Cloud, Saas…. No room for desktop software anymore. Or is there!?

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These days if it does not run in the cloud then it is simply not good enough anymore. But truth is that we often still need some local software installed in order to communicate with our product in the cloud.

That’s why also ServiceNow created the MID Server. A Java application that runs as a Windows service or UNIX daemon on a machine withing you own network. It facilitates communication and movement of data between the ServiceNow platform and external applications, data sources, and services. It is a very nice piece of open source software that can be used for most of your integration challenges.

image005There is a alternative for the MID Server which will also runs on premise. It’s called Pentaho Data Integration (PDI). It is part of a comprehensive platform for Data Integration & Business Analytics.
It’s open source and free to use! Well at least the community edition, which simply means you only have support through the forums. In terms of functionality and adapters there is no difference with the paid version.

It has a visual designer for drag and drop development with zero coding required.

Example of complex but realistic PDI transformation.image003

    Standard input and output connectors available in Pentaho:

Input and Output
• Amazon S3
• Cassandra
• HBase
• Java Property
• JDBC databases
• Json
• Microsoft Access
• Microsoft Excel
• OpenERP
• Palo Cell
• Palo Dimension
• Salesforce
• Text file
Input Only
• CSV Text file
• email
• Zip file (GZIP)
• Mondian
• MongoDB
• XBase (DBF)
• Yaml
Bulk Load (input)
• ElasticSearch
• Greenplum
• Infobright
• Ingres VectorWise
• LucidDB
• MonetDB
• Oracle
• PostgreSQL
• Teradata

To transform data an extensive list of steps is available to choose from. For instance there is also a step available which allows the execution of JavaScript. See also: Pentaho Wiki.

So how simple would it be to load some users into ServiceNow from a Excel sheet. It would actually not be more then the transformation below.

Where the step “Create users (Javascript)” contains the following two lines of code:

var operation = "insert";
var bodytext = "{\"first_name\":\"" + Firstname + "\",\"last_name\":\"" + Lastname + "\",\"user_name\":\"" + Username + "\"}";

This is of course a very simple scenario but you will see that Pentaho DI is a very flexible and versatile tool for data transformations to and from ServiceNow.

Below a transformation also build with PDI that demonstrates how complex it can be made.
Sometimes it is just nice to know you have a choice….

I hope this was an inspiring article! If you want more information or have questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email! .img[at].img

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