Robot/CONSOLE Gets Smarter with Jobs
August 14, 2012 Alex Woodie
In a perfect world, IBM i jobs would always behave as expected. They would start on time, interact with other resources in a predictable way, and promptly end when they’re supposed to. Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world, and IBM i jobs don’t always behave predictably. Thanks to recent enhancements in Help/Systems‘ Robot/CONSOLE message management software, wild jobs can be tamed in an automatic fashion.
Robot/CONSOLE alleviates the burden and potential for error introduced by relying on human eyes to filter through thousands of messages generated daily by IBM i servers. The little digital helper does the grunt work of sorting through messages generated by various queues and logs–including QSYSOPR, QSYSMSG, QAUDJRN, QHST, printer message queues, media issues, FTP requests, and others–and automatically responds to them or just ignores them. When it encounters a truly serious or unique situation, the Robot goes up the chain of command and alerts a real human. In this respect, Robot/CONSOLE is the heart of Help/Systems’ manage-by-exception mantra.
Last week Help/Systems announced new features in Robot/CONSOLE version 5, a major upgrade of the product that it first shipped nearly four years ago. The update brings new job monitoring features and additional support for WebSphere MQ environments.
The new job monitoring features will allow better handling of jobs that aren’t in their expected state. With this release, Robot/CONSOLE will now pick up additional information about the problem jobs, including current user, function name, function type, and actual job status for all JOB-type messages. This information is gathered by Robot/CONSOLE and processed using OPAL (OPerator Assistance Language).
The new release also adds three new expected statuses for JOB-type resources, including job duration, CPU processing seconds, and job queue minutes, which Help/Systems says will increase the precision of job monitoring.
Monitoring of WebSphere MQ environments has also been enhanced with this release. Robot/CONSOLE can now monitor WebSphere MQ Managers and WebSphere MQ Queues. This will expand the product’s monitoring and automation in large, complex, and highly integrated processing environments, as WebSphere MQ environments tend to be. Last but not least, Robot/CONSOLE can also now monitor user defined programs, Help/Systems says.
These new capabilities can be configured through GUIs and Explorer, the Java-based management console that is used by many of the Robot products. For more information see the company’s website at www.helpsystems.com.