Applies To: Orchestrator 2012 Beta

Review the following System Center 2012 - Orchestrator terms and their corresponding definitions.

Terms Definitions


An action in a runbook, available in the Activity pane.

check in / check out

After updating a runbook, commits changes to the Orchestrator data store as a way Orchestrator integration servers save the work.


A global integer variable you can use in a runbook to modify the value within a runbook, such as an incremental number of attempts.

data bus

A mechanism used within Orchestrator to pass information from one activity in a runbook to the next activity. The data flowing along the path of the workflow is called published data, and each subsequent runbook in the runbook adds its own data to the data bus.

data store

The data store is the Oracle or SQL Server database where configuration information, runbooks, and logs are stored.

integration pack (IP)

A collection of custom activities specific to a product or a technology.


Causes a runbook activity to activate, either by satisfying a monitor condition or by linking to a previous activity which has already run.

management server

The communication layer between the Runbook Designer and the deployment manager to the database.


A specific activity type often used to start a runbook workflow that is designed to run continuously and invoke an action based on a specific condition.

Orchestration console

A web-based console in which you can see which runbooks are currently running, view their real-time status, and start or stop your runbooks.

published data

The foundation of a working runbook. It is the data resulting from each activity in a runbook. This data is published to the data bus so that activities in the runbook can subscribe to it and use it in their configuration. Smart link conditions also use this information to add decision-making to the workflow.


The workflows that are created and used with the Orchestrator solution. They contain exactly one starting point, but can contain many branches, many different actions, and many potential stopping points.

Runbook Designer

The tool that designers use to create, modify, and publish runbooks.

runbook server

The engine that runs runbooks. Runbook servers communicate with the data store. Runbook servers do not require a management server to be online to run runbooks. You can deploy a single runbook server or multiple ones.

Runbook Tester

The tool that designers use to test runbooks that are developed in the Runbook Designer before they are deployed.


Global settings that let you define a set of date/time criteria for use in a runbook, for example, when a runbook runs an action, or when it cannot run an action.

smart link

The connection between two activities in a workflow. Smart links provide the flow from one activity to another based on criteria defined in the filters.

standard activities

The activities included with the default installation of the Runbook Designer, and include the many basic activities required in a runbook.


A global value that can be used in a runbook to define a frequently used setting, such as a directory path to common files, server names, or other strings.

For additional resources, see Information and Support for System Center 2012.

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