IBM AS400 iSeries

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    How IBMi Witnessed Operational Evolution from Traditional to Modern?

    Thirty years ago, the root cause of unplanned downtime in IT processes was human error.Even today, around 60% of respondents to an ITIC survey believe that human error is the leading cause of unprecedented downtime.

    While businesses and processes across the globe have transformed drastically over the years, the IT industry has not kept its pace.

    With the wide use of IBMi and AS400 systems, the notion of outdated legacy systems has not yet hit the minds of IT professionals.


    But, why?

    You may argue that human error encompasses several things, yet the critical business aspects should not be included.

    To truly understand this, we must look closely at how IT processes used to run 30 years ago. This will help us understand how and why legacy systems are still responsible for downtime in the current day.

    For an average developer, such a code may be a head-scratcher. He may have to grasp the context of the code before cracking its meaning.

    Yet, this method is not free of challenges. Hiring a clever coder may pose the following dangers:

    • The talent may not be up to mark.
    • The testing process may falter.

    You cannot wholly rely on clever coders. The biggest issue is that they are here one day and go on the other.

    The developer who devised your code may have changed their positions, left the company, or retired. While such coding may have benefitted you before, the IT team cannot devote time to coding for application dependencies without prompting unresponsiveness in another place.

    Not just that, they can also not take the risk of changing the older code. Since only one coder understands the whole thing, this option is not very practical in the long run and may lead to more complexities.

    When it comes to testing, a whole new set of issues arise. There could be oblivion concerning testing the changes, running complete night processing, and re-running a single part of night processing. If your IT team takes too much time making these decisions and attending to them, they are likely not responsive enough to the user community for a new report.

    Thirty years ago, the idea of using homegrown scripts might have been a good one, but today’s developers work on solving business issues instead of investing time in reinventing things.

    Rudimentary Tools in IBMi

    IBM’s Work Job Schedule Entry (WRKJOBSCDE)

    The IBM ecosystem introduced its next evolutionary step in 1992 as it rolled out WRKJOBSCDE in the operating system of IBMi.

    WRKJOBSCDE comes free with the operating system, making it famous amongst most organizations. It is widely used, yet there are few batch processes on IBMi. This clashes with the idea of writing manual codes from IBMi to Windows, UNIX, or Linux servers to mitigate the drawbacks of WRKJOBSCDE.

    Typically, WRKJOBSCDE does not permit processing dependency through jobs and files unless you keep a count on your operator force jobs for code augmentation. It seems as if organizations are still dependent on clever coders.

    This is problematic as the program may not work anymore, and the operator might miss a job or force the incorrect position. The time limit for the job may run out, and the staff might need to reschedule manually.

    The free-scheduler will start costing you some serious money through downtime if such a thing happens.

    As operators have to spend time looking for processes to terminate and forcing jobs to run, the process is different from the runbook approach.

    Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Schedulers

    Apart from IBMi, many other business applications offer a built-in scheduler. For example, SAP, JD Edwards, Retail MMS and many others possess built-in schedulers in them.

    But these are not much better than WRKJOBSCDE. They have their own sets of limitations. For instance, they only consider their schedule. The truth is that you have to worry about more things than ERP batch processing.

    Generally, ERP vendors tend to underestimate how complex job scheduling is. As a result, features like diagramming, forecasting, auditing, file monitoring, cross-platform, and dependencies are inexistent. Yet again, the IT teams write their scripts to mitigate the limitations.


    With ERP schedulers, the greatest danger of downtime comes from unreliability. These schedulers may suddenly stop, and then your IT team has to restart it. Consequently, you witness business outages and unnecessary delays.

    IBM’s Advanced Job Schedule (AJS)

    To extend a more dynamic offering to IBMi users, IBM created an Advance Job Scheduler (AJS). It seemed appropriate for users who did not invest in the Robot Schedule.

    AJS acts as superior to WRKJOBSCDE. It offers advanced features like functionalities and dependencies to tackle end-processes for the day, week, month, and quarter. AJS is favorable for organizations that rely only on IBMi.

    Yet, things have not been the same since AJS came first. For instance, IBMi is not the only one in the data center. Most IBMi workers are not focused on solving scheduling issues across the enterprise.

    Most current organizations require scheduling solutions with a grasp on IT and business processes over IBMi and others without causing a lag in processing or causing downtime. That does not work with AJS.

    Similarly, rules and regulations are at the center of various IT expenditures today, and AJS is not the right tool for IT audits.

    Robot Schedule

    With Robot Schedule, you can finally have scheduling software without manual errors, coding issues, or processing lags. Devised by HelpSystems, Robot Schedule is famous and respected in the IBMi community.

    Robot Schedule runs millions of jobs daily; it is dynamic, IBMi-centric, and offers cross-platform control.

    It is a reliable solution that can also launch bots. Robot Schedule helps meet your IT team’s requirements as it is a super-evolved ship with a traditional and browser-based interface. It also helps capture the submitted processes and saves time while getting started.

    How can Integrative Systems Be a Good Partner?

    We can say that Robot Schedule has pioneered the operational evolution of IBMi from traditional to modern. And it would help if you also hopped on the current scheduling software instead of relying on systems that cause downtime.

    Do you feel like you need a good partner to help in the transition and other IT processes?

    Email us at [email protected], and we will respond ASAP.

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