The goal of Service Manager is to support IT service management in a broad sense. This support includes implementing IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) processes such as change management and incident management. It can also include other processes, such as allocating resources from a private cloud.

Service Manager maintains a configuration management database. This database is the repository for most configuration- and management-related information in the System Center 2012 environment.

When a user requests an application through the Configuration Manager Application Catalog that requires approval, this approval workflow solution transforms the application request into a Service Manager service request, allowing flexible approval lists and activities.

Service Manager starts a workflow to handle the request. It sends the user’s manager or appropriate approver a request, which the approver can approve or deny. If the request is approved, the workflow then starts an Orchestrator runbook.

A runbook is essentially another kind of workflow. Although a Service Manager workflow is designed to implement ITIL-style processes, a runbook is designed to interact directly with system management tools. Orchestrator provides a range of prebuilt components to interact with other technologies (including non-Microsoft management tools). The runbooks included in the solution are designed to interact with Service Manager. The runbook relies on Orchestrator components to ask Service Manager to create a new application approval request. AAW routes the request to the appropriate approvers using the Service Manager workflow capabilities.