Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Orchestrator overview and concepts
Orchestrator can provide the following benefits:
Greater opportunity to grow business
Faster response to business needs
Better use of IT staff
Improved customer service
Orchestrator, formerly known as Opalis, has continually improved, with many of the
workflow automation technologies integrated into the System Center suite. In 2009, Opalis
Software became a subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation. The ITPA in Opalis provided
commanding capability to assist in IT operations. Opalis removed the associated overhead
of manual IT responses to business problems. The acquisition of Opalis Software and the
three-year integration into the System Center suite included the rebranding of Opalis to
System Center 2012 Orchestrator. Orchestrator complements Microsoft's IT service delivery
of building, managing, monitoring, and now automating data centers and cloud services.
In this chapter, you will learn how to install and use Orchestrator in System Center 2012
SP1 to automate Office 365 management tasks. We will narrow our process to building an
automated runbook to create an Office 365 account for a new user. In Chapter 8, “Office
365 and Service Manager automation,” we will show you how to use the Self-Service Portal
in System Center 2012 Service Manager to make the Orchestrator runbook available to an
HR department.
Orchestrator overview and concepts
Orchestrator is a server service that, at its core, is designed for automation by supporting
the need for business process orchestration. Orchestrator is based on the IT Infrastructure
Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF). Both ITIL and MOF are
frameworks for efficiency and best practices of IT operations.
Introducing Orchestrator
In Orchestrator, you can automate IT processes using the Runbook Designer interface to
link activities (icons) by selecting them individually and dragging and dropping them onto
the designer interface. An activity can be thought of as an icon that has software
properties. These properties are unique to each activity and allow specific software functions such
as querying Active Directory, reading a text file, or sending email. Each activity performs a
specific task when it is activated, or runs. The activity is built in a runbook that is created in
the Runbook Designer. A runbook can consist of a single activity or multiple activities. You
can connect multiple activities together by linking them together. Figure 7-1 shows a
representation of a runbook with four activities linked together.
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