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. Orchestrator also provides libraries of the individual actions that the workflows perform.

Workflows combine actions, decisions, and results that, when performed in a particular order, complete a specific task or a specific process in a virtual environment. Workflows perform tasks such as provisioning virtual machines, backing up, performing regular maintenance, sending emails, performing SSH operations, managing the physical infrastructure, and other general utility operations. Workflows accept inputs according to their function. You can create workflows that run according to defined schedules, or that run if certain anticipated events occur. Information can be provided by you, by other users, by another workflow or action, or by an external process such as a Web service call from an application. Workflows perform some validation and filtering of information before they run.

Workflows can call upon other workflows. For example, you can reuse in several different workflows a workflow that starts a virtual machine.

You create workflows by using the Orchestrator client interface’s integrated development environment (IDE), that provides access to the workflow library and the ability to run workflows on the workflow engine. The workflow engine can also take objects from external libraries that you plug in to Orchestrator. This ability allows you to customize processes or implement functions that third-party applications provide.