ServiceNow app integration for Release

ServiceNow app for integration with the Release plugin

Since Release 8.6, a ServiceNow certified app is optional for integration. You can obtain the app from the ServiceNow Store.

To use the app, you should install it in your ServiceNow console, to allow it to create a new menu item with all the required configuration areas. For more information on the installation process see Install an application.

ServiceNow Release app

The table below shows which versions of the Release plugin require a ServiceNow app version:

Release version No ServiceNow app ServiceNow app 1.0.2 ServiceNow app 1.2.x
pre-8.5
8.5
8.6 and above

Using design templates from Release

All design templates can be retrieved by ServiceNow and can be used to initiate a release from ServiceNow. If you want to use the record information from the ServiceNow record that was used to initiate the release, you will need to create two template variables:

  • ${id}: the sys_id of the record the release was initiated from
  • ${number}: the number of the record the release was initiated from

The variables listed above will be entered by ServiceNow upon creation.

Create design templates

Connect the Release server from ServiceNow

To set up a connection to a Release server from within the ServiceNow app:

  1. Navigate to Release > properties
  2. In the endpoint field, enter the URL of the Release server (with api/v1/ appended to the URL).
  3. In the Username field, enter the username to connect with the Release server.
  4. In the Password field, enter a password to connect with the Release server.
  5. Optionally, set the Language ISO code if your instance of Release uses a different language than the one used in ServiceNow.
  6. Optionally, set the “Autostart on true/false” value to specify if the release should immediately start in Release.
  7. Optionally, set the “Fetch the release templates from XLR on a nightly basis” value to true/false depending on your requirements.

NgrokConnect

The next step is to retrieve the possible templates from Release. Follow these steps:

  1. In the ServiceNow console, navigate to Release > Release templates
  2. Press the Get Templates button.

This will retrieve all design templates from Release and display them in a list.

Tip: This is also a quick way to test your connection to the Release server.

Set up trigger rules in ServiceNow

Trigger rules in ServiceNow need to be set up to initiate actions on change events in communications between ServiceNow and Release. There are three communication options that can be used from ServiceNow:

  • Create Release: initiate a release in Release
  • Comment: leave a comment in Release
  • Complete Task: complete a task in Release

To set up a trigger rule, in the ServiceNow app:

  1. Navigate to Release > Trigger Rules and click New.

    • A few samples have been set up for you to review. You can either reuse these or create your own.
  2. Add a Name for the rule and select a Type from the list.
  3. In the Table list on the right side, select a table to apply the rule to. This will populate the available fields.
  4. The Previous State and Current State tabs are used to compare the state of the release prior to and after the change event, and run the trigger rules if the conditions are met.

Trigger rules in ServiceNow

Available fields and field mappings exist next to the trigger rules. If you want to send different field information such as variables, from ServiceNow to Release, you must configure these mappings.

Field mapping in ServiceNow

Creating variables in XLR and connection in ServiceNow

  1. On the Menu bar, select Design -> Folders -> Add Folder. Type the folder name and Create
  2. Click Add template, Then either Create new template or Import Template. Type the template name and click Create
  3. In the Show dropdown menu select variables. To import variables, click New Varaiable. To change the Variable type, select the Type in the dropdown menu. Continue the process to add all the variables you need.
  4. Connect XLR by searching in ServiceNow for Digitalai Release -> Properties
  5. Input the XLR Url, username and password then click save. The connection is now completed. Variables

Passing release variables parameters to XLR

  1. Click on Change -> Create new
  2. Fill in the description next to the Short description field
  3. Click the search button next to Assignment group -> Select an assignment group
  4. Scroll down and click the search button next to the Digitalai Release template XLRelease tab
  5. Select the name of your template
  6. Import the Values next to the Digitalai variables
  7. Save the Change event by right clicking and selecting save. The form will be reloaded upon saving and it will auto-populate the Digitalai Identifier and the Release status.

Variables format:

Variable Type Variable Format
Text String of any type
List Box List that allows you to choose a default value
Password Must be greater than 8 characters. Must include a capital character, lowercase character, number and special character(ex: !@#$%^&*?{}/). Once the form is saved and reloaded the password will be masked (ExamplePassword12!)
Checkbox This is a boolean value. This can be set by either typing false or true
Number This is a number value which can be set to any value
List This is a list of values. Unlike the box value it does not need to have a starting value set
Date This date value can be set using the format (YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS)
Key-value Map This allows you to set Key and value. Using the format: KeyOne:ValOne, KeyThree:ValThree, KeyTwo:ValTwo
Set This allows you to store data with out repeating values. Using the format: ValTwo,ValOne,Val_Three
Placeholder This allows you to refer to values in labels in the change request. Use the signtoaccessthevalueinalabel,e.g.Usesign to access the value in a label, e.g. Userequestedby, to access the value of the Requested By label. Once saved, the placeholder will be converted to the associated value, e.g. the image below shows the value System Administrator is referenced by using $requestedby
Important note about editing variables
These values must be created in XLR. They can not be created or edited by adjusting the Variable names or using the plus button. You can edit the Variables values in ServiceNow.
XL Release tab

Complete a gate task when change request is approved.

  1. In XLR, find the Release with the label In Progress. Click on the release to edit it. *(If you do not see your Release follow the steps in Passing release variables parameters to XLR).
  2. To create a Gate task, navigate to Core -> Gate. To get this task to run automatically, use the Tag “snow_approved”.

    • Gates allow for the user to either automatically run them, using “snow_approved” tag or by clicking Skip.
  3. In ServiceNow, click the Request approval button on the top bar.
  4. Scroll to the bottom select the Approvers tab. Click the box next to at least two of the approvers name. In the actions on selected row menu select Approve.
  5. Click the Button Get XLR info on the top bar. This will change the Digitalai Release Status to IN_PROGRESS in ServiceNow.
  6. At the bottom of the page in Service now, once again, go to the approvers tab. More approvers should be visible. Select the approvers and in the actions on selected row menu, select Approve. When the change requests gets approved in ServiceNow, this will trigger the completion of all gate tasks that contain the tag ‘snow_approved’ in the associated XLR release.

Information on tasks in ServiceNow

Four fields are used in ServiceNow for communicating with Release:

  • Release Template: the template to use when creating a release from ServiceNow
  • XLR Identifier: the identifier of a release in Release. This field is created from ServiceNow.
  • XLR State: the state of the release in Release
  • Correlation id: the Release task ID for which the last communication was done.

Next to these fields:

  • A Get XLR info button is available to retrieve the latest status of the release in Release
  • A Navigate to Release related link navigates to the release in the Release user interface.

Information on tasks in ServiceNow