Product Review: AppWorx Enables Smoother Processing Of Business Apps - InformationWeek

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Product Review: AppWorx Enables Smoother Processing Of Business Apps

Most of the processing of business applications running today are executed in an asynchronous non-real-time batch mode. To oversee those jobs, companies employ operators and depend on job schedulers and scripts to execute complex systems. However, scripting large jobs is very expensive as it requires scripting experts, developers, and operators to determine the execution paths.

Most of the processing of business applications running today are executed in an asynchronous non-realtime batch mode. To oversee those jobs, companies employ operators and depend on job schedulers and scripts to execute complex systems. However, scripting large jobs is very expensive as it requires scripting experts, developers and operators to determine the execution paths.

The Test Center has reviewed AppWorx's job scheduling software, which is designed to reduce scripting complexity. AppWorx has the ability to execute jobs dynamically at runtime, which can be based on external data input. AppWorx also is able to detect codes from operating systems, collect data from all log files and then identify errors on job completions.

The software is capable of scanning databases to identify data results from job runs. Just about any type of check can be placed on job results, including performing calculations based on outputs.

With Unix scripts, for example, developers can create complex jobs to do just about everything one can do with AppWorx. Unix scripts, however, are simply a nightmare to create as they are extremely difficult to configure and maintain on distributed enterprises. Maintaining scripts requires a high level of expertise of the scripting language and of the operating system running the jobs. As a result, companies have to depend on highly skilled operators to perform job executions and track resultsquite a costly endeavor. In addition, to receive realtime results from remote locations during job executions, administrators have to set up separate terminal services for each location or connect via a VPN. Conversely, AppWorx uses a powerful event-driven language that simplifies job execution logic and handles configurations for all supported operating systems. Therefore, it is not required for administrators to be experts at running applications on multiple environments.

AppWorx also is capable of automating application processing within each business application, which in turn simplifies business processing integration across multiple applications and accelerates the business process landscape. Essentially, this job scheduling system reduces the expense of trying to build straight-through business processes and allows administrators to quickly gain control of any job from anywhere.

In addition to replacing the need for custom scripting, AppWorx speeds up job creation because its scripts are reusable and are based on object-orientation principles, such as object-oriented (OO) code.

AppWorx provides many graphical elements to describe job streams and provides logic to run jobs. AppWorx can send data results to a process as input parameters based on application output or database field and then can use those results as conditions to evaluate new process executions. In addition, dynamic conditions can be inserted into job logic to change execution flow. Data center administrators who are inputting parameters to change the flow of scripts also can test jobs before running them.

By replacing parameters on jobs, administrators can fix the execution without involving developers. And since administrators can view executions dynamically, they can identify errors much faster and can prevent subsequent jobs from running. In fact, the more conditions are placed on jobs, the easier it is for AppWorx to investigate errors and fix them.

One of AppWorx's tools, AppMaster, allows administrators to review multiple Master jobs consoles at an enterprise level. AppWorx agents provide direct access to Masters located on any facility by viewing exactly what is shown in the consoles.

AppWorx interfaces with about 100 packaged applications, including SQL and operating systems such as Unix, Windows, Linux, VMS, Mainframes and AS/400. In addition to graphical jobs running on consoles, jobs also may be executed from the command line, allowing administrators to customize legacy applications that run on old operating systems. AppWorx supports and collects data from Web services and passes it on to other steps in a job. To the scheduler, Web services are just another conditional process that can be executed.

All of these features combined can essentially eliminate the job of operators. Companies don't need to have operators firing new jobs based on results because any new job can run automatically inside AppWorx based on dynamic event triggers. AppWorx can scan key values on a system that changes on a regular basis and run jobs based on those values. For instance, whenever inventory values drop below certain values, different job streams can be fired off.

AppWorx provides classroom and Web-based training so that partners can provide support to customers. In addition, partners can get phone and on-site help during deployments, as well as their own, personal support team consisting of a Business Development Account Manager, Account Manager and a Systems engineer.

The company declined to disclose margins.

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