Help/Systems Updates Robot/REPLAY
March 18, 2008 Alex Woodie
Help/Systems last week launched a new release of Robot/REPLAY, a companion product to its i5/OS job scheduler, Robot/SCHEDULE, that’s designed to provide a greater degree of automation in the scheduling of System i jobs. The product’s usability and security have been improved with the version 3 release, Help/Systems says.
When setting up a job schedule to automate the workload of a System i server, an administrator will typically work with batch jobs that are, more or less, self contained and don’t require user input. However, every now and then, an administrator will run into interactive jobs that need to be executed as part of a job schedule. Failure to include this interactive, or 5250, job could put the automatic execution of other batch jobs in jeopardy.
This is where Robot/REPLAY comes into play. By basically simulating a user, the software works to automate interactive System i processes that can’t run in batch mode, including i5/OS menu systems and 5250 screen applications. In this manner, Robot/REPLAY helps smooth the rough edges that may otherwise trip up Robot/SCHEDULE, Help/Systems popular job scheduling tool.
With Robot/REPLAY 3.0–the first new version of the product in a number of years–Help/Systems has built a complete menu system, which it says will make it easier to access the product’s objects (or macros) and functions. The menu system will allow users to accomplish a number of tasks, including: viewing, scheduling, and executing objects; viewing execution history; working with profiles; managing security settings; requesting reports; and maintaining the Robot/SCHEDULE command variables that are embedded into Robot/REPLAY objects.
Help/Systems has also added a new role-based security system to control access to the product’s objects and functions. This security system allows an administrator to create security roles and specify access rights to Robot/REPLAY objects and functions. Administrators can even prevent unwanted access by users with *ALLOBJ authority to Replay objects that contain sensitive data, the company says.
The new version brings troubleshooting enhancements, including a new visual log that shows the sequence of events occurring before the execution of a Replay object, as well as other diagnostics information. Finally, version 3 brings new reports that provide administrators and auditors with a wealth of information about their Robot/REPLAY environments, including setup details, job relationships, screen shots, and security roles and access rights.