Best Practices: Which is Better… Monitoring or Triggering?

One of the major pieces of functionality in Orchestrator and in many of the Integration Packs the ability to monitor something (a database, a server) and start a runbook when a certain condition occurs. The monitor activities are used extensively by customers in a wide array of scenarios. But is it the best way to… Read more

Quick Tip: Using the “Read Text Log” Activity

I had someone contact me recently with some confusion about the Read Text Log activity in Orchestrator. It seems that it wasn’t quite working the way they expected and they were left scratching their head. So I put together a quick demo runbook and tested it out. I thought I’d share my experience just to… 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

Using Windows Task Scheduler to Invoke Scheduled Runbooks

This article is a follow-on to my previous post, Cool Tool: New Command Line Utility to Start a Runbook, where I talked about using the web service to quickly start a runbook with named parameters. Now it’s time to put that into action! Orchestrator administrators know that Orchestrator is not built to be a scheduling… Read more

Understanding Sequential vs. Parallel Processing of Runbook Activities

I saw a question in the forums the other day by a person who asked how you should expect activities in a workflow to be executed when one of the activities generates multi-value data. In other words, one of my activities returns a list of things. How do the next activities react? Will they run… 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

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

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

Finding Out “How Did I Get Here?” in a Runbook

I recently saw a new feature suggestion in the Orchestrator feedback on Connect and I realized that we can actually accomplish the requested functionality today in Orchestrator, so I thought I’d share how. Here is the feedback from the customer: There are times when it would be very helpful to know which activity called another… Read more