System Center 2012, System Center 2012 SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator enables you to automate and integrate your IT Systems without scripting or programming. If you want to use your existing scripts or programs there are also Activties which allow to include existing PowerShell-, C#-VB.NET-, Jscript and SSH-Scripts or run programs.
In Orchestrator you can create and maintain your Runbooks easily in a graphical interface.
The setup of Service Management Automation (SMA) is shipped with the setup of System Center 2012 R2 Orchestrator Setup like Service Provider Foundation was shipped in the Setup of System Center 2012 SP1.
Service Management Automation is a set of tools that is integrated as the Automation extension in Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server. SMA Runbooks run on the Windows PowerShell workflow engine. Because the Runbooks all have to be written in PowerShell you can be more flexible than in the ready built Activities of an Integration Pack Orchestrator that just there to be used.
In some sessions, blogs and statements of so-called experts there is conjured up a competition between Orchestrator and SMA. The scripting of code should be more innovative than to design a Workflow in a graphical interface (?). ... interesting, Sirs! Objectively considered, what is old-fashioned, designing a Runbook graphically or coding?
And yes, because you have to script you own code in the PowerShell Module of SMA you can be more flexible, but you have to script. In Orchestrator you must only configure the Activity to automate the Activity of your Integration Pack.
Do not let it confuse you that the Global Settings in Orchestrator are called “Variables”. Orchestrator “Variables” are great to configure specific settings to a Runbook. The real variables in Orchestrator are called Publish Data. The results of each previous Activity can just be subscribed to the following Activities without that there must be variables declared or something else.
If you want to run PowerShell v3.0 or 64bit PowerShell with the “Run .Net Script” Activity there some hints here in my blog how to do or just search the internet.
Nearly all Microsoft products have a PowerShell Management Shell but what if must integrate a third Party System without, like BMC Remedy ARS? In Orchestrator we can just use the IP (http://www.sc-orchestrator.eu/index.php/integration-packs/integration-packs-von-kelverion/ip-remedy).
Please do not misunderstand, I think SMA is the Automation that should be used for Windows Azure Pack. I just want to tell you my side of the story, the side of an Orchestrator enthusiastic.
By the way the REST-full web services of both products allow to interact which each other.