Facebook style notifications

With the Kingston release ServiceNow have brought in a feature called “announcements” within the service portal. On the docs site they say that you can “Use announcements to broadcast messages to Service Portal users. Announcements can display in an announcement banner or an announcement widget instance.”



This is a welcome addition to the ever expanding collection of widgets that we have available to us on the platform but it reminded me of a proof of concept I did a while ago around Facebook-esque notifications. Check out the video below demonstrating the features:

Note – Open the video in full screen for best results (animations are a lot smoother in real life).


Quick Summary:

  • Uses a custom table to hold notifications.
  • Notifications are populated in the table by business rules (i.e. incident commented or field changes).
  • Uses record watchers to check when new notifications are created for a user.
  • Notifications have a “read” flag to denote if the notification has been interacted with by the user.
  • Notification icons and text can be customised per notification.
  • Notifications can link to ServiceNow content or external content.
  • Notifications can open in the same window or a new window when clicked.
  • The duration of how long the notification appears can be changed.
  • Notifications can be viewed in the header (with a counter) if the popup is missed or the user is not logged in when the notification is triggered.
  • All notifications can be viewed in a separate page and custom widget for a more detailed view.

As mentioned above, this was just a proof of concept and something that hasn’t been extensively tested or developed. Although it is in the same vein as the announcements functionality that ServiceNow have given us, I feel it would give users a much more personal and relatable experience (think Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc). Given that the notifications are created through business rules the use cases/scenarios for when notifications are triggered could be endless.

If I find the time I may try to polish this into a finished offering.

2 Comments Facebook style notifications

  1. Sam Ogden

    HI Mark,
    Just wondering if you have some example tutorial or guide on how this was built as it looks like it would be very useful!!

    1. Mark Balloch

      Hi Sam – Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately I don’t have a tutorial or guide for this proof of concept (beyond the short hand summary in the post) and I didn’t find the time to make it into a finished product. I’m still hoping something similar will be baked into the core product (both normal UI and Service Portal) but haven’t seen anything eluding to that.



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