Job Scheduling Software Also Reduces Manual Errors

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Job scheduling software has cut manual error by more than 90 % in scheduling dependencies across disparate operating systems, at one large credit union here.

"Our operators used to sit there and enter every job command manually, which was fraught with errors," explained Barry Grant, chief technology officer at Municipal Credit Union.

Jobs are now automatically streamed in the proper order and against accurate and complete data, and dependencies are satisfied, he said.

"And operators are freed up to do other tasks," Grant added.

The $1.1-billion CU has used ActiveBatch, provided by Parsippany, N.J.-based Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc., to automate its "entire production process, from transaction processing to sending files to credit bureaus," since late 2001, he said.

The software enables cross-platform job scheduling within one interface window, so that "when an OpenVMS job finishes, it'll trigger a Windows 2000 job to start up," for example, Grant explained.

"We were moving a lot of our systems from OpenVMS to Windows 2000, and needed an application that would perform repetitive tasks in an integrated environment," he continued.

Grant can schedule jobs by the calendar, system resources, events, or on-demand, and then leave knowing that ActiveBatch will run concurrent jobs into the night.

The system's "ease of use, and its ability to visually display the status of a job makes it significantly easier to manage a 24-hour shop where an operations staff person is monitoring not only computer operations, but the data and voice network, the ATM network, and so on."

ActiveBatch is appropriate for any size credit union looking to automate repetitive tasks, he added.

Also Being Used

In conjunction with ActiveBatch, the 330,000-member CU uses XLNT, an enterprise scripting and command tool that extends Municipal's power in running queries on Windows 2000 components. "XLNT gives us similar scripting capabilities as those available on OpenVMS."

ActiveBatch features security and historical reporting capabilities. Certain users can be granted read-only status on jobs, while others can be allowed to create or modify.

The software alerts Grant by e-mail about different events, including job start, end, fail or CPU overrun, for example.

And the activity log reports the status of all jobs in each queue. From there, users can filter or export past jobs.

The latest version of ActiveBatch features advanced graphics, allowing users to draw lines from one job to another to show relationships, and use shapes and colors to monitor jobs.

Founded in 1916, Municipal serves SEGs including city and the five borough employees, health care and insurance professionals in New York State, and colleges in the city and nearby counties. The credit union is located adjacent to the former World Trade Center site in New York City.

Since 1981, Advanced Systems Concepts has provided software that seeks to improve efficiency across Windows, UNIX, and OpenVMS systems.

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