Tue, Dec
2 New Articles

Partner TechTip: Work Schedule Entry (WRKSCHDE) Is Not Free

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

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 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..




Support MC Press Online

$0.00 Raised:

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: