GlideRecord Query Cheat Sheet

//GlideRecord Query Cheat Sheet

GlideRecord Query Cheat Sheet

Idoubt if there’s a single concept in Service-now that is more valuable to understand than how to use GlideRecord methods to query, insert, update, and delete records in your system. These methods have a wide variety of uses and are found at the heart of many of the business rules, UI actions, and scheduled job scripts that are essential to tie together your organization’s processes in your Service-now instance.

While the content of this post isn’t new information (additional examples can be found on the Service-now wiki), my aim is to provide a single page of information containing some common examples of these methods as a reference. This is an excellent page to keep bookmarked!

Note: These methods are designed for use in server-side JavaScript (everything EXCEPT client scripts and UI policies). In some rare cases, it may be necessary to perform a query from a client-side javascript (client script or UI policy). The few methods below that can be used in client-side JavaScript have been noted below.

Can also be used in Client scripts and UI policies

A standard GlideRecord query follows this format.

var gr = new GlideRecord('incident'); //Indicate the table to query from
//The 'addQuery' line allows you to restrict the query to the field/value pairs specified (optional)
//gr.addQuery('active', true);
gr.query(); //Execute the query
while ( { //While the recordset contains records, iterate through them
   //Do something with the records returned
   if(gr.category == 'software'){
      gs.log('Category is ' + gr.category);
UPDATE: This same function applies to client-side GlideRecord queries! If at all possible, you should use an asynchronous query from the client. See this post for details.

var gr = new GlideRecord('sys_user');
gr.addQuery('name', 'Joe Employee');
gr.query(myCallbackFunction); //Execute the query with callback function

//After the server returns the query recordset, continue here
function myCallbackFunction(gr){
   while ( { //While the recordset contains records, iterate through them
‘Get’ Query Shortcut (used to get a single GlideRecord)

Can also be used in Client scripts and UI policies IF YOU ARE GETTING A RECORD BY SYS_ID.

The ‘get’ method is a great way to return a single record when you know the sys_id of that record.

var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
//Do something with the record returned
if(gr.category == 'software'){
   gs.log('Category is ' + gr.category);

You can also query for a specific field/value pair. The ‘get’ method returns the first record in the result set.

//Find the first active incident record
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
if(gr.get('active', true)){
   //Do something with the record returned
   gs.log('Category is ' + gr.category);
‘getRefRecord’ Query Shortcut (used to get a single GlideRecord referenced in a reference field)
The ‘getRefRecord’ method can be used as a shortcut to query a record populated in a reference field on a record.

var caller = current.caller_id.getRefRecord(); //Returns the GlideRecord for the value populated in the 'caller_id' field = '';
‘OR’ Query
The standard ‘addQuery’ parameter acts like an ‘and’ condition in your query. This example shows how you can add ‘or’ conditions to your query.

//Find all incidents with a priority of 1 or 2
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
var grOR = gr.addQuery('priority', 1);
grOR.addOrCondition('priority', 2);
while ( {
   //Do something with the records returned
   if(gr.category == 'software'){
      gs.log('Category is ' + gr.category);

Note that you can also chain your ‘OR’ condition as well, which is usually simpler

//Find all incidents with a priority of 1 or 2
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('priority', 1).addOrCondition('priority', 2);
Inserts are performed in the same way as queries except you need to replace the ‘query()’ line with an ‘initialize()’ line as shown here.

//Create a new Incident record and populate the fields with the values below
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.short_description = 'Network problem';
gr.category = 'software';
gr.caller_id.setDisplayValue('Joe Employee');
You can perform updates on one or many records simply by querying the records, setting the appropriate values on those records, and calling ‘update()’ for each record.

//Find all active incident records and make them inactive
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
while ( { = false;
Delete records by performing a glideRecord query and then using the ‘deleteRecord’ method.

//Find all inactive incident records and delete them one-by-one
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
while ( {
   //Delete each record in the query result set
deleteMultiple Shortcut
If you are deleting multiple records then the ‘deleteMultiple’ method can be used as a shortcut

//Find all inactive incidents and delete them all at once
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('active', false);
gr.deleteMultiple(); //Deletes all records in the record set

CANNOT be used in Client scripts and UI policies! Use ‘addQuery(YOURENCODEDQUERYHERE)’ instead.

An alternative to a standard query is to use an encoded query to create your query string instead of using ‘addQuery’ and ‘addOrCondition’ statements. An easy way to identify the encoded query string to use is to create a filter or a module with the query parameters you want to use, and then hover over the link or breadcrumb and look at the URL. The part of the URL after ‘sysparm_query=’ is the encoded query for that link.
So if I had a URL that looked like this…^category=software^ORcategory=hardware

My encoded query string would be this…

I could build that encoded query string and use it in a query like this…

//Find all active incidents where the category is software or hardware
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
var strQuery = 'active=true';
strQuery = strQuery + '^category=software';
strQuery = strQuery + '^ORcategory=hardware';
GlideAggregate is actually an extension of the GlideRecord object. It allows you to perform the following aggregations on query recordsets…

//Find all active incidents and log a count of records to the system log
var gr = new GlideAggregate('incident');
gr.addQuery('active', true);
var incidents = 0;
if ({
   incidents = gr.getAggregate('COUNT');
   gs.log('Active incident count: ' + incidents);
You can order the results of your recordset by using ‘orderBy’ and/or ‘orderByDesc’ as shown below.

//Find all active incidents and order the results ascending by category then descending by created date
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('active', true);
‘addNullQuery’ and ‘addNotNullQuery’ can be used to search for empty (or not empty) values

//Find all incidents where the Short Description is empty
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
//Find all incidents where the Short Description is not empty
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
‘getRowCount’ is used to get the number of results returned

//Log the number of records returned by the query
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('category', 'software');
gs.log('Incident count: ' + gr.getRowCount());
Although ‘getRowCount’ isn’t available client-side, you can return the number of results in a client-side GlideRecord query by using ‘rows.length’ as shown here…
//Log the number of records returned by the query
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('category', 'software');
alert('Incident count: ' + gr.rows.length);
‘setLimit’ can be used to limit the number of results returned

//Find the last 10 incidents created
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
The chooseWindow(first,last) method lets you set the first and last row number that you want to retrieve and is typical for chunking-type operations. The rows for any given query result are numbered 0..(n-1), where there are n rows. The first parameter is the row number of the first result you’ll get. The second parameter is the number of the row after the last row to be returned. In the example below, the parameters (10, 20) will cause 10 rows to be returned: rows 10..19, inclusive.

//Find the last 10 incidents created
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.chooseWindow(10, 20);
‘setWorkflow’ is used to enable/disable the running of any business rules that may be triggered by a particular update.

//Change the category of all 'software' incidents to 'hardware' without triggering business rules on updated records
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('category', 'software');
   gr.category = 'hardware';
‘autoSysFields’ is used to disable the update of ‘sys’ fields (Updated, Created, etc.) for a particular update. This really is only used in special situations. The primary example is when you need to perform a mass update of records to true up some of the data but want to retain the original update timestamps, etc.

//Change the category of all 'software' incidents to 'hardware' without updating sys fields
var gr = new GlideRecord('incident');
gr.addQuery('category', 'software');
   gr.category = 'hardware';
‘setForceUpdate’ is used to update records without having to change a value on that record to get the update to execute. ‘setForceUpdate’ is particularly useful in situations where you need to force the recalculation of a calculated field for all records in a table or when you need to run business rules against all records in a table but don’t want to have to change a value on the records.
This method is often used with ‘setWorkflow’ and ‘autoSysFields’ as shown below.

//Force an update to all User records without changing field values
var gr = new GlideRecord('sys_user');
while ( {
   gr.setWorkflow(false); //Do not run business rules
   gr.autoSysFields(false); //Do not update system fields
   gr.setForceUpdate(true); //Force the update
JavaScript Operators
The following operators can be used in addition to the standard field/value query searching shown above…
=Field value must be equal to the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '=', 3);
>Field must be greater than the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '>', 3);
<Field must be less than the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '<', 3);
>=Field must be equal to or greater than the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '>=', 3);
<=Field must be equal to or less than the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '<=', 3);
!=Field must not equal the value supplied.addQuery('priority', '!=', 3);
STARTSWITHField must start with the value supplied. The example shown on the right will get all records where the short_description field starts with the text 'Error'.addQuery('short_description', 'STARTSWITH', 'Error');
ENDSWITHField must end with the value supplied. The example shown on the right will get all records where the short_description field ends with text 'Error'.addQuery('short_description', 'ENDSWITH', 'Error');
CONTAINSField must contain the value supplied anywhere in the field. The example shown on the right will get all records where the short_description field contains the text 'Error' anywhere in the field.addQuery('short_description', 'CONTAINS', 'Error');
DOES NOT CONTAINField must not contain the value supplied anywhere in the field. The example shown on the right will get all records where the short_description field does not contain the text 'Error' anywhere in the field.addQuery('short_description', 'DOES NOT CONTAIN', 'Error');
INField must contain the value supplied anywhere in the string provided.addQuery('sys_id', 'IN', '0331ddb40a0a3c0e40c83e9f7520f860,032ebb5a0a0a3c0e2e2204a495526dce');
INSTANCEOFRetrieves only records of a specified class for tables which are extended. For example, to search for configuration items (cmdb_ci table) you many want to retrieve all configuration items that are have are classified as computers. The code uses the INSTANCEOF operator to query for those records.addQuery('sys_class_name', 'INSTANCEOF', 'cmdb_ci_computer');
By | 2018-07-09T15:00:12-06:00 February 23rd, 2010|Categories: Scripting|Tags: , , , |46 Comments

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  1. Todd February 23, 2010 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Excellent Cheat Sheet! More more…..

  2. Cesar February 23, 2010 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mark! this is helpful.

  3. Ivan Martez April 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Great Cheat Sheet and an excellent website!!

  4. Chris September 9, 2010 at 12:22 am - Reply

    Is there a way to query for a date ? Such as current.addQuery(‘opened_at’, ‘<=', new Date()-7); Although this does not work is there a way to do something like this to query for a given date range ?

    • Mark Stanger September 9, 2010 at 12:24 am - Reply

      There is. I usually use the ‘addEncocdedQuery’ method when dealing with date queries. You can build the query you want in a module or filter definition to see what the encoded query should look like.

  5. Benny November 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    Thanks Mark!

    I’ve scoured the SN wiki and this is a better summary of their glide record pages. I’m a newbie to SN and I must admit I’ve found the learning curve a bit steep for customising SN, having come from other SaaS systems as Salesforce & Rightnow.

    These systems let you use GUI’s to do most things and for more advanced customisation there is a scripting option. SN seems to be all scripting from the get go with limited use of GUIs for configuration. It would be nice if their wiki included a clearer explanation on how Client Scripts, UI Policies, UI Actions, Business Rules & Access Control all fits together…

    • Mark Stanger November 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment. I think as you become more familiar with Service-now you’ll see that the majority of configurations are GUI-based or require some pretty light scripting. I’m not that familiar with Salesforce & Rightnow so I couldn’t say how Service-now compares. Hopefully some of the content here helps you to get going a little bit faster. I know that the SNC documentation team is really focusing right now on scripting documentation so what you see on the wiki should be getting better by the day.

      You might check out these forum links for some more information about SNC scripting basics. It gives some information from presentations I’ve given in the past about how some of this stuff connects.

  6. Gabe February 11, 2011 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Here’s one for MultipleDelete, should be a good addition to this post.

    //Find all non-active incident records and delete them
    var md = new'incident');
    md.addQuery('active', false);
    md.setAllowCascadeDelete(); // optional: Allow cascading to records in other tables related to records being deleted
  7. bdr529 March 31, 2011 at 8:56 am - Reply

    *Fantastic* posting, Mark! Great to have all of these listed together – thanks!

  8. priscilla.yuen August 5, 2011 at 1:02 am - Reply

    In reference to the Or query – is there any documentation about what a QueryCondition object is, and what its other functions are?

    • Mark Stanger August 5, 2011 at 6:35 am - Reply

      @priscilla, there isn’t any other documentation about QueryCondition, but there’s really not much more to it either. The only real purpose of it is to enable you to add an ‘Or’ condition to a GlideRecord query. There are a couple more examples that I could probably share though. I’ll see if I can get something out next week.

  9. Jim Coyne September 10, 2011 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    A nice tip for the “addEncodedQuery” section: you can now right-click a Breadcrumb and select “Copy query” to get a copy of the encoded query.

  10. Mike October 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Is there a way to get the display value from a SYS ID returned in a query?

    example: I would like the below code to result in the display name for the requested_by and not the sys_id used to reference the user table.

    var Req;
    var gr = new GlideRecord("change_request");
    gr.addQuery('number', current.sysapproval);
    while( {
         Req = gr.requested_by;
    • Mark Stanger October 10, 2011 at 4:52 pm - Reply

      Since you’re dealing with a reference field you should be able to do something like this inside your while loop…

      Req = gr.requested_by.getDisplayValue();

      You can also just dot-walk to the field that contains the display value

      Req =;
      • Mike October 11, 2011 at 9:39 am - Reply

        Thanks for the suggestions,
        I’ve tried both and have listed the results of each below.

        Req =;

        Returned the value “undefined”

        Req = gr.requested_by.getDisplayValue();

        Resulted in a script error “Object doesn’t support this property or method”

        • Mark Stanger October 12, 2011 at 9:18 am - Reply

          You’ve got another problem in your code…

          gr.addQuery('number', current.sysapproval);

          should be...

          gr.addQuery('sys_id', current.sysapproval);
          • Mike October 12, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

            Ah, you are correct. I have corrected the query. Still, very odd when I use the following:

            Req = gr.requested_by;

            I get the sys_id that is in that reference field

            When using

            Req =;

            I still get “undefined”.

            I will keep working at it. Thanks for your time and help.

  11. Andreas June 28, 2012 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Another nice addition to this list would be applyEncodedQuery

  12. Michele August 3, 2012 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I find the encodedquery to be extremely helpful especially when my query includes things like created this week or created before a specific date. Then I know for sure I have the right query string.

    Question: If I run a GlideRecord query and then want to add another condition to the query and rerun it, is that possible?
    Not that I would do the following but just as an example. The real code I’m doing has quite a few query conditions and I’m rebuilding the same query multiple times just to add one more condition and it just seems inefficient.

    var newArray = new Array();
    var newArray2 = new Array();
    var gr = new GlideRecord(‘incident’);
    gr.addQuery(‘active’, true);

    if (gr.severity = ‘1’){

    //I want to add to the above query that incident state = 6…

    gr.addQuery(‘incident_state’, ‘6’);

    while ({

  13. Amado Sierra September 21, 2012 at 7:31 am - Reply

    One thing to note about updating a reference field to null is that it has to be done as described here:

    Example 1

    var gr1 = new GlideRecord(‘incident’);
    while( {
    gr1.priority = “NULL”;


  14. Kari Sweeney November 28, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Thanks so much for posting this info -it is really helpful!. We are struggling with using AddQuery and AddORCondition to create an advanced query. Here is an example of what we wre trying to accomplish..

    (Where Priority is 1
    AND IncidentState =6)


    (Where Priority = 2
    AND Category = Software)

    Is there a way to accomplish this?


    • Mark Stanger November 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm - Reply

      I struggle with ‘AddOrCondition’ sometimes too. I’ve found it helpful to use ‘AddEncodedQuery’ to manage those types of complex queries more easily. By using that method, you can simply build the query filter in a standard list so that you can see exactly what you want, then right-click the breadcrumb and select ‘Copy query’. Then you can just add that as an encoded query and not have to worry about the correct ‘AddOrCondition’ setup.

    • Mika May 8, 2014 at 11:56 am - Reply

      I’m also interested in doing nested AND conditions. Did you ever determine a way to do it. I’d prefer using an encoded query if possible. The only other way I can think of doing it is to create two separate queries and then combine the results (not very pretty but easy enough I suppose).

  15. Martin Robinson October 7, 2013 at 6:45 am - Reply

    Nice one Mark, thanks for sharing. Much appreciated.

  16. Joe October 24, 2014 at 6:44 am - Reply

    I’m having trouble with setWorkflow. I’ve used it successfully before, but now it seems to be cancelling the update that it precedes. in a script action (parm2 = sys_id of an inc and parm1 = display value of an assignment group), I have:

    var outage = new GlideRecord(‘incident’);

    outage.work_notes = “Outage originally assigned to ” + event.parm1;

    If I comment out “outage.setWorkflow(false),” I will see the update to the work notes. However, if i leave the line as is, i wont see the update. I definitely do not want to trigger other business rules after this update, so im not sure what’s happening here. Anyone have any thoughts?

  17. Jef De Coster March 20, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Hi Joe,

    Don’t know if it’s still relevant, but I had the same issue.
    Apparantly this is normal behaviour when using setWorkflow(false), the work_notes won’t be updated.

    I’ve found a nice script include and a way to set the work notes alltogether even if setWorkflow(false) is applied.

    I found it on the SNBlog, the author is Stefan Bohncke.

    You can find it using this url:

    Hopefully this is helping you out?
    It worked for me 😉


  18. JMO July 15, 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I use this page quite a bit and just recently found out ServiceNow also offers a “NOT IN” operator, which has saved me several times.

  19. Rajan Murkute November 3, 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    This cheat sheet covers the most frequently used GlideRecord operations. All explanations and examples are easy to follow. It saved me huge amount of time which I may have spent looking through the Service-Now Wiki pages.

  20. CodeHacker March 22, 2016 at 6:51 am - Reply

    Thanks.. Very helpfull

  21. Doug August 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    One thing i would like to see added Mark

    would be how to gs.print/alert the current query.

    • Mark Stanger August 24, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

      Hey Doug, I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking for here. Can you describe the scenario or area of the tool where this would be used?

    • Steve McDonald June 1, 2018 at 6:44 am - Reply

      I know this was asked a long time ago but here is how you print the current query:

      numberSTARTSWITHINC^stateIN1,2^sys_updated_on<=2018-06-08 06:59:59

      My query is:

      var gr = new GlideRecord('task');
      gr.addQuery('number', 'STARTSWITH', 'INC');
      gr.addQuery('state', 'IN', '1,2');
      gr.addQuery('sys_updated_on', '<=', endDate);

  22. Peter Foreman August 31, 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    HI Mark,
    I want to build a a Before Display Query and wanted:
    the conditions to be (A and B) or (C and D) or (E and F) and found
    var qc = current.addQuery(B)
    with lots of variations on the mix of .addQuery() .addOrCondition() would not retrieve the correct data.
    So I created an addEncodedQuery() and it produced the correct data on the display list but any further filtering on the list is ignored. Is there a solution to these nested conditions, I am currently on Fuji and look to upgrade if required?

    • Mark Stanger September 1, 2016 at 7:45 am - Reply

      Hey Peter, this question is probably better suited for ServiceNow support or the ServiceNow community. I would generally use ‘addEncodedQuery’ for these types of complex queries and I’ve had good success with that in the past. I’m not sure why exactly it’s not working as expected in your case.

  23. Teju April 10, 2017 at 12:58 am - Reply

    Lovely Cheat Sheet. Thanks Mark.

  24. Nicole McCray April 21, 2017 at 6:38 am - Reply

    I need a script that will designate a Manager (‘u_l4_manager_id’) as the approver in my workflow, based on the person the request is for (request.requested_for).

    I’ve tried:

    var approver = new GlideRecord(‘sys_user’);

    approver.addQuery(‘sys_id’, current.requested_for);


    if ({

    answer = approver.u_l4_manager_id;


    But this is not working. How can I reference the manager id to return the Manager name as the Approver?

  25. SS June 20, 2017 at 7:56 am - Reply

    ‘get’ was exactly what I needed. Thanx!

  26. Simon June 29, 2017 at 2:21 am - Reply

    There are some queries that doesnt seem to be in this post which is very nice to have.
    With Service portal – async GR is very wanted

    var gr = new GlideRecord('table');
    gr.addQuery('active', true);
    //Parse GR to an async call
    //do something


    Theres also this

    var gr = new GlideRecord('table');
    gr.query('sys_id', , function(gr){
    //Do something async here

  27. Victor Olufowobi July 19, 2017 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    Thanks very much for your suggestions – I am very much intrigued with the capabilities of these constructions. Could you please demonstrate how they could be used?


    Victor Olufowobi

    • Simon January 17, 2018 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Victor

      This kinda GlideRecords should only be used Client side as the new Service portal doesnt allow sync calls.
      On the other hand side – best practice is using GlideAjax for Client -> Server -> Client calls.

  28. SHILPA JAIN August 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark,

    I tried your code to insert an incident record, it is inserting some 100 record when creating one record. something happening when it’s calling insert.

    • Mila Morales August 30, 2017 at 9:57 am - Reply

      Hi Shilpa,
      Could you show us the script you used so we could take a look at it.

  29. Daniel Oderbolz October 4, 2017 at 3:01 am - Reply


    Thanks for this great resource}
    One thing I think this lacks is the


    Method or in general, discussion of how to update reference fields (or insert new references).
    Could this be added?

  30. Jithin October 31, 2017 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Very Helpful Thanks Mark..

  31. Simon January 17, 2018 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    Hi Mark

    Together with setWorkflow(), autoSysFields() and setForceUpdate() theres actually 1 more “hidden” method.
    gr.setUseEngines(false); //Do not evaluate data policies

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