Chapter 12. Requests and Tasks

We have seen several references to automation requests and tasks so far in the book. This chapter explains what they are, their differences, and why it’s useful to understand them. This is a deep-dive chapter, so feel free to skip it for now and return later if curious.

The Need for Approval

Some relatively simple automation operations result in the Automate instance being run directly with no need for approval by an administrator. Examples of these are:

  • Running an Automate instance from simulation

  • Automate instances that run to populate dynamic dialog elements

  • Running an Automate instance from a button

  • Automate instances entered as a result of a control policy action type of Invoke a Custom Automation

  • Alerts that send a management event

The automation scripts that we’ve developed so far fall into ths first category.

Other, more complex automation operations—such as provisioning virtual machines or cloud instances—can alter or consume resources in our virtual or cloud infrastructure. For this type of operation, CloudForms allows us to insert an approval stage into the Automate workflow. It does this by separating the operation into two distinct stages—the request and the task—with an administrative approval being required to progress from one to the other.

Examples of these are:

  • Calling an automation request via the RESTful API

  • Provisioning a host

  • Provisioning a virtual machine

  • Requesting a service

  • Reconfiguring a virtual machine ...

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