Shortly before we posted this gift guide the Scripting Guys were introduced to FullArmor’s Workflow Studio (30-day free trial; prices vary from there based on license type). Workflow Studio is an interesting little application: it enables you to build automation solutions using a simple drag-and-drop graphical user interface. On top of that, it not only uses Windows PowerShell; it’s actually built on top of Windows PowerShell.
We told you it was interesting.
What makes Workflow Studio even more interesting is that you don’t need to know anything about PowerShell in order to use it; that’s because the user interface hides a lot of PowerShell’s grammar and syntax from you. (Of course, the more you know about PowerShell the more complex – and more useful – things you’ll be able do with Workflow Studio.)
Let’s consider a very simple – and not particularly useful – example. In less than a minute, and without even so much as glancing at the help files, the Scripting Guys were able to toss together the following workflow:
To do this, we started with a new workflow, then used drag-and-drop to place an If/Then/Else task on the screen. We then used a simple PowerShell command to configure this task:
Get-Date : -gt "1/1/2007"
In other words, if today’s date is greater than January 1, 2007 the condition is true. If today’s date is not greater than January 1, 2007 then the condition is false.
Following that we added two message box tasks, one to report that the condition is true (if, indeed, today’s date is greater than January 1, 2007) and one to report that the condition is false. The cool thing? We were able to configure these message box parameters using a GUI interface:
Talk about easy, huh? And here’s what we got back when we ran the script:
Intriguing, to say the least. Now, keep in mind that Workflow Studio is not a script editor per se; that is, it doesn’t create scripts that you can, say, run from within Windows PowerShell itself. Instead, the workflows you create can only be used from within Workflow Studio (although these workflows can be shared with others). Nevertheless it’s kind of a cool idea, and definitely worth checking into. Although we haven’t had a chance to explore Workflow Studio in-depth, it looks like a tool that can help you build fairly sophisticated management tools, and in a very short amount of time.