Bringing It Home: How Choosing Your ServiceNow Portal Engine Is Like Buying a House

ServiceNow recently announced the deployment of a new content delivery engine, called ServicePortal, to replace the current CMS engine that’s served as the platform’s content system since the very early days.  But deciding which engine to use is a little like buying a house. It’s not an easy decision but one that must be taken with careful consideration to the features of each choice, since it is difficult to quickly change houses, just as it is to change the engine behind your portal.

Many considerations must be taken into account when going about buying a house. The location, the neighbors, the price, the space, the layout are only a few factors that go into the purchasing decision. Choosing your ServiceNow engine is no different. The nice thing is that both have the same appearance. But, the support, the ease of use, the language used, the features are all factors that must be considered when choosing your engine.

What follows is a comparison of the two portals so you can make an informed decision about which engine best suits your needs. If I missed anything, let me know in the comments below!Infographic-CMS_or_ServicePortal_Pros_Cons.png

  1. Experience: In this case, perhaps the saying, “old is gold” applies. Experience and history are an invaluable factor that can be easily overlooked. CMS is like that older house-- well-established, proven and tested. With a new house, you don’t completely know what the weaknesses of the house are. ServicePortal is still in its infancy, with features that are still being worked on and fixed. It’s cutting edge, and it’s the future, but for now, perhaps for now it should remain tomorrow’s future.
  2. Features: Fixtures are what make or break a house. They make a house liveable, habitable, functional. And this holds true for portal engines. Core ServiceNow features including Lists, Shopping Carts, Chat, multiple Knowledge Bases, and multiple Catalogs. They make the portals work well so ServiceNow can function to suit your needs. And currently, these features are the ones clearly distinguishing CMS from ServicePortal. Because ServicePortal is new, it doesn’t yet have these core features. So if these features are important to your ServiceNow portal, stick with CMS, but if they’re not, ServicePortal will work for you.
  3. Ease of making portals: In CMS, it can be difficult and expensive to maintain portals, and requires expertise, including a little understanding of Jelly code. This drawback of CMS is one of the strengths to ServicePortal -- portals can be developed in a drag and drop user interface. For those who choose to stick with CMS for its other advantages, fear not, there are 3rd-party helper apps (like CMS) that make it much easier to integrate portals in the CMS engine.
  4. Movability: Just like with picking a house, you’re committed to that particular neighborhood.  The same goes with the ServiceNow portal engines.  With ServicePortal, there is currently no migration path from existing CMS-powered sites. What this means is that if you have an existing investment in your CMS portal, it probably makes more sense to remodel instead of move.
  5. Support: Support is out there for both ServiceNow engines. However, a lot more support is out there for CMS right now, since it is a more established portal. That being said, ServicePortal uses a language AngularJS, which allows more customizability than CMS’s Jelly. The only downside is, as said before, that there’s not a low-cost, well-established support community behind it yet.

Both CMS and ServicePortal are terrific portal engines that individually offer their own advantages. They currently tailor slightly different needs, so hopefully this guide helped you better understand which engine is for you.

Questions? Let us know in the comments below!