Extending Workflows

Workflows are comprised of workflow steps, or actions, that Commander will execute as part of the workflow.

A Commander installation offers many built-in workflow steps that address common service request and cloud automation needs. These built-in steps are always available in any Commander installation and can't be removed or modified. For details on built-in steps and their availability (that is, for example, whether they are available for command workflows, approval workflows, or completion workflows), see Workflow Steps Reference.

In addition to built-in workflow steps, you can "extend" Commander workflows by using plug-in steps or workflow modules.

Extending Workflows

Plug-in steps

Plug-in steps are specialized workflow steps that can be added to your Commander installation, as required, to extend the capabilities offered by built-in Commander workflow steps.

Preconfigured plug-in steps for common DevOps scenarios are available on the public Embotics GitHub Repository (https://github.com/Embotics/Plug-in-Workflow-Steps). You can download a JAR (Java ARchive) package that will contain one or more workflow steps and then add or "plug-in" these steps to your local Commander installation. As required, you can choose plug-in steps to address your current development and administration needs. New plug-ins are added regularly.

After you install plug-in steps, they will appear as distinct steps in Commander at the bottom of the list of available steps when you're configuring a workflow. Each step can be used independently in a workflow.

For more information, see Use Plug-In Workflow Steps.

Workflow modules

Workflow modules are a series of workflow steps that are configured and saved together in a single, contained module. When you configure a workflow, you can add modules to a workflow the same way that you would add a single built-in or plug-in step.

Modules allow you to capture a sequence of workflow steps that you or other administrators may frequently use. By using workflow modules, you don’t have to add and configure each step from scratch each time it's required.

For more information, see Use Workflow Modules.

Exporting and importing workflow definitions

You can also extend the workflow capabilities of your Commander installation by exporting and importing complete workflows and modules as workflow definitions in standard JSON or YAML file formats.

The ability to import and export workflow definitions allows you to reuse workflows and modules between environments and to share them between separate Commander systems instead of manually configuring them separately for each Commander system.

Definitions for workflows and workflow modules only differ in that definitions for workflows provide extra information that defines them as parent containers that may run independently and may contain one or more workflow modules.

You can also modify workflow definitions through a text editor. This may be required, for example, if the credentials used in the exported workflow or module don't exist in the Commander installation where you import it.

For more information, see Export and Import Workflow Definitions.