Integration for ServiceNow table API and grafana. – fun in IT

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Some time ago I wrote a blog post about my approach to ServiceNow and grafana integration, you can find it under this link[1]. The key concept used there is presented on the diagram below. Grafana snow integration scheme. Besides the technical aspects of integration, operational results were very good and reduced time incidents were spending in my “queue” – simply giving an overview of what is assigned to whom and what’s the status of tickets. However, due to the lack of flexibility in 1st version of snow-grafana-proxy implementation it was difficult to reuse it in other places. Attributes returned to grafana, lookup methods and the table were hard-coded. I decided to rewrite the service and here we are.

You can find new release available on projects github page[2]. I can say it’s in beta phase – there are no known issues. However, if you’ll encounter any difficulty just let me know opening an issue on project github page. (I’ve been testing it on Kingston developer instance.)

New configuration file

Configuration file format changed from ini to YAML. This change allowed much more structured configuration. In current state it’s possible to configure multiple queries, against any service-now table with arbitrary filters. Each value has a configurable “interpreter”, at the time of post publication available are:

  • none – Simply return value of the attribute specified as “name” argument.
  • map – Use “map” dictionary defined for attribute and send corresponding values assuming that value from service-now is a key for “map” dictionary.
  • object_attr_by_link – Assumes that for this attribute service-now API returns value/link pair. In this case additional HTTP request may be needed to get information available under the link. This interpreter requires additional parameters specified in interpreterParameters dictionary, for instance: interpreterParams: { linkAttribute: “name”, default: “FailedToGetName”} will send to grafana value of the name attribute available under the link from previous get request. In case of failure interpreter will return the value “FailedToGetName”. Default value is important since sometimes the value is really undefined – like description of assignment group for unassigned incident. Those values are cached until snow-grafana-proxy restart which greatly reduce number of REST calls to service-now.

An example configuration file is available in the repository, let me quote it here:

As you see there are a few additional parameters I forgot to explain:

  • cacheTime – which will cache query replies for specified number of seconds, so if we get the information once and someone does the same query after a few seconds (another user having grafana dashboard opened or even the same one, but with very short auto refresh time) proxy will reply immediately with the same information.
  • snowFilter – the value passed to ServiceNow API as a request parameters. You can check available parameters in snow documentation[3].
  • table – quite self-explanatory, name of table you’d like to get information from, like incident, sc_task, change.

Resuls of the example configuration file, may look like on images below.

A result of get_my_sc_tasks query from the example configuration file of snow-grafana-proxy v2-rc1

A result of get_my_sc_tasks query from the example configuration file of snow-grafana-proxy v2-rc1

Queries provided by default configuration of snow-grafana proxy v2-rc1

Queries provided by default configuration of snow-grafana proxy v2-rc1

New command line options

Additionally to changed configuration file, this version supports two command line options. Explained in commands help:

usage: snow-grafana-proxy.py [-h] [-c CONFIGFILE] [-d]

Simple JSON data source for grafana retreving data from service-now

optional arguments:
-h, –help show this help message and exit
-c CONFIGFILE, –configFile CONFIGFILE
Configuration file to use
-d, –debug Start in foreground and print all logs to stdout

Yes! By default snow-grafana-proxy will daemonizeitself, if you’d like to run in foreground for debug purpose just use -d option as explained above.

Feedback appreciated!

[1] https://funinit.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/simple-integration-of-servicenow-and-grafana/
[2] https://github.com/cinek810/snow-grafana-proxy/
[3] https://docs.servicenow.com/bundle/geneva-servicenow-platform/page/integrate/inbound_rest/reference/r_TableAPI-GET.html

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