Child pages
  • Glossary

This is the documentation of the latest development version of automaIT. The documentation of the latest stable release can be found at AUTOMAIT.

Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata




The agent is the automaIT service running on a managed system. It is used to transfer resources and execute statements issued by the automaIT server. It may also used as a gateway.




The CLI (Command Line Interface) provides an alternative way to access the server functionality. It provides the possibility to integrate automaIT into 3rd party systems (e.g. monitoring) or processes and allows further processing of information.
For more information on how to use the CLI see page Command Line Interface in the User Manual.

Command Line Interface

See CLI.

Communication Parent

The communication parent references a gateway which must be used to communicate with a physical host. Compared to network settings this is the Default Gateway which is used to communicate with other systems outside the network. When the automaIT server has to establish a connection to an agent it looks up the referencing physical host and communicates with it over its communication parent if it was set.


A component encapsulates the configuration and behaviour of a software artefact. It is comparable to a class in object-oriented programming so it can contain variablesconstructors (to create an instance of the component), methods (to execute code) and destructors (to destroy a component instance).

Component Instance

See instance.

Component Variable

Component variables are used to parameterize an instance. They are available throughout the whole lifecycle until that instance is destroyed.


A constructor is a special method type. It contains statements that will be executed on a host while the component instance  is created. Once the component was instantiated the constructor can not be called on that instance.

Container Component

A container component is a component which includes one or more nested components.

Control Method

A control is a special method type. It contains statements that will be executed on an existing component instance; see also constructor and destructor.



The dashboard is a page within the automaIT web interface which can be designed and edited individually by the user. It allows the user to make his main tasks quickly available with just one mouse click.


A dependency is a link between two instances. When creating a dependency the source component (called 'dependant') references another component (called 'dependee'). This dependency has to be named uniquely per component. The dependee can not be uninstalled without uninstalling the dependant first.


A destructor is a special method type. It contains statements that will be executed on a host while the component instance is destroyed.


A person that writes automaIT elements like components or plans.




The file-repository is a file system directory where all resources are stored in. The file-repository path is defined in the server property file.repository.root.


A folder groups componentsplans, and plug-ins in a hierarchical way. If a folder is owned by a plug-in only plug-in entities can use this folder.



A host can be configured as gateway to forward communication to other agents (application level routing). In fact, any agent may be used as a gateway, e.g. to gain access to restricted networks. If a host is only configured as gateway and not additionally as remote agent you can not install any components or execute plans on it.


A group aggregates multiple roles. A user may belong to multiple groups thereby inheriting all roles from the associated groups.



A host represents an agent in the server and may be used as a target for provisioning operations. automaIT distinguishes between physical hosts and virtual hosts which can form a tree. A physical host is always the root node and never a child. A virtual host always uses the connection information from its root physical host for communication with the agent. Each host can have one host type. Components are installed on a host. A host can not be removed as long as there are components installed on it.

Host Search

A host search is a query which identifies hosts that match on the query's criteria.

Host Set

A host set contains hosts. These sets are calculated by evaluating host searches or are references to other host sets. They can be used to limit the execution of components and plans to a special set of hosts.

Host Type

Each physical and virtual host can be of one host type whose host type variables describe its properties. For example, the host type 'unix' may contain a variable 'packageManagement' which is set to zypper for OpenSuse systems. A component now can access this variable to determine which package management command to use.

Host Type Variable

Host type variables are defined to describe host type properties. In contrast to local and component variables substitution language is forbidden for host type variables.


Install Variable

An install variable is a component variable which can't be set by the user but will be automatically set with a value discovered during installation. This allows the developer to integrate environment configurations which don't have to be specified manually by the user.


An instance is a component that was installed on a specific host. It is comparable to an object of a class in object-oriented programming.



A job is a unit of work which is executed by the internal job engine. Jobs may for example be model updates or model executions.
For more information about jobs see page Job Execution in the Concepts section.



Local Variable

Local variables are defined within a statement block of a method or a plan. They are only accessible within this block scope and destroyed when the block ends.



A method consists of several statements that are contained in the method body. It is used to encapsulate functionality e.g. for reuse. It is possible to define parameters that have to be passed to the method when called.


Nested Component

component can handle other components as their nested components. Nested components can be automatically installed during installation of the container component and will be removed during uninstallation of their container. Installed nested components are not visible in the list of instances and therefore can neither be removed manually nor their control methods be executed from outside the container component. Nested components can be referenced by the nestedRef substitution.



A person that executes predefined model elements like component (un-)installations, plans or control methods.



Synonym for folder.

Physical host

A physical host is a special type of host which provides connection parameters to address the remote agent. It represents a managed system and may contain virtual hosts providing a means to build host hierarchies for one and the same managed system.


A plan contains an optionally parameterized sequence of statements, such as installing components or calling component methods. It provides the ability to simply provision a chain of depending applications in the right order.


A plug-in includes components, plans, host types, host searches, host sets, and resources. Usually a plug-in contains all necessary information to provision a specific software product.
For more information on how to create a Plug-In see page Creating an automaIT Plug-in in the Development Manual.



Remote Agent

A remote agent is able to deploy resources and execute commands sent by the server.


A resource represents a file or a directory wich is attached to a component or plug-in. Resources are stored in the file-repository and referenced in the database. Resources are typically scripts or configuration files closely related to the components or plug-ins. If a file is marked as configuration file automaIT allows the use of substitution language inside and resolves the substitutions before the file can be used.


A role manages the availability of functionality in automaIT, i.e. a user may only use a functionality if he is authorized to do so. Otherwise the functionality is hidden, disabled, or an error is shown.



The server is the central application for managing agents and the components, plans, and plug-ins to provision. The user can interact with the server through web interface or CLI. All provisioning logic is evaluated on the server and resulting information stored in a database while the native execution happens on the agent resp. the underlying managed system.

Session Variable

Session variables are variables which are stored securely for each user in the database. Only this user can access them during his session. Session variables are often used for storing passwords.


The simulation evaluates the model code before it's execution. Every installation or uninstallation of an instance and the execution of control methods runs the simulation before by default. The simulation helps to find errors in the substitution statements or component references before the job is executed on the target host.

Substitution Language

The substitution language is designed to reference information provided by the model within componentsplans, and variable definitions.
For more information about the substitution language see page Substitution Language in the Development Manual.



Targetability enables the user to create dependencies more easily. Therefore a targetable host can be created while instantiating a component. This strategy makes it possible to define dependencies in the underlying model between several components on the host level and not the instance level.

Targetable Component

A targetable component is a component which creates a targetable host on instantiating. 

Targetable Host



The user interacts with the server using web or CLI access and is identified by a user name. Internal and external authentication is secured by a password.



Variable Set

A variable set bundles several component variables. Variable sets can be saved with a name for later use.

Virtual Host

A virtual host is a special type of host which always has a parent host (either virtual or physical). Virtual hosts can be created manually or by targetable components.


Web Interface

The web interface is the usual way to access the server functionality. In this interface, tasks can be initiated and job protocols can be viewed.





  • No labels