How to Use Dynamic Automation Tools to Improve Batch Processing

 
 
By Alex Givens  |  Posted 2009-04-28 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Batch processing is not going away any time soon. The efficiencies of batch processing, even in light of the real-time enterprise, cannot be discarded or ignored. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Alex Givens looks at five ways organizations can use dynamic automation tools to improve batch processing across applications and computing platforms.

Most organizations these days rely heavily on batch processing to support their existing applications. In fact, over 50 percent of current application processing is batch. Often, these processes have been in place for years, are not well-documented and the knowledge owner may have moved on.

Given the importance of batch processing and the current state of the economy, now is the perfect time to improve your current batch processing mechanisms to drive new efficiencies that can translate into lower total cost of ownership and increased return on investment of applications.

Here are five ways organizations can use dynamic automation tools to improve batch processing across applications and computing platforms:

1. Expand the scope of job scheduling with workload automation

Most IT staff already have a mental image of "job scheduling" and many people only consider batch processing for those processes that run on very regular date and time-based schedule. Enter workload automation, which is the modern, state-of-the-art descendent of traditional job schedulers.

Embracing newer concepts such as object orientation, dynamic event processing and service orientation, modern workload automation products allow organizations to expand their scope beyond simple date and time scheduling. Organizations can therefore target a much wider range of jobs and processes for automation and control.

For example, workload automation can control a business process that involves application jobs from multiple applications mixed with Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) processing. Or workload automation can be used to leverage service-oriented architecture (SOA) for business processing and combine dynamic control of virtualized environments with the ongoing business processing.

2. Centralize workload automation and control

In many organizations, the batch processing function is not centralized. Redundant effort is spent managing processing for various applications across multiple operating systems. Large-scale applications and operating systems have their own schedulers (such as cron and winat) that require expertise and effort to manage.

This leaves organizations without a "single pane of glass" through which to monitor and manage processing across their enterprise landscape of various operating systems, physical and virtual servers, and applications.

Organizations should look to consolidate on a single workload automation product or architecture that also provides very tight integration into their enterprise applications.  The three benefits of centralization are one-stop operational control for monitoring, notification, troubleshooting and documentation; simplified setup and greater flexibility to mix and match processing across applications and servers; and easier auditing and reporting for compliance purposes.



 
 
 
 
Alex Givens is a Senior Solutions Architect for UC4 Software, Inc. For 13 years, Alex has helped organizations improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their business processing. Alex has spoken on business process automation at many international, national and regional conferences. He can be reached at alex.givens@uc4.com.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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