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Creating Workflows and Catalog Items with ServiceNow

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I'm hoping to get a little bit of information regarding best practices when creating catalog items and workflows with an App Broker with ServiceNow integration. I see in the documentation that Catalog Items get automatically synced from AB to SN using a background process, which makes me think that CI's are usually created in AB and then left to sync up with SN. Is that the best practice? And for workflows, I'm guessing that workflows are normally created in ServiceNow and App Broker simply acts as the automated deployment tool/notification sender, and everything else is set up in SN. Can someone confirm this or explain a little further? 

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I think that if you are requesting software through ServiceNow, then the only place that it really makes sense to have the approval process is within ServiceNow itself; otherwise, you would be forcing users to access a different site (App Portal) in order to approve.  It could be done, but it would be cumbersome. One thing I've not had any experience with is actually setting up an approval process from within ServiceNow... Perhaps others can chime in on this subject..

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Does anyone have any advice on this process?

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I'm not much of a "best practice" person (whatever works is my motto), but essentially yes, you define your catalog items in App Broker, and they will get synced into ServiceNow.. App Portal will sync new catalog items, which target software, and those catalog items which have been modified since being synced previously. General catalog items are not synced.. Once the items are synced into ServiceNow, then you need to activate them.  ServiceNow users can then request the catalog items under the Service Catalog in ServiceNow. 

When a request for the item is made in ServiceNow, a Request and Request Item (RITM) are generated.. ServiceNow will call into an App Broker REST API to submit the request in App Broker... App Broker will store the Request ID in its database.. App Portal when then proceed as normal.. Basically the target is inserted into the appropriate collection in Config Mgr, and App Broker will wait for a status. Once a final status is received (either success or failure), App Broker will connect to ServiceNow, and set the status on the Request/RITM to either closed_complete or closed_incomplete, accordingly.

Just a high level overview... If you wanted to open a case, I could probably provide some more details on the implementation (I don't want to type any more than I have to 🙂 )... 

Thanks Charles this is great info, just one follow up question - does ServiceNow also sync Questions and Workflows that are created in App Broker? That's the real question at hand here - where should the workflow processes be created, in SN or AB?

I think that if you are requesting software through ServiceNow, then the only place that it really makes sense to have the approval process is within ServiceNow itself; otherwise, you would be forcing users to access a different site (App Portal) in order to approve.  It could be done, but it would be cumbersome. One thing I've not had any experience with is actually setting up an approval process from within ServiceNow... Perhaps others can chime in on this subject..

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Questions and workflows do not sync from App Broker to ServiceNow.  As Charlie states, best practice is if the requests are being placed in ServiceNow, then the questions/workflows should be done within ServiceNow.  There is technically nothing that would prevent you from using App Broker workflows instead of (or in addition to) ServiceNow workflows, but to Charlie's point, it wouldn't be a great user experience for them to have to go two places to manage the solution.  Sometimes, we'll use some back-end non-approval workflows in App Broker (even/action structure with web service calls or PowerShell scripts) to provide some custom actions during the fulfillment phase, but we always suggest doing the approvals in ServiceNow.

Anything expressed here is my own view and not necessarily that of my employer, Flexera. If my reply answers a question you have raised, please click "ACCEPT AS SOLUTION".
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