Event-driven scheduling. Who needs it?
In the second installment of “No-Stress Job Scheduling,” Jared Dahl describes what job scheduling looks like in a utopian business environment—a fantasy world that would not need to rely on event-driven job scheduling to keep things running smoothly.
Automation in a Perfect World
In this perfect world, your business would be rich with resources: you’d have unlimited network bandwidth, constant and reliable uptime, tons of processing power, limitless database storage. In this perfect world, you’d be able to access your data at any time—and it would always be up to date.
In this business utopia, your processes wouldn't be integrated with or dependent upon one another. They could run in any order and take however much time they need to complete since they would have no bearing on the success of other processes. Of course, this brings us to the next point: your scheduled production jobs would never change. You’d be able to “set it and forget it” in terms of your job schedule: the same schedule you build today would still be relevant in five years. Your workflows would never expand; reports would never take longer than expected; you’d never require new data for a job to complete. If only.
But we don’t live in a perfect world. Modern businesses are complex and will only continue to change as time goes on. Is your job schedule prepared?
Workload Automation in a Realistic Enterprise
To begin, no enterprise has unlimited resources. We are all working within financial and organizational parameters, and therefore we must choose an efficient engine to help us make the most out of our time at work and our existing workflows.
An enterprise job scheduler that includes event-driven scheduling options maximizes your resources by uniting your disparate platforms and their respective job schedules and critical business applications and allowing them to become reactive with one another. This creates a holistic job schedule that coordinates—and therefore makes the most of—the resources you already have in place.
In turn, it is essential to understand the ways in which your data affects your job schedule. As Jared says, the data you have today will not be the data you have tomorrow. In fact, it’s estimated that a business’s data doubles every 1.2 years. As your data evolves, your job schedule must evolve with it because the completion of your various jobs relies on data that’s available and current.
Because each job in your production workflows both relies on and produces specific output—or data—it is easy to understand why your jobs must run in a certain order. The data or file produced from the completion of job A triggers the start of job B. But if your jobs were to run at random, the necessary inputs and specific outputs would not be in concert with one another. Thus, event-driven scheduling allows for the most current files to be at the heart of your workflows, making current data the cogs in the moving wheels of your schedule.
When this is the case—when job A’s completion immediately triggers job B—you’re able to cut the built-in slack time from your schedule, which means that everything runs more efficiently, saving you time in the long run. If you continue to schedule workflows without an event-driven model, the time built in to the schedule between jobs A, B, C, ad infinitum, will not only make your enterprise workflows slower, but it will also cost your organization money and other non-financial resources as a result of this lost time.
Ultimately, in a modern enterprise, your processes will grow in length as your business accumulates more data. And because your data and processes are not segregated but in fact interrelated within the same network and databases, your processes will become even more complex. An enterprise scheduler with event-driven capabilities will allow you to incorporate multiple schedules and applications, giving you a central interface from which you can manage and gain visibility into your job schedule.
It's estimated that a business's data doubles every 1.2 years. As your data evolves, your job schedule evolves with it because the completion of your various jobs relies on data that's available and current.
The Need for Reactivity in a Job Schedule
Focal Point is one such modern enterprise that realized the need for an event-driven enterprise-wide job scheduling tool. Focal Point runs their business with cross-platform workflows that include EnterpriseOne ERP jobs running across Windows and IBM i servers, as well as VB and .net custom app servers.
Focal Point’s Applications Development Manager Camillo Catuara stated that their previous scheduling method “wasn’t versatile enough. IT couldn’t do certain things, like have dependencies. I could make things go one after another, but I couldn’t make them reactive.”
The need for a cross-platform job scheduling tool that allowed for dependencies brought Focal Point to Automate Schedule, which provides more than 25 event-driven scheduling options. Focal Point notes that, since implementing Automate Schedule, they have been able to make things reactive between their different platforms. In particular, the event-driven capabilities mean that “you may be saving 2-3 hours a day for a whole year [because] you’re not having someone monitor job processes every day and night. Automate Schedule will send you a notification if something delays or fails, and then you can react to it.”
In this way, Focal Point recognizes the importance of event-driven scheduling. There is no longer guesswork or gap time built in to your workflows—both things that someone would have to monitor. Rather, you can build event-driven job schedules and, if a job fails or does not complete, thereby affecting the next step in a workflow, Automate Schedule alerts you to the problem. You’ll save time when the jobs successfully complete and trigger a new job automatically without waiting for built-in time triggers and you’ll save time when you’re notified of errors in the event-driven schedule because you’ll be able to respond immediately.
Event-driven scheduling is a win-win for your enterprise. Start a free trial of Automate Schedule today to experience many event-driven scheduling options, including day of week, day of period, and interval scheduling, which allow you to build a dynamic job schedule that can change as your enterprise changes.