The DCM Blog

Common Service Data Model – Learning to Crawl

By Mikko Juola

October 14, 2019
CSDM Crawl

ServiceNow has published their second version of the Common Service Data Model whitepaper. This time, the model goes deeper. It includes more classes, relationships, and information in general. It also includes an idea for implementation. Whitepaper uses a metaphor of crawl, walk, run, and fly when implementing the CSDM in a staged manner.

“You need to learn to crawl before you can walk.”

This blog talks briefly about learning to crawl. The image on top shows what ServiceNow thinks of crawling. Just identify the business applications, application services, and simple relationships to other common configuration items like applications and servers.

Services or service offerings are not part of the picture at this point.

This may be quite a common way to start with CMDB or CSDM in this case especially if your organization doesn’t have a service portfolio in place. When taking this approach, there is one thing I would include in this crawling phase. And that is ownership.

The CSDM doesn’t consider the required attributes for each class. Before defining which attributes are relevant to you, please focus on ownership, responsibilities, and relationships. Every application that is included in CMDB or application portfolio should have an owner and that should be in place starting from day one.

“Business Application is NOT an operational CI and should not be used in incident, problem and change”
CSDM Whitepaper v2.0 – Oct 2019

Another thing to point out is the use of Application Services. The CSDM defines that Business Applications should not be used for “tickets,” meaning incidents, changes, or other tasks should not reference them.

Some people might disagree with this. But for now, let’s follow the recommendation. Therefore, creating Application Service records and connecting them to Business Applications is mandatory. This is something quite many companies have not done yet.

So, if we turn this crawl phase target into an actual data model, it could look like this.

CSDM Crawl with DCM

DCM Blueprint template for starting to crawl the CSDM


The image above is a screenshot from a DCM blueprint template. This template can be turned into an actual blueprint to manage and audit your business application data according to the Common Service Data Model.

Depending on your support model, a support group would be a good addition either on the Application Service or Business Application level.

This DCM Blueprint template is available in our CSDM Content Pack.

Additional CSDM Resources

We have written a lot on aligning with the Common Service Data Model and how Data Content Manager can help ease the journey.

Here are some excellent places to start:

Please reach out to us if you have any questions!

Mikko Juola

Mikko Juola

Chief Product Officer at Qualdatrix


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