Service Dialogs

Improve the Service Dialog

The automatically generated Service Dialog is not perfect. It might confuse the user with too many input fields. It asks for the “Machine Credentials”, but those have already been defined in the Service Catalog Item. It also asks for the “Host”, but this one is automatically adjusted to be the selected Virtual Machine. And finally the field “package_name” could benefit from a more descriptive text.

In the following steps, we want to make the Service Dialog more user friendly by simplifying it.

Edit the Service Dialog

Navigate to Automation -> Automate -> Customization

navigate to Customization

Click on Service Dialogs in the accordion on the left

navigate to Service Dialogs

Click the check box next to “InstallPackage”

Click on Configuration -> Copy the selected Dialog to a new Dialog

copy install package service dialog

Let’s improve the Service Dialog by applying the following changes:

Dialog’s name: Install Package from Button

Hide the element “Machine Credentials” by clicking on the little pen icon.

edit machine credentials

The edit icon only shows if you move the mouse pointer over the “Machine Credentials” text box.

Do not delete the element, only hide it! The element is still needed for some CloudForms internal logic and should not be removed.

Click on Overridable Options and switch the Visible switch to “No”

visible no for machine credentials

Click Save to close the dialog

Repeat this for the “Hosts” element. Click on the pen icon next to it.

edit hosts

The edit icon only shows if you move the mouse pointer over the “Hosts” text box.

Click on Options and switch Visible to “No”

visible no for hosts

Do not delete the element, only hide it! The element is still needed for some CloudForms internal logic and should not be removed.

Click on the little pen icon next to the “package_name” text box

The edit icon only shows if you move the mouse pointer over the “package_name” text box.

Change the label to something more descriptive:

Label: Enter Package Name

Do not change the field “Name” - it is the name of the variable used internally by CLoudForms and the Ansible Playbook. if you change the name of this field, the Playbook will not pickup the new variable and hence ignore the user input.

Also let’s give more information to the user by improving the “Help” text:

Help: Enter the name of the RPM package to be installed on the system

package_name field details

Click Save to apply the changes

install package Service Dialog

Click Save To save all changes we made in the Service Dialog

This concludes this part of the lab.

Create improved Service Catalog Item

To be able to use the new Service Dialog with our button, we first have to create an additional Service Catalog Item, which points to the Service Dialog.

Navigate to Services -> Catalogs

navigate to Services Catalogs

Navigate to Catalog Items in the accordion on the left

navigate to Catalog Items

Click on Configuration -> Add a New Catalog Item

create new catalog item

Select Ansible Playbook as Catalog Item Type

select ansible playbook as type

Use the following parameters when defining the Service Catalog Item:

Name: Install Package from Button

Description: Install Package via Ansible Playbook

Display in Catalog: Yes

Catalog: Ansible

Repository: Github

Playbook: playbooks/InstallPackage.yml

Machine Credentials: Virtual Machine credentials

Variables & Default Values: add one new entry with:

Variable: package_name

Default Value: httpd

Click the little plus (“+”) icon to save the row.

Dialog: Use Exiting

Use “Install Package from Button” as the name of the Dialog, which is the one we created in the step before.

dialog to create InstallPackage Service Catalog Item

Click Add to save all changes

Update the Button definition

As the last step, we have to change the definition of our button, to point to the just created Service Catalog Item.

Navigate to Automation -> Automate -> Customization

navigate to Customization

Click on Buttons in the accordion on the left

navigate to buttons

Click on the “Install Package” Button you created in the previous lab

navigate to tools button group

Click on Configuration -> Edit this Button

Change the Playbook Catalog item to the new one you just created “Install Package from Button”

change playbook catalog item

Click Save to store all changes

Test the improved Button

Navigate to Compute -> Infrastructure -> Virtual Machines

navigate to virtual machines

Click on the “cfme001” tile if not already selected

VM cfme001 is turned on

On the details page of “cfme001” click on Tools -> Install Package

VM with addtional tools menu

Click on Tools -> Install Package

Ansible button dialog

You should see the simplified version of the Dialog. The Package Name has a better description, there is a tool tip if you hover the mouse over the little “i” icon and the redundant fields for “Machine Credentials” and “Hosts” are gone.

Click Submit to execute the Button action

Navigate to Services -> My Services

navigate to Services, My Services

As a result of your action, a new “My Services” object was created. If you don’t see it yet, wait a minute and click on the reload button.

Click on the “Install Playbook” item to see the details

details of Ansible Playbook

Click on the Provisioning tab to see output from your Ansible Playbook

Ansible Playbook output

This concludes this part of the Ansible lab.

Feel free to repeat this part of the lab with a different package name. You could use “screen” as an example instead of httpd - or some other package you want to install.