As a cloud template designer, you use input parameters so that users can make custom selections at request time.

How inputs work

When users supply inputs, you no longer need to save multiple copies of templates that are only slightly different. In addition, inputs can prepare a template for day 2 operations. See How to use cloud template inputs for vRealize Automation Cloud day 2 updates.

The following inputs show how you might create one cloud template for a MySQL database server, where users can deploy that one template to different cloud resource environments and apply different capacity and credentials each time.

Input variables

Adding input parameters

Add an inputs section to your template code, where you set the selectable values.

In the following example, machine size, operating system, and number of clustered servers are selectable.

inputs:
  wp-size:
    type: string
    enum:
      - small
      - medium
    description: Size of Nodes
    title: Node Size
  wp-image:
    type: string
    enum:
      - coreos
      - ubuntu
    title: Select Image/OS
  wp-count:
    type: integer
    default: 2
    maximum: 5
    minimum: 2
    title: Wordpress Cluster Size
    description: Wordpress Cluster Size (Number of nodes)

If you're uncomfortable editing code, you can click the code editor Inputs tab, and enter settings there. The following example shows some inputs for the MySQL database mentioned earlier.

Inputs tab

Referencing input parameters

Next, in the resources section, you reference an input parameter using ${input.property-name} syntax.

If a property name includes a space, delimit with square brackets and double quotes instead of using dot notation: ${input["property name"]}

Important: In cloud template code, you cannot use the word input except to indicate an input parameter.
resources:
  WebTier:
    type: Cloud.Machine
    properties:
      name: wordpress
      flavor: '${input.wp-size}'
      image: '${input.wp-image}'
      count: '${input.wp-count}'

Nested input

If you want to organize or categorize inputs, nested input is supported. In the following example, the CPU and memory are together under a parent heading of level.

Note: A group of nested inputs is different than creating and referencing a formal property group.
inputs:
  cluster:
    type: integer
    title: Cluster
    default: 1
    minimum: 1
    maximum: 4
  level:
    type: object
    properties:
      cpu:
        type: integer
        title: CPU
        default: 1
        minimum: 1
        maximum: 4
      memory:
        type: integer
        title: Memory
        default: 2048
        minimum: 2048
        maximum: 4096

In the resources section, to reference the nested input, include the parent in the path.

resources:
  Disk_1:
    type: Cloud.vSphere.Disk
    allocatePerInstance: true
    properties:
      capacityGb: 1
      count: ${input.cluster}
  Machine_1:
    type: Cloud.vSphere.Machine
    allocatePerInstance: true
    properties:
      totalMemoryMB: ${input.level.memory}
      attachedDisks:
        - source: ${slice(resource.Disk_1[*].id, count.index, count.index + 1)[0]}
      count: ${input.cluster}
      imageRef: ubuntu
      cpuCount: ${input.level.cpu}

Optional versus required input

For all types except Boolean, user entry is optional by default. To require input, do one of the following:

  • Set a default value.
  • When you have no nested inputs, add the populateRequiredOnNonDefaultProperties property:
    inputs:
      cluster:
        type: integer
        populateRequiredOnNonDefaultProperties: true
        title: Cluster
        minimum: 1
        maximum: 4

    Note that you can also apply this setting when referencing a formal property group:

    inputs:
      pgmachine:
        type: object
        populateRequiredOnNonDefaultProperties: true
        $ref: /ref/property-groups/machine
  • With nested inputs, add the populateRequiredForNestedProperties property:
    inputs:
      cluster:
        type: integer
        title: Cluster
        default: 1
        minimum: 1
        maximum: 4
      level:
        type: object
        properties:
          cpu:
            type: integer
            populateRequiredForNestedProperties: true
            title: CPU
            minimum: 1
            maximum: 4
          memory:
            type: integer
            populateRequiredForNestedProperties: true
            title: Memory
            minimum: 2048
            maximum: 4096

    Note that you can also apply this setting when a formal property group reference is nested:

      level:
        type: object
        properties:
          cpu:
            type: integer
            populateRequiredForNestedProperties: true
            title: CPU
            minimum: 1
            maximum: 4
          memory:
            type: integer
            populateRequiredForNestedProperties: true
            title: Memory
            minimum: 2048
            maximum: 4096
          pgrequester:
            type: object
            populateRequiredForNestedProperties: true
            $ref: /ref/property-groups/requesterDetails

Optional input—To force input to remain optional, set an empty default value using tick marks:

owner:
  type: string
  minLength: 0
  maxLength: 30
  title: Owner Name
  description: Account Owner
  default: ''
Optional input

Sending inputs to vRealize Orchestrator

To supply a cloud template input to a vRealize Orchestrator action, take the following steps. With vRealize Orchestrator actions, the Inputs form is easier to use than typing directly in the cloud template code.

  1. In the vRealize Orchestrator instance integrated with vRealize Automation Cloud, verify that the action you want exists.
  2. In the cloud template design page in Cloud Assembly, go to the Inputs tab, and click to add a new input.
  3. Select a type, and select External source.
  4. Next to Action, click the Select button.
  5. Use the Action search field to locate and select the vRealize Orchestrator action.
  6. Enter or select any action parameters.

After you save and create the input, it appears in the cloud template code as a $dynamicDefault input. For example:

inputs:
  backupnetwork:
    type: string
    $dynamicDefault: /data/vro-actions/com.insanpaolo/getBackupNetworkVLAN?network={{abcdef123456}}&tenant={{abcdef123456}}

List of input properties

Property Description
const Used with oneOf. The real value associated with the friendly title.
default Prepopulated value for the input.

The default must be of the correct type. Do not enter a word as the default for an integer.

description User help text for the input.
encrypted

Whether to encrypt the input that the user enters, true or false.

Passwords are usually encrypted.

You can also create encrypted properties that are reusable across multiple cloud templates. See Secret Cloud Assembly properties.

enum A drop-down menu of allowed values.

Use the following example as a format guide.

enum:
      - value 1
      - value 2
format Sets the expected format for the input. For example, (25/04/19) supports date-time.

Allows the use of the date picker in Service Broker custom forms.

items Declares items within an array. Supports number, integer, string, Boolean, or object.
maxItems Maximum number of selectable items within an array.
maxLength Maximum number of characters allowed for a string.

For example, to limit a field to 25 characters, enter maxLength: 25.

maximum Largest allowed value for a number or integer.
minItems Minimum number of selectable items within an array.
minLength Minimum number of characters allowed for a string.
minimum Smallest allowed value for a number or integer.
oneOf Allows the user input form to display a friendly name (title) for a less friendly value (const). If setting a default value, set the const, not the title.

Valid for use with types string, integer, and number.

pattern Allowable characters for string inputs, in regular expression syntax.

For example, '[a-z]+' or '[a-z0-9A-Z@#$]+'

properties Declares the key:value properties block for objects.
readOnly Used to provide a form label only.
title Used with oneOf. The friendly name for a const value. The title appears on the user input form at deployment time.
type Data type of number, integer, string, Boolean, or object.
Important:

A Boolean type adds a blank checkbox to the request form. Leaving the box untouched does not make the input False.

To set the input to False, users must check and then clear the box.

writeOnly Hides keystrokes behind asterisks in the form. Cannot be used with enum. Appears as a password field in Service Broker custom forms.

Additional examples

String with enumeration

  image:
    type: string
    title: Operating System
    description: The operating system version to use.
    enum:
      - ubuntu 16.04
      - ubuntu 18.04
    default: ubuntu 16.04

  shell:
    type: string
    title: Default shell
    Description: The default shell that will be configured for the created user.
    enum:
      - /bin/bash
      - /bin/sh

Integer with minimum and maximum

  count:
    type: integer
    title: Machine Count
    description: The number of machines that you want to deploy.
    maximum: 5
    minimum: 1
    default: 1

Array of objects

  tags:
    type: array
    title: Tags
    description: Tags that you want applied to the machines.
    items:
      type: object
      properties:
        key:
          type: string
          title: Key
        value:
          type: string
          title: Value

String with friendly names

  platform:
    type: string
    oneOf:
      - title: AWS
        const: platform:aws
      - title: Azure
        const: platform:azure
      - title: vSphere
        const: platform:vsphere
    default: platform:aws

String with pattern validation

  username:
    type: string
    title: Username
    description: The name for the user that will be created when the machine is provisioned.
    pattern: ^[a-zA-Z]+$

String as password

  password:
    type: string
    title: Password
    description: The initial password that will be required to logon to the machine. Configured to reset on first login.
    encrypted: true
    writeOnly: true

String as text area

  ssh_public_key:
    type: string
    title: SSH public key
    maxLength: 256

Boolean

  public_ip:
    type: boolean
    title: Assign public IP address
    description: Choose whether your machine should be internet facing.
    default: false

Date and time calendar selector

  leaseDate:
    type: string
    title: Lease Date
    format: date-time