What's New in Automate Schedule

On-Demand Webinar

What's New in Automate Schedule

IBM i, Solaris, Windows, UNIX, Linux, AIX, Mac OSX


Have you seen Automate Schedule lately? Watch this recorded webinar to see the latest updates to the product.

With the release of version 3.9, customers with large Automate Schedule environments and multiple Automate Schedule hosts are able to set up reactivity between those servers. Prerequisites, such as SNMP traps, file adds, and job monitors can trigger Automate Schedule jobs on any of the Automate servers in your enterprise, helping you to continue building a dynamic enterprise job schedule.

And don’t miss the new job suite member options that were introduced at the end of 2014!

Pat Cameron: Thank you for joining me today. So nice of you to take the time to look at the latest version of Skybot. I see a lot of familiar names out there and familiar customers; it's always good to talk with you. Today, we're going to take a look at the latest version of Skybot. It was released a couple of weeks ago. It's version three, and the biggest enhancement we have in there is our data center expansion updates. We’ll take a look at the details of some of that. For those of you that don't know me, I'm Pat Cameron and I've been with Skybot since the beginning and I've been with HelpSystems for about 15 years. So, lots of experience in this automation and scheduling world. If you have any questions over on the right hand side of the screen, there should be a chat window. There’s a box right next to that send button where you can go ahead and send me any of your questions. I’ll try to get them answered today.

What we're going to take a look at are the newest features. The data center expansion allows you to have multiple Skybot servers and jobs on any of those servers that can react to jobs on any other Skybot server. So it's for customers that have multiple Skybot servers. Maybe because of location or application, many of our customers have development and test on one server and then their production on another Skybot server with different agents on each. And now you can have reactivity between jobs that are running on either of those Skybot servers, which was something we didn't have in the past. We'll take a look at how to set that up and how it works. A couple of months ago, we added some additional job suite dependency options. I'm just going to go over those again to make sure you're aware of them.

The last thing we're going to take a look at today is how you can change the background color of your displays for Skybot servers. And we've had this request from customers that are in that same situation where they have a development and a test server with a Skybot server and the production, and they have multiple displays up or multiple tabs in their browser with the different servers. They wanted a really good way to be able to tell the difference between when they’re logged into development and logged into production so they don’t make the mistake of running something in production when they shouldn’t. So I'll show you an easy way you can change that background color so it's obvious to you which system you're working on.

So let's take a look at the data center expansion. This is for customers that have those types of environments where maybe they're running some applications on one Skybot server and other applications on another Skybot server. And they need a way to have that kind of reactivity or they may have dependencies across those different servers. The other example would be to have your test and your development on one. This might be my test sever and then this might be my development or my production server. And maybe I want to react some file events on one, send some of my production files over to test, send them through a masking process, and then move some of my production data over to test so I have a good chunk of data over there for my testing. I also might want to react backups—I want to run backups across these different servers as soon as it’s finished on the production server, and run it over on the test server.

So any of those type of events can trigger jobs from one server to another. I’ll go online and show you an example of a job and how to set up those servers—it’s a pretty simple installation. Once you update to version 3.9, you’ll have all the programs you need out there, and you can just register those servers so that they know about one another. Well, that's kind of the data center expansion, and then the other thing I wanted to go over, like I said, is the job suite dependencies. So, in previous versions of Skybot, you could only have jobs that would react to completed jobs within the suite. And now we've changed that up, so you can react to either completed or failed, and change what it is you're reacting to, and that makes your suites a lot more flexible.

That was an enhancement that came from a couple of different customers that we have. If this job fails, I want to be able to continue on and run this job down here. And then the other thing you can do is set it up so if one of those jobs does fail, do I want to fail the whole suite or not? I might have some dependencies based on the completion of that whole suite, and I don't want that one job to fail the suite. So I can select that member option now. And then also, if a member does have prerequisites, do all of those prerequisites need to run? Do any of those prerequisites need to run? One or another, or just the first one? We've built a lot of additional flexibility into job suites for you. And I'll show you an example of that.

And then the last thing, like I said, is the ability to be able to change that background for your different Skybot servers. This is our main Skybot server that I use all of the time for my demos, and this is the Skybot server that I've got that's installed on my local workstation and I can take that with me when I go on the road if I don't have access to our internet or to our network for some reason. And also, when I'm working on both of these systems, it's easy for me to see which one I'm working on. Now I do have a little plugin for Firefox that allows me to tile, but you don't need that either. Each tab would be different, it's just easy for me to kind of show that. And so, what we've done for that, and I will make sure that you get a copy of this PowerPoint because I've put the instructions in here for changing that stylesheet for your background, is we now have a stylesheet override file. You can edit that file and change the colors—I’ll show you exactly how that works. You can use any of the HTML colors available. If you want it to be bright red, you can do that too—replace it and then all you have to do is refresh the browsers. You don’t have to bring the server down or anything like that, it’s just changing it on your local PC. So you can copy it to that background—we’ll take a look at that as well.

I'm going to go online and take a look at those things that I just talked about. Now that I've hidden the chat bar, if you want to put your cursor up to the top of the screen, WebEx will drop down in a little bar for you. If you just click on that chat icon, you can bring that up on your desk. So if a question comes up, go ahead and send it off to me, and that will be fine. What we're looking at here are my two Skybot servers. This is our Skybot server, you can see the URL up here, and is the one that I use for all of my demos. If I highlight this one over here with the brown background—this is the one on my HS1086 which is my PC. And so I've just got a few jobs that run on here, I put all the new versions on here, and I just have testing on this server. So it's easy to see the difference now, and the other thing that we're going to do is set up the remote servers. Now, if you go to “objects,” actually I'm going to do it on this guy over here. If I go to “objects and remote servers,” it will give me a list of the other servers that are available to run jobs on from this Skybot server. And what I have is the Skybot server, so it's communicating with the Skybot server over on the other side.

Right clicking on this, I'll bring up the edit and show you what you need to do when you create that new server: put in either the IP address or the host name, and then this is default listening port, 7472. I can test that and we’re just making a few TCP/IP connections to that other server. Then what will happen is you’ll get a message over here where it says registered, and it will need to be registered. You can click down here on the “register” button.” That will register this Skybot server, this HS1086 to the Skybot server as a remote server. I think if I register now it will tell me it’s already registered.

Now, if I go over and look at the other server I’m linking to, and go into the remote server, you’ll see that I have this HS1086. It was registered on May 5th and it's active. When you first go through that registration process, you'll get a message on this side that says registration requires approval, so you just click on the approve button to make sure that it’s the right server you want to be able to connect to. And then that connection is made and you're all set and everything is all good to go.

So, this is the way we can set up prerequisites on these servers: I’m going to go to jobs that I’ve got here, and I’ll go into my individual jobs, and I’ve got a couple on this server as you can see, and this is the one I’m using for today—HS1086—and this reacts with a job over on the Skybot server. If I right click on this job and go into the prerequisite option, you’ve got some other options. “Add the prerequisite” is what’s always been there, so I could have a prerequisite on this server as well as the other Skybot server. I have a Robot SCHEDULE prerequisite and now a remote Skybopt prerequisite. I’ll add another one, a Skybot job that’s running, but I can react to an agent event. It could be a file event over on that other server as well.

So there's my Skybot server: it's looking at the server over here and all the agents and jobs that are set up. Now I've got all the event monitors set over here. I'll go ahead, I've got a new file which is one that I use a lot, and so now when this event occurs over here on this server, it's going to trigger this job over on my other server. So, that's pretty much all there is to it, you've just got a new option here for prerequisites. Where is that prerequisite coming from? It's from another Skybot server, then I can just set that up as a prerequisite job. There’s nothing else special about that job.

The other pieces of information we have then—if I go back to that remote server option and right click on it—are the Skybot events that are used as remote prerequisites. I don't think I have any, I didn't set any of those up, but if I look at the remote options…the agent event monitor that I just added. So it will show me those events that are used from that other server. We store that in the local database and then we also will store history for those events. So if I show you the Skybot event history over here, I don't have any Skybot event history, but I do have some remote history. And you can see here the job that's running on the Skybot server, so here it's showing me that's where that event is occurring. I've also got a Skybot backup job that I am running on that server that's a prerequisite, but here's the one that we're kind of playing with today. And we track all the statuses, so it submits to the queue, we can send that record over, it goes to running or active, we send that record over, and then when it completes, we send that record over as well. So this is when the record was received and this was the time on the remote server.

Let's go over to this other server now, I’m going to go into the jobs on this server and run that prerequisite. Here’s the job I have set up and if I look at where it’s used it will show me it’s a prerequisite on a job over a remote server, it’s got a dependency over there. If I just go ahead and run this—in order to set up that dependency—I didn’t have to do anything over here. I’m not running any commands so it runs really fast. I don’t get any errors because it really doesn’t do anything, but it runs the job. If I look at the history for this job, I can see that the job ran and that’s the one from right now. If I go ahead over here now and refresh the screen, it takes a minute for those records to come over. Let’s see if they're here. Go into that remote server and look at this Skybot event on this side. Here I've got the submitted, the running, and the completed. And now I've got it over here. It just took a minute for those records to come over, so here's the one from this morning: 10:16. And if I go and look at job history, I will see that my local job triggered at 10:16. Here’s the one from today, and it completed. Well, that's pretty much it. It's a pretty simple setup. If you do have those types of reactive situations, you can certainly set those up very easily now between Skybot servers.

The other thing I wanted to show you was the job suites. Let's took a look at this. I'm going to get rid of my multiple tabs for now. So, this is a job suite that I've gotten, this is on my Skybot server to show you the different dependencies. I've got a new button that says “show status X.” And that's going to show me whether these jobs are based on a normal completion, or completed or failed, or just failed and that will highlight that. When you create a new member job within a suite, it defaults to completed, that the job has to complete successfully. If I want to change that, just highlight that line for that completion status, edit dependency options and then you can select what it is you want it to be: completed, failed, or either, and that will update the chart. And then the other option that you have is, if you go into the member and you go to member options, here's where you decide if you want to fail the whole suite if that member fails, and then what the required prerequisites are. So if this job has multiple prerequisites, that's pretty much what that's for, it needs to have more than one. Do all of them have to run before this job will run? Any of them? Do I have multiples on that? I don't. On this one I do, though. Or just the first time, the first prerequisite that runs to run that member. So new options, new flexibility for your job suites, if you have some complicated job suites going on.

Right, so that's pretty much it, if you have any questions, go ahead send them over to me in chat. And then the last thing I wanted to show you is how to update that background. So, I'll go back to my HS1086, so my local system, and I'm going to go into . . . so this is installed on a Windows server on my workstation. What we have done is added inside the program, directory, web apps, Skybot scheduler, stylesheets and views is the path to find these files. We've got a new file out there called Skybotbackground.css.override. Now this one is the one that's in use right now, and if we take a look at that, I'll bring it up and edit it—burleywood is the name of that color. Okay, I’ll go ahead and update the override file because that's what you will update. What you'll want to do is make a backup of that original file. You can go in and update this override file and then make a copy of the original. What I'm going to do is change salmon to some other color. And that's how we ship this override file with the color salmon. So that's what the directions are going to tell you.

I can do a “find and replace.” You can see I was playing with it earlier. In this one, I'm going to find all the salmon and I'm going to change it to, I think gold is a color that's out there—any HTML color will work—and I’ll replace all of those salmons with gold. Okay, simple enough. I'm going to save this file. And then I'm going to replace this one with the override file, so I'm going to rename this guy. And I'm just going to delete the override option or the override extension from this file, so then that's my new stylesheet. If I move that out of the way and I refresh, you will see that it's going to turn to that awful gold color. Okay, so now if I want to turn it back, I can go through that backup process, or I'm pretty brave and I think this is going to work. So I will just find and replace anything that says gold and I'm going to change it to burleywood. Save it, move it, and refresh, and we should be back at that original color. So this is for those of you that have multiple sessions occurring on your system and want an easy way to know which system you are on. If I go into any of the job setups, some of the screens, it’s only the border that you're going to be able to see, so here's the border up here. But, for example, if I go in to edit a job, a lot of the screen is going to be that other color.

I've got a question from Alexi about Skybot variables: “Is it possible to somehow change the value of a static variable as a result of the job's run?” Alexi, I think I'm going to take that offline and talk about how you can change those Skybot variables. We do have a command that you can use, it's Set_SV, a shell script or a .bat file that you can use to change those, and it could come from one job to another. I've got a couple of questions out here. Somebody else doesn't have a Skybot server yet. Well, welcome to the WebEx. “I need to schedule by business day and how can you do that? We're in finance, so the first day of close might be the first day of the business month, not necessarily the first of the month.” I'll just take that one on quick, Lori. In Skybot, you can create different calendars, and actually, let me go to my other one. I don't have much setup on mine so let me go over to this guy here. And you can create fiscal calendars that will have those fiscal periods. You can create as many as you need. And this one for example, this is my 2015. So you can set those day of period, dates to be whatever they are. So this is the last day of the period and if you want to run a job on the first day I'll create this calendar with your accounting periods in it, and then when you setup a job, I can use my job that I've got here. When I do the schedule, I would say “day of period” and I want to schedule it on the first day of the month. I also could say “first working day of the month,” because you might have holidays, that might not even be fiscal period, I guess. It might be just holidays. But you can put your holidays on there, and maybe not include Saturday and Sunday as working days. So when you schedule something to run on the first of the month, tell it to run on the first working day. That's how you would get it to run on that first business day of the month.

All right. Corey wants to know, “would any of the new features help a member job run on a suite only on Friday, but the rest of the suite run every day?” Yes, not necessarily a new feature, but we do have what's called special and skip instances. See these big red X's here? These are called special instances, and we have what are called skip instances. What you do is create a little calendar up at the suite level, and then you can say “run all the times that match this special instance,” or “skip all the times that match.” So you could create a special instance that was Friday, and then you would say skip all the run times that don't match that special instance. I'll just show you quick where the special instance is in setup. If I go back to the suite level, and here's my daily suite, and I go here to special instances, and here I've got a couple of them. Here's my Tuesday,Thursday, here's a Friday one. So you just set up a little schedule that tells about the special instances. So your Friday one would look like this, and then you could use those on any job in the suite. So you might say, you know, I only want this job to run on Friday, anytime. Again you can set that up to be anytime. And again, you can set that up to be any type of instance. Give support a call, do a chat with them, and they'll tell you how to set that up. And Alexi, same thing with you. I can get back to you with an email or I think it's just a longer discussion about how to change those variables because it kind of depends on the job that you're running and what it’s actually doing. So you can certainly chat with support on that.

Well, I think that's all I had to show you today. It was kind of a quick session. Thanks for your questions. Thanks for being Skybot customers, we really appreciate it. You can download the latest version from our website, and if you have any other questions, or if you need any help with that install, you can certainly contact support. We're happy to help, happy to make things run smoothly for you. I'll wait here a couple of minutes, if anybody has any other questions, I'll keep an eye on the chat for a minute. If not, have a great day, and we'll see you next time. Thanks, everyone. Talk to you later.