Self Service Portal

Service Portal provides an alternative user experience to the standard platform UI. It is easy to configure, customize, and extend, similar to what users are used to in other consumer products.

Service Portal is a simple way for you to configure an intuitive interface for your users. It interacts with the underlying ServiceNow platform, so you can access any platform components in the portal.


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A portal is the engine that houses all of the references to content for your site. The portal record defines the URL extension for a site, as well as things like the knowledge base, catalog, and homepage. You can also use the portal record to define the header menu and the portal branding./p>


Pages are the centerpiece of the end user experience. Page definitions not only control the layout of the content, they craft the experience for the user. Pages also help define mobile responsiveness, which is a key component in the user experience.


Widgets are the power behind the portal. Widgets are highly customizable and can be used to provide an endless variety of experiences for your users. Anytime you add a widget to a page it becomes an instance of itself. That widget instance has its own record so you can configure it specifically for each use.


Service Portal uses a combination of system properties and script includes to determine how the system handles URL redirects for users logging in to the portal. Only users who understand single sign on, URL redirects, and the ServiceNow platform should make any changes.


The Branding Editor affects the look of your portal and essentially changes the CSS for the pages. The changes you make in the Branding Editor are recorded in the portal record in the fields. If you have experience with CSS and HTML you can configure the fields in the portal form directly as accessed through the portal UI. By theming your portal in the Branding Editor instead, you can take advantage of the real-time theme preview.


Service Portal is designed to allow customers to have deep control over the behavior of their portals. One of the main navigation controls for users is the header main menu. The menu options are determined by the assignment of a main menu to the portal, but the look and behavior of the menu is defined within the theme and associated header.

Service Portal and CMS:

Service Portal is an alternative based on more modern technologies to the existing CMS service and there are several major differences.

Underlying technology :

CMS uses Jelly which is not widely used, making it difficult to find resources. Service Portal instead uses AngularJS, which is a JavaScript framework that is better known and easier to find information on.

Visual layer :

CMS uses iFrames which can be difficult to work with and limited in terms of styling and susceptible to upgrade issues. Service Portal, on the other hand, is a self-contained app that essentially creates a visual layer between the user and the content. The abstraction of the visual layer makes for better control of the styling and responsive design.


Service Portal also takes a more streamlined approach to Service Catalog items. The intent is to ensure that the items display well on a mobile device, and feel more familiar to the consumer of the catalog. As a result, it is possible that complex, multi-column catalog items that are supported in CMS will need to be reconsidered to work in Service Portal.