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Hornbill iBridge for Linode Hornbill's iBridge is a great way to integrate with Linode, a cloud based solution for creating and managing virtual Linux servers. Between Hornbill's Keysafe and Linode's API Key a secure connection can be made between the two. Once done, you are able to use the Hornbill Business Process management for the orchestration of your Linode servers. Easily process requests from users requiring a linux server with a fully automated integration node. From a simple request submitted by a user, the Business Process workflow can automate the creation of a Linode server including the Data Center location, disk size, the image or distribution, root password, and the Linode plan to use.
INTEGRATION: Integration with HP Operations Orchestration In my last article in my integration series I talked about our integration with MS Orchestrator, and when investigating these tools we found another very similar tool called HP Operations Orchestration (or HP OO for short) which is described by Hewlett Packard as Enterprise-scale IT Automation. If you are not familiar with HP OO is very similar in concept to MS Orchestrator which I wrote about here, both have integrations, both have an orchestration capability, both use graphical representation of their flows/runbooks, both have the notion of content packs, both provide a console to (at least in theory) allow non-IT users to initiate flows/runbooks and check their run status etc. One difference though is while Microsoft Orchestrator is designed primarily around IT automation for the Microsoft platform, HP has more of a focus on heterogeneous environments with HP OO being able to run on either Windows or Linux. HP Offer a Community edition of their Open Orchestrator tool which is a free download and fully functional but you are restricted to running 500 flow invocations a month, if you need more you have to buy the commercial version of the tool. Just like Microsoft Orchestrator we found using HP OO a little clunky, we hired in a qualified consultant to help us get to grips with how to use it in order to develop our integrations. It is obviously a good tool, but it is not the most intuitive thing in the world to use, and actually in that regard the HP and Microsoft offerings are quite similar. Our integration effort was focused in two distinct areas, first of all we have created a content pack for HP OO that allows the automation of Hornbill for numerous Collaboration and Service Manager functions, this content pack is available to download free of charge from HP’s ITOM Marketplace so any customer that is using HP OO as an IT Automation Tool can now automate a number of actions in Hornbill for user account management, collaboration and service management. https://marketplace.saas.hpe.com/itom/content/hornbill-service-manager-and-collaboration-integration Secondly, we have created a seamless interface to be able to invoke Flows directly from our business process tool. After you have set up a connection to your HP OO instance, which by the way you can configure connections from Hornbill to any number of HP OO Instances, you can simply drag an integration node onto our BPM canvas, browse the HP OO content hierarchy select the flow you wish to invoke, there is absolutely no code to write and our BPM can even wait for the completed flow outcome before continuing so you can control business process flow based on the results of the orchestration outcome. I asked one of our partner organisations who has worked with HP products for many years what he thought about our integration approach and implementation, and this is what he said… "I've been working with HPE Service Manager for seven years, and integration with HPE OO has never been as easy as it now is with Hornbill Service Manager.” Henrik Brattlie (@BratItsm), Manag-E For customers who wish to use HP Operations Orchestration, we have made it very simple and accessible opening up a world of possibilities to automate IT work within the flow of your business processes in Hornbill.
INTEGRATION: Integrating with Microsoft System Center Orchestrator In a previous article, I talked about Hornbills iBridge which is our solution for integrating with other cloud solutions. The iBridge can also be used to integrate with some on premise systems too but as we build the integrations for the iBridge this is generally not flexible enough for most situations. In order to integrate with systems behind an enterprise firewall we decided to look at what was already available and in use by our customers, this is where we found Microsoft System Center Orchestrator. For those of you who are not familiar with this tool, MSSC Orchestrator fits within the IT Operations Management market space and is a combination of an integration bridge and a flow orchestrator. Actually, to be honest the lines between these two things are a great deal more blurred in MSSC Orchestrator then they ought to be, but that’s a whole other article. Integrations are connections that perform specific tasks on other systems, for example create a user account in AD is a good example. Once you have a number of these integrations they can be strung together as part of a flow which Microsoft call a “Runbook”, a name which comes from mainframe concepts in the 70’s. As a customer, your IT teams can create integrations and runbooks to suit your specific business needs and exposed these through a unified interface that less technical business users can make use of (at least that’s the idea, not everyone gets this right). Creating integrations and runbooks in this tool is a fairly technical task and requires a good level of technical competence to undertake. In truth, Microsoft System Center Orchestrator has some serious flaws, we found it fairly difficult and clunky to use when working with it to create our content packs. The upside though, is it really supports Windows environments well with a lot of useful content packs out there ready to plug in and use, which is why we decided to include it in our integration strategy. Anyway, to cut to the chase - we have created a seamless integration with Microsoft System Center Orchestrator making runbooks directly accessible from within our business process tool. In fact; you can connect to any number of MSSC Orchestrator instances within your environment in a simple and secure way. Once the connection is setup and established you can browse the content tree and use the RunBooks as automations in your business processes running on the Hornbill platform - point and click us and of course absolutely no coding required. Read More: Microsoft Orchestrator Integration In addition to being able to trigger runbooks from our BPM, if you are a Microsoft System Center Orchestrator user you can download and install the Hornbill Content Pack for Microsoft System Center Orchestrator which gives you a fully tested (and supported) set of ready-made runbooks that enable you to perform automated actions on Hornbill such as post to a workspace, log an incident, problem or change etc. Download: https://github.com/hornbill/SCOrchHornbillIntegration This capability is very empowering for our customers, from an integration point of view we are enabling our customers to orchestrate complex automations from within the Hornbill Business Process tool, with no programming expertise required. Not only that, because MS Orchestrator sits behind the enterprise firewall we are joining cloud and on-premise systems automation in a seamless and secure way. At the time of writing this article our customers are already taking advantage of this capability and I look forward to hearing more great stories around this as they unfold.