When you create a vRealize Automation Service Broker Custom Form, you can add elements where the user selects a value from a search results list, employing the value picker, the user could select a single value and with the multi value picker, the user selects one or more values.

Furthermore, for the value picker, you could define the Reference Type, which is a vRealize Orchestrator resource, for example, AD:UserGroup or VC:Datastore, and by defining the reference type, the user, at the vRealize Automation Service Broker would have the ability to search string, then the results or tree options would be limited to the resources that have the matching Reference Type parameter, in fact, you could even limit the possible results values by configuring an external source, I must say, it is pretty neat.

However in the previous releases, searching and selecting the values, seemed more as, if you were taken into a different UI altogether, more like the vRealize Orchestrator Inventory view and then depending on the resource, you had sometimes to define one default value to trigger the actual search…

Well, all that has been improved with the latest vRealize Automation release, now, you just select Display Type: Value Picker, define your Reference Type, e.g. VC:VmFolder and the searching / selecting process is faster and cleaner, as you can observe in the example below, which finds all the available Folders in our vCenter:

Furthermore, you also have now the ability to browse full details while searching via “show all” option:

Please note that only one single value can be selected at any point for the value picker and that you could use the value picker with the following use cases:

  • Value picker with a constant value source.
  • Value picker with no defined value source.
  • Value picker with an external value source.

But that’s not all, there are also improvements for the Multi Value picker, which it is similar to the value picker, but where you can select one or more values at once. The user enters a string and the picker provides a list based on how you configured the element properties. Now, the Multi-Value Picker has introduced in this release support for Reference Object Types for example, AD:UserGroup or VC:VmFolder, etc.

Making it possible to work in a very similar way as the Value Picker described previously:

but with the full ability to browse full details while searching via “show all” option and selecting multiple values at once:Allowing us to collect the required input, needed for our workload (in this example I am using Custom Forms for enhancing the vRealize Orchestrator Workflow named “Create virtual machine folder”:

Please note you can also use the Multi-Value Picker on the following use cases in addition to the use cases described for the value picker.

  • Multi value picker with a complex data type and constant value source.
  • Multi value picker with a complex data type and an external source.
  • Multi value picker with a reference data type and a vRealize Orchestrator reference type.
  • Multi value picker with a reference data type, a vRealize Orchestrator reference type, and an external source.

The Standard Documentation provides more details about them.

And finally you can limit the number of results returned for searches based on Object Types, you can create a filter action and bind the filter results to the search term, as in this example, a vRealize Orchestrator Action named filterWorkflow is used to filter the results returned by the Multi Value picker for the Reference Object Type: Workflow: 

This will allow me to filter the returned workflows based on the user input, as the filter criteria, e.g. if typed “folder”, the filterWorkflow would only display any vRealize Orchestrator Workflows that contains the string “folder” in their names then the Multi Value picker will make it easy for me to select all of them at once, as explained before:

Conclusion:

With the vRealize Automation Service Broker catalog administrators can create custom forms for a more dynamic and engaging user experience.

More Resources:

Extending vRealize Automation Custom Forms with vRealize Orchestrator

Custom Forms Enhancements – CSS and Complex Input Types

vRealize Orchestrator (8.2+ Feature Set) Integration in vRealize Automation Cloud.

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