Automic Workload Automation Review

A very powerful tool which allows for portability of code through different environments


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is automating and integrating different workloads and systems to populate data warehouses and different applications.

How has it helped my organization?

It allows us to free up developers' time from not having to set up environments, but actually using different environments. It allows us to have accountability and traceability of changes. It also allows us to be in the mainstream with what a lot of other companies are using, so it is easy to get a transfer of skills and be able to collaborate with other people in the field, because we are using a more popular tool. 

What is most valuable?

  1. The modulation of some of the things, like how the things are connected and disconnected. You have different login objects that you can quickly put to other different objects and other objects that you create, which makes transporting things very easy from one environment to the next. 
  2. I like the documentation that is out there. It is very good and the community that comes with it is really good. It provides a lot of different use cases similar to ours that people have for specific things which we can go out, look at, and receive some help on. 
  3. It is very technology agnostic. It fits with pretty much all the different types of technology, different types of servers, and different other types of languages that we use; it fits in very well with everything.

What needs improvement?

There has to be a better way to visualize things in the application without having so many windows open. That is just an on its face type thing. If you get in deep into some of these processes, you may have 20 windows open, and there has to be an easier way to manage that. The actual components that they have are great. Just the presentation of it; sometimes I feel like there is too much on the screen and I want to simplify it. I want to get to the information that I need to without wasting my time trying to expand this window or trying to click this and do all that. So that is my one downside the tool. They need to figure out how to reduce the number of windows that you can have open. It is more of an aesthetic thing, but it helps your functionality out because you get to the crux of problems a little quicker when you do not have to surf through 20 different windows.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

At my company, if there is a limit, we are going to find it. Everything has a finite limit. No matter what people tell you about any type of software, it is always a finite limit. However, compared to other competitors' software packages, this has been a lot more stable, but no software is completely stable. If there's a limit, we're gonna find it. Our company pushes the envelope when it comes to the data we process, display, and publish to our users, so sometimes we find those limits. Overall, especially since we have dealt with the competitor for a number of years before we switched over to Automic CA, it has been pretty stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It seems very scalable. 

It is one of things, where there are a 100 ways to do something, and that is a good thing and a bad thing. You can do it the bad way and it will not be scalable, or you can do it the better way and it will be scalable. So, on its face, it is very scalable, but it definitely depends on how you implement it. 

How is customer service and technical support?

They have been pretty good. We have had the professional services company uses some of the budget to bring some of those guys in to work on specific problems and they are very interactive and very responsive. 

I have not really had any issues. However, if there is a limit, we are going to find it. It does not matter what, and whose name is on the technology.

How was the initial setup?

I was heavily involved in the initial setup. It was December 2015 that we had to migrate our entire workload automation suite of 1000s of jobs. We are publishing petabytes worth of data into this big relational data warehouse, publishings, all these different applications. We probably received 2000 files per week, and probably had 5000 jobs per week. Therefore, we had to migrate all that from one solution to another solution in 60 days. It was a contract thing that was going on, so we had to do it and I was heavily involved. We had some professional services people come down and we found out about it in mid-December and we were done by the first week of February. So, it was a heroic effort, but we did it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I got brought in when they signed the contract.

What other advice do I have?

There are some things that could be more intuitive in the tool. There is a lot of functionality, but the presentation of it could probably be better. It is a very powerful tool which allows for portability of code through different environments.

Get out there and research what the community is doing and different use cases. Take a look at the community and look at the feedback that the community is giving. It is a very user driven community. It is not driven from CA. It is driven from the users themselves, so I definitely go take a look at the user feedback, then think about the management and the implementation of this tool, which are very important. 

Back to the first thing, "There are 100 ways to do everything." Therefore, you have to come to a consensus on, "This is the way we are going to do it", and have some standards upfront, because it is going to be a harder once you get into it using the tool. With any workload automation tool, it is the backbone of your organization. Once you start using, it is hard to change. Think about the implementation and best practices upfront and listen to the feedback from the user community.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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