Help/Systems Reduces Annoyances of Multi-OS Job Scheduling
February 4, 2014 Alex Woodie
Help/Systems has been in the multi-platform job scheduling business since the launch of Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise in 2009. With the January launch of version 1.27 of that product, the Robot is delivering more centralized and IBM i-based control over the user profiles that Linux, Unix, and Windows jobs run under. This will simplify life for administrators and reduce the annoyance of repeatedly entering security codes, the company says.
The new feature in Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise version 1.27 will allow administrators to define authorized users on a per-agent basis. That means jobs that are designed in the Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise environment can now run under the user account that the agent service or daemon uses, thereby eliminating the need to update agent environments every time a username or password changes (which should be on a regular basis, if you’re following best practices for security).
“We have had requests in the past for the ability to secure agents on an individual basis wherein administrators can decide which agents users can setup and execute jobs based upon their business needs,” Jody Dahl, a software development manager at Help/Systems, says in the January issue of Robot/NEWS Flash.
“Since we were adding the ability to run jobs on agents without having to know the credentials for the agent, it was a logical decision to add these additional safeguards for administrators to continue to keep their agent systems secure while allowing them to save time and effort whenever a username or password changes for an agent,” Dahl says.
If they want, customers can continue to use the previous authentication method, which relied on username and password combinations. There is one other option available for Unix customers, which is the “setuid” function that allows the job to run with the permission of the executable itself. The feature is only available in Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise version 1.27, as well as version 11.17 of Robot/SCHEDULE.
Robot/SCHEULE Enterprise is a special version of Help’s IBM i-based job scheduler that includes Java-based agents that deploy to LUW environments. These agents communicate with the primary Robot/SCHEDULE to execute scripts on the LUW servers and to send return codes back to the job scheduler. The software supports calendar-based and event-based job scheduling, and can be integrated with the rest of the Help/Systems’ fleet.