Free ebook: System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks

 We’re very excited to announce a free ebook offering from Microsoft Press: Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks (ISBN 9780735682986) by David Ziembicki, Aaron Cushner, Andreas Rynes and the System Center series editor, Mitch Tulloch. This is the first in a series of unique (and free) ebooks that bring System Center experts together to discuss designing, deploying, and troubleshooting some of the most complex and mission critical aspects of key System Center capabilities.

Taken from the book’s Introduction, here is how the authors describe the content of this particular title.


Welcome to Microsoft System Center: Designing Orchestrator Runbooks. We believe that orchestration and automation are becoming increasingly important in IT organizations of all sizes and across all infrastructure types ranging from on-premises to cloud-based. Orchestration and automation can help reduce the cost of IT while improving consistency and quality of IT service delivery. Like any powerful technology. however, it can be both used and abused.

Our objective with this book is to provide a framework for runbook design and IT process automation to help you get the most out of System Center Orchestrator 2012 and to help you utilize Orchestrator in concert with the rest of the System Center for an enterprise-wide and systematic approach to process automation. We will provide detailed guidance for creating what we call “modular automation” where small, focused pieces of automation are progressively built into larger and more complex solutions. We detail the concept of an automation library, where over time enterprises build a progressively larger library of interoperable runbooks and components. Finally, we will cover advanced scenarios and design patterns for topics like error handling and logging, state management, and parallelism. But before we dive into the details, we’ll begin by setting the stage with a quick overview of System Center 2012 Orchestrator and deployment scenarios.


We’ll post announcements as other System Center titles are available. Expect more soon!

Download the PDF version of this title (186 pgs, 8.77MB) here and the companion content here (296 KB). You can get the EPUB version here and the MOBI version here.

Comments (12)

  1. Thierry says:

    The link to the epub is a other book it is Introducing Windows Server 2012 epub. Can this please be fixed.


  2. Rick Harderwijk says:

    The link to the MOBI suffers from the same error Thierry reported.

  3. Rick Harderwijk says:

    @Thierry : Just checked O' It's available there in digital format for free as well (information correct on September 20th 2013 09:45UTC)

  4. Tin Snead says:

    What is happening at Microsoft Press?

  5. Thierry says:

    Link is coorect now. @Rick Also tried O'Reilly that worked also. Thnx

  6. Patrice BONNEFOY says:

    Good and great 😉  Thank you very much !

  7. Ben S. says:

    I really enjoyed the book, but I was confused how the "Get Runbook Path" activities in Figures 5-32 and 5-33 could possibly return the same path as the one in Figure 6-17, if they return the path of the folder they are in (with one being under Initiation Runbooks and the others being under Control Runbooks). How does the "Get Shared State Path" activity (mentioned in the "Working with XML in Windows Powershell" section, but never detailed) behave differently? Is something hard-coded somewhere?

  8. Alan Teixeira says:


  9. Aaron Cushner [Author] says:

    Hi Ben,

    The Get Runbook Path component runbook takes an activity ID from the current runbook and uses the Orchestrator REST API to get the logical path of the runbook based on the folder structure shown in the Runbook Designer. So every runbook that calls this will get a unique value returned. The "Get Shared State Path" activity is using the Get Relative Folder component runbook which is documented in the Appendix. This runbook takes a starting path and then traverses x levels up before appending the added path to get to a shared location.

  10. Tolga says:

    Great..Thanks for document.

  11. Santanna says:

    pdf link isn't working

  12. Kim Spilker says:

    Hi Santanna,

    The PDF link is working for us. Please try again.