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Review skipped changes

One of the strengths of ServiceNow is that it is so configurable. As such, we do not overwrite your changes when we do an upgrade. That means you need to review what the upgrade skipped and make clear decisions on whether to revert, merge, or continue with those changes. Fortunately, we’ve made filtering the signal from the noise a pretty easy process.

Key insights

  • ServiceNow upgrades will not overwrite changes you have made.
  • You don’t have to remediate all skipped changes.
  • You should at least acknowledge all skipped changes.


Configuration Item

A CI is one of the most important components of your CMDB. It’s simply an application, infrastructure, or service component you’re managing. It can be a physical server, an app running on a virtual server, or a business service.

One of the features of the ServiceNow upgrade process is that we will not overwrite configuration or customization changes you’ve made to the system. Changes you make fall mainly into two categories:

  • New records you have created such as ACLs, business rules, fields, and so on
  • Changes to the out‑of‑the‑box records ServiceNow provides

ServiceNow recognizes that new records you create will not conflict with anything we have created in the past or in the future, so there is no risk in upgrading them.

When you modify out‑of‑the‑box records, the process isn’t so straightforward. This may happen in these two cases:

Case 1: You explicitly modify the record 

In this case, the upgrade process recognizes you intentionally made changes to a record and takes the position, "You modified it, you own it." If the upgrade were to overwrite those changes you made, it could adversely impact your process, so an entry is made in the upgrade log that the record was skipped. (See the Review skipped records section below.) 

Case 2: You implicitly modify the record

This is very similar to the first case, but the changes were not made overtly. You may have simply made a change to a field label or form layout. The upgrade process is still going to flag these changes as "yours" and will not overwrite them. However, they have a lower priority associated with them, which is helpful when you review your skipped records. 

Review skipped records

As part of your process, review the records that were skipped during the upgrade process and decide whether to keep the changes you made or to accept the records the upgrade process attempted. Fortunately, there is a way to filter all the changes to focus on what’s important using the Skipped Changes to Review related list on the Upgrade History record.

Review skipped changes (details)

These steps show the process of reviewing the skipped records. All images displayed are from the Kingston release.

1.        Navigate to System Diagnostics > Upgrade History.

Figure 3: Upgrade History menu

2.        Locate and open the record related to your recent upgrade from the list. It should look similar to Figure 3.

Figure 4: System Upgrades page

3.        Scroll to the tabs showing the related lists at the bottom of the form.

4.        Locate the list titled Skipped Changes to Review.

5.        Right‑click a record with Priority 5, and select Filter Out.

Figure 5: Filtering skipped changes

By filtering out certain records, you eliminate the need to review many low‑risk changes like field labels or form layouts. Your list of skipped upgrades is now much smaller and more manageable.

Continue to process the skipped records by opening each one and making the decision to revert, resolve, merge, etc.

Time estimate to complete: This varies from customer to customer depending on how many changes were made to the system. It could take minutes or possibly days.

Tools and resources

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