by Mikko Juola | Feb 15, 2022 | Articles, CSDM, Featured | 0 comments
(This article was originally published in 2019, republished in 2021 and updated according to CSDM 4.0 in 2022)
ServiceNow published the Common Service Data Model over three years ago. Ever since the ServiceNow community has been craving for CSDM examples and more details on how to implement the model in the real world.
In February 2019, I wrote a blog post discussing the model from the Service Portfolio’s perspective and trying to figure out how to interpret the whitepaper in practice. I thought now would be a good time to rewrite that post and think about how the model has evolved and how the Business Service Portfolio part looks like today.
You can read the original post here and see how things have changed, or have they?
The Evolution of CSDM
ServiceNow has updated their Common Service Data Model (CSDM) whitepaper a few times since the original publication in 2018:
- Version 1.0 introduced the model and split it into three different domains: Business, Service, and Application together with high-level data model diagrams and relationships.
- Version 2.0, released in 2019, updated the domains to Design, Manage Technical Services, and Sell / Consume. It also introduced the implementation phases Crawl, Walk, Run and Fly and emphasized the value of implementing each phase.
- Version 2.1 wasn’t really a new version of the whitepaper. It was rather a set of “Product views” or “Use cases” on how CSDM relates to other ServiceNow Products such as ITSM or Incident Management.
- Version 3.0 is was released in September 2020. This release introduced Foundation Data as a new domain and set some Key Principles. Product-wise, CSDM started to show as CSDM related features on the platform (e.g. dashboards, navigation, form views, etc).
- Version 4.0 draft is the latest version and was published in January 2022. This release introduced a new Build domain, relationship to Service Portfolio also from the Technical Services and some new elements and ideas related to Foundation data and Life Cycles.
In October 2020 we had the pleasure of co-presenting a series of Webinars on the 3.0 version together with Mark Bodman from ServiceNow. You can find our thoughts and a summary of the CSDM 3.0 Webinar Series from here.
And again a year later, we had a CMDB 4.0 Examples for a Data-Driven Portal webinar together with Venni Mäkäräinen also from ServiceNow.
All our previous webinars are available as recordings on our Webinars page. Please take a look.
Figure 1 Evolution of the Conceptual model from CSDM 1.0 to 4.0
Consistent Key Messages Across the Whitepaper Versions
Since 2018, updates to the whitepaper have continued to provide more details and CSDM examples while the overall idea and message has remained the same. Here are some of the key messages from different versions of the whitepaper:
- Service-related definitions span the ServiceNow product portfolio and the New Platform. (CSDM 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0)
- Customers should follow the model in order to utilize the platform to its full potential, realizing a full value chain alignment, improved quality, transparency, better insights, automation, and lower costs. (CSDM 1.0)
- ServiceNow products are standardizing their use of data from the CMDB. That standard is the CSDM. (CSDM 2.0, 3.0, 4.0)
- Without this data in prescribed tables, you may not receive the full value of the ServiceNow platform. (CSDM 2.0, 3.0, 4.0)
- CSDM should be used as a reference for mapping your IT services in ServiceNow. (CSDM 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0)
In the original post I talked about the lack of an actual data model. The whitepaper only provided a very high-level conceptual model and a list of actual tables vs. the conceptual model, and a list of relationships to be used between the classes. Therefore, I also gave some CSDM Examples.
We will talk more about the data models later, but here is a quick blast from the past, the CSDM Conceptual Model v1.0:
Figure 2 Conceptual data model from the CSDM 1.0 whitepaper 2018
Evolution Towards Tables
Later CSDM versions include more details in their still conceptual data model diagrams and, most importantly, differentiate between Technical and Business services. This evolves towards a model where these records would be managed in different tables instead of just using a Service Classification on a common Service CI Class.
Since CSDM 2.0, technical and business services belong to their own domains and different stakeholders are identified for each. Version 4.0 introduced a new Build domain, but relationships to Services via Application Services still remained the same.
The picture below illustrates the services part of the 2.0 and 3.0 versions which are equal for this part. The same applies to 4.0, since the Build domain is optional between the Business Application and Application Service classes.
Figure 3 Simplified CSDM 3.0 for Services. Still valid according to 4.0 version also.
CSDM has a very heavy focus on Applications. This has been criticized quite a lot. Different customers are eager to see more common CSDM examples and use cases that do not necessarily involve Business Applications as prescribed.
4.0 version emphasizes applications even more with the Build domain that is only related to application-related services.
I personally feel that “Application Service” could be replaced with a “Configuration Item” where, depending on the service, any CI could be directly related to Service Offerings, also on the Sell / Consume domain.
Therefore, one interpretation of a more generic model could be like this:
Figure 4 Generic version of the CSDM for any Configuration Item
I left the Design and Build domains out of this CSDM example picture on purpose, mainly to highlight that there can be services without a relationship to Application Services or Business Applications.
Think about End User Services, for example: a single Workstation CI should be directly linked to the Business Service Offering that describes exactly how that Workstation is delivered to a consumer, and what Catalog Items, Service Levels and other commitments are related to the service.
Different types of Service Relationships
This also brings up the question of the relationship type used between the Business Service Offering and the Application Service: Depends on. This is a logical relationship type when a business service depends on an application (or any other CI) in its delivery. However, what about the CIs that are “Provided by” the service? Like the end-user devices in the earlier example.
This is something worth considering when implementing a service portfolio. If you decide to use different relationship types for different use cases, then just stick with it. Only change if some out-of-the-box feature requires you to do so and you’re truly using that feature. In any case, it is easy to make changes to a data model, once you have one and you’ve been following it.
Business Applications, such as Microsoft SCCM or Intune can relate to Workstations from the technical point-of-view. Different CIs managed under same Technical Service Offerings can still be packaged to end-users with different terms and commitments. In this sense, a “Standard Workstation” Business Service Offering can Depend on SCCM for example, but it also Provides or Delivers, or Supports the actual Workstation CIs.
From Conceptual to Logical Data Models
The actual data model is still on a quite high level and you need to combine details from different pages to come up with an ERD-like data model diagram.
Figure 5 below shows the actual tables in ServiceNow against the conceptual model described as the CSDM.
Figure 5 Conceptual Model to Physical Model according to CSDM 4.0
Another figure from the white paper describes the relationships between different classes as shown below:
Figure 6 Prescribed Relationship according to CSDM 4.0
CSDM Examples and Actual Data Models
I have been looking for a data model that would combine all three:
- A conceptual model…
- with actual table names and
- relationship types
Despite ServiceNow’s intent to update the ITSM reference architecture with an ERD for CSDM (CSDM 2.0 whitepaper), I have not found one. Therefore, please allow me to try to give some CSDM examples based on the CSDM 4.0 whitepaper, out-of-the-box tables and form views.
Let’s split the CSDM into smaller pieces using Data Content Manager as the visual design tool and look at some of the key CI Classes in more detail. Starting with the Business Service Offering, according to CSDM 4.0, the data model could look like this:
Figure 7 Business Service Offerings data model
This CSDM example data model has been drawn from the Service Offering’s point-of-view. Different filters on the Service Offering and Service tables connect the model to Business Services instead of Technical Services.
The whitepaper does not really describe the exact relationships between Service Offerings and Request Catalog except that Request Catalog is the sc_catalog table. In the above example, this relationship is defined via Catalog Items that are made available for the subscribers of the Service Offering and belong to a particular Catalog.
More information about the Request Catalog relationships in our CSDM 4.0 webinar from November 2021.
Adding Foundation Data to the CSDM Example Model
The latest version of the CSDM puts more focus on Foundation Data but does not define how, exactly, Foundation Data should be related to the rest of the model. This part probably varies the most between organizations, depending on how they are structured and how responsibilities have been defined.
Below is an example, where I have simply added some User and Group references to the model to ensure that responsibilities are in place.
Figure 8 Business Service Offering data model with Foundation Data references
My Differing Opinions
A Service Portfolio can include many more details like SLA definitions and Service Commitments, Subscribers, and so on. One thing that still bothers me a bit in this model, is the prescribed relationship between Business Service Offering and the Application Service classes.
Another detail, where I have a slightly different opinion, is the relationship between Services and Business Capabilities. I would put that relationship on the Service Offering level, instead of Service. The same Service can have multiple different offerings where some of them relate to a capability and some maybe to a different capability.
Doing the relationship on a Service level means that you lose this flexibility in defining dependencies between different offerings of the service and business capabilities those offerings are providing.
Final Service Portfolio Model
My final version of the CSDM example model (as seen below) changes the Application Service into a more generic Configuration Item class and includes the Service Commitment and Subscriber relationships as additional examples. I left the Business Capability relation to Service as defined by CSDM. Overall, I consider my changes to be additions or extensions to the model and I’ve tried to keep it compliant with the original definitions.
Figure 9 More generic Business Service Offering data model with CIs, Subscribers and Commitments
All the additional relationships shown in these examples are based on an out-of-the-box setup of the Rome release, but not described as part of the CSDM. I cannot guarantee that these relationships will ever be part of the official model. However, they are already available Out-of-the-Box.
If your implementation is already at this level, then congratulations! You are one of the few and you probably have quite a mature Service Portal also utilizing all these wonderful service details and related capabilities.
CSDM Examples, Blueprint Templates & CSDM Content Pack
We have created these types of data models and CSDM examples as blueprint templates in our CSDM Content Pack. The Content Pack is freely available from the ServiceNow Store. You do need to have the Data Content Manager application installed to view the models, but there is a Free Trial available.
The current version of the Content Pack includes ~20 different blueprint templates for the CI classes mentioned in the CSDM whitepapers. They are organized according to the different implementation phases and domains. The templates can be used as CSDM examples and as starting points for tuning the model to your specific needs.
Implementation Phases for Services?
All in all, the CSDM example data models presented above are quite demanding and are indicative of a rather mature service portfolio model. Therefore, it’s advisable to approach this topic with small steps and ensure you are on the right track from the very beginning to the very end. Data Content Manager can be an extremely useful tool for this.
Business Services are introduced in the model only when you are already in the Run phase. However, in my opinion, you can implement each CI Class with a similar model where you start small and increase the complexity as your maturity to handle it grows. Related to this idea, you might also want to look at our 5 steps model for data management.
One way to “crawl” is also to limit the scope of data by selecting a subset of all your services before launching the model for everyone.
Crawl Phase Data Model for Services
In the beginning I showed a CSDM example data model for the Business Service Offerings in Fly phase of the CSDM. If your focus is Services (maybe related to Customer Service Management), you can also start crawling from the Sell / Consume domain.
In that case, the model for Business Service Offerings could look like this:
Figure 10 Business Service Offerings data model for “crawling”
Just make sure that every Service Offering has a Parent Service and you have responsible persons or groups defined. Without clearly defined (and implemented) responsibilities there is no reason to move any further. You cannot succeed with CMDB (or Service Portfolio) without proper ownership.
Read more about establishing ownership from here.
If you want to know more about how to enforce ownership and maintenance of different data models on the ServiceNow platform, please do not hesitate to ask. Book a meeting with me, and I will show you how Data Content Manager can help you on your journey towards CSDM compliance, and a better return on your ServiceNow investment.
Regarding “CSDM Compliance” and how out-of-the-box tools like the “CSDM Data Foundations Dashboard” can help, you should read this comparison to DCM.
You also may want to check out our CSDM Solution page, where we have compiled all of our CSDM related things, including a short demo video on how DCM helps with CSDM.
Talk to Us
Book a meeting with us and we will show you how Data Content Manager helps you on your CSDM journey – regardless of your maturity level.
Our CSDM Webinars
CSDM 4.0 Webinar Companion
by Pekka Korpi | Nov 30, 2021 | CSDM, On-Demand Webinars
A recap and resource list for the CSDM 4.0 Examples for a Data Driven Portal Webinar.
Webinar: CSDM 4.0 Examples for a Data-Driven Portal
by Pekka Korpi | Nov 9, 2021 | CSDM, On-Demand Webinars
This webinar will explain what you need to have in place to fully utilize the Service Portfolio Management capabilities available in the ServiceNow Rome release. We will talk about Services and Offerings and how to make sure your Portal of choice is data-driven and dynamically functioning.
CSDM 3.0 – Flying with DCM
by Pekka Korpi | Sep 19, 2020 | CSDM, On-Demand Webinars
Mark Bodman, Senior Product Manager at ServiceNow and DCM Product Manager Mikko Juola talk about CSDM 3.0, Flying with DCM and the Future.
CSDM 3.0 – Walk and Run with DCM
by Pekka Korpi | Sep 18, 2020 | CSDM, On-Demand Webinars
Mark Bodman, Senior Product Manager at ServiceNow and DCM Product Manager Mikko Juola talk about CSDM 3.0 and Walking & Running with DCM.
Now Available On-Demand
CSDM 3.0 – Crawling with DCM
by Pekka Korpi | Sep 17, 2020 | CSDM, On-Demand Webinars
Mark Bodman, Senior Product Manager at ServiceNow and DCM Product Manager Mikko Juola talk about CSDM 3.0 and getting it off the ground with DCM.
Now Available On-Demand!
What are the 5 Csdm domains? ›
CSDM has 4 Domains: Foundation, Design, Manage Technical Services, and Sell/Consume. Each of these Domains include one or more products within ServiceNow. The combination of quality data across these Domains assist in the day-to-day efforts to achieve business outcomes.What is Csdm in ServiceNow? ›
What is the Common Services Data Model (CSDM)? The Common Service Data Model (CSDM) is the ServiceNow® framework and prescriptive guidance for building out your CMDB. CSDM identifies where to place service and application-related data within the CMDB.Why is Csdm important? ›
CSDM is considered the best practice for CMDB modeling and management—it provides direction on modeling and comes with a standardized set of definitions. It is a connection between business and technical perspectives with mapping and relationships.What is common service data model? ›
In a nutshell, the CSDM is a framework for CMDB data modeling and data management that provides a foundation for connecting both business and technical aspects of services across the enterprise.What is CMDB ServiceNow? ›
What is the Configuration Management Database (CMDB)? The CMDB is the ServiceNow database that stores information about all technical services. Within the CMDB, the support information for each service offering is stored in a Configuration Item (CI) specific to that service.What is service offering in CMDB? ›
A service offering consists of one or more service commitments that uniquely define the level of service in terms of availability, scope, pricing, and packaging options.What is data model in CMDB? ›
The Common Data Model (CDM) of the BMC CMDB unifies the representation of configuration data. It stores information about the most common configuration items, such as hardware, software, and services.What is foundation data in ServiceNow? ›
What do I mean by Foundation Data? Many IT Service Management systems such as ServiceNow refer to common data tables which are shared between multiple applications, processes or use cases as foundation data. Usually, this refers to users, organizational structures, cost centers, locations and, groups , etc.What are principal classes ServiceNow? ›
Principal Class Denotes whether this class is included in the Principal Class filter. If this class is included in the Principal Class filter, then CIs from this class appear in CI list views when the Principal Class filter is applied.What is Discovery ServiceNow? ›
ServiceNow® Discovery discovers your entire IT infrastructure, creating an accurate and up-to-date record in your ServiceNow® CMDB. It discovers both physical and logical components, including virtual machines, servers, storage, databases, applications, and more.
Are business application operations ServiceNow? ›
Business Applications are strategic and not operational. They are not directly linked to Incidents, Problems or Changes, and are not version-specific. Important to note that the actual software versions are linked to the Application service layer.What is a configuration item ServiceNow? ›
Configuration Item (CI): Any computer, device, software, or service in the CMDB. A CI's record will include all of the relevant data, such as manufacturer, vendor, location, etc.What are the 3 key tables in ServiceNow? ›
- The Base Configuration Item [cmdb] table, which is the core CMDB table for non IT CIs (descending classes are non IT CIs).
- The core Configuration Item [cmdb_ci] table, which stores the basic attributes of all the CIs. ...
- The CI Relationship [cmdb_rel_ci] table, which defines all relationships between CIs.
Some of the base table are: cmdb, task, task_activity, cmdb_model etc. For e.g. task table did not extend any table, but task table is extended by many tables such as incident, change, problem etc. cmdb table did not extend any table but it is extended by cmdb_ci table.What is difference between CI and asset in ServiceNow? ›
The Difference in a Nutshell
If we had to explain the difference between assets and CIs in just a few words, it would be this: CIs have relationships, assets don't. Of course, assets do have some relationships, they just don't need to be anywhere near as detailed as those needed for a CI.
A service is an "(intangible) act or use for which a consumer, firm, or government is willing to pay." Examples include work done by barbers, doctors, lawyers, mechanics, banks, insurance companies, and so on.What are the four elements of trustworthy CMDB data? ›
- Business Continuity Management.
- Third-party Risk Management.
There are two common database schemas for a CMDB: a relational data model and a semantic data model.What is the 7 domains framework and why is it valuable in marketing? ›
In simple terms, the 7 Domains Model helps entrepreneurs decide whether a business idea is viable and marketable. The model divides your idea into seven parts (domains) for analysis. The first four involve micro and macro analyses of your market and industry, while the remaining three consider company-level factors.What is a branded domain? ›
A Branded Domain is the first part of the branded link (customized short link). For example, in rebrandly. xyz/content-curation - 'rebrandly. xyz' is the Branded Domain. It is a customized domain, that a person or company has purchased for themselves or their business, to use for all their shared links.
What is the best type of domain name for a new business to use? ›
Obviously, .com is the most popular choice for a domain extension—unless you're working or starting a business in the tech world. It's usually the most popular choice for a business domain name because it's the most recognized and accessible brand.What is company domain? ›
A business domain name is the website name found in your web address or URL (e.g., fitsmallbusiness.com). Customers can locate your website and identify your brand through its business domain name, and it can be used to create professional email addresses for your company.What are the 7 domains of IT infrastructure? ›
Seven Domains of IT Infrastructure Seven domains can be found in a typical IT infrastructure. They are as follows: User Domain, Workstation Domain, LAN Domain, LAN-to-WAN Domain, Remote Access Domain, WAN Domain, and System/Application Domain.What are the three main components of the team domain? ›
Team Domain: Mission, Aspirations, Propensity for Risk.How is market attractiveness defined? ›
the degree to which a market offers opportunities to an organisation, taking into account the market size and growth rate and the level of competition and other constraints.How many brand TLDs are there? ›
As of March 2021, the IANA root database includes 1589 TLDs.Is a branded short domain? ›
Branded URLs are a type of short URL. They're different because the person or company sharing the content brands them to match their unique brand identity.What are the seven rules of thumb for choosing a domain name? ›
- Go with “.com” ...
- Scoop up other domain extensions, too. ...
- Keep it short. ...
- Avoid “cutesy” names and abbreviations. ...
- Don't make it awkward. ...
- Make it brandable. ...
- Choose a domain that's easy to remember. ...
- Stay clear of copyright issues.
Your business name and domain do not need to match. The primary difference between business and domain names is that a business name is used for identification, branding and legal purposes, whereas a domain name is a digital website address.Which domain ending is best? ›
Com Is Still the Best Option. In general, .com is still the best option for a domain extension for most websites. It's familiar, it has decades of trust under its belt, and it's easy for people to remember. That's not to say that other newer extensions can't get there, but many haven't reached that level yet.
What is the difference between a domain and website? ›
A domain is the name of a website, a URL is how to find a website, and a website is what people see and interact with when they get there. In other words, when you buy a domain, you have purchased the name for your site, but you still need to build the website itself.What is domain with example? ›
It's the unique name that appears after the @ sign in email addresses, and after www. in web addresses. For instance, the domain name example.com might translate to the physical address 198.102. 434.8. Other examples of domain names are google.com and wikipedia.org.Who owns the domain name? ›
Who is the domain owner? Domain names are owned by whoever first registered the web address with an accredited registrar, such as Domain.com. In order for that person to maintain ownership, they have to pay registration fees and ensure that all of their contact details are up to date.