A patch includes a collection of fixes for known problems. Any previously issued hotfixes for the release are also included. Applying the latest patch to your instances provides these benefits:
- Maintains security
- Increases availability
- Improves performance
- Avoids incidents for issues that have already been fixed
The following sections guide you through applying a patch.
If you do have any issues during or after a patch, please submit an incident to ServiceNow Customer Support.
Comparing patches and upgrades
ServiceNow organizes its releases into families. A family is a set of releases that are named after a major city, such as Eureka or Fuji. Within a family, releases are further differentiated by patch and hotfix number. For example, the following releases are both part of the Fuji family:
- Fuji Patch 1
- Fuji Patch 2 Hot Fix 1
Upgrading is the act of moving to a release that is in a different family than your current release. For example, if you move from Eureka Patch 8 to Fuji Patch 2, this is an upgrade because Eureka and Fuji are different families.
Patching is the act of moving to a release that is in the same family as your current release. For example, if you move from Fuji Patch 1 to Fuji Patch 2, this is a patch because both versions are part of the Fuji family.
Note that in both cases, the target release is Fuji Patch 2. It is the difference between the old and new releases that determines whether you are upgrading or patching.
Patch release notes
ServiceNow provides release notes for every patch. Read the release notes to view the fixes that are included.
Create plan to validate critical functionality
Create a smoke test, or plan to validate critical functionality.
First, identify which services are critical. When evaluating whether or not a service is critical, ask if a top priority incident would occur if the service stopped functioning. If the answer is yes, include that functionality in the validation plan. If the answer is no, consider excluding the functionality.
Then create a set of detailed validation scripts that can be used consistently and methodically to validate the functionality that was identified as critical.
For example, Company A has implemented ITSM (Incident, Problem, Change) and Service Catalog. The company also plans to implement SDLC in the coming months. The following table lists some of the functionality that would be included and excluded from Company A's validation plan.
|Included in validation plan||
|Excluded from validation plan||
Patch and validate sub-production instances
Before patching production instances, patch and validate sub-production instances. Proper preparation and validation on sub-production instances can help ensure a safe and accurate patch on production instances.
Patch and validate production instance
After validating sub-production instances and resolving any issues, patch and validate your production instances.
As with any change to your production environment, communicate to your users that a patch will be applied.
Request a patch for production instance
To change the scheduled time or contact ServiceNow about patches scheduled automatically through the QPP, see Managing your quarterly patches and communicating with ServiceNow.
Ensure that the patch is scheduled for a negotiated and suitable time for all users of the ServiceNow system. For example, consider scheduling the patch for after business hours to minimize user impact.
Instances are fully available while the patch is being applied.
After the patch is complete, the change request is closed. A notification is also emailed to the reporter and watchers of the change request.
Validate patch on production instance
After the patch is complete, run validation scripts for production functionality. If you find any issues during the validation process, please submit an incident to ServiceNow Customer Support.
Optionally, after the patch is installed, conduct a lessons learned meeting to review the patching process. Document possible improvements and ensure that they are incorporated into the next patch cycle.