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Introduction to Orchestration

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Introduction to Orchestration

Orchestration automates simple or complex multi-system tasks on remote services, servers, applications, and hardware.

Orchestration extends the workflow engine to manage human processes and to automate things outside of a ServiceNow instance. An Orchestration process can cross all management disciplines and interact with hosted services and all types of infrastructure elements. These capabilities provide a powerful system for managing IT and Business processes quickly and reliably, with best practices every time.

Orchestrated solutions aide collaboration among teams by providing reusable data and versioning for both the workflows and the activities within them. This allows subject matter experts to create activities that are consumed by numerous workflow developers. When an activity requires a change, developers can see the downstream implication of the change immediately by knowing which workflows use the activity. Well designed orchestrations never require human intervention when automation errors arise.

Orchestration tools

Orchestration provides the ability to make calls outside of a ServiceNow instance, directly to SOAP and REST web services or to systems within an enterprise’s corporate firewall through the MID Server. Orchestration extends the workflow editor by providing these features:

Systems that Orchestration can automate

Orchestration provides custom activity packs you can use to automate tasks such as employee onboarding, user access rights, server management, and managed file transfers. For example, you might use the Active Directory and Exchange activities to set up network accounts and mailboxes for new employees.

If Orchestration does not provide the activities you need for an integration, create the necessary activities using the templates in the Orchestration activity designer.

These are the external systems that Orchestration can automate:

Figure 1. Orchestration capabilities
Orchestration capabilities

Orchestration workflow

When an Orchestration activity starts within a workflow, Orchestration launches a probe and writes a probe record to the ECC Queue. The workflow pauses as the MID Server picks up the request and executes the probe. When the probe reports back, the workflow resumes as the results are analyzed. The workflow can exit or continue at this point.

Figure 2. Orchestration workflow
Orchestration workflow

Introductory video

Watch the introductory Orchestration video.