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Texas Financial Software Developer Creates AS400-Style Job Scheduling in Windows 2003 Using ActiveBatch®

Release date: 7/27/2004

Firm's Municipal, State Customers Get Efficiency of Win 2003, Scheduling Capability of Mid-Range Computers; Developer Says Solution Delivers 99% of AS400 Functionality

GRAPEVINE, Texas, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Bigger may be better in Texas -- unless, of course, you're talking to a municipal, county, or state worker.
As in private industry, Lone Star State agencies at all levels are continually being asked to do more with less. The trend extends to most government accounting and data processing departments, where traditional Unix and AS400 computing systems are being replaced with less expensive Windows 2003 servers at a rapid rate.
Windows 2003 platforms are considered to have several cost advantages over AS400 systems, such as the ability to support non-proprietary hardware. However, AS400s do have one critical and unique plus -- a robust job scheduling capability. Job scheduling is critically important where staffs are lean and downtime is to be avoided. In accounting departments, where computing systems often must run unattended, the move to Windows 2003 servers presents a major problem, since these systems give users only very limited -- even primitive -- control over how batches of computing jobs can be processed.

Stw Inc., a leading Texas financial software developer, is addressing this situation head on. The software consulting and development firm, based in Grapevine, a Dallas/Ft. Worth suburb, specializes in automation solutions for state and local governments. According to co-founder and chief systems developer David Johnson, creating a strong job scheduling capability for Windows 2003 was a challenging task.
"Our first inclination was to develop our own job scheduling capability for Win 2003 servers," Johnson noted. "We soon realized that our in-house answer would not be sophisticated enough to accommodate our customers' needs."

After a thorough Internet search, Johnson located five companies that offer full-featured job scheduling software. All had their strengths, but in the end Johnson and his team chose Advanced Systems Concepts' ActiveBatch job scheduling/management application.

"ActiveBatch is a dependable, powerful, easy-to-use solution," he noted. "We quickly realized it could provide 99% of the AS400's batch management capability. For example, not only does ActiveBatch support custom queues for groups of users, but also it allows you to see a job after it has been submitted."

ActiveBatch is a comprehensive, scalable, one-stop solution for unattended job execution across a variety of software platforms. Its broad range of new and existing capabilities provide a comprehensive strategy for coordinating, managing, and monitoring single and repetitive applications and jobs, with scheduling implemented through a wide range of criteria including date, time, system resources, dependencies, triggers, and events.

Among ActiveBatch's strengths are abilities to create classes of jobs, to set customizable alerts, and to pass information from job to job and/or from a variety of databases. The solution's flexibility in supporting Windows, Unix, and Linux was also a plus to Stw. "It's clear that many of our customers will be turning to Linux at some point in the future. When the time comes, the transition will be that much easier since they won't have to re-learn a new job scheduling system," Johnson said.
Stw completed its first deployment of ActiveBatch in a Windows 2003 solution in the second quarter of 2004. "The first reaction from our customer -- someone who was used to the IBM scheduling interface-was, 'I like it, but now I have to think,'" Johnson noted. "One month later the same person said, 'Now I don't even remember how the old job scheduler worked.' I consider that a great compliment for the ActiveBatch system."

Johnson observes that solutions like ActiveBatch are going to be increasingly important for cost-conscious customers in the months ahead. "Intel-based Windows platforms are fundamental to the future of accounting systems at small-to-midsized organizations," he states. "Customers will look to products like ActiveBatch to provide the added functionality they need."

About Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc.
Headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. offers many software products and options for users of Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux, and HP OpenVMS systems. These products provide answers to software developers and system managers with improved system efficiency and utilization. Advanced Systems Concepts today has over 200,000 licenses installed and a worldwide base of customers in 27 countries around the world. Advanced Systems Concepts is a Microsoft Independent Solution Vendor, a HP/Compaq Business Partner, a Sun Catalyst member, an IBM Business Partner and an HP-UX Power Partner. For more information, see the company's website at http://www.advsyscon.com or call (800) 229-2724.

Copyright © 2004 Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. ActiveBatch is a registered trademark of Advanced Systems Concepts, Inc. Other company and/or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respect.

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