Microsoft releases System Center Orchestrator 2012 release candidate.

Microsoft has released the release candidate for System Center 2012 Orchestrator, the follow up version of System Center Opalis, which was acquired by Microsoft in December 2009 and integrated into its System Center portfolio. For this release Microsoft decided to integrate the Opalis code into the Microsoft codebase, and to drop support for running the Opalis DB on Oracle, the console will now be based on IIS and Silverlight.

System Center Orchestrator (SCO) is Run Book Automation (RBA) software, which can be used to define, build, orchestrate, manage and report on workflows. The workflows are defined in the SCO workflow designer, and so called Integration Packs are provided to interact with Microsoft and non-Microsoft products, which run on so called Action Servers.

The Release Candidate is provided with Integration Packs for:

  • System Center 2007 Operations Manager
  • System Center 2010 Service Manager
  • System Center 2008 Virtual Machine Manager
  • System Center 2010 Data Protection Manager
  • System Center 2007 Configuration Manager
  • VMware vSphere
  • IBM Tivoli/Netcool/Omnibus

The release candidate provides the following new features:

  • Installation experience improvements, including:
    • Improved prerequisite checks
    • Implementation of Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP), error reporting and interface with Microsoft Update
    • Allow user to log on as a service and select different service accounts for each service
    • Design Improvements( Error handling, port # for DB, increased logging, enabling log on as a service automatically)
    • UI Consistency between other System Center components
    • Time bomb(easy conversion from EVAL to licensed SKU)
  • Encryption of DB connection and Encryption/decryption of passwords
  • Globalization which is now Unicode capable and can convert SSH to Unicode
  • Web service Versioning
  • Console improvements including browse events,view events and UI updates
  • Bug fixes across all product features

Also released the Orchestrator Integration Toolkit, containing wizard-based utilities for creating new activities and integration packs for System Center Orchestrator 2012.

  • Rebranding, security enhancements, new generic activity icons
  • Wizards can upgrade 6.3 activities and IPs to be compatible with Orchestrator
  • Fixes issues with upgrading IPs multiple times
  • Fixes issues with DLL / dependent file conflicts among different IPs