Home > Articles > VMware

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the Rough Cut

Workflow Concepts

Before diving headlong into workflow modification, it is key to understand some of the key workflow concepts. These are as follows:

  • User Permissions
  • Credentials
  • Attributes
  • Parameters
  • Schema
  • Tokens
  • Locking

User Permissions

Orchestrator has the capacity to restrict access to workflows to a specific set of users or groups. The permissions you can set on a workflow are as follows:

  • View – View elements of the workflow except schema & scripting
  • Inspect – Same as View with the addition of scripting & schema
  • Execute – Run the workflow
  • Edit – Edit the workflow
  • Admin – Set permissions on the workflow

The workflow permissions flow from the permissions set on the folder that contains it. This way if you do not set permissions, they will be inherited. Additionally, it is important to note that these permissions are not cumulative. That is, a user assigned Admin will also need to be assigned Edit to be able to edit workflows. To edit the permissions to a folder or workflow, do the following:

  1. Right click folder/workflow, select “Edit Access Rights.”
  2. Choose “Add Access Rights.”
  3. In the chooser, specify the user & permissions.
  4. Save and close.


Being a techie, when unwrapping Orchestrator and starting to write the volume you are now holding, I decided, “Who needs manuals” and started rolling, that is until this particular property of workflows and the SSH plug-in. If you skipped that sec-tion of Chapter 5, I’ll spare you some page flipping: “…the SSH plugin will use the credentials of the logged in user executing the workflow.”

Where this got me, is that vCO will use one of four ways to determine who the exe-cuting user is. These four ways are contained in Table 6.1:

Table 6.1 The four ways vCO uses to determine the executing user

How was the workflow started? The credential vCO will use
vCO Web or GUI Client The logged in users credential
Via Policy Credentials set up for the policy
Nested Workflow Can get credentials from parent
Web view Credential of user logged into web view

If none of these suit you, vCO also allows you to set the credential to run the workflow using either the “Schedule Workflow As…” or “Run Workflow As…” menu items.


For those who are familiar with some basic programming concepts, attributes will be roughly analogous to global variables and constants for a workflow. For those without a programming background it can be helpful to think of attributes as being a reference to a value that can be accessed from anywhere within a given workflow.

Take for example our “Email Logs” workflow in the next section. The attributes we defined for the workflow were “zipFileName” and “emailAddress”. We were then able to access and manipulate these values later in the workflow as we needed.


In the context of workflows and vCO, parameters are essentially the values a workflow will accept as inputs or generate as outputs. In our “Email Logs” example in the next section, this is where the “localPath” or path where the workflow will store it’s output. Allowing the user executing the workflow to specify the location, making the file easier to find later.


The Schema! When editing workflows you will spend most of your time either script-ing, or in the schema editor. The schema editor is a “Visio Like” workflow diagram builder. As you’ll see in Figure 6.7, the interface itself is straight forward, and let’s you link the various workflow objects into a flow chart.


Workflow tokens are a graphical depiction of the current state of a workflow’s execu-tion. Table 6.2 shows these states and their respective icons:

Table 6.2 Workflow tokens

State Icon What it Means
Running Workflow is currently running
Waiting for User Interaction Workflow is paused, waiting on user-supplied input.
Waiting for event or timer Workflow is paused waiting on either an external event or a timer to complete.
Cancelled Someone cancelled the workflow.
Failed For one reason or another the workflow failed to execute.
Completed Well… you would hope they all got to this state


Locking is a feature that disables your ability to edit a workflow while it is running. The ability to edit a running workflow is useful while developing workflows and interac-tive troubleshooting of a workflow. However, once you have determined that the workflow itself is “golden” or ready for production, it is best to lock the workflow to prevent accidental editing and unexpected results.

Modifying the Built-In Workflows

“Development of the mind can be achieved only when the body has been disciplined. To accomplish this the ancients have taught us to imitate nature”

— Kahn, Kung Fu

Like imitating nature in Kung Fu, Workflow-Fu is also best learned by imitating the workflows that come built into vCO. We spend a good deal of time copying and modify-ing workflows in Part 3 of the book, however there is a basic process to editing workflows that to

In our example we will be modifying the “Export logs and application set-tings” workflow as shown in Figure 6.2 to send the resulting application logs via e-mail to a defined user.

Figure 6.2

Figure 6.2 “Export logs and application settings”

To do this, we will need to follow these steps:

  1. Duplicate the workflow
  2. Edit the workflow
  3. Edit schema
  4. Edit User Interaction
  5. Edit Script
  6. Validate workflow

Duplicate the workflow

To duplicate the workflow, right click the workflow from Figure 6.2 and select duplicate workflow. From there, choose a name and new location for this workflow as shown in Figures 6.3 and 6.4 respectively.

Figure 6.3

Figure 6.3 Duplicating the workflow

Figure 6.4

Figure 6.4 Selecting the workflow destination

Edit the workflow

To get into the workflow editor, right click the newly created workflow, then click edit. The resulting workflow editor is shown in Figure 6.5.

Figure 6.5

Figure 6.5 Workflow editor

Our first order of business is to edit the description to something that more closely reflects what our end result will be. Next up, we will need to add an input to allow e-mail to flow.

Edit Schema

New we need to edit the schema of the workflow to add our extra e-mail task. This will take a few steps:

  1. Add user input
  2. Add scriptable task
  3. Edit new elements
  4. Done

Figure 6.7 shows the schema editor. Our first order of business is to add the user input task. To do this, select the link between the workflow start and the “Export” task as shown in Figure 6.8. Next you will need to right click and select “Insert… User Interaction” as shown in Figure 6.9.

Next we add in a scriptable task to send the email. To do this select the link between “Export” and the workflow stop as shown in Figure 6.10. With the link se-lected, right click and select “Insert… Scripting Task” as shown in Figure 6.11. The resulting workflow is shown in Figure 6.12.

Figure 6.6

Figure 6.6 Adding In-puts

Figure 6.7

Figure 6.7 Schema Edi-tor

Figure 6.8

Figure 6.8 Link Se-lected

Figure 6.9

Figure 6.9 Insert User Interaction

Figure 6.10

Figure 6.10 Link Se-lected

Figure 6.11

Figure 6.11 Insert Scripting Task

Figure 6.12

Figure 6.12 Final Workflow

Edit the User Interaction

We need to edit the default input task to populate the “emailAddress” attribute that we will use in the scriptable task. To do this, select the “User Interaction”, once selected we will work across the bottom tabs starting with “Info” shown in figure 6.13:

Figure 6.13

Figure 6.13 User Interaction > Info Tab

The next tab that we’re interested in is “External Inputs”, in this tab you will want to press “Control + B” to open the “Chooser…” window. From there, select the “Create parameter or attribute” link to the right of the search box. The resulting window is in Figure 6.14:

Figure 6.14

Figure 6.14 emailAd-dress attribute bound to user interaction task

From there click “OK” and, save the workflow, and select the “Scriptable Task” task.

Edit the Scriptable Task

Now comes the fun part, adding the e-mail script. We have a few tasks to sort out be-fore we get into the meat of the script however. We’ll work our way left to right using the tabs in the bottom windowpane.

First we’ll rename the “Scriptable Task” to “Email logs” as shown in figure 6.15.

Figure 6.15

Figure 6.15 “Email Logs”

Next we add parameters to the task. We’ll add both “emailAddress” and “localPath” to the task, allowing us to get at both the file and the e-mail address. To do this, select the “In” tab and press “Control + B”, the results are shown in Figure 6.16:

Figure 6.16

Figure 6.16 emailAd-dress and localPath added to script task

Next up, we select “Scripting” and add the following script:

var message = new EmailMessage();

var content = "vCO Logs Attached";

message.toAddress = emailAddress;
message.subject = "vCO System Logs";
message.addMimePart(content,"text/html; charset=UTF-8");

System.log( "sending mail to host: " + message.smtpHost + ":" + mes-sage.smtpPort + " with user:" + message.username 
                     + ", from:" + message.fromAddress + ", to:" + mes-sage.toAddress );


Code to create and send email with vCO logs attached.

The code above creates an “EmailMessage” type scripting object, checks to see if other email server parameters have been provided, and finally builds the message using our attributes as specified earlier.

Figure 6.17 shows the e-mail message that results.

Figure 6.17

Figure 6.17 E-mail with vCO logs attached.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020