15 minute read

Brief history

Micro Focus was founded in 1976 and has a long history of success in software development. The company was founded in Berkshire, England, but it has 45 offices worldwide, while current Headquarter is in Newbury, England. They acquired many software companies throughout the years, including Novell, and merged with Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software business in 2017. Some customers using Micro Focus solutions for a very long time are:

  • BMW
  • Allianz
  • Vodafone
  • Guess
  • SKY
  • International criminal court

Micro Focus’s slogan is: HIGH TECH. LOW DRAMA. IT Done right.

Some of theirs notable products include COBOL, which is still developed and used in Visual COBOL.


Micro Focus isn’t just an automation company, they offer much more. Some larger groups of products that they offer are:

  • IT Operations Management

  • Information Management and Governance

  • Team Collaboration and Endpoint Management

  • Application Modernization and Connectivity

  • Application Delivery Management

  • Analytics and Big Data

  • Security

  • Consultancy

That’s not all of course, Micro Focus offers a palette of products which you can find here.

Micro Focus Automation solutions

We mostly use IT Operations Management suite, ITOM for short. A part of that suite is Operation Orchestration which is a set of tools for Enterprise IT, Cloud and Robotic Process Automation. You can find more information in this short video from Micro Focus.

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Now that you are familiar with The Operation Orchestration suite, OO for short, let’s talk about it’s core elements:

  • Central

  • Workflow Designer

  • Studio

  • SSX

  • IDM

  • RAS

Let’s take a minute and explain each one in short.

Solutions in detail

Studio and Workflow Designer are platforms in which you design and author automation flows. They have an integration with GIT for project versioning.

Studio is a desktop solution that is only available for Windows and that is on of the main reasons Micro Focus has chosen to create a workflow designer. OO Studio was the only workspace for some time until workflow designer was released.

Workflow Designer is a Web-based solution that is installed on a Tomcat server and available for Windows and Linux operationg systems. It also supports python and javascript scriplets while studio only supports javascript scrplets. Workflow designer requires IDM for authentication, while central and others can use LDAP. Good news is that you can map your LDAP to IDM so you don’t need to fully configure IDM.

Central is a Web-based application in which you run or schedule your flows, monitor them, configure your network and much more.

IDM stands for Identity Manager and is a security system for OO Central which is optional to use, except for Workflow designer. You can use LDAP instead, and for workflow designer, you can map your LDAP inside IDM.

SSX stands for Self Service X and is a web-based interface for running and organizing flows by end-users. It can be used only when connected to OO Central.

RAS stands for Remote Action Server and it is a worker with a remote protocol for connecting to central server, when you need to separate Network environments. RAS workers are installed separately on Windows and Linux.

One thing to note is that Central and RAS can work in a cluster with 2 or more servers that prevents downtime if one server crashes unexpectedly.

Authoring flows

Now that we have explained core elements of OO, let’s get into context of automation. Operation Orchestration Studio/Designer offer many base operations and flows, for authoring flows, inside a base content pack provided by Micro Focus. Content packs are a great feature of OO because you can create your own content packs or get custom content packs from Micro Focus marketplace. There are around 8 thousands of already available operations for you to use in Micro Focus base content pack alone.

There are many different operations and flows you can use, but a great thing is that flows work with your servers and services. So, you don’t need to change anything about your architecture. Also, when authoring flows, you can create reusable subflows and use them in your other flows. For example, you can create a flow that will parse JSON to HTML and use it in many different flows. Or, you can create a flow that manages server updates and you can use it anywhere you need.

Example flow

restart service flow

This is a simple flow to demonstrate flow authoring in OO Studio. This flow here asks the user for hostname and service name and it determines OS type based on the given hostname.  connects to that server and restarts the service. In the end, it returns a JSON response that looks like:

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NOTE: ${serverName}, ${serviceName} and ${timestamp} are step variables from our flow.

If service could not be restarted, it returns the same JSON, just with different info message and status.

Now, this flow isn’t really special in any way. But, you could modify it to use the hostname and service name from a different flow’s variable and make it work with any other flow.

Let’s explain the flow and each command a little bit.


So, the first command is Get current date and time which does exactly that. It is the first command because it has a green border around. You can actually assign which command is the first in the chain. You can also see that every command here has a success and error output. Success and error outputs are connected to different commands or resolve / error final steps (green check or red cross). Those are final nodes that end the flow.

Next command is Operating system detector which detects an operating system from given hostname and chooses the right output based on the OS. Then, based on the OS, we execute PowerShell script or SSH command which connects to a given hostname and execute a command. That command is restart a service. Based on the completion, it goes to error or success which actually both connect to a resolve node, but return a different JSON. One for successful service restart and one for failed restart.

Additional information

If our hostname is not Windows or Linux OS, we go to Unused OS resolve. That resolve also returns a JSON that states that given hostname has an unused OS type. The only time we are going into an error node is when we can’t detect given OS. Or, when we for some reason can’t get current date and time.

If you were to put this flow inside another flow, it would act like a function and would also have a resolve and error outputs that would correspond to these. We have more resolve nodes here, but only one can be accessed because the flow can only end in one node.

Rodiger and Micro Focus

Our CEO, Dejan, has more than 10 years of experience with Micro Focus tools and has worked for HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise) for 7 years as a Solution Architect. He decided to form his own company and use Micro Focus solutions for automation and digital transformation.

Micro Focus offers great partnership program with 3 tiers of partnership:

  • Authorized partner
  • Gold partner
  • Platinum partner

Rodiger is a Micro Focus Gold partner with more than 30 official Micro Focus certificates which further showcase our technical knowledge and expertise. Rodiger uses Micro Focus OO suite since it’s founding in early 2017 and has a great success in automating business processes.

Why Micro Focus

Micro Focus tries to bridge your existing technologies with new ones to lower IT drama. By that we mean lowering costs, potentials downtime and risk in general. While bringing faster return on investment and reducing employee resilience.

Micro Focus has proven their industry knowledge and expertise by being and industry leader for more than 40 years. They have a wide spectrum of solutions concerning your every need. Basically everything you need at one place. Use Machine learning and AI for advanced analytics to reduce time to make decisions and manage your costs more effectively.

Cimmited to your long term success providing constant support. Their solutions are open, integrated and backwards compatible to adjust to your needs. Price and delivery are also flexible and try to meet your demands. Also, account management, post-sales support and customer training are set to a high standard.

Micro Focus’s product line is focused around 4 key outcomes of run and transform:

  • Accelerate application delivery
  • Simplify IT transformation
  • Strenghthen your cyber resilience
  • Analyze in time to act

Powerful innovation engine:

  • Top 10, of global software companies, in number of patents
  • 1000+ product releases in the last 24 months
  • 5000+ qualified and talented engineers


So, you can see why we use Micro Focus automation solutions. They are reliable, secure, fast and easy to debug and they don’t require that you change your architecture or business practices.

Micro Focus also offers free trials for some of their products and we can also demonstrate the complete OO product line to you.

Here’s another video that showcases some new features of OO and actually shows the OO capabilities really well. Of course, there are many other capabilities which aren’t in this video. Such as remote debugging, scheduling flows, many different flows and commands, monitoring flows and more.

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If you have any questions about Micro Focus solutions and products, as well as capabilities of Operation Orchestration suite, be sure to contact us. We can help you understand and start automation today!