Halcyon Goes GUI with Job Scheduler
September 17, 2013 Alex Woodie
To outsiders, the IBM i server is a mysterious machine with a cryptic green user interface that is best left to specialists skilled in the black arts of the proprietary machine. But it doesn’t have to be that way, and Halcyon Software is doing something about it with a new Web-based graphical user interface (GUI) in its Advanced Job Scheduler that’s designed to lower the bar of entry to working with the machine.
Of course, one should still have the requisite operational skills before logging onto an IBM i job scheduler and making changes that affect production jobs running on an IBM i server. This is no place for unskilled amateurs. But in terms of training, accessing a scheduler through a Web browser is far easier than working with a green-screen interface.
General IT skills will suffice for tasks such as viewing job schedules, tracking jobs, and spotting issues that could impact the business. In IBM i shops hit by cutbacks, this could easily be done by an IT pro with Windows skills. This ease-of-use is a direct result of the GUI that accompanies version 11 of the Advanced Job Scheduler, the company says.
“Web enablement provides organizations with greater control of system operations by allowing authorized users to securely logon to IBM i platforms using a wide range of mobile devices including laptops, tablets, iPhones, Android and other smartphones from any location,” says Carole Chandler, sales and marketing director at Halcyon. “This latest release builds on the ethos of our product roadmap for creating products that allow for simplicity, visibility, and knowledge sharing.”
Users don’t have to use the Web-based UI if they don’t want to. They can continue to use the green-screen interface, if that’s their cup of tea. But all but the most hard core greenies are expected to gravitate to the Web UI, which shows jobs, servers, and status in an intuitive format.
The new Web UI is expected to benefit the managed services firm Imtech ICT and its customers. “The addition of a Web-enabled interface will enable us to deliver even higher levels of service to customers. We can now give them the option to view the progress of jobs critical to their day-to-day operation around the clock,” says Gary Metherell, a managed services consultant with Imtech.
Advanced Job Scheduler was originally unveiled in April, with support for independent auxiliary storage pools (IASPs) being the main new feature. The software is available as a stand-alone product or as part of Halcyon’s Level 4 monitoring suite for the IBM i.