Editorial Rss

More Windows Job Tools

Ian responds to the need for scheduling tools in my previous editorial. He provides a number of tools a company might consider for both large and smaller organizations, at different pricing points.
Ian writes:

Good article. 

As a SQL Server DBA, job scheduling was one of my biggest bugbears when moving from a large company to a smaller one. It seems the big end of town is amply taken care of with job scheduling by the likes of Control-M and Tivoli, but these are not cost effective for smaller companies. 

So smaller companies tend to rely on a hodgepodge of SQL Agent, SSIS, SSRS subscriptions, windows scheduled tasks, and sometimes a homegrown solution, none of which talks to the others, and if one relies on the other it necessitates the other finishing on time and in order, rather than having properly defined dependencies.

Remediating these types of systems when something goes wrong is a nightmare. For my money, nothing can replace a dedicated job scheduler to properly integrate all a company's batch jobs (regardless of type), and provide a single view of a company's batch processing, with appropriate and targeted alerting. 

After a lot of trial and error I have settled on a product called JAMS from MVPSI. In addition to resolving all the issues above, it is built on .Net and supports Powershell natively. (Another of my soapbox rants, having come out of the unix world, is that anyone working in a Windows environment should learn Powershell). There are various pricing models that ensure it is cost effective for any size enterprise. 

The only real competitor in its space (that I could see) is ActiveBatch. This is slightly more powerful in terms of being able to handle more complex, spiderweb type batches, and has a better browser solution, but is also more complex to use and slightly more expensive. JAMS is simpler to use, has Windows Workflow Foundation built in so it can still handle reasonable complex batches, and has great support, which is why we went with JAMS.

If you have experience you would like to add to the conversation this is a great place to share your voice. Leave your comments online, or drop an email to as ian did.