What's New with PagerDuty's ServiceNow v6 Integration

Today, I’m excited to announce the availability of the latest version of PagerDuty’s certified integration for ServiceNow. The latest version (version 6) is now available as a certified integration in the ServiceNow AppStore for Kingston, London and Madrid. It’s packed full of exciting new capabilities that enable you to drive real-time incident response right from within ServiceNow.

If you’re ready to get started, quickly read the upgrade tips at the bottom and then follow the installation guide once you’ve installed the integration from the ServiceNow Store.

What’s New in v6.0

Ability to add multiple responders to an incident, from within ServiceNow

When you have an on-going incident, it may be necessary to loop in multiple responders and potentially get them onto a conference bridge. This can be a painful task that typically involves using multiple tools. It’s now possible to leverage PagerDuty’s Major Incident Response capabilities directly from within ServiceNow, giving you the ability to loop in multiple individuals or teams and optionally provide conference bridge dial-in information.

You can add Assignment Groups or Users as responders (provided they are mapped to PagerDuty), enter an optional message and attach conference bridge information (more on that below). The requested users will have the option to accept or decline the request and you can view real-time responder status from the ServiceNow incident.

Attach conference bridge information to an incident from within ServiceNow

The ability to attach conference bridge information to a PagerDuty incident is not new - however, it’s something that needed to be done from the PagerDuty user interface. We’ve now added the ability to attach conference bridge information to an incident from within ServiceNow.

If your team has a predefined list of conference bridges, you can also pre-configure them in ServiceNow. This makes it easy to pick an existing bridge and attach it to an incident with a few clicks.

When a conference bridge is attached to a PagerDuty incident, the information becomes accessible in a number of places:

  • In the PagerDuty mobile application (users can tap on the info to dial in)
  • In PagerDuty Slack notifications
  • PagerDuty web user interface

With PagerDuty’s 1-touch-to-join capabilities, we can even connect the responder directly into the bridge. When a responder receives a telephone call from PagerDuty, they can press 1 to accept the request and immediately join the bridge (without needing to hang up and dial in).

Customize how incidents of differing Priority notify your responders

PagerDuty has the ability to notify responders differently based on the notification urgency. As an example, some incidents can notify with High Urgency and call an individual, while others can notify with Low Urgency and simply email you. These are configurable on your PagerDuty profile.

When configuring your Priority mapping between PagerDuty and ServiceNow, you can now optionally set the notification urgency that should be used. This allows you to have P1 incidents in ServiceNow notify with High Urgency (such as a telephone call) and P3 incidents with Low Urgency (such as an email notification only).

More Configuration Options (in the PagerDuty Settings UI)

One of the most common modifications that customers make to the integration is customizing what data is sent from ServiceNow to PagerDuty on incident creation. To date this has been done by modifying the PagerDuty script include.

It’s now possible to configure this in the PagerDuty Settings page.

Another common modification that customers make is changing the default user role that is used when a user is provisioned from ServiceNow into PagerDuty. This is now a configuration option:

Bug Fix Highlights

While we were busy adding a number of new capabilities, we also addressed a large number of bug fixes. Here are a few notable highlights:

  • If users in ServiceNow had capital letters in their email address, this caused provisioning problems.
  • If a Group in ServiceNow had special characters in the name, it may have caused provisioning problems. The integration now strips these out.
  • Re-opening an incident in ServiceNow did not always trigger a new PagerDuty incident.
  • When provisioning Groups, if the user has bad contact info (symbols, characters), it would break the provisioning flow.

Tips for Upgrading

Before you start the upgrade process for the PagerDuty integration, here are a few things to consider:

  • Consider testing the upgrade path in your development environments first.
  • If you have made customizations to the PagerDuty Integration, you must first backup, then revert your customizations. You can then upgrade and re-apply the customizations if necessary.
  • Why? The ServiceNow App Store won’t patch files that have been modified/customized by customers. If you have customizations.

How can I find out if the integration has been modified?

The easiest way is to check the Updated By attribute for each of the files in the PagerDuty integration.

  • In ServiceNow, navigate to PagerDuty → Configuration → Configuration Files
  • Update the Form Layout to show the Updated by and Updated columns to the view for all of the tabs (Business Rules, Script Actions, Includes, UI Actions, etc.)
  • If the Updated by value is not PagerDuty, it’s a good sign that someone in your organization modified the file.
  • Compare the changes to the original version, document your customizations and revert to the store version.
  • After you upgrade, you can determine if these customizations are required again and re-apply.

Upgrading PagerDuty Extensions (Webhooks)

As part of the Integration update, there’s a new type of Extension (or Webhook) in PagerDuty. The integration ships with a script to update the PagerDuty Extensions with a single click.

  • After upgrading, verify that the PagerDuty Settings page is up to date.
  • In particular, ensure that “ServiceNow user for authentication” and “ServiceNow user password for authentication” are present, as these are needed by PagerDuty to communicate with ServiceNow.
  • Run both the Test REST API Connection and the Test ServiceNow User Authentication scripts. Both should return a “success (200)”.
  • Run the MIGRATE WEBHOOKS to v6.0 script. Output will be displayed and upon completion, a success message will display. This script removes your existing v4.0 or v5.0 Extensions from your PagerDuty account and adds new v6.0 Extensions.

Using ServiceNow Clone Data Preservers to maintain Dev Settings

If you already have a ServiceNow development instance configured with non-production instance of PagerDuty, using a Clone Data Preserver can help maintain configuration settings across instances. By configuring a Clone Data Preserver in your Production instance of ServiceNow, your PagerDuty Settings won’t be overwritten when you sync from Production down to lower environments.

Questions? Feedback?

If you have any questions or feedback on the integration, let us know.

Sean

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