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Knowledge Management - Add-in Microsoft Word to access ServiceNow Knowledge articles.

Ranganayaki Kandadai
September 15, 2021

Introduction

The ServiceNow feature; working on Knowledge articles via Microsoft (MS) Word was introduced in the Paris Version. The ServiceNow plugin named Knowledge Management - Add-in for Microsoft Word Add-in is now made available. Microsoft Add-In can be used to access Knowledge articles on MS Word after setting up a successful connection between ServiceNow and MS Office.

Problem Statement

Knowledge Management Practitioners were facing issues in the usage of multiple applications tracking inclusive of MS Word, MS Share-point and ServiceNow to edit, save and publish the blogs. Many times, the usage of multiple applications was tedious and resulted in errors and delays in publishing the KB leading to an impact on the Service Desk Activities.
The Issues faced by Knowledge Management Practitioners are as below:

  • Usage of multiple applications
  • Many versions to manage
  • Delay in publish times due to manual reviews before approval on the tool

Solution Consideration

Using the MS Office Add-in, we can Create, Edit, and Publish ServiceNow Knowledge articles from MS Word. The process flow is the usual: the article would be Under Review state seeking approval.

Prerequisites: To deploy the Manifest file in Office365 an admin role is required. ServiceNow Admin role is required to install the plugin in ServiceNow and to download the Manifest file from ServiceNow.

Note: Microsoft Office Online is the only place to access the Knowledge Management (KM) add-in for MS Word. We cannot access this add-in on the desktop MS Word application.

The process of deploying and using KM add-in for managing ServiceNow Knowledge articles from MS Word is as follows:

Step 1: Activation of ServiceNow plugin
Activate the plugin Knowledge Management - Add-in for Microsoft Word in your ServiceNow instance.

Go to Filter navigator>Search for System Applications >Click on System Applications > All Available Applications > All.>Search for Knowledge Management - Add-in for Microsoft Word plugin >Click on Install

Step 2: Download the Manifest file from the ServiceNow instance.

Look up the ServiceNow Add-Ins for Office in Filter Navigator, then click on Office Add-In Manifests. Click on Knowledge Management. Click on Download Manifest.

Step 3: Deploy the Knowledge Management - Add-in into Microsoft Word.

Log in to Office 365 in any browser and access the Microsoft 365 Admin Center. Select App Launcher > Administrator > Settings > Services & Add-¬ins > Choose Deploy Add-¬In > Click Next > Upload file > Select the downloaded Manifest.xml file and Click Next > Select all Office 365 users or select specific users to deploy to groups that you have already defined, or just to yourself. ***This is where we need admin access, or you can contact IT admin to do this activity.

Step 4: Add the Add-in to MS Word.

Click on MS Word > Blank Document > Search “Add-Ins” > Select top search > Admin Managed > Select Knowledge Management > Add.

Now you can see the add-in in MS Word.

Step 5: Configuration in ServiceNow instance.

Go to sys properties table and look for property;sn_km_Word.glide.knowman.Word.xframe
This specifies parent domains. For example, to enter the Microsoft SharePoint and Microsoft OneDrive domains we can give the values in the property mentioned below:
https://sitename.sharepoint.com,https://sitename-my.sharepoint.com,https://word-edit.officeapps.live.com
The Manifest file will be confirmed. If validation fails, check the link for more details on Manifest File validation.
https://support.servicenow.com/kb?id=kb_article_view&sysparm_article=KB0860916

Step 6: Using Knowledge Management add-in for MS Word.

***If you have SSO set up, this will automatically redirect you to ServiceNow Knowledge Management else you have to login by supplying your credentials. Enter your credentials and log in to ServiceNow in a new window after you click Login to ServiceNow.

Now that you have configured the ServiceNow Knowledge Management - Add-in for Microsoft Word successfully.

KB articles can be drafted directly in the ServiceNow native app as well as online in MS Word. To edit the article at the native ServiceNow, we can use “Unlink from Word” under Related Links of Knowledge article in ServiceNow. You can also Open the article in Word by clicking on Open in Word.

Benefits

The Knowledge Management Add-In from ServiceNow results in the following benefits:

  • No more need of multiple applications to manage and publish KB Articles
  • Fewer errors due to direct linkage with the ServiceNow tool
  • Less turnaround time as there are no manual delays
  • Results in better-equipped Service Desk Activities with the delivery of KB Articles on time

Recommended Best Practicbes

Implementation

The usage of SiteName in the URLs during configuration is very critical and may result in security reaches as the absence of SiteName links the instance to External Share-point Sites as well.

https://sitename.sharepoint.com,https://sitename-my.sharepoint.com,https://word-edit.officeapps.live.com

The absence of the Review and Approval Stages leads to many errors in published KB Articles and might have an impact on Service Desk Activities.

It is always recommended to have a Review and Approval Stage to limit the errors as the MS Word is directly linked to ServiceNow Instance.

Conclusion

MS Word Plug-In released by ServiceNow is useful and has a positive impact on the Delivery of Services in IT; Especially the Service Desk Activities that consume these KB Articles and are dependent on the KB day in and day out. The Plug-in helps Knowledge Management Practitioners to easily Manage, Review and Publish the Articles.

About the Author

Ranganayaki Srimath Kandadai, Software Engineer
Ranganayaki has 5 years of experience, and has been with Jade Global for the last 2 years as a Software Engineer with expertise on ITSM and is also well versed with ITBM & ITOM modules of ServiceNow.

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