Help/Systems Gives Robot/CONSOLE the GUI
September 30, 2008 Alex Woodie
Help/Systems, which is fast becoming one of the dominant providers of system administration and security tools for the i OS platform, last week unveiled a new release of Robot/CONSOLE, a message management utility. Version 5 introduces a new GUI management console, called the Explorer, that should make it easier for operators and administrators to track and respond to messages generated by i OS-based servers.
Robot/CONSOLE is designed to alleviate the burden and potential for error introduced by relying on human eyes to filter through thousands of messages generated daily by IBM‘s family of System i and Power Systems servers (formerly iSeries and AS/400). The product does the grunt work of sorting through messages generated by various queues–including the QSYSOPR, QSYSMSG, QAUDJRN, QHST, printer message queues, FTP requests, and others. CONSOLE also enables users to program automated responses to messages using Operator Assistance Language (OPAL), which is used across many of Help/System’s products.
With version 5, Help/Systems is building more commonality among its Robot product suite through the introduction of Explorer.
Explorer is a Java-based management console designed for PC clients that Help/Systems first rolled out in December 2006 with the launch of Robot/SCHEDULE version 10, the company’s flagship job scheduler. Explorer was also the foundation for several new features added to Robot/NETWORK version 10, which Help/Systems delivered in April 2007.
Now, Robot/CONSOLE is getting the Explorer treatment, too. With version 5, administrators can use Explorer’s point-and-click interface to set up and customize their Robot/CONSOLE message management environments, and navigate its monitoring features. That means the GUI is now used for creating message centers, groups, sets, and notification lists within CONSOLE.
The new GUI is also used for setting up automated message management, for responding to messages, and for creating reports. Administrators can use the canned filters that Help/Systems ships with the product, or configure their own filter settings to their particular environment. Users can also reproduce their automated message-monitoring environment (as contained within Robot/CONSOLE objects) by exporting messages to another system using XML files. Users can also export message and monitoring data, such as message history or message details, to a PC file or an Excel spreadsheet, for analysis or distribution.
Explorer also comes with a component called the Resource Monitor that enables users to monitor and manage resources, such as lines, controllers, subsystems, queues, and devices, directly from their desktop. Users can start or stop monitoring from the Resource Monitor, and use it to view graphical renderings of monitored resources, allowing users to quickly see if things are running well or if anything is out of whack.
Help/Systems delivered two new reports with Robot/CONSOLE version 5. These include the Message Tables Report, which shows users the range and usefulness of any message tables or OPAL tables currently defined in Robot/CONSOLE, and the Query Message File report, which helps users identify messages that are candidates for message tables by listing all of the messages in a message file that contain a specific character string.
Robot/CONSOLE 5.0 is available now. Help/Systems did not disclose pricing. Previously, licenses ranged from $2,400 to $30,195. For more information, visit www.helpsystems.com.