Automation and control over processes that run in the organization’s IT operations are crucial for maintaining stability and transparency. They are also vital for handling issues on time and always keeping customers satisfied.
To achieve this, organizations often utilize more than one software. The different software tools, however, need to be in sync in order to fully accomplish operational efficiency.
Azure DevOps and ServiceNow are perhaps the most popular tools which enterprises use to cope with incident management and DevOps pipelines. A ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration allows companies to boost productivity, improve cross-team collaboration, speed up issue resolutions and eliminate bottlenecks.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll try to dive deeper into their capabilities and how they contribute to a company’s wellbeing. We’ll also take a closer look at the benefits and the technical details of the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
An Overview of ServiceNow and Azure DevOps
Azure DevOps is one of the most popular Microsoft products oriented towards DevOps teams. A sophisticated SaaS platform, Azure DevOps enables dev teams from various niches and industries to get a solid grip and a better perspective over end-to-end DevOps processes and data. As a result, product development and deployment operations become faster and more controllable.
ServiceNow is among the most commonly used IT Service Management platforms and gives users a variety of service desk functionalities. Some of them can control real-time performance as well as obtain detailed insights into the incidents and alarms that occur.
Deployed separately in the organization’s IT infrastructure, ADO and ServiceNow contribute to high-end management, result-driven actions, and high levels of consumer satisfaction.
However, when there is a ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration in place, this significantly boosts the organizations’ overall performance – from sped-up product rollout to organized and optimized workflows.
Furthermore, with a ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration, the two tools are working together as a part of the organizations’ IT kit, and the result is better decision making, transparency of processes, and control over crucial problems.
The best way to achieve this is to integrate ServiceNow with Azure DevOps bi-directionally – for optimized performance results.
How to choose the best solution for a ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration?
There are plenty of tools available on the market that can help you do a ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration. They vary in functionalities, price, and use cases covered. What separates ZigiOps from the rest is its unique approach towards such an important and oftentimes complicated action like systems’ integration.
Here are the major things to consider when choosing the best integration platform for your needs:
- Is it standalone or a plugin? – Plugins require changes and settings to your systems, and are not always the best solution in terms of security. They might also interfere with the proper work of your systems (in this case ServiceNow and Azure DevOps). Standalone integration platforms on the other hand provide a single source and UI for all your integrations, while at the same time you do not need to make any changes to your source and target systems. It is easier to do and much better in terms of security.
- No-code or low-code? – Low-code platforms require coding knowledge and you often need to write complex scripts to fulfil your use case. This takes time and resources. No-code platforms, on the other hand, give you the ability to build any integration in a few clicks from drop-down menus.
- Customizations and scalability - Customizations and upgrades should be easy and straightforward. Nowadays software and environments change very often and if you do not have the ability to scale your integrations, it would be difficult to maintain things working properly. The integration tool you use should allow you to scale and make unlimited changes whenever necessary.
- Security and Stability – in the ideal case you will be protected in events of downtime, your data will be completely secure, and your integration tool will stick to the highest security standards.
There are of course more things to consider when choosing the best tool for your ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
In this guide, we will be ZigiOps integration platform to illustrate how easy it is to make your ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
Being a no-code integration platform, ZigiOps links the systems in a matter of minutes without the help of a developer. Packed with a library of templates, awaiting to be put into use, and fully customizable, ZigiOps handles the two-way ServiceNow Azure integration with ease.
Why make a ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration?
Enterprises choose to have an Azure integration with ServiceNow for many reasons – to transfer incidents, change and service requests, issues, and other custom records.
However, the most common use case regarding the two systems relates to transferring SNow incidents to ADO as issues. ZigiOps automatically picks any new incident which requires development and automatically opens an issue in the Azure DevOps instance. All updates between the two systems instantly synchronize. Once the development team fixes and closes the issue, the ZigiOps integration tool also closes the incident in the ServiceNow instance.
So, let’s take a quick tour and see how to integrate ServiceNow and Azure DevOps via ZigiOps connector.
Top benefits of the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration:
- Transparency over important user-related issues
- Improved traceability on vital for the IT infrastructure activities and operations
- Reduced manual work and human-related errors, thanks to the automation of repetitive tasks
- Cost and efforts optimization
- Instant synchronization of updates between the ADO and SNow teams
- Enhanced cross-team collaboration, communication, and workflow optimization.
Use cases of ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration
If the service desk team in an organization uses ServiceNow and the development team uses Azure DevOps, the organization can benefit a lot from connecting the two systems. A ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration will boost productivity, speed up issue resolutions and eliminate silos. Let’s see how this can be done with ZigiOps.
The helpdesk team receives a new incident in their ServiceNow instance queue. They investigate the problem and find out that it results from a software bug. They need to forward it to the developers.
ZigiOps automates the process. They don’t need to open Azure DevOps and manually log the issue. The integration platform opens a ticket in Azure DevOps and syncs it in real-time. As a result, the efficiency of the application lifecycle management (ALM) is improved.
The service desk team and the developer working on the issue communicate effortlessly, thanks to ZigiOps. The integration tool instantly synchronizes all log files, traces, or other attachments. ZigiOps supports updates in both directions. This simplifies root cause analysis and change request management.
Once the developer fixes the issue, and closes the Azure DevOps ticket, ZigiOps automatically updates the incident in ServiceNow.
Examples of entities that can be transferred:
Azure DevOps (Work Items) -> ServiceNow (Incidents)
Azure DevOps (Issues) -> ServiceNow (Incidents)
ServiceNow (Incidents) -> Azure DevOps (Issues)
ServiceNow (Requests) -> Azure DevOps (Tasks)
Step-by-step setup of the ServiceNow Azure DevOps Integration with ZigiOps
ZigiOps comes in on-premises and iPaaS versions, but the setup and launch of integrations are the same. For the purposes of this example, we will use the platform’s on-prem version. You can install it easily within a few minutes. You can see detailed installation instructions here.
Once installed, it’s time to log-in into ZigiOps.
The ZigiOps login screen.
You will then see the dashboard, which showcases your active licenses, integrations, and operations data.
A view of the ZigiOps integration platform dashboard.
Connecting your ServiceNow instance
From the Connected Systems Menu, we can choose the systems we want to integrate – Azure DevOps and ServiceNow in our case. Once you choose the systems, you need to connect to them. This is very easy. You only need your instance URLs and admin details. You do not have to make any changes to your ServiceNow or Azure systems themselves.
To connect ServiceNow to ZigiOps, you need to enter your instance URL, username and password.
Connecting your ServiceNow system through the “Connected Systems” menu.
The permissions you need for your ServiceNow usually depend on the use case. In this case we will be looking at the ServiceNow incidents to Azure DevOps tickets case, and the permissions needed are the following:
- incident (READ, WRITE, CREATE)
- sys_db_object (READ)
- sys_dictionary (READ)
- sys_journal_field (READ)
- sys_glide_object (READ)
Connecting your Azure DevOps instance
Again, from the “Connected systems” -> “Add New System” menu, you can connect Azure DevOps. You need to enter your instance URL, your Organization name, your username and Private Access Token, or API key, that you can get from Azure DevOps. You also need to choose if your instance is Azure DevOps Service or TFS.
Connecting your Azure DevOps system through the “Connected Systems” menu.
The permissions you need in this case are just:
- Work Items (READ, WRITE)
When you enter all the necessary details, you can click the “Save” button to save your system, and then the “Test” button to test if the connection is working properly.
ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration templates
As soon as you have successfully connected your systems to ZigiOps, you can start configuring your ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
ZigiOps provides out-of-the-box templates that you can load with a few clicks. They cover the most common use cases for the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration. However, you can create your own custom integration from scratch or import your own integration templates.
Every aspect of the pre-defined ZigiOps templates can also be customized, so they can fit any integration use case that you have.
For the purposes of this ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration guide, we will use the out-of-the-box ServiceNow incidents to Azure DevOps issues template. You need to go to the “Configurator” menu and click on the “Add New Integration” button. There you can search for the systems you need and you will see the available templates for them. You can load the template you want by just clicking on it.
Integration templates in ZigiOps for ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
Once you load the template you wish, there are a couple of things that you might want to set from the drop-down menus.
We would like to open a ticket in Azure DevOps, triggered by an incident from ServiceNow’s system. If there are any changes in ServiceNow, we would also want them to be present in Azure’s system and vice versa.
We can define which system will be first and which second (the destination). In this case, our first system is in ServiceNow, and our destination – is Azure DevOps.
- Place ServiceNow as a source system
- Put Azure DevOps as a destination system
- Choose the entity type from ServiceNow – in this case, incident
- Select the entity type from Azure DevOps – ticket
There is also correlation logic that you can set. With it, ZigiOps will connect each specific incident from ServiceNow to its specific work item in Azure DevOps, using the system ID. This way backsync updates will be possible.
Initial configuration of the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration with ZigiOps.
Integration operations or actions
Once the general settings are done, we can go to the different operations, or actions that the integration performs. ZigiOps allows unlimited number of actions for each integration. In our case we have:
- Create Issue (in Azure DevOps)
- Update Issue (in Azure DevOps when there are changes in ServiceNow)
- Update Incident (In ServiceNow when there are changes in Azure DevOps – backsyncing)
Integration actions in ZigiOps for the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration.
Creating the Azure DevOps issue
To adjust the settings for creating the new Azure DevOps issues, we can click on “Create Issue” There first we see that we can define the trigger type. It can be either listening or polling. In our case we choose polling, and the interval is every 10 seconds.
Creating an issue in Azure DevOps from a ServiceNow incident.
Then we can set our trigger conditions and we can use different expressions if we need to. You can see a guide for creating expressions in ZigiOps here.
Setting the collection of data from Azure DevOps when integrating with ServiceNow through ZigiOps.
ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration mapping
In the upper right corner, we can also see the “Field Map” tab from where we can define how the collected data is reported to the destination system.
ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration mapping in ZigiOps.
We can do simple mapping, as well as combination of different values, and also complex conditions. You can see a detailed explanation about working with mapping in ZigiOps here.
Update Azure DevOps Issue
The next action in our ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration is updating the issue in Azure DevOps whenever there are changes in the ServiceNow incident.
When we click on the “Update Issue” action, we can again set the trigger, trigger conditions, as well as different expressions that can be used for various purposes depending on our use case.
Updating Azure DevOps issue when integrated with ServiceNow in ZigiOps.
And again, we have the option to adjust our mapping, so that it can match our use case completely.
In our example, we have added conditions for the status, as ServiceNow represents the different statuses as numbers, and if we do not have the conditions, Azure DevOps would not understand the statuses that come from ServiceNow.
Mapping of updating the Azure DevOps issue when integrated with ServiceNow in ZigiOps.
Update ServiceNow Incident
The last integration action in our current example is updating the ServiceNow incident whenever there are changes in the Azure DevOps issue. This way we do bi-directional updates and make sure everything will be kept up to date in real time.
For this action again we have the trigger, trigger conditions and expressions.
Updating ServiceNow incident when integrated with Azure DevOps in ZigiOps.
And, of course, we can adjust the mapping, as well. Again, in the ZigiOps pre-defined template there are some conditions set that make sure the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration will work properly.
Field mapping of “update incident” action in the ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration in ZigiOps.
This is the last setting, and then we can click on the “Save” button and activate our integration.
Once we have activated our integration, it is time to test it. We can go to ServiceNow and create an incident. ZigiOps picks it up and transfers all the relevant data and fields we have defined in our field mapping. Once the developers mark the issue in Azure DevOps as resolved, ZigiOps automatically closes the incident in ServiceNow.
Nowadays, enterprises struggle with obstacles such as automation of repetitive tasks, resolution of customer-related issues, and keeping pace with the competition. To successfully deal with them, they must lean on their persistence in actions and the right set of tech tools.
Software solutions like Azure and ServiceNow are often utilized and an integration between them can help enterprises not just solve their problems but scale their overall performance and become more flexible and adaptable.
A ServiceNow Azure DevOps integration can significantly improve product delivery and overall performance. What a better way to do this than utilizing the power of a no-code integration platform like ZigiOps. Apart from the easy and fast integration, ZigiOps makes sure everything is secure and protects your data in cases of downtime. As a result, both Azure DevOps and ServiceNow are kept up to date constantly.