Partner TechTip: Work Schedule Entry (WRKSCHDE) Is Not Free PDF Print E-mail
Tips & Techniques - System Administration
Written by Tom Huntington   
Friday, 30 July 2010 00:00

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Do your developers spend time writing code to manage your schedule?


A free scheduler sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? However, Work Schedule Entry isn't free if your team spends time writing code to control dependencies. It isn't free if your operators have to look at QSYSOPR to determine when to force the next job. It isn't free when you consider the time you spend pulling together the reports your auditors demand, such as Who can create jobs or Who changed the job in your scheduler.


The real cost of the free scheduler surfaces when one task runs before its predecessor finishes. How much time do you spend fixing this problem, and how much down time does it cost you? Every time your developers have to write a CL program or other code to control the work flow, you're wasting time and money that could very well be spent on real business issues. Remember, the cost of software is only one part of the equation of total cost of ownership (TCO).


Other costs that can crop up include the time you spend looking for a job log or history information for a failed batch process. Or when you need an experienced staff member to hunt down a problem. Does WRKSCHDE give you a feel for the progress of your schedule? How about processes that run on your Windows, UNIX, or Linux servers?


Robot/SCHEDULE can solve these issues—and more—for you. It even imports the WRKSCHDE entries into the Robot/SCHEDULE database.

Reactive Jobs and Groups

Robot/SCHEDULE was developed to help you build a totally event-driven schedule. Two types of jobs provide this automation: Group Jobs and Reactive Jobs. Robot/SCHEDULE eliminates both the need to look at QSYSOPR to see if the previous job completed and the valuable developer time it takes to get one job to wait for the previous job (see Figure 1). Another benefit is a reduction in your batch window by 40 to 60 percent. Over and over again, we've seen that eliminating timed jobs greatly reduces the window to run your night processing. And, these days, who isn't looking for ways to make their server more available?



Figure 1: Robot/SCHEDULE's Reactivity window shows one job with multiple prerequisites. (Click images to enlarge.)


If your workflow is complicated, Robot/SCHEDULE's Job Schedule Blueprint can build a job flowchart of dependencies. Just imagine all the work you do today to document your schedule. With Robot/SCHEDULE, you simply right-click and submit a job to build the flowchart. You can modify and enhance the diagram by including comments or by moving the boxes around (see Figure 2).



Figure 2: Robot/SCHEDULE's Job Schedule Blueprint shows your job dependencies.

What's Going to Run Tonight?

How do you know what's going to happen tonight in Work Schedule Entry? You don’t! It's management by "I don't know." With Robot/SCHEDULE, the Schedule Activity Monitor (SAM) provides all the answers you need: what's forecasted, what's running, and what has recently completed. Your operators can make decisions more easily. They can drill into job logs or even look at the properties of the job. And, if you're managing your enterprise from Robot/SCHEDULE, you even see all your UNIX and Windows jobs (see Figure 3).



Figure 3: Use the Robot/SCHEDULE Schedule Activity Monitor (SAM) to see your schedule.

Robot/SCHEDULE Eliminates the Guessing Game

Robot/SCHEDULE eliminates the guessing game of what job will run next and whether it will run after its prerequisite job. Give Robot/SCHEDULE a free 30-day trial. You won't be disappointed! To learn more about Robot/SCHEDULE, click here. And check out Help/Systems' other offerings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.


Tom Huntington
About the Author:

Tom Huntington is Vice President of Technical Services for Help/Systems, Inc. Contact Tom at 952.563.1606 or at


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Last Updated on Friday, 30 July 2010 00:00
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