. ServiceNow

The developer portal is your start point. The ServiceNow Developer training has a series of courses to get you up to speed quickly. ServiceNow runs a developer program, through which you can obtain your own instance. It is lower powered and restricted in capabilities compared to normal instances, but it is an excellent resource to test out ideas.

ServiceNow CEO Frank Slootman kicked off the first keynote with addressing productivity loss in the enterprise using email and paper forms.

Diving into infrastructure

ServiceNow provides a platform and suite of applications as a service. They will be the only guys worried about the hardware, Internet connectivity, and operating system security, and provide you  with the URL. All you need to get going is an updated web browser.

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A typical ServiceNow-hosted instance is split over two physical datacenters, forming a high-availability pair. Each location runs independently of the other, creating a semi clustered environment. In the event of a catastrophic disaster with one location being completely unavailable, the other nodes will just pick up the load, with almost no downtime. In fact, the process of switching between locations is used for maintenance procedures, enabling your instance to be well protected against hardware and other failures. The free developer instances are not replicated, and run only on a single node. I’d like to remember that a customer’s production instance has many more resources. (as should).

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To identify where your instance is located, please follow the instructions:

1. Add / to your instance URL..

2. Once the page loads the second option down is “connected to cluster node:”

3. You should see something like “”

4. Look at the ams3 part of the string. It’s the IATA location identifier, or commonly known as the airport code for the city. For this example, it’s AMS which means that my instance is located at Amsterdam.


Certification path

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All certifications and courses are available at which I highlight the following:

  1. Certified System Administrator ( Cost: $150 per exam)
  2. Certified Implementation Specialist (Cost: $200 per exam)
  3. Certified Application Developer (Cost: $150 per exam)

In meantime to start test your knowlegde the “ServiceNow Foundation” is free exam containing and six on-demand modules to explore ServiceNow. Access it at

The first certification you shall take is “System Administrator”. I found a community blog which covers the exam requirements (or blueprint), useful documentation, links, tips, etc. The blog entry is “Learning ServiceNow from Scratch and Prepping for the Certification Exam”. Access it at


Best Self-Study Sources

The following books covers the last servicenow versions:

  • Mastering ServiceNow 1 – revised for the Eureka version, release date May/2015
  • Mastering ServiceNow 2 – revised for the Helsinki version, release date November/2016
  • ServiceNow Integrations Basics Wiki Book (*)

*Note: While there is a lot of good information on the ServiceNow, most people do not know where to start. In many cases, a new user doesn’t know what they need to search for in the wiki to find their integration starting point. In order to help facilitate the on boarding of new ServiceNow admins and developers, I scoured the wiki for pertinent articles and organize them into a more general approach. This new wiki book resides within the ServiceNow wiki and only contains official ServiceNow documentation.


I hope you found this post useful as you begin or continue your ServiceNow journey.

I’m here if you have any questions about the information above or are interested in discussing a specific ServiceNow project.


Thank you and see you at the next post,

Rafael Cardoso

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