A workflow is a series of actions and decisions that you run sequentially. Orchestrator provides a library of workflows that perform common management tasks according to best practices.

Basics of Workflows

Workflows consist of a schema, attributes, and parameters. The workflow schema is the main component of a workflow as it defines all the workflow elements and the logical connections between them. The workflow attributes and parameters are the variables that workflows use to transfer data. Orchestrator saves a workflow token every time a workflow runs, recording the details of that specific run of the workflow.

The vSphere Web Client allows you run and schedule workflows on selected objects from your vSphere inventory. You cannot create, delete, edit and manage workflows in the vSphere Web Client. You develop and manage workflows in the Orchestrator client. For more information about the Orchestrator client, see Using the VMware vCenter Orchestrator Client. For information about developing workflows, see Developing with VMware vCenter Orchestrator.

Input Workflow Parameters

Most workflows require a certain set of input parameters to run. An input parameter is an argument that the workflow processes when it starts. The user, an application, or another workflow or an action passes input parameters to a workflow, for the workflow to process when it starts.

For example, if a workflow resets a virtual machine, the workflow requires as an input parameter the name of the virtual machine to reset.

Output Workflow Parameters

Workflow's output parameters represent the result from the workflow run. Output parameters can change when a workflow or a workflow element runs. While they run, workflows can receive the output parameters of other workflows as input parameters.

For example, if a workflow creates a snapshot of a virtual machine, the output parameter for the workflow is the resulting snapshot.

Workflow Presentation

When you start a workflow in the vSphere Web Client, the client loads the workflow presentation. You provide the input parameters of the workflow in the workflow presentation.

User Interaction

Some workflows require interactions from users during their run and suspend either until the user provides the required information or until the workflow times out.