Halcyon Updates Swath of IBM i Sys Management Tools
April 16, 2013 Alex Woodie
Halcyon Software got a few things off its plate at the COMMON conference in Austin, Texas, last week. To be exact, the UK-based software firm delivered three new versions of IBM i systems management tools, including Job Scheduler, Authority Swapper, and Document Management System.
The Halcyon folks were good sports at the COMMON show last week, despite losing vice president of sales John Dominic to Maxava just prior to the show, and despite the fact that their entire booth was somehow lost in the mail. While attendees were rightfully impressed with Halcyon’s cardboard-based presentation device, IT Jungle is more interested in these three product announcements:
Advanced Job Scheduler 11
With version 11 of its Advanced Job Scheduler, Halcyon delivered support for independent auxiliary storage pools (iASPs). The company says that running the job scheduler in an iASP will boost its availability, particularly for customers who use iASP-based high availability solutions, such as IBM‘s PowerHA SystemMirror for IBM i.
Because iASPs are portable, anything residing in the iASP can be quickly brought back up on another IBM i server in the event of unexpected outage, Halcyon’s director of technical services Donnie MacColl explained at COMMON last week. While customers have been able to load their production DB2 for i databases in the iASPs and thereby protect them using PowerHA, other critical components–such as the job scheduler and its database–haven’t been able to tag along in the iASP, and thus gain PowerHA protection.
Advanced Job Scheduler version 11 is the first IBM i job scheduler to be able to reside in an iASP, claims Halcyon sales and marketing director Carole Chandler. “The iASP functionality was developed in short timescales to meet the demanding job scheduling requirements of major IBM users,” Chandler says in a press release.
Document Management System 4
Halcyon launched its Document Management System at version 3 one year ago to provide a way to transform raw IBM i spool file content into more refined-looking documents, using graphical overlays. Once the spool files have been transformed, they can be distributed as a PDF via email, published on the Web as HTML, archived onto a server in a compressed format, or printed on a standard PC printer, or even a high-end AFP printer.
With the introduction of Document Management System version 4, the company has added the capability to import and convert documents from competitors in the document management space, Help/Systems‘s Robot/REPORTS and Open Text‘s Document and Report Management (the product that was once Spyview from Magellan).
Version 4 also includes the capability to use multiple form overlays and templates on spooled files. Halcyon also adds that the product’s Web GUI can be accessed from mobile devices running iOS, Android, and Windows.
Authority Swapper 11
Halcyon is in the process of Web-enabling all of its products, and the latest to get the Web treatment is Authority Swapper version 11.
Authority Swapper helps IBM i shops by eliminating the need to give users elevated authorities in the regular user profiles. Instead of handing out ALLOBJ or QSECOFR credentials like candy, Authority Swapper allows users to temporarily assume elevated authorities for the purpose of executing some task on the system. The product also records every screen and every action the user takes while in an elevated authority.
The new Web UI will be a boon for auditors and others who may wish to use Authority Swapper, but don’t know how to navigate 5250 screens. Version 11 “totally eliminates the need for audit staff to have expert knowledge of the commands and language used by the IBM i system,” Chandler says.
The new Web interface can also be used with tablets and other mobile devices, bolstering its usability even more. Halcyon has Web-enabled four of its products, and is working on Web-enabling the remainder, MacColl says.