When evaluating job scheduling software to handle mission-critical business processes, it doesn’t matter if you’re building, buying, or open-sourcing, it is critical that the software improves system efficiencies and is able to be managed without requiring costly intervention. Your project may require more specific capabilities, like web services integration or PGP encryption, but to ensure that your software investment can most efficiently automate manual jobs, handle errors, and provide the quickest return on your investment, you will want to have these four essential features.
1. Visual Monitoring
The workflows powering your job scheduling software can become increasingly complex as dependancies, conditional branching, splits, joins, parallelism, or looping are added to create a dynamic orchestration. With a visual monitoring component, you will be able to see all of the conditions and dependancies of your workflow in one place and quickly identify any issues or reconfigurations that are needed. A secondary benefit of the visual monitoring component is that it can be monitored by someone who is not a software developer. No code to decipher!
2. Advanced Error Handling and Recovery
One of the reasons people implement job scheduling software is because the homegrown batch scripts that they had been using to run jobs have reached an unmanageable level, making any identification and recovery of errors essentially impossible, and causing loss of many hours of sleep for IT managers. A good job scheduler will have several automated methods and layers for handling errors before requesting user intervention. These can be as simple as attempting the action again, or more complex like dedicated error handlers that are created to handle errors in a specific workflow or on a specific action. It is only after all options have been exhausted that the system should alert users of where and when the failure occurred.
Job Scheduling software should have functionality to produce several different kinds of reports. At minimum, it should be able to produce a basic log of all programmatic action the software takes. This is particularly useful to administrators and developers that can use it to trace and debug. Good software will include other reporting capabilities, and integrations with reporting services (such as Jasper Reports).
4. Clustering, Fail Over, and Load Balancing
This feature is particular to cloud-based job scheduling software in which servers handling the load are clustered and communicating at all times to run workflows as efficiently as possible. In this setup, the clustered servers constantly communicate to balance the load, and there is no single point of failure. If an engine within the cluster goes down, the other engines within the cluster will recover and resume the workflows that had been running on the failed engine. This setup provides maximum uptime dependability as well as efficiency and a scalable configuration.
However you go about acquiring job scheduling software – safeguard your critical processes by choosing software that incorporates these four essential features.
Flux is a software company that develops and licenses software products targeted for Workflow, Job Scheduling, and Managed File Transfer, and has been consistently labeled as a “Strong Value” by EMA Research Associates in their Workload Automation Radar Report. Flux excels at satisfying circumstances where files need to be transferred unattended to reduce processing time and expense, increase reliability, and meet service level agreements.
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