Thu, Jul
0 New Articles

IBM i Scheduling Survival Guide: The Journey Toward Greater Heights

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

This resource will help make your decision easier and your rollout more manageable.


Editor's Note: This article is an excerpt from the white paper "IBM i Scheduling Survival Guide," available free from the MC Press White Paper Center.


Imagine yourself at the base of a mountain, looking up. Jagged outcroppings obscure your view of the peak, though you know it must be up there…somewhere. You've heard stories about the pride and satisfaction that comes from reaching the summit, and you consider making the climb. And yet, from your perspective, all you see are obstacles and uncertainty.


While the IT department is no Everest, considering the climb toward enterprise scheduling automation can be intimidating. So, you psyche yourself out. Rather than focus on automation's potential, you fixate on potential perils. Instead of a peak, you see a cliff.


You have the desire to begin the journey toward a better operations environment—what you need is the right information from someone who has been there. You need a guide.


We created this resource to help make your decision easier, and to help make your rollout more manageable. Think of it as a survival guide. We provide you with a strategy developed from over 30 years of helping customers not only survive the automation process, but flourish. When you achieve scheduling automation, you will join these success stories and be well on your way toward ultra-efficient operations.


We believe in managing systems by exception. That is, if processes run smoothly, on time, and without errors, let them be. If problems arise, notify the responsible party. This guide addresses this approach and the desirable features to look for when evaluating an enterprise scheduling solution.


After completing the steps in this guide, you will have a project outline in place and should be able to complete your trek toward software purchase and implementation with confidence. We share the best practices we've discovered through the years, so you won't have to go it alone.


Don't worry—you'll make it to the top.


Imagine yourself at the mountain's peak. Your job scheduler is in place, and it is having an enormously positive effect on your day-to-day operations environment. Instead of spending time putting out fires caused by jobs running in the wrong order or at the wrong time, you now concentrate on offering your customers—outside clients and internal stakeholders alike—more services and more innovative ways to increase productivity.


That's your goal. Are you ready to take the first step?


What Is Automated Scheduling?

In the 1980s, computer operators using a mainframe ran many jobs and processes manually. Operators spent much of their time documenting process completion codes and statuses. Runbooks were the backbone of every operations area, providing details about when jobs should run and what to do when errors arose. Runbooks also acted as checklists, and as tasks finished, operators entered the date and time of the completion code, along with their initials. A great deal of time was spent updating and maintaining spreadsheets to reflect this information, and these documents became part of the company's change management system.


Comparing a modern order entry process with one from 30 years ago, we find that all of the same processes had to occur in the 1980s, but all of the triggers were manual. The process went like this: a call center employee received an order and filled out a form; the form was delivered to the data processing office, where another employee punched cards with the correct information. An operator manually fed cards into the mainframe computer, which produced the pick list during the batch run that evening. The lists were distributed and used to pull the correct orders. Team members punched additional cards for mailing labels and delivery instructions. After the cards were fed into the mainframe again the next evening, another batch ran and produced the needed instructions.


Each step in the process required another round of card punching and another batch run, with tedious manual processing involved in each step.


The evolution of batch scheduling means outside events now drive schedules, and those events can occur anytime. Batches run as soon as they are needed, based on schedule drivers and triggers, because downtime is not an option. During the software evaluation phase, remember that your scheduler must be able to monitor for important events and then initiate the next step in the process.

Why You Should Make the Journey

For many people, the reasons to initiate a scheduling automation project are obvious. However, they may not be apparent to those tasked with the chore of submitting jobs manually. After all, inertia is a powerful force. Unless a budget crisis or a mandatory compliance issue mandates change, the status quo remains.

Want to Know More?

Download the free white paper "IBM i Scheduling Survival Guide" from the MC Press White Paper Center.


0 0

The realm of cybersecurity and automation is always changing, and we’re evolving right alongside it. Say hello to Fortra, the new face of HelpSystems. We’re bringing you the same people-first support you’ve come to expect from HelpSystems, only now we’ve been Fortra-fied with the purpose of providing you with exceptional protection and peace of mind along every step of your journey. 

Our team of expert problem solvers is ready to find answers to your organization’s toughest problems, and our best-in-class portfolio ensures that we’ll land on an integrated, scalable solution that’s right for you. 

We’re tenacious in our pursuit of a stronger, simpler future for cybersecurity. 

Who’s with us?



Support MC Press Online


Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: