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Five most promising features in ServiceNow ‘Orlando’ release

ServiceNow latest version ‘Orlando’ was recently released and lots of new features were introduced with it. In this article we will talk about the Orlando features which are going to make major changes the way you build, deploy and use the NOW platform. All of these features will be becoming more powerful in ‘Paris’ and ‘Quebec’ release. With the onset of Knowledge20, you may even get a glimpse of the updated features in the event (if not yet registered, register now).

Agent Workspace

The User Interface Builder (UI Builder) is a new feature that can create custom landing pages for agent workspace. The UI Builder offers components (components are reusable building blocks that you use to create a custom user interface) like headings, lists, containers, Performance Analytics and Reporting data visualizations to add to a page.

With this feature, you have complete control over the look and feel of your page. In case you cannot find a component in Now® Experience Design System library that could meet your requirement then you can even build your custom components using the Now® Experience UI Framework and the Now® Experience CLI.

Note: Service Portal will be retired eventually and UI Components seems to be perfect replacement. The new ServiceNow developer portal is built on the new UI framework.

Mobile app

With mobile branding, ServiceNow apps can now have custom branding as per your organization. The app can have the company logo, a custom splash screen, company color themes, etc. The branded app can be distributed directly to employee mobile devices.ServiceNow has also integration with Microsoft Intune & Blackberry dynamics to protect sensitive information in mobile applications.

This feature is of great importance when employees install the apps on their personal mobile phones. Some other new enhancements include photo search, scan bar codes, display reports and performance analytics.

Data Import

ServiceNow has introduced a new module called robust import set transformer for doing data transformation. This module has advantages over existing transform maps. The module extracts the data from a source to an intermediary data structure where the data gets transformed and then loaded to multiple target tables.

Though robust import set transformer is more efficient especially when dealing with multiple target tables yet it is not very user friendly (lacks features like auto map matching fields and mapping assist which are available in Transform Map). We expect this feature to become more powerful in the upcoming releases.

Some other improvements include obtaining and loading the data into import set tables using custom script, loading import set data using REST type data source through Integration hub, CSV line parser, and scoped scriptable Import Set APIs.


Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD)

ServiceNow Orlando release provides CI/CD APIs that enable automation of publishing and installing applications from an application repository, activating plugins, running ATF test suites, and running an instance HealthScan.

You can also connect ServiceNow instance to an on-premise enterprise GIT repositories using a mid-server. You can now choose the changes which you want to commit instead of committing an entire application every time. With collision avoidance, you can prevent developers from overwriting each other’s work. It proactively alerts users when a file has pending changes.

Script Debugger

Script debugger has been in ServiceNow since Istanbul and it’s a great feature which helps coders in debugging their server side scripts. With Orlando we have a new feature to add log points to our scripts. This can really save developers when they have bugs in non dev instance and they want to debug their issues by simply adding log points.

There are many other new features and improvements in the Orlando release. Below are a few more updates that are worth mentioning:

  • Ability to preserve update sets while cloning
  • ServiceNow official Visual code extension
  • Flow designer no-code data transformation, run dynamic sub-flows.
  • In ATF, validate the functionality and visibility of records and UI actions in lists and related lists. Also, test email notifications, outbound email flows, and inbound email responses.


For all the new features, improvements and changes in the Orlando release please visit the ServiceNow docs website here.



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