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Testing ServiceNow: What, Why and How

Frequent system updates, as well as customization, put a lot of pressure on ServiceNow customers to continuously verify thousands of business-critical processes.

ServiceNow is a widely used software platform that supports IT Service Management (ITSM) by automating IT service business processes. 

What is ServiceNow?

Improving IT support and service delivery has always been a common goal for most companies. However, the increasing demands from digital transformation have put pressure on businesses to streamline all processes. 

ServiceNow was developed to help businesses automate outdated legacy systems and manual documentation hassles through a single platform for contact. The service management software not only increases visibility over all the organizational processes, but it also helps to streamline them.

Why test ServiceNow?

ServiceNow is a single data model enterprise could platform, meaning that each customer gets their own copy – or instance – of ServiceNow in the cloud. These are rarely built in the same way, so each organization has its own custom ServiceNow instance.

Not only that, businesses also adapt and evolve across time, and so does their ServiceNow instance. In order to keep up with business demands, instances are continuously changed or upgraded.

It is common knowledge in the software testing world that whenever a change is made to an application, no matter how minimal, this may affect existing functionality. Therefore, every time something is changed in an organization’s instance, its functionality must be tested

However, it doesn't stop there, as frequent updates from ServiceNow will lead to the same need: more testing to make sure that ServiceNow’s update didn’t ruin any of your business-critical processes. Twice a year, ServiceNow releases new updates with bug fixes, and functional and performance upgrades. Every time there’s an update, you should mitigate any possible risk to your own organization’s instance.

In summary, testing is necessary when:

  • Developing an instance
  • Customizing an instance
  • An update is released by ServiceNow

If you want to learn more about why testing ServiceNow is necessary, read this post: “Why You Needed Automated Testing: High-Risk ServiceNow Challenges”

How much testing is required? 

You can expect to be testing ServiceNow a lot, which raises the following question: should it be done manually or automated?

Regression tests take weeks when performed manually. This is quite some time when we compare it to the time we would spend bug-fixing the instance. Imagine the time it would take to manually fill in forms through your ServiceNow instance to see if they are working as intended.

[Learn how to automate forms in ServiceNow here]

For this reason, many organizations don’t upgrade or customize their instance as much as they could. They ignore new functionalities that could benefit both processes and users.

In sum, manual testing simply takes too much time, too many resources and it is not a bullet-proof process due to human error. 

When we automate testing in ServiceNow, a computer – or robot – runs these tests. This speeds up the process and reduces human-error while ensuring that business-critical processes are performing as expected.

Beware that even though automation tools give you the capability to automate every single test, you shouldn’t. Some tests are less qualified for automation, such as exploratory tests. The best candidates are, therefore, repetitive and essential tests that ensure the optimum performance of your instance.

Can you automate tests without programming knowledge?

To put it simply, yes. Automation tools such as LEAPWORK allow non-technical people (usually subject matter experts who know your business inside out) to test any business process that runs through your ServiceNow instance.

[Watch here an example of an automated test built using LEAPWORK]

LEAPWORK not only allows you to check the functionality of your instance but also any integrations your may have in place with other programs or applications. Moreover, LEAPWORK offers out-of-the-box automation samples for ServiceNow.


If you want to compare LEAPWORK with Selenium and ATF by ServiceNow, download the full comparison chart here:

Download Test Automation Tools Comparison for ServiceNow

Lucia Cavero-Baptista
Lucia Cavero-Baptista
Content Marketing Manager

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