Hi folks, this is me blogging from the afterlife. No, I’m just kidding, but one may think that I’m death since my last blog post was posted exactly 642 days ago. I’ve calculated this using the following PowerShell one-liner: ((Get-date) – $(Get-Date “2013/02/20”)).Days. Which made me wonder: how do people that do not know PowerShell calculate number of days between two dates? No really, how do they do it? Well, since nowadays there is an app for everything, there has to be an app which sole purpose is to calculate difference between two dates. As it turns out there are may of them. Try searching for datediff in your favorite app store.
Speaking of apps, I would like to present to you my latest creation: Auto UX. Don’t ask me what the name really means, because I don’t know myself, I just think it is a cool name :). Don’t be afraid it’s not an app that calculates difference between two dates, because this would be really lame for an app with such a cool name. To describe it one sentence, it is a Service Management Automation (SMA) client for your Windows phones, tablets, laptops an desktop computers. For those of you that don’t know what SMA is, let me tell you that if you are doing automation, you should check it out. It’s an automation engine (like System Center Orchestrator), based on PowerShell Workflow, which means you can take all of your PowerShell scripts you now run in task scheduler and put them in a controllable environment. It has native support for Orchestrator so you can trigger Orchestrator runbooks from SMA an in this way reuse your existing investment in Orchestrator. If you would like to know more about SMA check the automation track on Building Clouds blog. Start with introduction post.
Back to my app. In order to get started you will have to connect it with your SMA web service. On first run app will prompt you for SMA web service URL. If you installed SMA with default settings the URL will look something like this: http(s)://servername:9090/. In other words, this is the same URL that you’ve used to connect Azure Pack to SMA. There are also some requirements that you can read about here. If you’ll have any problems connecting the app to SMA web service please let me know here. Once you successfully connected you will be able to see the following screen:
On the left there is a self explanatory menu, on the right side you can see all of the tags that you’ve used on your runbooks. By tapping on tiles you will be taken to a list of runbooks that are tagged with a particular tag. Further on everything is pretty self explanatory and easy to find. When you are using windows platform note that some actions are available in app bars, that is the menu that slides from the bottom when you swipe from the bottom or top, or use right click. You can see an example of that below:
If you are using SMA give Auto UX a try. You can get it from Windows Store and Windows Phone store. If you are not using SMA give it a try also, it is available on System Center Orchestrator installation media and than give Auto UX a try. If you encounter any bugs, have a feature suggestion, need support or just want to say something (hopefully nice) about Auto UX let me know here.