The Evolution of Enterprise Job Scheduling

Windows, UNIX, Linux, AIX
March 29, 2017

Enterprise job scheduling has been a fixture of IT for decades. Since the emergence of mainframes in the 1950s, organizations have continually improved technical mechanisms for performing their tasks automatically and in batches. The term "batch processing" actually dates to the punch card era, when computer scientists at companies like General Electric devised novel ways to feed an entire string of jobs to an IBM 701 on a single reel of tape.

Job scheduling has a come a long way since the 1950s
Early job schedulers were great for trimming costs—jobs could be done en masse rather than one at a time—but less than ideal for ensuring and increasing the productivity of programmers. Tasks had to be written out carefully by hand, with almost no margin for error. Plus, legacy systems were not very good at interpreting commands, sometimes moving from one batch to the next even if there were serious errors in the schedule.

Modern enterprise job scheduling began in earnest in the 1960s with IBM's OS/360, which had primitive capabilities for transitioning between jobs. Subsequent innovations such as Job Entry System 3 gave firms more tools to coordinate tasks.

Still, these solutions didn't keep pace with the growing complexity of IT at large and they required significant manual input. Day-to-day workflows were no longer a matter of creating and running punch cards; they evolved rapidly to encompass many different databases, operating systems, and advanced applications.

Fortunately, scheduling software has risen to the challenge, maturing into a powerful tool capable of everything from performance tuning to console management. Job schedulers are fundamental to operations, and enterprises rely on them to process data queries rapidly and at scale.

Almost any enterprise using a packaged application needs to run some kind of batch processing, for example a retailer needing to run distribution processes to ensure stores are ready for opening the next day. 

Toward workload automation
Job scheduling is essential for improving enterprise efficiency. A cross-platform solution such as Automate Schedule can be installed easily on Linux, UNIX, AIX or Microsoft Windows and meet the requirements of organizations that oversee increasingly complex, heterogeneous IT environments.

Moreover, companies have moved gradually from job scheduling in specific areas to enterprise-wide workload automation, which helps handle application and server dependencies. Business software is less siloed than ever, as enterprises are committed to providing superior service to clients via integrated solutions.

Writing for ComputerWeekly, Jean-Pierre Garbani outlined what workload automation tools must be capable of to create value for enterprises. Multiple schedule integration, secure data transfer, timely process completion and centralized control are all vital features to achieving effective workload automation.

With so many intricate dependencies to account for, organizations need solutions that reduce error rates and provide tangible advantages over manual operations. Automate Schedule gives enterprises comprehensive options for controlling and automating workflows so that they can better serve customers.


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