Anyone using Automation using the API?

  • 17 January 2021
  • 9 replies
  • 256 views

Userlevel 2
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Hello all, 

First off a disclaimer - I work as a TAM for Commvault…

Over the last year or so I have started to get more questions from my customers about using APIs to help automate common tasks or far more complex integrations.

I am just wondering if you are doing the same yourself and curious to see how you are finding it and if you have any questions or feedback that could be useful for others in the community to learn from.


9 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi Graham,

Yes I use workflows and websites to drive actions within Commvault via API. Let me know if I can help.   :grinning:

Userlevel 3
Badge +6

Id like to learn more about this as well. I have tried but struggle finding the right use-case for my environment. I have asked in the past to highlight this as a webcast or demo but seems that its a grey area for most people.

Userlevel 5
Badge +13

Hi Graham,

Yes I use workflows and websites to drive actions within Commvault via API. Let me know if I can help.   :grinning:

Understatement of the year. I remember that auxcopy dashboard you created a few years ago on (probably?) V9, I can only imagine what wizardry you have nowadays :joy:

 

There is a similiar thread here folks added some thoughts: 

 

 

 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Id like to learn more about this as well. I have tried but struggle finding the right use-case for my environment. I have asked in the past to highlight this as a webcast or demo but seems that its a grey area for most people.

Best thing to do to start is find a task that you do in Commvault on a very regular basis that is fairly simple but requires you to do more than a few clicks to achieve. 

Few ideas might be:

  • Add a subclient to a Storage Policy
  • Run IPConfig or Netstat on a client server and see the response in the Java Console
  • Create a client computer group with specific firewall rules
  • Create a new company/modify a company name
  • Obtain the authcode of a company
  • Perform a backup of, then restore a database from test to stage
  • Determine how a newly installed client is handled when it registers to the CommCell (group assignment/prefixing the name/actions within servicedesk software etc)

Workflows are generally suited to environments where things are very standardized and you have a number of repeatable tasks that you would like to eliminate. 

 Another very good use case is where you have a web portal and you would like customers to be able to perform actions within Commvault that are very controlled, having the website invoke the Workflow with the user inputs allows you to control exactly how that task is undertaken to ensure consistency and reliability. The Command Centre is usually an easier option to this though depending on how your environment is setup, for us this is not the case and workflows along-side our tenancy API is the only way we can achieve what we need as an MSP.

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Hi Graham,

Yes I use workflows and websites to drive actions within Commvault via API. Let me know if I can help.   :grinning:

Understatement of the year. I remember that auxcopy dashboard you created a few years ago on (probably?) V9, I can only imagine what wizardry you have nowadays :joy:

 

There is a similiar thread here folks added some thoughts: 

 

 

 

Ah yes i remember that. We still have fancy dashboards and pretty graphs and charts but getting management to take action on these is still the hardest challenge. Thankfully Metrics reporting has come along way since then and has made things easier in some respects, however the Commserve database has become more cumbersome to extract data from so it even’s out. I’ll keep an eye on the other thread too. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +3

Interesting conversation here… being a Vaulter myself I have used Workflows, Reports, API, Command Line - whatever was available and helped the most - a lot in customer projects when I was still working for Professional Services. 

From my experience this is definitely used by many different customers, especially larger ones or Managed Service Providers (MSP) as they tend to either automate or customize more.

In this regard I actually have a question myself: Did anyone ever try out the “App Studio v2” using Tables, Business Rules, Forms and Apps in Command Center ? If yes, I would be really interested in your experience with it. 

Userlevel 2
Badge +1

Id like to learn more about this as well. I have tried but struggle finding the right use-case for my environment. I have asked in the past to highlight this as a webcast or demo but seems that its a grey area for most people.

Thanks @Matthew M. Magbee , I hope my great customer, @BradScott gave you some good ideas there :wink:

I thought it may also be good for you to take a look at the API framework we have. I don’t have a background in programming myself but find it really interesting how APIs can help people like me do more with automation without having to know how to code (too much).

So we have chosen to provide the API using a Postman, just head over to https://api.commvault.com and from there you can download a JSON file that can be imported in to postman (https://www.postman.com/

The web page lets you know how to get set up but a small video may help here so I will look at doing something there. Once you are in it is pretty easy to get going. Once you work out what you need then the API calls can also be integrated in to our workflows as the HTTPClient activity.

Stay tuned for a few more things to help you get going.

Userlevel 1
Badge +1

 

In this regard I actually have a question myself: Did anyone ever try out the “App Studio v2” using Tables, Business Rules, Forms and Apps in Command Center ? If yes, I would be really interested in your experience with it. 

Hi Christian

We’re using it quite heavily, it certainly has its uses as a low-code environment form CRUD behaviours and if you link it all together it comes together quite fluidly in a lot of situation for a pretty cohesive experience.

I do plan to write up a connect post about a couple of larger projects we’ve done (and are doing) with it, but I’m yet to find the bandwidth, But I do plan to do it this quarter.

Userlevel 4
Badge +7

Really curious to hear the opinion of other here but we do utilize the APIs as a lot for all our automation. My colleague for example put a open source Chef cookbook online which allows rapid installation of the Commvault agent using Chef which also utilizes the API (https://supermarket.chef.io/cookbooks/commvault).

Before starting to write all code ourselves and depending on the task we first observe if the SDKs (https://github.com/Commvault) deliver the required functionality already to automate the to be automated task. If the SDKs do not deliver the solution than we will write it ourselves, but we stay away from the usage of workflows as much as possible. The reason to do this is because we have a 300+ engineers in the company who do know how to write code in Python or .Net/PS but only have 3 engineers in the company who know about Commvault workflows and have the access and knowledge level to start with it. Learning it is not that exciting in the sense that the knowledge that you gain is Commvault only and not re-usable in the wild, so I would always opt to use API-driven development as much as possible. We also had a lot of debates with engineering because we copied a default workflow and started making changes to it to customize it. After an upgrade to another version it broke and we opened a ticket which lead to a discussion around the fact that we were doing inserts into the database via a workflow………. In the end it was a bug that was introduced with the version and not the workflow but this was again an example which lead to the discussion to stop the active adoption and development of workflows. 

One thing that could have really helped the adoption and use of workflows is if Commvault would deliver the marketplace kind of functionality in where customers can share their workflows easily amongst each other for free. For code you already can do this via github, gitlab and other code repositories which could be used to share workflows as well but I think this wouldn't fly anyhow, 

 

 

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