ServiceNow-to-database Integration Guide
Companies using ServiceNow often seek to implement ServiceNow-to-database and data warehouse integrations. The integration helps remove ServiceNow data from its silo, for greater scalability and use around the wider enterprise.
Replicating your ServiceNow data to a database allows easy access and increased control over the data. ServiceNow database integration also aids core business operations like data analytics and visualization, machine learning, data backup/migration, etc.
For instance, an organization may collect data across different departments to gain a 360-degree view of the business and make more informed decisions. Similarly, many companies may wish to create a ServiceNow data backup to ensure they can recover data if there is an issue in ServiceNow.
ServiceNow enables fast and easy integration with modern systems and tools. As a ServiceNow client, you can either develop a data integration tool in-house or partner with a ServiceNow Integration Hub like Perspectium.
In this blog, we guide you through the process of building a ServiceNow-to-database integration.
Benefits of ServiceNow-to-Database Integrations
Building a ServiceNow-to-database integration offers numerous benefits, including reduced costs, risks, and complexity by simplifying process automation.
Here are a few tangible benefits of ServiceNow database integration:
- Boost workflow connectivity across any system
Integrating ServiceNow to a database enables inter-application workflows and allows organizations to keep multiple business systems in sync.
- Accelerate IT productivity
You can extend AI-powered self-service to ServiceNow customers for common queries/requests. By syncing Virtual Agent to packaged integration solutions, you can smoothly handle support operations like password reset, access management, client software distribution, etc.
- Eliminate complex integrations
In some cases, an organization may wish to replace a current integration, with one that better suits the organization’s needs. In this case, you need not invest in adding internal integration resources for ServiceNow data integration. Instead, an organization can work with an integration provider offering no-code/low-code integrations-as-a-service.
- Customize integrations
Your IT team can build reusable custom spokes for various use cases with specific integration steps for JSON, SOAP, REST, JDBC, etc.
- Reduce costs and risks
Implementing an integration solution to connect ServiceNow with a database or data warehouse helps mitigate risk across the enterprise.
With an integration that automates data replication across multiple systems, organizations can avoid using manual (often called “swivel-chair”) integrations, where human error can be costly.
When using the swivel-chair approach to integrations, the potential for data loss, exposure, poor data quality and integration failure are all increased.
Replicate Your ServiceNow Data to a Database – Four Proven Ways
Companies can move and integrate ServiceNow data to a data warehouse by opting for any one of the following:
- Build the integration
For smaller organizations building the integration internally is often the most cost-effective means of connecting systems.
The number of features included in the integration determines the time and effort required to build it. It takes about 370 hours for ServiceNow clients to DIY an integration. However, this approach limits scalability, and the integration will be at risk as data volumes grow.
- Swivel-chair integration
This integration process involves an employee manually extracting ServiceNow data and “swiveling” to write the data in a database.
Again, this approach is most suited to smaller organizations with less complex architectures and smaller data volumes. With this approach, scalability is even more limited than building an integration manually.
- Integration toolkits (iPaaS)
You can partner with service providers offering an integration platform as a service (iPaaS). It lets you build connectors to extract data from one end and push it to a database.
You will be entirely responsible for the integration, as the iPaaS provider simply delivers the platform for integrations, not the integration itself as a service.
Organizations going down this route must have employees proficient in a proprietary language to create and manage the iPaaS integration. The organization is also responsible for maintenance and upgrades.
For particular use cases where data volumes are large and architecture’s complex (think enterprise-scale organizations) an integration-as-a-service is the recommended solution.
IaaS provides the complete package and the integration is implemented, maintained, and supported by the vendor. For instance, Perspectium’s PIP – DataSync – replicates ServiceNow data to a database.
It extends no-code connections through a publish-subscribe model, end-to-end encryption, and a message broker service (staging area).
How to Build a Servicenow-to-Database Integration
Mostly, developers build a ServiceNow integration to a database via the ODBC Driver, REST APIs, and a manual ETL process.
- Using the ODBC Driver
With this method, the first step is to install an ODBC Driver (visit the ServiceNow website to download the driver) to extract and move ServiceNow data to an external database.
You can grant the driver read-only access to ServiceNow data, and it cannot alter the instance data. With every new release, you must download the upgraded version from the official website and check the installation steps.
- Using REST APIs
ServiceNow includes multiple REST APIs that facilitate interaction among the different ServiceNow functionalities within an application.
Thus, you can perform the create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) function on existing tables (Table API) or push data into and retrieve data from a MetricBase database (MetricBase Time Series API), etc.
- Using Schemas
A schema is a structure designed to contain data. In this approach, the extracted ServiceNow data must fit the chosen schema. You must create a schema table for data export. The schema will read ServiceNow data as files and load them into the database.
Best Practices for Effective Integration
You can avoid or minimize the risk of integration failure by adopting these three best practices:
- Encourage documentation
You must encourage IT developers and support teams to document every step involved in the integration process. As they make organized notes of the integration steps, it becomes easier to pass it on to other developers who undertake the integration management and support in your organization later.
- Actively communicate with the integration’s stakeholders
Maintaining effective communication with the integration’s stakeholders (such as BI team(s)) creates a smooth integration workflow. After the data transfer, you can get the data status from the relevant stakeholder group. This will help you avoid integration failure by notifying all stakeholders of the data status.
- Build a staging area
It’s best to create a staging area to ensure continuous data flow. So, the data flow to the staging area continues even if the database is down or unavailable due to maintenance or downtime issues. Additionally, if ServiceNow is down and the database has buffer space for data ingestion, the ServiceNow data collected in the staging area will flow to the database.
- Work with a Packaged Integration Solution/IaaS
Ultimately, the best way to avoid integration failure is to work with the experts.
The Recommended Approach: Choose a Packaged Integration Solution/IaaS
Implementing a ServiceNow database integration is often a challenging process. Thankfully, in Perspectium, organizations have a ServiceNow-approved vendor offering integrations-as-a-service.
Perspectium are the experts in implementing and managing ServiceNow integrations.
Perspectium is the authority in implementing and managing ServiceNow integrations. Perspectium was created by the founding developer from ServiceNow, David Loo.
Leveraging David Loo’s expertise and experience, Perspectium has created an integration solution that does not negatively impact the performance of your ServiceNow instance(s)
As an approved native-application for ServiceNow integrations, organizations can have the confidence that the implementation will work, without requiring internal resources to maintain or repair it.
Organizations that trust Perspectium to implement and manage their integrations even include ServiceNow themselves.
The ITSM provider is also a customer of Perspectium, using the solution and service to replicate data from 10 ServiceNow production instances into 4 SAP/HANA databases for analysis by Sales, Marketing, Finance, and other departments.