Business Rules in ServiceNow and Its Automation Potentials

Business rules

Understanding Business Rules

  • In ServiceNow, business rules are server-side scripts that are triggered when a particular condition is satisfied or a record is added, updated, or removed. Without the need for human intervention, they are made to automate tasks, enforce policies, and streamline procedures. in simple terms, it just automates tasks without the developer or user's intervention.
  • Let's look into the various types of Business Rules in ServiceNow and their functionalities.

Configuration of a Business Rule

  • In order to access the business rules, type the business rule in the search bar and open it.
    Search bar
  • To view the Business Rule configuration options, select the Advanced option after opening the business rule.
     Business Rule configuration

Display business rule


The server-side data is made accessible to client-side scripts through the use of a display business rule. It runs both after the data is retrieved from the database and prior to the user being presented with a form. Business rules of this kind are frequently used to dynamically modify form fields or data visibility according to predetermined criteria.

Sample snippet below

// Example Display Business Rule with Scratchpad Variables
(function executeRule(current, previous) {
    // Initialize scratchpad variables
    var scratchpad = {};
    var userCountry = gs.getUser().getCountry();

    // Display country-specific data based on user's country
    if (userCountry === 'US') {
        scratchpad.countryData = 'US-specific data here';
    } else if (userCountry === 'India') {
        scratchpad.countryData = 'India-specific data here';
    } else {
        scratchpad.countryData = 'Default data for other countries';
    }'Country-specific data: ' + scratchpad.countryData);
})(current, previous);

Use Case

let's assume an organization decides to implement a Display Business Rule in ServiceNow to dynamically customize the dashboard based on the user's country. The goal is to provide relevant information and resources tailored to each user's geographic location, improving user engagement and efficiency in accessing IT services.

Before Business Rule

Display Business Rule


before the data is stored in the database but before business rules are activated upon a user submitting a form. Before an object is committed to the database, they are perfect for updating its information. A before-business rule, for instance, can be used to compute values based on user inputs or enforce specific field values.

Sample snippet below

// Example Before Business Rule
(function executeRule(current, previous) {
})(current, previous);

Use Case

Before saving the form data that has been submitted into the database, you can create a Before Business Rule that will automatically populate extra data, like the manager's name, the user's current location, or past activities.

After Business Rule

Manager's name


After data is stored in the database, business rules take effect. Usually, they are used to update relevant records or carry out extra processing that isn't necessary for direct user interaction. For example, if a change is made to the current record, an after-business rule may run a GlideRecord query to update related records.

Sample snippet below

// Example After Business Rule
(function executeRule(current, previous) {
})(current, previous);

Use Case

Suppose you have a situation where you would like connected child incidents to be closed automatically by the system as soon as the user closes the parent incident. This automated closure process can be managed by an After Business Rule.

Async Business Rule

Async Business


While they execute asynchronously in the background, async business rules perform comparable functions to after-business rules. They work especially well for jobs that can be completed in parallel with other processes and don't require immediate user input. Typical use cases are metrics calculation, report generation, and background SLA enforcement without affecting user experience.

// Example Async Business Rule
(function executeRule(current, previous) {
    // Run background tasks asynchronously
    // This rule does not block user interactions
})(current, previous);

Use Case

If the user doesn't provide any updates, an organization may wish to automatically close pending customer action incidents after a predetermined amount of time. This process can operate in the background without interfering with user interactions by using an Async Business Rule.

Best practices for implementing Business rules

Simplicity: To prevent problems with maintainability and performance, create clear, concise business rules.

Use Script Includes

To encourage code reusability and maintainability, think about encapsulating business rule logic in Script Includes for complex or reusable code. In this way, the code can be re-used and referenced for future scenarios.

Test it often

To make sure business rules function as intended, test them extensively in a development or test instance before deploying them to production. This may sound normal, but testing the business rule is an important part of development, as a lot of people have problems because they deploy the changes with confidence and later find themselves in a place to redo the development again.

Track Performance

To find any inefficiencies or bottlenecks that could affect system performance, track the effectiveness of business rules on a regular basis. doing this avoids those awkward situations and helps you stand alone.

Business Rules available in ServiceNow enables enterprises to personalize their procedures and efficiently automate tasks. Organizations can improve user experience, maximize productivity, and ensure data integrity in their ServiceNow environment by utilizing Display, Before, After, and Async Business Rules. These Business Rules provide organizations with the flexibility and functionality they need to customize workflows to their specific needs and increase operational efficiency.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps; until next time, goodbye.

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