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. And 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 is showing 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 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 definitely include into this crawling phase. And that is ownership.

The CSDM doesn’t consider 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 into 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 Service. The CSDM defines that Business Applications should not be used for “tickets”, meaning not be referenced by incidents, changes or other tasks. Some people might disagree with this. But for now, let’s just 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 and used 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 good addition either on the Application Service or Business Application level.

This DCM Blueprint template is a available in the CSDM Content Pack from the ServiceNow Store.

If you have any questions or comments about this model or using DCM to enforce the CSDM in your organization, please contact me or leave a comment below.

Mikko Juola

Mikko Juola

Chied Product Officer at Qualdatrix


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