Event topics might support blockable and replyable events. The behavior of a workflow subscription depends on whether the topic supports these event types and how you configure the workflow subscription.

Non-Blockable Event Topics

Non-blockable event topics only allow you to create non-blocking subscriptions. Non-blocking subscriptions are triggered asynchronously and you can not rely on the order that the subscriptions are triggered or that the vRealize Orchestrator workflows run. Non-blocking subscriptions only return a response if the topic is replyable.

Blockable Event Topics

Some event topics support blocking. If a workflow subscription is marked as blocking, then all messages that meet the configured conditions are not received by any other workflow subscriptions with matching conditions until the first workflow is finished. If you have multiple blocking workflow subscriptions for the same event topic, you prioritize the subscriptions.

Blocking subscriptions run in priority order. The highest priority value is 0 (zero). If you have more than one blocking subscription for the same event topic with the same priority level, the subscriptions run in alphabetical order based on the name. After all blocking subscriptions are processed, the message is sent to all the nonblocking subscriptions at the same time. Because the blocking workflow subscriptions run synchronously, the changed event payload includes the updated event when the subsequent workflow subscriptions are notified.

You apply blocking to one or more workflow subscriptions depending on the selected workflow and your goals.

For example, you have two provisioning workflow subscriptions where the second workflow depends on the results of the first. The first one changes a property during provisioning, and a second records the new property, perhaps a machine name, in a file system. The ChangeProperty subscription is prioritized as 0 and the RecordProperty is prioritized as 1 because it uses the results of the ChangeProperty subscription. When a machine is provisioned, the ChangeProperty subscription begins running. Because the RecordProperty subscription conditions are based on a post-provisioning conditions, a message triggers the RecordProperty subscription. However, because the ChangeProperty workflow is a blocking workflow, the message is not received until it is finished. When the name is changed and the first workflow is finished, the second workflow runs, recording the name in the file system.

Even if an event topics that support blocking, you can create a non-blocking workflow subscription if the workflow subscription does not have any dependant subsequent workflows. The workflow subscription is triggered and runs the vRealize Orchestrator workflow without further interaction from vRealize Automation or the outside system.

Replyable Event Topics

Some event topics support replies from the subscribed service. The service that registered the replyable event topic can accept a reply event that provides the workflow output, usually as a result of an interaction with a system or user. The reply output parameters must meet the criteria defined in the reply schema so that the vRealize Automation service that published the original replyable event can process it. For example, pre-approval and post-approval workflow subscriptions are replyable. If you create a workflow that sends an approval request to an external system, the reply, approved or rejected, is processed by vRealize Automation and the catalog item is provisioned or the user is notified that the request was rejected.

The reply can be the output from the vRealize Orchestrator workflow or it can be a failure if the workflow times out or fails. If the reply is from the workflow output parameters, the reply must be in the correct reply schema format.