This is great! The fact that this ships with a UI to give a checklist and everything makes this super easy to adopt.
The one thing that would be excellent would be if there was a way to offer runbook results. Like “I ran this checklist, here are my notes on each step for any weirdness, and here’s a text file that can be looked at later”. This would help with keeping track of what happened/any improvements that might be necessary later.
That is exactly what was on my mind halfway through reading this. It comes very close to meeting an operational need, but I would need to bolt on something to generate an artifact that could be saved and reviewed, especially for exceptional cases.
I definitely considered adding a solution for recording notes at each step. I wanted to keep Runbook’s footprint small so opted to not implement that feature. That being said, the functionality can be added pretty easily adding a runbook hook to prompt for inputing notes after each step, and a hook at the end of the book to store the notes. Not implementing this in Runbook allows for flexibility to save the notes to a file, email them to yourself, store them in a database, etc.
oooh. This might be really useful. We currently have a lot of very hand-done stuff and ghetto bash scripts, and are trying to figure out how to automate everything into Ansible or Puppet. But those systems have a harder time with things like “wait 5 seconds for hardware X to start, then confirm it’s writing data to logs before continuing”, so this might be a nice way to… well, as it says, gradually get there.
Another way to gradually move from bash scripts could be to use the Fabric library. You can do orchestration of existing scripts across multiple machines with it pretty easily. It’s Python with a small API and a CLI.