View Poll Results: Replacing SQLAgent with Automat a good idea or bad idea?

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  • AutoMate is a good replacement for SQLAgent

    1 33.33%
  • AutoMate is a bad replacement for SQLAgent

    0 0%
  • Any replacement for SQLAgent is bad

    2 66.67%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Opinions needed on AutoMate to replace SQLAgent

    We have been told by the director over the DBAs that we may be standardizing ALL scheduled jobs and tasks (including SQL jobs) onto 1 tool called AutoMate (by NetworkAutomation), although I suspect the decision has already been made. I've argued that a standard for batch jobs is good but SQL has a job scheduler designed for SQL and integrated with SQL that works extremely well, but don't think I'm getting through.
    Has anyone used AutoMate as a replacement for SQLAgent? I am open to hearing both pros and cons please. Thank you.

    Signed, Frustrated DBA
    Last edited by OSCI; 01-25-05 at 13:51.

  2. #2
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    I don't see anything on their site that even mentions sql server

    What about sercurity?

    Looks like you'd have to write bat file with osql and then schedule them

    They're not thinking of disabling the agent are they?

    That would be bad
    Brett
    8-)

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  3. #3
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    I guess it depends on how much functionality you are willing to give up, how much developer time you are willing to invest on an ongoing basis to support giving up that functionality, and how much the folks at AutoMate are willing to pay your managment.

    It is their call on what tools to use. If they are willing to spend enough, they can have whatever they want. You might suggest hiring a 24 by 265 operations staff... That can be more powerful and flexible than any scheduling system, if you can afford it.

    -PatP

  4. #4
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    I'm a MSFT bigot, but have to admit their scheduling tools are in the minor leagues. I have zero experience with AutoMate, however I have worked in what was at the time the world's largest client server environment and we used DEC's (remember them?) high-end scheduler to manage our jobs.

    One thing that high-end scheduler's have that SQL Agent lacks is the ease with which job dependencies can be created and monitored. Frankly, SQL Agent was an after-thought and until Microsoft gets serious about it, will remain nothing but an excellent DTS task scheduler.

    It seems you can combine AutoMate and SQL Agent and have a much improved environment.

    And, PatP, what about the other 100 days With or without a scheduling system, you'll want operations staff available 24x7x365 for any signifcant system.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, what he said...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett Kaiser
    I don't see anything on their site that even mentions sql server
    <snip>
    Looks like you'd have to write bat file with osql and then schedule them
    This is essentially what we do, we just use both SQL Agent to schedule SQL Server jobs, and where we need to also run non-SQL Server jobs, we either schedule them from within the agent using a job of type "operating system command" that references (typically) a BAT file on the server somewhere, or go the other way 'round (BAT to SQL Server) as Brett mentions.

    I'm not sure it really matters what TOOL you use to do the scheduling, but why buy a new tool when Uncle Bill has provided the basics to get the same stuff done? Either way, you're going to have a mix, since the tool can't get into SQL Server directly, and SQL Server can't get into the tool directly.
    aka "Paul"
    Non est ei similis.

    I just read "100 Things To Do Before You Die". I was surprised that "Yell for help!!" wasn't one of them

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxA
    And, PatP, what about the other 100 days With or without a scheduling system, you'll want operations staff available 24x7x365 for any signifcant system.
    Ummm, I was thinking weekends... Yeah, that's the ticket!

    Jeeze Louise! A guy makes a typo...

    -PatP

  7. #7
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    MaxA,
    I've had no complaints with job dependancy by using the Advanced tab of each step defined -OR- in the one case where that wasn't good enough I did a query against sysjobshistory prior to continuing several step later. It was a work around, but it did work.

    OSCI

  8. #8
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    I don't dispute that you can accomplish what you need with SQL Agent, however I do dispute whether or not the cost/benefit is there. I value people's time over the cost of a tool like this, thus I usually lean towards a 3rd party solution that would free your valuable time to solve more trying problems.

    I also direct DBA's, so my view is a bit different than a DBA's view. However, I would ask the DBA's to make that decision and then support it 100% because I know they're a lot smarter than me. And, they're the ones who would have to deal with any problems.

    How would you prefer to spend your time - managing SQL Agent jobs or improving your data architecture? I think your director has the right idea, but the wrong approach. Leading extremely talented people can be very challenging, and we all make mistakes (even PatP made a typo today - sorry PatP, but you are always spot on so I gotta give ya a hard time).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxA
    (even PatP made a typo today - sorry PatP, but you are always spot on so I gotta give ya a hard time).
    Could I interest you in some wonderful waterfront real estate in Louisiana?

    -PatP

  10. #10
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    Actually, now that I think about it in more detail, I'd be willing to debate the value of a servicable and well understood standard scheduler versus a wiz-bang proprietary one.

    I tend to value people's time more than the cost of a software package too. However, I try to keep my eye on the "big picture"... Every employee with SQL Server experience I've interviewed has a good understanding of SQL Agent. Every consultant I've ever dealt with does too.

    Even if another package could save five percent of the job setup time due to the features it provided, I don't think I could ever recoup the time that I'd loose explaining the wiz-bang to everyone that needed to use it... The time we spend scheduling and managing jobs is tiny compared to the time we spend explaining the ins and outs of our systems to folks.

    If you had a mostly closed shop, with few newcomers, and a huge number of scheduled jobs, you might be able to justify a scheduler with the power of some of the DEC (and more often DECUS) products. 99% of the jobs I see do just fine with the SQL Agent features, and they really couldn't make use of much more. Your milage may vary, but I'd be surprised if many shops could justify the additional complexity of a third party scheduler!

    -PatP

  11. #11
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    To me it looks like this tool is much more than just a scheduler; it can also be used for automated testing: are my servers up and running, do my client applications work as they should, or do I send some notification (email) that one of the servers is down or about to.

    Would you have a single point of failure?

    If this tool is to replace all schedulers (how many are there?), including the one in SQL Server, is it just to do that? I would hope management is clear on this, since I'd be making hours on finding out exactly what I can and cannot do with this tool.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxA
    One thing that high-end scheduler's have that SQL Agent lacks is the ease with which job dependencies can be created and monitored. Frankly, SQL Agent was an after-thought and until Microsoft gets serious about it, will remain nothing but an excellent DTS task scheduler.
    Can I have a hit of what you're smoking?

    DTS? What the hell is that?
    Brett
    8-)

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  13. #13
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    You folks are great - Thank you!

    I appreciate all of the feedback and hope to have more over the next few days. I would like to ask if you haven't voted in the poll to please do so if you find the poll an accurate measure for your opinion.

    Thank you again.

    OSCI

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