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Release Date: 2019-06-18

 

ENHANCEMENTS

 

Workflows are now executed by the Workflow Engine talking to the API instead of directly to the database. This is the first step of a process in redesigning the Workflow Engine. No change in functionality will be experienced.

 

All documentation relating to Snow Automation Platform is now found within the product. This includes user and administrator guides, information for automation books, advanced topics such as re-branding, input directives etc. and a glossary of terms. Context sensitive information is still accessed through the Learn more link on each administrator page, while advanced topics are accessed through the menu link found under the burger icon. The documentation is written in Markdown (.md). Administrators now have control over company branding and customization of the documentation. The documentation is now easily translatable and individualized custom help can be added to the documentation space.

 

CORRECTIONS

 

The issue where the visibility of the parameters configured in a newly created Service from a template service would not be set correctly, has been fixed.
Complete descriptions of Services are now visible when the Gallery view is selected in the Service Catalog.
The misaligned looking glass icon for the autocomplete input directive on the My tasks page is now corrected.
 When configuring the dropdown input field in Service/Workflow/Activity admin, the option to source from a static value list can now be deselected as intended.
It is now possible to translate each workflow step shown in the Process overview on the My tasks page.
Leaving Object Properties empty for a Powershell WebService used on activity level now resolves as intended.
Scheduled tasks will now import error free from one installation of Automation Platform to another.
When enabling the setting Show raw parameters tag, the WP tags are now shown separated by a colon instead of semi-colon.

The Snow Automation Platform team are using the collaborative power of GitHub to provide an easy way for administrators to access, configure, and improve the modules, workflows and scripts for some of the integrations that have been developed. 

But what is GitHub, and why is Snow’s Automation Platform team using it?

 

GitHub is an open-source development platform and community with almost 30 million registered users. It is the largest  collaborative work-space. GitHub is both a version-controlled repository for management and control of any type of project as well as a community for developers to share ideas and code. Let’s break it down further:

 

Git: is a command-line tool, (text-based commands entered in a terminal window) that enables users to securely control changes made to a file – ensuring that content is never lost or overwritten. The GitHub version of git includes a web-based graphical interface to the repository, making it accessible to a wide range of users, and applicable for many different types of projects – not just code. 

Hub: is the collaborative effort of the community – reviewing and sharing ideas about improvements that could be made to code or a project. Think of it as a social network where members can follow each other, rate each other’s work, receive updates, join discussions on projects they are involved with, and communicate with like-minded people.

 

Pretty cool right?

Getting Started with GitHub

Here’s a quick overview of the collaboration process and some jargon to get you started.

Branches (or forks) – to contribute to a project, you branch or make a copy of a repository, making your modifications and improvements without affecting the original code.

Pull request – once you’re done with your modifications, create a pull request so that the original developers can recognize and approve your suggestions. If they like what they see, the authors will accept it as part of the original project.

Merge – to include your ideas, the original owner will pull them into the project by merging your modification with the original repository.

 

So why is Snow Automation Platform team using this open-source, collaboration platform for the on-going development of modules and what does this mean for you?

Björn Sundling, Automation Platform’s PowerShell script developer, explains:



 

So, you want to get involved? Great!

To access and tailor functionality of the modules that have been developed to suit your needs in your installation of Snow’s Automation Platform- signing up for a free GitHub account is all it takes. Once you are there you can:
(no coding skills necessary)

  • Reach out, modify and collaborate on any projects. Is there an issue that you need help solving? Chances are another user may be facing the same.
  • Report an issue, track its progress, and collaborate on the best solutions either with the Snow Automation Platform development team or GitHub community collaborators.
  • Make, discuss and share your opinions for change requests. We can’t promise to address them all, but its great to have the ideas flowing.  
  • Let us know if you find that a step is missing in the documentation for a module, or clarification is needed.
  • If you are a beginner, dabbler or guru PowerShell developer- you can do as little or as much as you can…or want to.
  • You can write functionality tests if you are a writer of Pester code. This will help to continually improve the modules that are available, and make sure everything works as designed.

 

Get started by finding us at: https://github.com/SnowSoftware

 

- AP Team - 

Dear Snow community,

Some of the Automation Platform sections have been updated with new content.

 

  1. Documentation (AP Documentation)

Here you will find the latest preparation, install, and user guides for both administrators and end-users. Technical descriptions, Invoking workflow documentation for 3rd party systems have also been added. 

You will also find the documentation for the Automation books including both import instructions as well as content. The Automation books include e.g.:

  • SAM Automation for Snow License Manager
  • Mobile Automation for Snow Device Manager
  • Microsoft Office 365 Automation
  • Cloud IaaS Automation for Azure
  • Cloud IaaS Automation for Amazon Webservices
  • Cloud IaaS Automation for Google Compute Engine
  • Virtualization Automation for VMWare Vsphere

  1. Videos (AP Videos)

In addition to the end-user videos visualizing the user experience for requesting services in Automation Platform, we've also added administrative videos that walk through the different views and high-level configuration possibilities.

  1. Questions (AP Questions)

The questions area is growing each day. We are always trying to ensure you get as quick and detailed answers to your questions as possible. Here you might find inspiration as to what other customers and partners are doing, connect with people that have similar roles or get answers to your existing questions.

 

Let us know if you need anything!

 

Best regards,

David