vRealize Orchestrator is the workflow engine integrated in vRealize Automation.

The vRealize Orchestrator server distributed with vRealize Automation is preconfigured, and therefore when your system administrator deploys the vRealize Automation Appliance, the vRealize Orchestrator server is up and running.

Figure 1. Create and Request Catalog Items Included in an XaaS to Provision a Custom Resource
Map an Orchestrator object type as a custom resource and an Orchestrator workflow as a service blueprint. You can publish many service blueprints as catalog items and combine them in an advanced service. You can then expose the service to the catalog of your consumers. When the consumers request to provision a catalog item included in the service, they run a workflow in Orchestrator and provision the item in the catalog.

XaaS architects add custom resources related to the supported endpoints and provided workflows, and then create XaaS blueprints and actions based on those resources. Tenant administrators and business group managers can add the XaaS blueprints and actions to the service catalog. The XaaS blueprint can also be used in the blueprint designer.

When the service catalog user requests an item, vRealize Automation runs a vRealize Orchestrator workflow to provision the custom resource.

Figure 2. Create and Request Custom Resource Actions to Modify a Custom Resource
Map an Orchestrator object type as a custom resource and an Orchestrator workflow as a resource action. After the consumers provision the custom resource, they can request to run the resource action and to modify the item that they provisioned. When the consumers request the post-provisioning action, they run a workflow in Orchestrator and modify the item in the catalog.

XaaS architects can also add vRealize Orchestrator workflows as resource actions to extend vRealize Automation capabilities. After the service catalog users provision a custom resource, they can run post-provisioning action. This way, the consumers run a vRealize Orchestrator workflow and modify the provisioned custom resource.

When a service catalog user requests an XaaS blueprint or resource action as a catalog item, the XaaS service runs the corresponding vRealize Orchestrator workflow passing the following data as global parameters to the workflow:

Table 1. XaaS Global Parameters

Parameter

Description

__asd_tenantRef

The tenant of the user requesting the workflow.

__asd_subtenantRef

The business group of the user requesting the workflow.

__asd_catalogRequestId

The request id from the catalog for this workflow run.

__asd_requestedFor

The target user of the request. If the request is on behalf of a user, then this is the user on behalf of whom the workflow is requested, otherwise it is the user requesting the workflow.

__asd_requestedBy

The user requesting the workflow.

If an XaaS blueprint or resource action uses a vRealize Orchestrator workflow that contains a User Interaction schema element, when a consumer requests the service, the workflow suspends its run and waits for the user to provide the required data. To answer to a waiting user interaction, the user must navigate to Inbox > Manual User Action.

The default vRealize Orchestrator server inventory is shared across all tenants and cannot be used per tenant. For example, if a service architect creates a service blueprint for creating a cluster compute resource, the consumers from different tenants have to browse through the inventory items of all vCenter Server instances although they might belong to a different tenant.

System administrators can install vRealize Orchestrator or deploy the VMware vRealize ™ Orchestrator Appliance™ separately to set up an external vRealize Orchestrator instance and configure vRealize Automation to work with that external vRealize Orchestrator instance.

System administrators can also configure vRealize Orchestrator workflow categories per tenant and define which workflows are available to each tenant.

In addition, tenant administrators can also configure an external vRealize Orchestrator instance but only for their own tenants.