Server-side Script (SSJS) Activities are a hidden gem of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. They’re useful for a wide range of applications. I ran into a scenario where I wanted to run an Automation programmatically — if it’s not already running.
It was way harder than it needed to be. Hope this saves you some frustration:
The retrieve is for getting the ObjectID and Status of the Automation, which you then use to check to see if it’s running and then invoke a Perform if it isn’t.
The frustrating part of this was that the ObjectID is not a retrieveable property of the Automation Object (unlike Status). It’s only returned in the result-set of a successful Retrieve.
I’d suggest testing this script in a Landing Page until you get it working and then move it to the Script Activity.
SFMC Support can enable Script Activities if there’s not a Script entry in the Interactions drop-down menu.
For further reading: