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

Automating Builds of Orchestrator Integration Packs

From time to time I get questions from partners and some prolific IP developers who want to create IP’s automatically as part of their build process instead of having to go through the wizard each time. This is especially important when you have a lot of activities in the IP and you might be changing… 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

Orchestrator Quick Tip: Setting Environment Variables in CLI Activities

Using the Orchestrator Integration Toolkit’s Command-Line Activity Wizard, you can create your own custom activities really easily just by using a simple command line or one-line PowerShell script. When creating activities, you can specify parameters that appear on the activity’s properties tab. When using PowerShell as the “mode” of the activity, the wizard lets you… Read more

Fun with PowerShell v3 “Robust Sessions” in Runbooks

A couple of weeks ago, Karl Prosser posted an interesting article on using PowerShell v3 with Orchestrator.And, while at MMS last week, I had an opportunity to sit down and run through one of the PowerShell v3 hands-on labs that were available. In that lab, I found out about the new capabilities around remoting and… Read more

Implementing Your Own Runbook Input Parameter Validation Checking

Using the “Initialize Data” activity at the beginning of a runbook allows you to provide input parameters to any runbook. This greatly enhances the flexibility of a runbook by allowing it to be called by another runbook or via the web service, and the input parameters supplied to vary the data being used inside the… Read more

Dynamically Modifying Design-Time Properties of an Activity

In the last post, I showed how to create a configuration for an activity that shows up in the options menu. I also showed how you can use that configuration setting to modify the actions of the activity at runtime. In this post, I’ll show you how to modify design-time actions by using the imperative… Read more

Adding an Options Menu Configuration to Custom Activities

Yesterday, I wrote about how to debug a custom activity using Visual Studio. Today I’m going to show you how to add an item to the Options Menu so that you can have a reusable configuration setting that can be used across multiple activities in an IP. This is typically used for configuring connection settings… Read more