Segmenting a complex workflow into small Runbooks is good practice, particularly if timing is not an issue. Keeping a Runbook small makes it easy to read and understand; and also easy to maintain, especially if one takes advantage of the 'Invoke by path' feature of the 'Invoke Runbook' Activity.
Under the hood, objects within Orchestrator are addressed using their UniqueID. Runbooks normally are no exception.
However, when 'Invoke by path' is checked on an 'Invoke Runbook' Activity, this is no longer the case. Orchestrator then refers to the Runbook by its name and path. This has one disadvantage: the Runbook can no longer be moved around freely in the tree of Runbooks. Orchestrator would no longer be able to locate the Runbook in the database. Modifications in the Runbook tree should be performed with special care, as well.
But there is also an advantage. A Runbook called by a number of other Runbooks is not easy to maintain.If updates become necessary and the old versions must remain available, not only does the Runbook itself have to be replaced, but also the calling Activities have to be relinked. Version control can become difficult.
When referring to a Runbook 'By path' the procedure becomes simpler. Calling Runbooks do not need to be modified anymore, as a couple of renames will do the trick:
- Take a note of the current version’s name
- Rename the current version
- Install the new version
- Rename the new version to match former 'current' version’s name
This procedure should be used during development and test only. It does not replace a proper staging process, for which VAS offers a very powerful tool, the VAS Staging Tool. Before performing staging operations using the Staging Tool the 'By path' functionality hast to be disabled again.