Community Spotlight: New Configuration Manager Extension to Invoke Orchestrator Runbooks via Right-Click Action

I just saw this come through my email and I had to share it, and I admit I’m a little jealous and a little relieved at the same time. You see I have had the idea of writing an extension to Configuration Manager to launch Orchestrator runbooks via the right-click menu for some time now,… Read more

IP Development Best Practices: Declarative, Imperative or Both?

When I first started working with Opalis (now Orchestrator) and the SDK, I was taught that you could create activities (and Integration Packs) using the declarative approach or the imperative approach. The way it was relayed, these were two mutually-exclusive paths toward the same end goal. As I work more and more with Orchestrator and… Read more

Want to Use .NET 4.0 with Orchestrator Toolkit IPs? Here’s How!

One of our most awesome test guys on the Orchestrator Team, Zhenhua Yao, who has delivered such goodies as the TFS IP and a PowerShell IP on our CodePlex site, has done it again! Anyone who has built an IP using the Orchestrator SDK knows that you need to set your project to .NET 3.5… Read more

Make Your PowerShell Script Activities Go “Splat”!

There are always interesting shortcuts and magical techniques to discover in PowerShell, and “splatting” is one of them. Splatting allows you to bundle a set of parameters into a hashtable and then simply using it as single parameter to a PowerShell function or cmdlet. For example, instead of specifying a command line with a bunch… Read more

Community Spotlight: Putting a “Send Popup” Activity Back in Orchestrator

In the previous Opalis release, we shipped a standard activity called “Send Popup”, which used the Windows messaging system to create a popup on a user’s desktop. We removed that activity because the method we used was incompatible with Windows Server 2008 (it only worked on older platforms). However, it was a good activity for… Read more

Quick Tip: Checking PowerShell Scripting Abilities on a Computer

I do lots of PowerShell scripting, both inside runbooks and in stand-alone scripts. I have my own little virtual lab with a bunch of VMs and a domain controller that has a group policy assigned to enable the right PowerShell scripting settings on all the domain-joined computers, so I really don’t run into execution policy… Read more

Orchestrator Quick Tip: What’s the Maximum Size of Parameters?

I see this question on internal discussions list every now and then, so I thought I’d answer it here to be helpful. The question was: Is there a maximum length for string parameters in the Initialize Data activity? And if the answer is “yes” – what would the maximum length for string parameters be? Let… Read more

Community Spotlight: Configuration Manager 2007 IP on CodePlex

One of our favorite community members, Ryan Andorfer, has updated his community IP for Configuration Manager 2007 to work with Orchestrator, and I thought I’d highlight this IP for everyone. You may know Ryan from his previous IP’s (available on CodePlex) for Active Directory, Exchange, VSphere, Scheduled Tasks, and Opalis Utilities. This IP for Configuration… Read more

OIT Quick Tip: Using PowerShell Switch Parameters in CLI Activities

One of the common parameter types in PowerShell is the switch parameter. It’s basically a Boolean (true/false) type of parameter, and you either add it to the command line or not. Here’s an example: get-scoevents get-scoevents –formatXML The above command does the same thing in either case, it just formats the output differently.Now if you… Read more

Creating Single-Instance Runbooks without Queuing

One of the cool things about Orchestrator is that it can automatically handle multiple-instance threading of runbooks or queue them up depending on your need. For instance, you may have a runbook that processes new users to be added to Active Directory, and for a large company, you might have several concurrent requests going, so… Read more