A workflow is a series of actions and decisions that are automated to run sequentially after you initiate the workflow. 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 task flow of the workflow. 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. This token contains all parameters related to the workflow run. For example, if you run a workflow three times, three workflow tokens are saved.

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

Input Workflow Parameters

To run, most workflows require a certain set of input parameters. The workflow processes input parameters that the user, an application, another workflow, or an action passes to it.

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

Output Workflow Parameters

The workflow output parameters represent the result from the workflow run. Some workflows and workflow elements can change the output parameters of the workflow when they run. 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 run a workflow in the vSphere Client, the client loads the workflow presentation. You provide the input parameters of the workflow in the workflow presentation.

User Interaction

Some workflows require user intervention during their run and the run is suspended either until the user provides the required information or until the workflow run times out.