In his second guest post Greg Charman from Kelverion has a look at BMC integration.
Many customers have made large investments in both Microsoft System Center and BMC Datacenter Management Tools. Historically integrating these two vendors product sets has been challenging and time consuming.With the purchase of Opalis (an IT Process Automation Solution) in December 2009 and the release of Opalis 6.3, but particularly with its replacement System Center 2012 Orchestrator, Microsoft has laid the foundations for a much easier and speedier interaction between the two product suites.
The challenge with any integration and automation product is keeping the interfaces to vendor products current and when a vendor has many management products, like BMC does, this only becomes more complex. In the newer versions of their Enterprise Management products BMC have updated the product APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to web services APIs. This now means you can now build your own interaction to a BMC application in Orchestrator if it has a web service API using the Standard Activities within Orchestrator particularly the Invoke Web Services Object. To create a DIY interaction with a web service API in Orchestrator you need to have completed the following tasks in your runbooks:
1. Understand in the Published API so that you know which methods to use interact with the API and know how the results will be returned to you from the API.
2. Create a Pre-processing Runbook to generate the Security Key which has to be passed to the Insert Into or Extract From API Interaction Object
3. Create the Insert Into API Interaction Object which formats data from the published data bus into the right XML format for the API method
4. Create the Extract From API Interaction Object which submits the correct XML format for the API method so that the data you want is extracted.
5. Create a Post Processing Runbook to manipulate the output of the API extract call into a format which is easily useable within Orchestrator
This DIY solution often takes 3+ days to create, per interaction you want to achieve with the target system. This is fine, in principal, if you only want to do one or two simple interactions with the target system but if you are looking at say a Service Desk application as a target you won’t be looking at just one or two interactions, you will want many interactions; create incident, update incident, close incident, create change, update change, close change etc.
However if building it yourself all sounds too complicated then there is an alternative, Kelverion announced recently the planned availability of 4 new Integration Packs (IPs) for both Microsoft System Center 2012 Orchestrator and Opalis 6.3. Kelverion already have a close partner relationship with Microsoft, including the development of third party Integration Packs, and have partnered with BMC to bring the new IPs to market for the benefit of joint Microsoft and BMC customers.
The new IPs announced target integration with:
• BMC Atrium CMDB 7.6 – Federates data from across IT into a single, logical data store.
• BMC Bladelogic Server Automation 8.1 – Management and enforcement of server configuration changes
• BMC Remedy Action Request System 7.5 and 7.6 – Platform for managing Service Management business processes
• BMC Event Manager 7.4 – Proactively correlates and prioritizes events within a real-time business context
Beta Release Schedule Update
• BMC Atrium for Opalis 6.3 Released
• BMC Bladelogic – Released (Opalis and Orchestrator versions)
• BMC Remedy February 2012 (Opalis and Orchestrator versions)
• BMC Event Manager February 2012 (Opalis and Orchestrator versions)
• BMC Atrium for Orchestrator March 2012.
Editors note Kelverion have also written quite a few of the new Orchestrator Integration Packs for Microsoft, and you’ll see these being released as we gat closer to the final release of of System Center 2012 itself