What to do when EXEs, BATs, Scripts, SQL Jobs and Stored Procedures Become Unmanageable

by Dallas Li, in Ask an ASE, posted 2/23/12
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Are you managing and executing many different executables (EXEs), batch files (BATs), scripts, SQL jobs and stored procedures? Does this look familiar to you?

Windows Systems

EXEs, BATs, scripts, SQL jobs and stored procedures are great tools that help us do repetitive work on a daily basis.  However, they can get somewhat unmanageable when we have too many of them or they are scattered everywhere in different folders on our network. As great as they are, did you ever wish that they would be smart enough to launch correctly by themselves, so you don’t have to manually check if a file exists before launching that next batch file yourself? If you said yes, then please read on because you are not alone and there is a cure.

The Challenges

I’ve recently completed an Automation Audit with a nonprofit health insurance organization to evaluate the feasibility of automating all the manual batch processes.  My client’s IT team would execute different daily, weekly, and monthly processes that utilize more than 160 batches and over 80 SQL jobs manually.  Using Windows Task Scheduler and the job scheduler from SQL Server Management Studio were no longer doing the job effectively.  It would take hours, sometimes days, to trace down the error if a process failed midway.  IT professionals would still have to sit in front of the monitors to wait for emails to give them an “OK” to execute the next batch job, while that time could have been spent on more important projects.  My client needed a consolidated platform to manage and execute all of his processes.

The AutoMate Solution

Through the Automation Audit, we discovered that all manual batch processes can fully be automated; therefore, reducing latency and improving efficiency.   Each of the manual batch process can be easily  transformed into an AutoMate workflow in just minutes using the visual Workflow Designer and Task Builder of AutoMate BPA Server.

A manual process that looks like this:

Batch Process 

Can easily be transformed into an AutoMate workflow like this:

AutoMate Workflow 

After a batch process is transformed into an AutoMate workflow, human intervention is no longer needed.  The process is now scheduled to launch on a schedule trigger and execute accordingly based on its status.  An IT professional no longer needs to spend hours making sure the batch jobs are executed correctly.  AutoMate will be handling all the work from here.

Note: AutoMate can run all your existing EXEs, BATs, scripts, SQL jobs and stored procedures.  They do not need to be turned into an AutoMate task right away.  The process of converting them can happen in phases.  In fact, many of our clients tend to have AutoMate execute and manage their existing EXEs, BATs, scripts, SQL jobs and stored procedures first, then transform them into AutoMate workflows and tasks gradually.