RADAR 39 highlights: Building ServiceNow apps at lightning speed
GuideVision’s RADAR is an internal knowledge-sharing platform whose overall goal is to boost and enhance internal knowledge sharing. It primarily enables GuideVision consultants to share professional knowledge and experience, especially about ServiceNow.
Although RADAR is an internal event, we are publishing summaries of selected presentations from RADAR both as a way to inform the overall ServiceNow community and as an insight into the way we work. If you’re interested in learning more about careers at GuideVision, find out more here.
GuideVision Senior Technical Consultant Tomáš Hrobárik had an interesting live demo at RADAR 39 demonstrating the power, flexibility, and speed of working with ServiceNow’s new no-code/low-code features, especially App Engine Studio and UI Builder. In his demo, Tomáš built an entire ServiceNow app within the space of an hour.
App Engine Studio is a new paid application from ServiceNow that provides capability for citizen developers, while UI Builder enables the creation of amazing experiences with ServiceNow, he explained.
Tomáš presented a hypothetical situation in a company which uses an Excel spreadsheet for managing parking spaces with unhappy users using it. “We want to replace the excel sheet. Let’s not waste time and workflow it!”
In App Engine Studio, a wizard tells us that we need some tables for storing the data that we’ll use. “We can import the excel sheet and we can then go through the steps of turning those into fields. The AES even imports the data from the spreadsheet and puts it into the right structure,” he explained.
Tomáš adds a couple more tables into the sample parking app, and that’s about it. The AES then suggests to create some experience, so that the users can interact with the app. He creates the workspace experience, and within seconds it is ready to use and preview.
Now we just need to secure our new application and hence we use the security wizard which allows us to select a predefined role for which we can specify allowed permissions. We also need to do some validation before creating the reservations, so Tomáš is creating a business rule and pastes some code from the clipboard.
“Hey, This is cheating!” one developer comments. “Well, this is one of the situations where you still need to write some code, which just proves that there are still some limitations for creating an app with zero code”, Tomáš says.
Tomáš opens the UI Builder, and it lets him create his app’s entire UI incredibly quickly. Because he wants to display scheduled reservations on a calendar view, he chooses an OOTB calendar UI component, which is highly configurable and customizable. There are some predefined slots, where you can even put your custom components and handling of the events is super easy.
He shows that coding is still possible in the UI Builder, and makes various alterations to the code on the fly. The UIB lets him read the data from the predefined data sources and bind them directly to the component. He adds additional data resources for deleting and updating the reservations and starts to flesh out the application’s functionality. He tests certain parameters and debugs the application on the fly.
Detailed record forms are also made visible and easy to link. This allows him to include a detailed view of the parking reservation when a user clicks on the reservation within the calendar view.
“Even for this situation, you still need to do some magic to make it work,” Lukáš Perůtka says. “And even in this 55 minute presentation, there are times you get stuck with small things. To find those, you need to dig down into the scripts and configuration.”
“While we created the application from scratch, you can also use some predefined templates that can speed up the whole development process even further,” Tomáš says. “We might be able to create these templates in the future and release them to the store. Then anyone can use this template and adapt it to their business needs. I think this is really cool.”
There were many more presentations from top GuideVision experts on ServiceNow during RADAR 39. Over the next few days we will publish summary articles from selected RADAR 39 presentations, but in the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about joining the GuideVision team, please visit our Careers page.