Part 2: What’s New With OnCommand Workflow Automation 2.1?

By Kristina Brand, OnCommand Product Marketing and Vishwas Venkatesh, OnCommand Product Management


Last week I provided an overview on the new OnCommand Workflow Automation 2.1 and some of the sample workflows that support clustered Data ONTAP 8.2 features. This week, I’ll touch upon some of the other new features and capabilities in WFA 2.1.


Support for Additional Data Sources

With this latest release of Workflow Automation (also referred to as WFA), you can add OnCommand Unified Manager 6.0 and 5.2 as data sources. So if you’re thinking about transitioning to Data ONTAP 8.2, or if you have a 7-Mode or mixed mode environment, then a single instance of WFA will provide support your needs. To further simplify data source setup, the WFA 2.1 “easy setup” wizard now supports the addition of Performance Advisor (in Unified Manager 5.2) in just a few simple steps. You can also configure WFA to notify you through email and SNMP messages if a data source acquisition fails.

In addition you can write a cache query and reuse it across multiple data provider types, instead of copying all the queries when a new data source is added. For example, you can use a cache query for the volume object with both the OnCommand Unified Manager 5.1 and 5.2 data sources. This is another great little feature that can save you time when setting up your new data sources.


User Experience

WFA 2.1 includes a number of enhancements that improve the overall user experience. Here’s an overview of the latest:

  • The search feature lets you locate the required WFA content and find content within workflows easily.
  • The SQL query builder provides suggestions for the query syntax so that you can construct SQL queries more easily.
  • You can also select the WFA content that is relevant to the scheme that is used in your environment. For example, if you use only clustered Data ONTAP, you can configure WFA to show only the cm_storage scheme related content on the WFA interface.
  • The tabs in the Execution window and the Designer window include a toolbar with icons that allow you to complete the required actions easily.

Keeping the user experience top of mind, in this latest release you can configure the following settings through the “Advanced tab” in the workflow automation configuration dialog box.

  • Jobs obsolete interval
  • Maximum finder results
  • Maximum cache job executions to keep
  • Maximum workflow job executions to keep
  • Acquisition notification threshold
  • Acquisition notification interval factor
  • Storage controller connection protocol


If you’re new to OnCommand Workflow Automation, I encourage you to visit the WFA community and check out workflow examples , template examples, and more. There’s also a WFA Starter Kit if you’re ready to jump in and try WFA for yourself. We’d love to hear what you think after you’ve tried WFA, so feel free to comment below.