AOC Automation is an application included as part of the Aspera on Cloud offering. The Automation application allows users to create workflows that can be manually triggered, triggered via time schedule, or triggered via various application or file events. Once a workflow is running, it can initiate file transfers, make API calls, create directories, and send notifications.
Note that Automation is only available in Aspera on Cloud Advanced Edition and Aspera on Cloud Enterprise Edition.
The Automation application is built so that all users, regardless of their technical skill level, can build automated workflows. Workflows are built by chaining together actions following a trigger event. The available triggers are displayed on the right-hand side of the workflow palette after you click on the trigger event. Below are the available options, with each containing additional configuration steps after selecting your desired event.
- Manual – Triggered by making a POST api call to a specified endpoint or a user selecting “Run now” from the automation web page.
- Time Schedule – Specify a time to start running the workflow and then how many times to repeat and how often.
- File Add Event – Specify a directory either on a node or in a Workspace to monitor for new file events. Note that new files must be added via Aspera on Cloud, this trigger does not monitor the underlying storage for files added outside of AOC.
- Shared Inbox Event – Trigger your workflow after a file is sent to a specified shared inbox.
- File/Folder Delete Event – Specify a directory either on a node or in a Workspace to monitor for file delete events. Note that files must be deleted via Aspera on Cloud, this trigger does not monitor the underlying storage for files added outside of AOC.
After the workflow is triggered, you can chain together one or more actions based on your business needs. Actions can contain output from previous steps, this is helpful when the output of a preceding action is required for a following action. An example of this might be the name of a directory created or a value stored in a custom variable. Below are the actions available to you:
- Transfer – Transfer a file to another folder in a workspace or on a node within the AOC organization.
- Send a Package – Send a file or folder as a package (either the source of the trigger or any file/folder within a workspace or node.
- Call an API – Make a RESTful API call, note that POST requests have the ability to wait for a callback.
- Notify – Send an email notification to one or more recipients.
- Custom Variables – Specify a custom variable to be used in a later action.
- Create a Folder – Create a directory in a workspace or on a node directly.
Below is an example of a real-life workflow built using the available triggers and actions. This workflow is triggered on a new file event of an “incoming” directory on one of our nodes. An upstream process is uploading mezzanine-quality video assets into this “incoming” directory via Aspera. After the new file lands on the file system, we call an API to trigger a transcode. Since the transcode can take a long time to run, we simultaneously send an email notification letting our producers know that the file has landed and the transcode is running. Finally, when the transcode is completed we send the transcoded video as a package to a list of reviewers.
Now that you have a high-level understanding of the possibilities within AOC Automation, it’s easy to see the power available to you for creating automated workflows in a quick and easy way. As you explore the possibilities of the automation app, remember that these workflows are run and monitored in IBM’s managed environment with no infrastructure of your own required. PacGenesis has implemented hundreds of automation workflows for its 300+ customers, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional questions or inquiries.