Many companies use the Oracle JD Edwards EnterpriseOne enterprise resource planning (ERP) application to manage their business processes. While EnterpriseOne excels at ERP, it doesn’t really hold up as a job scheduling tool, according to the IT team at Trident Seafoods.
Located in Seattle, Washington, Trident Seafoods is the largest, privately-held, vertically integrated harvester, processor, and marketer of seafood from Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, and around the world.
This giant in seafood runs EnterpriseOne on both IBM i (AS/400) and Windows servers, and had been relying on the embedded EnterpriseOne scheduler as well as Windows Task Scheduler and the native IBM i scheduler to coordinate EDI transmissions and batch processing across platforms.
Larry Williams is the senior systems administrator at Trident Seafoods. Much of his work surrounds the EnterpriseOne application running on their primary ERP server: IBM i. Being intimately familiar with the limitations of the embedded JDE scheduler, he identified some key problem areas, including the need to define a separate instance for every interval a job runs in a day as well as a lack of exception notification.
These limitations had been creating excess job scheduler definitions for the company. This resulted in excess processing squandered on jobs running repeatedly throughout the day checking for file arrivals. 30 minutes of excess time was wasted every morning going through the previous night’s schedule to identify which jobs were in error. This was in addition to the extra time necessary to manage three scheduling tools.
“I knew we needed to find a single solution that would automate dependency processing based on file arrivals, simplify job schedule administration, and provide notification for proactive problem determination,” said Larry.
Robot Exceeds Expectations
Trident examined three such solutions and selected Robot Schedule for its longstanding reputation for reliability and IBM i-centric architecture. Compared to the Windows-based options, the process of submitting IBM i jobs with Robot Schedule was easier and more stable, the job definitions were robust and detailed, and even the graphical interface felt familiar to IBM i users.
Since implementing Robot Schedule, Trident has stopped using the embedded JDE scheduler and the native IBM i scheduler. All Windows jobs related to EnterpriseOne are run using the Robot Schedule Enterprise Windows agent.
In addition to ticking his boxes for reactive processing and exception notification, Larry also discovered the benefits of the forecasting feature in Robot Schedule, which his team now uses to reduce the impact of outages by identifying the jobs that would be affected and preemptively rescheduling them or omitting the run.
“If you’re looking for a job scheduler that is stable, robust, and IBM i-based, but still allows you to work with dependences across multiple platforms, I would say take a real serious look at Robot Schedule,” said Larry. “It’s a great product.”
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