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Dictionary Overrides in ServiceNow

With Justin Faust

In this article, we are going to discuss dictionary overrides. Dictionary overrides provide the ability to define a field on an extended table differently from the field on the parent table.

Creating a Mandatory Description Field

Let's say we wanted to make the description field mandatory on incident. What we could do, and it would be the incorrect way, is to right click, select configure dictionary, and select mandatory. This is incorrect, and here’s why. This is the task table, and if you update this, it will make description mandatory on the incident record. The problem is that if you go to task and create a new task record, description is also mandatory. That is because, for the field of description, we made it mandatory on the task table, so the task table and all its children will now have the mandatory description field. We don't want that, so we're going to uncheck the mandatory field, and we're going to use a dictionary override.

Using a Dictionary Override

At this point, we go to the dictionary overrides related list, select new, and choose the correct table we wanted on, which in this case, is in the incident table. We will select override the mandatory, then select mandatory, and click submit. Now when we go and create a new incident, we can see description is mandatory on the incident. If you go to a new task record, it is not mandatory on task any further.

Let's look at another example of a dictionary override. For this example, we took off our mandatory on incident. We will go to the description field, right-click, and select configure dictionary. We then go to the dictionary overrides related list at the bottom, select new, and check the override default value option. In the default value field, we are going to write, we have a description override. Remember, it's important to make sure it's on the correct table you want it for. Now it's on the incident table. We'll click submit, select a new incident record, and here we have our we have description override.

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