Orchestration and Automation

Orchestration in IT is a term that is used by a variety of systems and people can mean different things in different contexts.

When a company is trying to transform a manual business process into an ‘auto magical IT process’ it is either a type of automation or orchestration they are trying to achieve.

Some definitions you can find between automation and orchestration could be something like this (technical perspective):

  • Automation – use of scripting languages to replace cumbersome manual tasks. (I once had a colleague that often wear a t-shirt with the text: “Shut up or I’ll replace you with a script”)
  • Orchestration – Is broader than automation. Orchestration is the coordination of multiple independent automated processes. It often involves uses of APIs and task management, not only scripting.

However, when business people talk about automation, they involve the aspects of orchestration into the word automation.

The world’s first (and probably the last) comic about Microsoft BizTalk:

comic biztalk orchestration


Watts, S. (2017). IT Orchestration vs Automation: What’s the Difference?  https://www.bmc.com/blogs/it-orchestration-vs-automation-whats-the-difference/ [2019-04-02]

MacVittie, L. (2009). WILS: Automation versus Orchestration https://devcentral.f5.com/articles/wils-automation-versus-orchestration [2019-04-02]

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