What Is the Difference Between Client Side Scripting and Server Side Scripting in ServiceNow?


Angela Bailey

Client-side scripting and server-side scripting are two essential concepts in web development. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two scripting techniques in the context of ServiceNow.

Client-Side Scripting:
Client-side scripting refers to the execution of scripts on the user’s web browser. It allows for dynamic interactions with the user interface without requiring any server communication. Common client-side scripting languages include JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Advantages of Client-Side Scripting:

  • Interactivity: With client-side scripting, you can create interactive web pages that respond to user actions in real-time.
  • Reduced Server Load: Since all processing is done on the client’s browser, it reduces the load on the server, resulting in improved performance.
  • Immediate Feedback: Client-side scripts can validate user input instantly and provide immediate feedback without making a round trip to the server.

Disadvantages of Client-Side Scripting:

  • Security Risks: Client-side scripts are visible to users and can be manipulated or exploited by malicious individuals.
  • Inconsistent Execution: Different browsers may interpret scripts differently, leading to inconsistent behavior across various platforms.
  • Limited Access to Server Resources: Since client-side scripts run locally, they have limited access to server resources such as databases or file systems.

Server-Side Scripting:
Server-side scripting involves executing scripts on the web server before sending the HTML output to the client’s browser. Common server-side languages used in ServiceNow include JavaScript (server-side), GlideScript, and Jelly.

Advantages of Server-Side Scripting:

  • Data Manipulation: Server-side scripts have full access to server resources, allowing for efficient data manipulation and retrieval from databases.
  • Enhanced Security: Unlike client-side scripts, server-side scripts are not visible to users, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or manipulation.
  • Consistent Execution: Since server-side scripts run on the server, the output remains consistent across different browsers and platforms.

Disadvantages of Server-Side Scripting:

  • Increased Server Load: Executing scripts on the server can increase the load on the server, especially in scenarios with high user traffic.
  • Limited Interactivity: Server-side scripting is unable to provide real-time interactivity without making additional requests to the server.
  • Delayed Feedback: Any validation or processing done by server-side scripts requires a round trip to the server, resulting in delayed feedback for users.

Differences Between Client-Side and Server-Side Scripting in ServiceNow:

Aspect Client-Side Scripting Server-Side Scripting
Data Access Limited access to server resources Full access to server resources
Execution Location User’s browser Web server
Interactivity Real-time interactivity Requires additional server requests for interactivity
Security Visible to users, potential security risks Invisible to users, enhanced security


In summary, client-side scripting focuses on enhancing user interactivity and reducing server load by executing scripts on the user’s browser. On the other hand, server-side scripting provides full access to server resources and ensures consistent execution across different platforms. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right approach depends on the specific requirements of your ServiceNow application.

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