Automated Change Requests using Microsoft Opalis

If you want to automate certain processes, then Microsoft Opalis is the way to go. With this Orchestration and Workflow engine it possible to automate cross-silo processes without writing a single line of code. of course, if you have special requirements, it is still needed to code, but out of the box you get as many as 40 integration packs to different products and technologies (not only microsoft!) that makes the building process of your workflows as easy as possible. In this example I will show how easy it is to automate a Server Reboot process by first creating a Change Request in Service Manager with automatic completion.

First, I’m going to create a special Change Request Template in Service Manager for doing Server Reboots. This is not really needed and you can use one of the default Templates, but I like to create my own Templates for special uses.

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Select the correct Class (Change Request) and choose the Management Pack to store it.

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After the Template is created, the designer opens automatically. I will only add one single Manual Activity to the Change Request Template called “Reboot Server”.

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After the creation of the Change Request Template it’s now time to create the Opalis Workflow. Make sure you have Opalis V6.3+ installed together with the Service Manager Integration Pack. My Workflow looks like this.

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OBJECT: CUSTOM START

This Object just catches the Name of the System that you are going to reboot. That means that I have to add a Single String Parameter. I call it “ServerName”.

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OBJECT: CREATE CHANGE WITH TEMPLATE

This is where a Change Request is automatically generated in Service Manager. For this I have to add some information to the object

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  • Connection: Choose the configured Connection to the Service Manager Environment
  • Class: Select the Change Request Class
  • Template: Select the Server Reboot-Change Request Template

I then add some Fields to submit more information to the Change Request. I add:

  • Area: The Area of the Change
  • Title: The Title of the Change
  • Description: The Description of the Change

In the “Title” and “Description” Fields i also added the Server name of the System that will be rebooted. This can be done by using published data, means that you can insert any information of previous objects. In this case, I use the value that was entered on the Custom Start-Object in the “ServerName”-Field when the workflow was started.

Important: Make sure that you have connected your objects first because otherwise you will not be able to access published data of other objects.

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OBJECT: RESTART SYSTEM

This Object restarts a System. Again i will use published data to submit the Server name from the Custom Start-Object. I also add a short Message.

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OBJECT: GET ACTIVITY

A Change consists of one or multiple Activities. When all Activities of a Change Request are completed, the Change Request will also change its status to completed. Because our Change Request Template has a single Activity called “Reboot Server”, we have to get information about this Activity from the Change Request we created earlier in the workflow. Otherwise we will not be able to manipulate this Activity. All we need is to Select the ObjectGUID from where the Activity comes from. This can be dome by using published data to get the Source ObjectGUID of the Change Request that the Activity belongs to.

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OBJECT: UPDATE ACTIVITY

To end the process, I’m going to update the “Reboot Server” Activity. I first access the Activity Object by using published data from the “Get Activity”-Object and then change the Fields “Status” and “Notes”. To make sure that the Activity Update does not happen too early, i add a 60 seconds delay to the connector (see workflow Overview at the beginning).

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Now we are ready to test the new workflow in the testing console. when the workflow is started you will be asked to enter a Value for the custom Start Parameter “ServerName”.

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After some seconds the Server will automatically be rebooted. This is visible when you are logged on.

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Now check the created Change Request in Service Manager. Maybe it’s already completed, if not, it will take some more time – be patient.

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In the details of the Change Request you can see that the “Reboot Server”-Activity is also completed.

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If you open the Activity you will also see the Notes that were updated by Opalis when completing the Activity.

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This is just a small example how Opalis can be used for automating Service Manager Processes. I will blog more about this in the near future.
Regards Marcel

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One Response to Automated Change Requests using Microsoft Opalis

  1. Pingback: System Center Service Manager information(blog) overview - System Center Service Manager

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