ASCI Delivers Java Support with Job Scheduler
January 25, 2011 Alex Woodie
It will be easier to incorporate Java and database-driven applications with the latest release of Advanced Systems Concepts‘ ActiveBatch job scheduler. With version 8, ASCI has added the capability to directly invoke J2EE applications without the need for wrappers. Similarly, new adapters enable customers to tap into SQL Server and Oracle stored procedures without the need for scripts.
ActiveBatch is an enterprise job scheduler that lets organizations manage workloads across various platforms, including IBM i, Windows, Linux, Unix, mainframe, OpenVMS, and even Mac OS. The product gives administrators flexibility in how they set up their schedules (they can be time-based, trigger-based, or built around different types of constraints). Pre-built templates give users a good starting point for customizing a schedule, while compatibility with various security, messaging, monitoring, management, security, and communication protocols and standards make it easier to fit ActiveBatch into a given shop.
With ActiveBatch version 8, the vendor–which added support for IBM i about one-and-a-half years ago–has made several notable enhancements that should be welcome in the typical midsize IT data center faced with a mix of platforms to manage.
Chief among these enhancements is the addition of support for J2EE objects. The product, which previously offered support for Java applets, has been expanded to handle the direct invocation of Java objects and methods. That means wrappers are no longer needed to start or stop Java applications as part of a cross-platform workflow, the vendor says. Support for Java Messaging Services (JMS) and Java Management Extension (JMX) will also help ActiveBatch’s management of Java applications.
Better integration with Windows Server environments is also a hallmark of version 8. ActiveBatch customers can now automatically provision a Hyper-V virtual machine on a Windows server thanks to closer integration with Microsoft‘s Virtual Machine Manager; provisioning through VMware is also supported. Integration with Microsoft Service Manager should help ActiveBatch users create and maintain incidents handled through that Microsoft help desk product.
The new release also includes support for the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) line of business adapters, which eliminates scripting for invoking certain types of applications, including stored procedures and functions associated with SQL Server and the Oracle database, and .NET and COM assemblies, the vendor says.
Coordinating certain business intelligence workloads will also be easier thanks to closer integration between ActiveBatch and ETL tools from Informatica and Netezza. Version 8 also includes object-level support for Powershell scripts. Also, new tasks have been added to the jobs library that simplify OpenPGP, SSH, and SSL encryption tasks.
ASCI has also improved the GUI management component with ActiveBatch version 8. A new operations view has been added that makes it easier to organize jobs based on their status. New alerts and notification views have also been added.
Jim Manias, ASCI vice president of marketing and sales, says the impetus behind ActiveBatch version 8 was to simplify IT professional’s job-scheduling duties. “Job schedulers continue to move to the center of enterprise IT operations, to improve the service levels and integration of workflows involving the ‘hidden’ management applications and as highly visible drivers of customer-facing services,” he states in a press release.
ASCI is not to be confused with the former Advanced Systems Concepts outfit that develops IBM i reporting tools, which now goes by SEQUEL Software. According to ASCI, ActiveBatch has been tested to cover more than 2,000 physical and virtual servers and scales to more than one million jobs per day, and has been installed at more than 1,300 sites in 37 countries. For more information, see the vendor’s website at www.advsyscon.com.