Automation Builder Generations
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Automation Builder Generations

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Within Itential Automation Platform (IAP) is Automation Builder for defining and building the automations that may be used by applications in the system. Automation Builder provides a graphical user interface for arranging and connecting tasks and transitions on a canvas to create a flow-based workflow.

Automation Builder Generations

Automation Builder Generation 2 ("Gen 2") was released in IAP 2020.2 and offers a clean, modern user experience to automation designers. While Itential strongly recommends working with Automation Builder Gen 2, the Generation 1 builder ("Gen 1") is also available and fully featured for users to build automations with.

Gen 1

The first generation canvas and UI for Automation Builder is shown in Figure 1 .

Figure 1: Gen 1 Automation Builder

Task Types

An automation (job) in Gen 1 will consist of:

  • An automated task denoted by green.
  • A manual task denoted by blue.
  • The start/end terminators denoted by pink.
  • An operation task denoted by purple.

Figure 2: Gen 1 Tasks

The arrows in Figure 2 represent transitions and show the direction of the workflow. Automation Builder also provides optional role-based access control (RBAC) by restricting task ownership to authorized groups. Users are assigned to groups, and automation tasks can be restricted to specific groups. Only group members are authorized to work tasks. Groups will play a part in task assignment and work queues.

Figure 3 below shows an end-to-end automation (workflow) in gen 1 designed to perform automated and manual tasks using success and failure transitions with revert capabilities. Transitions are identified by two properties:

  • The exit status of the leading task.
  • The direction of the transition (standard or revert).

Different transitions allow automations to correct anomalies, repeat parts of an automation, skip tasks, manually intervene, or follow the planned execution path.

Figure 3: Gen 1 Workflow

Gen 2

The second generation canvas and UI for Automation Builder is shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: Gen 2 Automation Builder

In the workflow presented below (Figure 5), an example automation was built in the next generation builder (Gen 2) to demonstrate high-level differences in layout and structure. Note that while the above example from the Generation 1 Builder uses reverts and evaluations to branch and handle runtime errors, the Generation 2 example uses the decision task to decide a single path when multiple options are available, and uses dedicated handlers to process errors.

Figure 5: Gen 2 Workflow