To Script or Not to Script: That Isn’t the Question

Tue, Oct 04, 2016 @ 11:10 AM

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No matter what the language is, script writing is labor intensive. Writing a new script means that you likely have spent hours designing, writing, testing, and de-bugging the code, and then testing and de-bugging it a few more times. And once they are written, these scripts have to be maintained and catalogued. In addition to these foreseeable challenges, there are the things you can’t predict; requirements can change and developers may leave, and that means you’re going to have to revise or rewrite older scripts.

These challenges leave you with some important questions when you decide to implement an automation solution: Should we keep scripting? And what should we do with our existing scripts?  If your existing scripts are still functional, they are going to be valuable to you because of all of the time and energy spent on them—it can be hard to let them go.

With ActiveBatch IT Automation, you don’t need to struggle to answer to this question. ActiveBatch’s library of hundreds of pre-built Job Steps means you don’t have to script. We took care of all the designing, writing, testing, and de-bugging for you—all you have to do is drag and drop them into a workflow.

Automation can help you eliminate scripting anywhere it makes sense to do so. For example, after implementing ActiveBatch, the ETL architect at the Children's Hospital and Medical Center of Omaha was able to increase efficiency by accomplishing more in less time, with much less traditional scripting. He also reduced the cost of outsourcing script development to third parties. Reducing your dependency on scripting simply saves hours of time and helps you leverage your budget.

With that said, here at Advanced Systems Concepts, we know and understand that you can never entirely eliminate scripting—in fact, we believe scripting will remain a key component of any modern workload automation solution. There are four major reasons why you may want to keep your old scripts and write new ones:
          -You have a large base of existing scripts
          -You prefer scripting
          -You have a specific use case that requires a script
          -Many scripts are available on the Internet that developers can download and use as a timesaver

We know that scripting still plays a key role, and ActiveBatch has multiple features that will make maintaining your scripts easier than ever, for example:

  1. Being script language-independent, ActiveBatch allows users to select the extension for the language that they’re using, and will understand it and execute the script job accordingly. 
  2. With ActiveBatch, you can use pre-built Job Steps to augment and wrap around a script. For example, you can pull in a pre-existing SQL Server Job Step and then insert a PowerShell script. All of that could be followed by an application specific action such as starting an Informatica PowerCenter Job workflow of task.
  3. Instead of storing scripts in a local or network folder, ActiveBatch can house them and serve as an additional layer of security. You can set advanced permissions to prevent unauthorized access and edits to the scripts. 
  4. Version control and revision history allow you to see exactly who made what changes to your workflows. If necessary, you can restore older versions to avoid executing scripts with errors.
  5. ActiveBatch's script editor allows you to edit scripts within the interface and trigger them to see the results live. ActiveBatch also highlights syntax errors and comes equipped with find/replace and variable auto-completion functionalities.
  6. ActiveBatch provides granular scheduling capabilities. Users can trigger scripts to run based on a wide variety of events like emails, file drops, network events, WMI events, and more. That’s in addition to traditional calendar-based scheduling. 

Overall, ActiveBatch, a robust, enterprise IT automation tool, provides a secure, reliable script management experience for users. With ActiveBatch, you have the potential to improve IT agility, increase productivity, and help reduce costs.

Read more about how the Children's Hospital and Medical Center of Omaha was able to increase efficiency and productivity in this Customer Success Story: Read the Case Study!

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