As part of ServiceNow’s Quebec release users are introduced to the Service Catalog Builder, which ServiceNow is describing as a way for administrators to “delegate the creation and maintenance of the catalog.

How Does it Work?

  • Your administrator creates templates for business users.
  • The business or service owner (BPO) is responsible for gathering the requirements.
  • Once BPO has collected necessary requirements, the templates can then be used by business owners to create catalog items.
  • Any advanced advanced capabilities or needed features will need to be added by administrators or developers.
    • See process diagram in slide show below)


The catalog builder is meant to be used to complete simple use cases that would utilize the most common question variables. The catalog builder does not allow for the following:

  • Table selections outside of the specific scope you are working within
  • Creation and editing of catalog item meta tags or pricing; variable settings such as advanced and dynamic reference qualifiers, or default values. See complete list here.

Building A Template


  1. Navigate to Service Catalog > Catalog Builder.
  2. Select the Dashboard tab and click Create a catalog item template.
  3. Select one of the following options.
    • Standard for a catalog item.
    • Record Producer for a record producer
  4. In the wizard, specify the information for each step.
  5. Read full details HERE.
  6. Quick view of the Catalog Builder is in slide show below for your review.
  7. Roles required to use: catalog_builder_editor, catalog_admin, or admin

Testing Issues and Observations

  • Users where not able to edit variable sets, but could create their own.
  • Users where not able to edit the order of variable sets.
  • You cannot delete a catalog item template in catalog builder, but it can be deleted in Now Platform. After a template is deleted, it is disassociated from all catalog items using the template and the restrictions no longer apply to those items.
  • Users can only view templates assigned to them.
  • You cannot edit questions that are not specified in the template and questions within a single-row or multi-row variable set.
  • Removing a new question that has never been published deletes the question
  • Questions of types not allowed in the template or supported in the catalog builder cannot be removed.
  • When a published item is checked out for editing, you cannot edit the published version of the item in Now Platform, unless you cancel the checkout in Now Platform. Canceling the checkout cancels all changes made after the item was checked out.

Final Thought

The question is would you use it? Yes. The time savings from creating templates that services even 2% of the essential work administrators are tasked with for the service catalog will pay for itself.

Does it check all the boxes? No, but as more organizations shift to a total experience model, I think ServiceNow is moving in the right direction, and it will undoubtedly be interesting to watch the evolution.

I’m interested in hearing what you think, so drop me a comment or email and let me know your thoughts.

Still Have Questions?