Terms and concepts

Ops Center Automator Service Builder User Guide

Part Number

Before beginning to use Service Builder, you must be familiar with the terminology that is used to refer to the various components and have an understanding of how they are interrelated.

The following shows the various Service Builder components and their relationship.

Flowchart showing Service Builder components and their relationship.

The following are definitions for each term:

Development and active environments

You create and modify service templates in the development environment until they are ready for testing. After you debug and test a service template, you can import it to the active environment in which the tasks run when a user submits it as a service.

Service template
A service template defines the various operational procedures that you specify through the components (plug-ins and other service templates). Ops Center Automator gives standard service templates that you create, modify and manage with Service Builder. When creating or modifying service templates, you specify the steps and flow and supply the relevant parameters in the development environment until the template is fully debugged and tested. After a service template is functioning properly and completes the tasks without errors, you can import it to the active environment where it is made available as a service.
Developing service template
Developing service templates are used in the development environment. A service template is considered in development when you are specifying the operational parameters and logic through the component steps, during the testing, and until the template is released. Service templates you create by copying a service template are also classified as developing service templates.
Released service template
You use released service templates in the active environment. A service template is released when its associated plug-ins are defined, thoroughly tested, and released for use in the Active environment. The standard service templates provided with Service Builder are also classified as released service templates. After a service template is released, you cannot edit it directly, but you can create a copy of the template and edit it during the development process.
A component is a service template or plug-in that you can add as a step to a flow.
A plug-in is a fundamental component of a service template. It consists of script files, definition files, resource files, and an icon file to complete specific tasks. A service template can contain multiple plug-ins that are linked together to complete a series of tasks.
Input/Output properties
Input properties specify the input settings and values required when running a task and the output properties store the task results that you can use to confirm success or generate errors. You can enter values into plug-in input properties directly, or pass values to them by linking them to a service input property or variable. By linking a service output property to a plug-in output property, you can review the results of a plug-in. Linking properties in this way and passing values between them is called property mapping.
The flow defines the processing sequence tasks and is established by the placement of the steps and the connectors that link them.
The step is the run unit of a flow that is run based on the placement of the plug-in or service template component. Components are run at each step of the flow. When the step runs, it shows property information.
A service is a custom set of automated instructions and returned output values that are defined by the flow of the component steps and their associated input and output properties in a service template. Services are generated from a standard or customized service template that you create using Service Builder.
A task is the completed instance of a service. You configure and run tasks based on a schedule.
After all the processes are defined and configured through Service Builder, you start the build so that all the required files are packaged into a functioning service template that you can test and debug. After a service template is tested and debugged, you can release it as a service.
After you release a service template, you can export it to a file so that you can import it into another Ops Center Automator installation where it can then be submitted as a service.