provides a very robust and simple way to manage your tasks and approvals (among other things) through its graphical workflow engine.  It is very common to use graphical workflow to help facilitate some change management process within your organization.  One common requirement in change management is to be able to cancel or close the change request at any time during the process.  “Simple”, you say.  “Just allow the user to change the value of the ‘State’ field to ‘Closed’.”

You would not be incorrect in saying something like that, but you would be forgetting about part of the problem with closing or canceling a change request or other task ticket.  What if the attached workflow(s) still think that the change request and its associated tasks and approvals are still in progress?  Should the attached workflow context(s) continue to run indefinitely?  If your workflow doesn’t have a way to know about the completion of the change request then it will continue to run (or more likely just sit and be forgotten).

The answer to this problem is actually pretty simple. comes with several out-of-box workflow utility functions defined under ‘System Definition -> Script Includes’ that can be helpful in situations like these.  While you don’t want to modify these script includes, it is probably a good idea as a Service-now administrator to become familiar with the tools and functions there.  One of the functions in the ‘Workflow’ script include is called ‘cancel’.  It can be used to cancel any running workflow activities for a given record. This script could be called from a UI action button, another workflow, or a business rule. You just need to be able to tell the function what GlideRecord should have its workflows canceled. The example below shows how you could create a business rule to cancel all running workflows for a given record if the ‘active’ field changed to ‘false’. The cancellation in the example below happens for the ‘current’ GlideRecord object (which is the current record being updated).

Cancel All Workflow Contexts for a given Record

Cancel Workflow Business Rule
Name: Cancel workflows
When: After
Insert: True
Update: True

//Query for all executing workflows and cancel any running activities
new Workflow().cancel(current);

Cancel a Single Workflow Context (by name) for a given Record

You may also encounter situations where you don’t want to cancel all associated workflow contexts, just a single one, or all but one. Again, you can find the solution in the ‘Workflow’ script include by way of the ‘getRunningFlows’ and ‘cancelContext’ functions. The following script could be run from a business rule, UI action, or even within a ‘Run Script’ workflow activity. The example given here cancels any ‘Routine Change’ workflow contexts associated with the ‘current’ record.

//Query for all executing workflow contexts
var flows = new Workflow().getRunningFlows(current);
//Check for associated workflows by name
if(flows.workflow_version.getDisplayValue() == 'Routine Change'){
//Cancel the workflow context
new Workflow().cancelContext(flows);