As part of System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, a new integration pack (IP) for integrating and managing SharePoint 2013 was released. In this post I’ll walkthrough how to get started with this IP for managing both SharePoint 2013 on premise as well as SharePoint online. You can install the IP from the Microsoft download center.
A couple of the scenarios where you might want to use the SharePoint IP are when you are using SharePoint lists to track work items that need to be accomplished in your datacenter and you want to update these automatically as specific tasks are completed. You might also be using SharePoint as an end user portal where requests for IT services are made. There are multiple other reasons you might be using SharePoint in your organization and need to integrate some IT processes with it. The SharePoint IP is built to easily manage different types of SharePoint lists and document libraries.
The SharePoint IP is designed for managing user lists and documents and is not intended for SharePoint administration. In order to manage SharePoint tasks you can use the PowerShell cmdlets for SharePoint 2013 from an Orchestrator 2012 R2 runbook.
Once the SharePoint IP is installed, to configure the connection to your SharePoint environment you go to Options -> Microsoft SharePoint and enter in the information specific to your environment. You will need to select if this is a SharePoint online or on premise environment by setting “SharePoint Online” to either True or False. In the example below, I am managing SharePoint online so I have left the Domain field blank and set “SharePoint Online” to True.
The integration pack contains a list of activities that you can use to manage SharePoint.
· Create List Item
· Delete Attachment
· Delete Document
· Delete List Item
· Download Attachment
· Download Document
· Get Attachments
· Get Documents
· Get List Items
· Get View Items
· Monitor List Items
· Query List
· Upload Attachment
· Upload Document
· Update List Item
The most common activity you will probably use is Monitor List Items, as this enables you to watch for new items or changes to items in a list and then trigger a set of tasks that you need accomplished. You could also have the SharePoint site call directly into the Orchestrator web service to initiate a runbook by using the Orchestrator web service, but this would require writing custom code in SharePoint that might not be something you wish to do in most scenarios.
You can see in the image below that the SharePoint integration pack is using a new feature of the Orchestrator SP1 toolkit called cascading dependencies that enables code to be called at design time to fill in values that appear in a properties list. When you click on the List Name property, code is called to go out to SharePoint and enumerate the available lists that exist. This makes it much easier to do forms-based authoring, since you don’t have to know the list name, and it also prevents typos that are possible when entering this information manually.
The other advantage of using cascading dependencies is apparent when you look to apply a filter on the items. The image below shows how the specific columns for the Network Requests list are retrieved like “IP Range Required” that again makes it very easy to configure the activity for just the information you are looking for.
A similar pattern can be used to manage document libraries in SharePoint. The image below shows how to configure the Get Documents activity to retrieve a list of documents in a library and folder and also include whether sub folders should also be searched by using the Recursive property.
The rest of the activities follow a similar pattern and can be used to fully manage SharePoint lists and document libraries.
If for some reason you need to run some complex queries that are not available with the built in activities it is possible to use the Query List activity to find the specific items you need. This activity allows you to enter in your own CAML query as shown in the activity below where I search for list items that either have an IP Range of 10.1.0 or 10.1.1 for the “IPRanges” column in the Network Requests list.
As you can see with these examples, it is very easy to integrate Orchestrator into SharePoint to help you complete your end to end processes and take full advantage of using SharePoint in your organization.
Remember, this integration pack is only supported with SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint online on System Center 2012 R2.
That is one more system you can add to your integration and automation toolbox!