Article

Four Helpful Robot Enhancements

IBM i
Posted:
August 25, 2016

The Robot product line has been continuously improving for over 30 years now. Four recently shipped enhancements highlight this fact: Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise now allows jobs to run with the user credentials of the agent service. We also improved the utility command, AGEIFS, included with Robot/SCHEDULE. Robot/NETWORK now provides more specific monitoring of disk versus other performance factors, and the Robot/NETWORK configuration allows the use of DNS names rather than IP addresses, making HA tasks like a role swap much easier.

Run as Agent’s User

Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise agent jobs now have the option to run using the credentials of the service that is running the agent on the attached server rather than having to pass a user name and password to the agent from your Robot job.

To use this option, change the Environment Type on your agent job in your Robot/SCHEDULE job to Private. You then have the option to choose Run as Agent’s User (see Figure 1). Check the setup of your Robot/SCHEDULE agent service properties in Windows to see if it is running using the local system account or a network account.

You’ll also need to change the Systems Default Enterprise option to allow Run without Password and check the agent properties through the Robot/SCHEDULE GUI to allow jobs to run without a password.

 

Setting your Authentication Type to Run as Agent’s User

Figure 1: Setting your Authentication Type to Run as Agent’s User.

 

IFS Cleanup Command

The AGEIFS command included with Robot/SCHEDULE is used for cleaning up directories in the IFS. You can find it in the ROBOTLIB library. We enhanced the command to allow purging files using a wild card, for example *.PDF. Additionally, the command now allows your choice of purge dates (e.g., *ACCESS, *ATTRIB, *CREATE, and *DATA), each corresponding to the date you see when you display the attributes of the stream file. 

For example, to delete all text files that are older than 35 days based on create date from the CHUCK directory:

ROBOTLIB/AGEIFS PATH('/home/chuck') OBJNAME('*.txt') DAYS(35) DATTYPE(*CREATE) PRTOPTION(*YES) DELOPTION(*NO)                                        

PRTOPTION allows you to create a report of the candidate objects and DELOPTION allows you to run the command without deleting files but still see the results on the report. You can also use Robot/SPACE for reporting and to see a graphical representation of what is in the IFS, as well as who owns it.

Performance Monitoring

Robot/NETWORK now gives you the ability to be more specific with performance monitoring on your node systems. Performance metrics now have two collection intervals, one for disk collection information and one for all other performance data. This is configured with a right-click on the node, choosing Properties, then Performance Metrics.

The options in Send Metric Categories to Host send performance data to the host based on the collection intervals. If you choose only summaries, it sends a summary record to the host only once per day, saving space but losing granularity. All are checked by default (see Figure 2).

 

Node Properties and Performance Metrics options in Robot/NETWORK.

Figure 2: Node Properties and Performance Metrics options in Robot/NETWORK.

 

If you are also checking for threshold metrics, Robot/NETWORK will check the threshold based on the collection interval and send a corresponding status (and the collected data) to the Network Status Center on the network host if the threshold is exceeded.

Storing DNS Names

For the configuration of your Robot/NETWORK node connections to their respective hosts and alternate hosts, you may now specify a DNS name that we will store. Prior to this enhancement, we would resolve to the IP address and store the static address. The enhancement comes in handy during HA role swaps. For instance, if your host goes through a role swap to another partition, your nodes will be able to reconnect to that primary host based on DNS name (see Figure 3).

 

DNS name in node configuration

Figure 3: DNS name in node configuration.

 

If you want an easy way to catch up with HelpSystems and see how the new features in Robot products can benefit your business, attend an upcoming webinar. Our experts welcome questions and emphasize the practical benefits of combining Robot products with emerging technologies.

 

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