System Center Configuration Manager Activities

Applies To: System Center 2012 - Orchestrator, System Center 2012 - Orchestrator Release Candidate, System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator, System Center 2012 SP1 - Orchestrator

This integration pack adds the SC2012 Configuration Manager category to the Activities pane in the Runbook Designer. This category contains the following activities:

Common Configuration Instructions for All Activities

The following configuration instructions apply to all activities in this integration pack. Links to this section are included in the configuration instructions for each activity.

Activity Properties

Each activity has a set of required or optional properties that define the configuration of that activity. This includes how it connects to other activities or how the activity performs its actions. You can view or modify activity properties when the activity is placed in the current runbook.

To configure the properties for an activity

  1. Double-click the activity. Alternatively, you can right-click the activity, and then click Properties.


    The filters for al activities are case sensitive. A value that does not match the case of your filter entry is not returned.

  2. To save your configuration entries, click Finish.

In the activity properties dialog box, several tabs along the left side provide access to general and specific settings for the activity. Although the number of available tabs for activity properties differs from activity to activity, all activities will have a General tab, a Details tab, and a Run Behavior tab. Some activities may have additional tabs.

General Tab

This tab contains the Name and Description properties for the activity. By default, the Name of the activity is the same as its activity type, and the Description is blank. You can modify these properties to create a more descriptive name or provide a detailed description of the actions of the activity.

Details Tab

This tab contains properties that are specific to the activity. All activities in this integration pack except for the Perform Client Action activity have the Connection Name property at the top of the Details tab. This property is used to specify the connection to the Configuration Manager server.

To configure the Connection Name property

Value Type properties are common across many of the activities. These properties provide flexibility in the type of data you provide to the activity, allowing you to specify ID values or names of objects to be used. Each Value Type property is linked directly to another property listed immediately above the Value Type property.

To configure Value Type properties

  • Click the ellipsis (…) button next to the Value Type field, and then select the setting that correctly identifies the type of value in the associated property.

Schedule Tab

The Schedule tab allows you to define availability, expiration and mandatory assignments for deployments. Options available on the tab may vary depending on the type of deployment. Mandatory assignment schedules cause Configuration Manager to automatically run the program at a specific time or according to a specific event, such as user Logon/Logoff. The settings on this tab are optional.

Mandatory Assignment Schedules

To add a new mandatory assignment, click the New button. The Mandatory Schedule dialog appears.

The Mandatory Schedule dialog box contains the following elements:

Element Description

Use the following schedule

Enables the Schedule group which allows you to define a specific schedule.

The following options are some of those that might be available for setting a recurrence pattern:

  1. None: Specifies that the operation does not recur.

  2. Weekly: Specifies that the operation recurs every N weeks. If this option is selected, you must specify the day of the week on which the operation will occur.

  3. Monthly: Specifies that the operation recurs every N months. If this option is selected, you must specify the day of the month on which the operation will occur.

  4. Custom interval (varies depending on the recurrence pattern selected): Specifies the frequency with which the operation will recur. You may set this in terms of minutes, hours, or days.

Assign immediately after this event

Enables the selector for event-based assignment. Options are:

  1. As soon as possible: Specifies that the program will automatically run as soon as it reaches the client and all program requirements are met. This value is specified by default.

  2. Logon: Specifies that the program will automatically run the next time a user logs on to the client.

  3. Logoff: Specifies that the program will automatically run the next time a user logs off the client.

To add a mandatory assignment

  • Click Add. The Mandatory Schedule dialog box opens.

  • To schedule the advertisement at a specified date and time select Use the following schedule.

    1. To schedule the event, click the ellipsis (…) button to open the Date Time Selection dialog. Modify the date and time according to your needs, and then click OK.

    2. If you want all clients to run the program at the same time regardless of time zone, select the UTC check box.

    3. If you want the advertisement to run on a recurring schedule, select one of the options: Weekly, Monthly or Custom Interval and set the properties according to your needs.

  • To run the advertisement after an event, select Assign immediately after this event. Select the applicable option As soon as possible, Logoff, or Logon.

  • Click OK to save the schedule.


Note: You can create multiple mandatory assignments.

Run Behavior Tab

This tab contains the properties that determine how the activity handles multi-value published data and what notifications will be sent if the activity fails or runs for an excessive period of time.

Returned Data Behavior

The “Get” activities retrieve information from another activity or outside source, and can return one or more values in the published data. For example, when you use the Get Collection Member activity, the data output from that activity might be a list of computers that belong to the specified collection.

By default, the data from the activity will be passed on as multiple individual outputs. This triggers the next activity as many times as there are items in the output. Alternatively, you can provide a single output for the Get activity by enabling the Flatten option. When you enable this option, you also choose a formatting option:

  • Separate with line breaks. Each item is on a new line. This format is useful for creating human-readable text files for the output.

  • Separate with _ . Each item is separated by one or more characters of your choice.

  • Use CSV format. All items are in CSV (comma-separated value) format. This format is useful for importing data into spreadsheets or other applications.

The activity will produce a new set of data every time it runs. The Flatten feature does not flatten data across multiple executions of the same activity.

Event Notifications

Some activities are expected to take a limited amount of time to complete. If they do not complete within that time they may be stalled or there may be another issue preventing them from completing. You can define the number of seconds to wait for completion of the action. After this period a platform event will be sent and the issue will be reported. You can also choose whether to generate a platform event if the activity returns a failure.

To be notified when the activity takes longer than a specified time to run or fails to run

  1. In the Event Notifications box, enter the number of seconds of run time before a notification is generated.

  2. Select the Report if activity fails to run check box to generate run failure notifications.

For more information about Orchestrator events, see the Troubleshooting section of the Runbook Guide.

Published Data

Published data is the foundation of a working runbook. It is the data produced as a result of the actions of an activity. This data is published to an internal data bus that is unique for each runbook. Subsequent activities in the runbook can subscribe to this published data and use it in their configuration. Link conditions also use this information to add decision-making capabilities to runbooks.

An activity can only subscribe to published data from the activities that are linked before it in the runbook. You can use published data to automatically populate the property values needed by activities.

To use published data

  1. Right-click the property value box, click Subscribe, and then click Published Data.

  2. Click the Activity drop-down box and select the activity from which you want to obtain the data.

    To view additional data elements common to all policies, select Show Common Published Data.

  3. Click the published data element that you want to use, and then click OK.

For a list of the data elements published by each activity, see the Published Data tables in the activity topic. For information about the Common Published Data items, see Published Data.