These tools provide a way to launch Orchestrator runbooks remotely from a UI or a command-line, and complement other out of the box capabilities like Web Service calls.
You can use them to launch workflows from a command line (just providing the path to the runbook and the expected parameters) or you can use them to generate a custom UI and provides optional parameter validation when the runbook is being run from the UI or command line (for example, you might want to make sure that someone sends “Yes” or “No” for a specific parameter, or provides a parameter that starts with “VM*” when asking the name of a machine to provision).
The Orchestrator Remote Tools provide 3 components:
- The UI Generator lets an Orchestrator administrator browse graphically through all runbooks with an “Initialize Data” start activity, pick one of them, configure parameters and generate a XML template
- The Remote Runbook Launcher is a generic executable that will use that XML template as long as it sits in the same directory. This executable adapts its UI to the XML file and makes sure that parameter validation is correct.
- The Remote Runbook Launcher CLI does the same job, but from a command line. Note : This CLI tool also include the “turbo” mode which allows direct remote execution of runbooks, bypassing generation of a XML file and without parameter validation
A scenario to use these could be as a System Center Operations Manager delegated task for example.
The remote launch itself is done using a web service call to the new Orchestrator Web Service. This will run under the user’s credentials, and a “Run As” launch would also be possible to leverage other credentials.
Main new features in v2.5x are 1/ the ability to run a runbook without generating the XML file, i.e. using a command line only and passing the path and parameters (no validation) and 2/ the flexibility to pass the XML template name which allows for multiple templates in the same folder.
For more information and screenshots, you can look at this blog entry : http://blogs.technet.com/b/yasc/archive/2011/11/17/orchestrator-remote-tools-2-0-fka-the-opalis-ui-generator.aspx
Note : This is a follow up to the Opalis UI Generator that can still be found here : http://opalis.codeplex.com/releases/view/57082
Changes in v2.51:
-Corrected an issue when working with a “initialize data” runbook without any parameters at all
- Added help in the CLI tool
Changes in v2.5:
-New! Added an ORTXML parameter to specify an alternate XML template. This allows to save several XML templates for different policies in the same folder, and run them. You can still run the tool without specifying the ORTXML parameter, and it will look for the default policy_template.xml file, which is the name generated by the UI Generator.
- New! “Turbo” in the CLI launcher : It is now possible to directly pass the path to the runbook to execute, and configuration information (web service server and port, database server and name). Note : Turbo mode requires remote access to the database, which is not the case when running in standard mode where all the information has already been stored in the database.
- Corrected an issue with numeric value ranges in the Runbook Launcher