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vCAC Property Dictionary: Customize Service Requests with Dynamic Menus

[originally posted on virtualjad.com]

In a previous post I discussed the benefits of utilizing vCloud Automation Center’s Property Dictionary to add input options during the application request process. This is one of the quickest ways to add some flare (and serious functionality) to the application request and allows users to have a little more granularity in the service selection process. The Property Dictionary – and custom properties in general – also help drive down the number of Blueprints thanks to the logic that can be baked right into the process.

Let’s review (from previous post)

In addition to creating a custom property, which can trigger external actions (workflows), you can also create property definition that utilizes vCAC’s built-in reserved custom properties, which can take the user’s input and apply that to the existing custom property as an answer file of sorts. For example, a drop-down list that presents the networks available to a given Provisioning Group and allowing users to select a preferred network. The property dictionary can also be used to build relationships between parent and child definitions to provide a more dynamic and nested functionality — the user selects a location (“Datacenter A”, parent) and, based on that selection, only appropriate networks (“NetA”, “NetB”, “NetC”, children) dynamically become available. The result is an application that gets deployed to Datacenter A using Network B. Throw a storage selection option in there with the same Datacenter relationship rule and now you’ve got a fine balance of policy-based controls and a dynamic user-experience.

Use the step-by-step instructions in this post to build this exact use case in your implementation of vCloud Automation Center. The assumption here is that you’ve got a working vCAC environment. If not, start with my vCAC 5.1 Detailed Installation Guide. Also, these steps are all build on version 5.1 but will also work on 5.2. Here’s a shot of our starting point – plain old “out of the box” request…

…continue reading at virtualjad.com