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Partner TechTip: Enterprise Scheduling

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Batch job scheduling has become an enterprise-level issue. Your nightly processes are filled with touchpoints that require integration with non-iSeries systems. Data from your iSeries system is a prerequisite for a batch process to run on a UNIX or Windows server.

For years, many of us either handled these touchpoints manually or used timers on our UNIX, Windows, or iSeries systems to trigger the process. The problem with both of these approaches is that they are error prone and not very timely. The ultimate goal is to build an event-driven schedule that takes into account all environments.

Of course, we argue that this should all be done from the iSeries. It is the most reliable and consistently available server among these systems. You can write CL programs to launch a process or to FTP data to the remote system. You can find tips and sample code in the IBM Information Center.

Another option to launch processes from the iSeries to a Windows or UNIX system is to use the OS/400 command Run Remote Command (RUNRMTCMD). This command allows you to launch processes on other systems if you have authority to a remote system running the target portion of the function. See the IBM Information Center for command examples.

Robot/CLIENT and Robot/SCHEDULE are Help/Systems' answer to enterprise scheduling. Combined, these two products can coordinate batch processes, FTP transactions, and monitoring across OS/400 (i5/OS), UNIX, and Windows systems. Scheduling occurs on the iSeries with Robot/SCHEDULE at the heart. You can think of Robot/CLIENT as agent software running on each non-iSeries server. It checks server operational status, receives job status information, launches processes, monitors server applications and services, transfers data, and much more. It essence, this takes away the guessing game of when cross-system dependencies will be fulfilled (see Figure 1).

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Figure 1: Robot/SCHEDULE and Robot/CLIENT provide enterprise scheduling from the iSeries. (Click images to enlarge.)

A common question in enterprise scheduling involving iSeries and Windows servers is "Can you FTP data from one server to another and then launch a process on that server?" With Robot/CLIENT, the answer is yes. Robot/CLIENT has a built-in FTP interface that you can use directly from a Robot/SCHEDULE job (see Figure 2). Another question with Windows servers is "Can you work with Windows services?" Again, the answer is yes. Robot/CLIENT has three simple OS/400 commands that you can place in a Robot/SCHEDULE job: RCLSTRSVC, RCLENDSVC, and RCLMONSVC. They allow you to start, end, and monitor Windows services.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/TNT%20tech%20tip%208%20ent%20sched%20V4--12160501.jpg

Figure 2: Use the Robot/CLIENT file transfer command in a Robot/SCHEDULE job to initiate an FTP transaction.

Learn more about Enterprise Scheduling from your iSeries by clicking here. And check out Help/Systems' other offerings in the MC Showcase Buyer's Guide.

Tom Huntington is Vice President of Technical Services for Help/Systems, Inc. He can be reached at 952.563.1606 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

TOM HUNTINGTON

Tom Huntington is Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions at HelpSystems, and has been with the company for nearly 30 years. He works with business alliances, acquisitions and large customer relationships and ensures that the HelpSystems software works with other major software and hardware vendors worldwide.

Tom often speaks on enterprise scheduling, security, automation topics, IBM i technology, and the HelpSystems products, and hosts technical presentations on a variety of automation topics. He is the author of the HelpSystems IBM i Marketplace Survey and has written articles on automated operations, security, cloud computing, and business intelligence for leading trade journals and newsletters. He was named an IBM Champion in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 for over three decades of advocation and thought leadership on the IBM i platform.

Contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


 

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