The ServiceNow Integration Hub is an integration solution embedded within the Now Platform and ServiceNow workflows. It’s a lightweight integration solution – prioritizing no-code/low-code interfacing – aiming to deliver fast time to value, low total cost of ownership (TCO) and ease of use.

For enterprise-scale integrations, organizations may find the ServiceNow Integration Hub limiting, leading many to opt for more robust solutions.

With Integration Hub, organizations can connect ServiceNow to other critical API-enabled business systems – including third-party solutions.

For example, the Integration Hub can enable the cross-posting of messages – with incident details – to integrated communication channels such as Slack or Microsoft Teams.

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The Integration Hub provides a centralized space where admins, business process owners, and developers can develop and manage integrations.

It comprises multiple pre-built, application-specific sets of automation actions and sub-flows, a.k.a., Spokes to simplify and speed up process automation. 

Its predefined application integrations automate typical business processes to accelerate integration delivery and help organizations focus time and resources on more mission-critical initiatives.

ServiceNow state that “anyone – pro-code developers, low-code admins, no-code analysts – can add spokes to flows with clicks, not code.”

How to Activate the ServiceNow Integration Hub?

Activating the Integration Hub requires a subscription.

Currently, ServiceNow offers four subscription levels for Integration Hub – Starter, Standard, Professional, and Enterprise.

Each subscription pack comes with different Spokes and functions. The starter pack is a no-cost subscription with a limit of 1,000,000 transactions per year. 

PurposeBuild integrations and automate developer operations.Automate developer operations.Automate IT operations.Automate human resources, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and more.
Maximum Integration Hub transactions per year1,000,0001,500,0003,000,0006,000,000
Protocols includedSOAP step, REST step, Open API support, ZIPStarter package+ JDBC stepStarter package+ PowerShell step, SFTP step, SSH step, JDBC stepProfessional package
Features includedPayload Builder step, Retry policies, Remote TablesStarter package+ XML ParserStarter package+ JSON Parser+ XML ParserProfessional package+ REST API Trigger, Data Stream actions, introspection (dynamic inputs and dynamic outputs)

To activate Integration Hub in a company instance, organizations are required to make a request via the Request Integration Hub link

Activating Integration Hub on a developer instance is more straightforward:

From any page on the Developer Site, click the Account menu and select the Activate Plugin instance action. Click the Activate button for the ServiceNow IntegrationHub Installer to activate all IntegrationHub plugins.

The plugin activation takes about ten minutes to complete.

Advantages of Using Integration Hub

Integration Hub offers numerous benefits to ServiceNow clients:

  • Low-code/no-code interfacing allows organizations to focus on mission-critical activities.
  • Organizations can save on the Total Cost of Ownership of the integration project.
  • SMEs can easily build and share integration actions that developers can use in custom apps.
  • Users can sync data across multiple production instances using Remote Process Sync.
  • It comes with natural-language descriptions of integration logic in an application to encourage involvement from non-technical users.

Limitations of Integration Hub

Integration Hub allows you to integrate ServiceNow with other apps, sync workflows, and send one-way updates. However, it has limitations, particularly in terms of its impact on ServiceNow’s performance when handling large data volumes. As an organization’s data volumes grow, they may need to reconsider whether Integration Hub is fit for purpose. 

Integration Hub Limitations:

  • Performance degradation: Integration Hub is API-based, so it needs ServiceNow’s bandwidth to operate. This inevitably degrades ServiceNow’s performance when large data volumes need to be transferred in bulk. 
  • Multi-step processes: Even for basic operations, several actions and steps must be pieced together.
  • Limited capabilities out-of-the-box: The Spokes have limited capabilities – they mostly support a few common integration actions. Users often have to build custom Spokes to support their needs which could involve extending coding.
  • May require multiple subscriptions: The pricing of different subscription levels depends on the number of transactions, and the pre-built Spokes are spread across different packs. If you wish to access multiple spokes, you may need additional subscriptions. The pricing level increases if you fetch data from multiple endpoints, consuming significant transaction volume.

Perspectium – The Enterprise-Scale, Integration Hub Alternative

For organizations with more extensive requirements, Perspectium is a recommended alternative to Integration Hub. 

Unlike the Integration Hub and other typical integration approaches, Perspectium can transfer huge data volumes without impacting ServiceNow’s performance. This is because unlike traditional approaches, Perspectium avoids making API calls to ServiceNow to transfer data. Instead, it works natively within ServiceNow and uses “Push” technology to transfer data in bulk, or dynamically. 

As with the Integration Hub, Perspectium benefits from being a ServiceNow-native application for integrations.

Similarly to Integration Hub users, Perspectium’s no-code and business user-friendly applications mean organizations have more scope to focus on mission-critical activities.

The integration applications are delivered and managed as integrations-as-a-service, with 24/7, 365 support. Perspectium’s integration experts handle everything from implementation, to maintenance.

If you’d like to learn more about the following use case, click the links below:

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