IBM Workload Automation Review

Provides a robust, full spectrum enterprise-wide WLA platform


What is our primary use case?

Product administration with minimal scheduling usage these days. Installing, configuring, and administering distributed agents and integration with multiple services and applications.

How has it helped my organization?

Provides a robust, full spectrum enterprise-wide WLA platform. I have practical experience with all of the major "Enterprise" WLA products (Control-M, CA-7, and Zeke). None of them have the functionality and ease of use of TWS.

What is most valuable?

The DWC, when configured correctly, is a great GUI tool to provide Self-Service Scheduling capabilities to the user community. The variety of agents available allows for an extremely flexible Enterprise WLA solution. The WAPL (formerly SOE) functionality is one of the major things that sets IWA apart from the other platforms. With its use, you can automate tasks that other platforms can only dream about.

What needs improvement?

This may not be the norm, but slow down on the releases a bit. I fully understand that IWA functionality is increasing at an amazing rate, but trying to keep up with the upgrades is rough. Figure out a way to speed up the DWC response a little.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

None! It's indestructible, and if configured correctly, and easily recovered in a disaster scenario.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

None! I have supported this product in literally 100s of different environments and its unmatched in its ability to scale to any size.

How is customer service and technical support?

Let us be honest: It is IBM. They may not have invented arrogant, but they perfected it. 

If you make it clear that you know what you are doing and you get support involved, it is as good as it gets. I have been given direct cell phone contacts to Product Development in Rome (when it was still there). They cared enough to help at that level.

Which solutions did we use previously?

I am currently supporting both IWA and CA-7 while my company decides on which direction to go forward.

How was the initial setup?

With any experience whatsoever, IWA is as simple to install and configure. You basically fill in some blanks and run the setup jobs. They create all of the STC, panels and skeletons that you require.

What about the implementation team?

In-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you are running an IBM Mainframe, why would you want any other product as your z/OS based WLA "hub" ? 

To my knowledge, IWA is the only WLA product that will provide "parallel tracking" capability to assist in upgrading from one platform to IWA.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Not applicable. I have used IWA, CA-7, Control-M, and Zeke in the past.

What other advice do I have?

Having used all of the major WLA platforms, I believe:

  1. IWA is the most user-friendly and feature-packed product on the market today. 
  2. Control-M is a close second (even though there are rumors that BMC is shopping it around). 
  3. As for CA, at this point it's hard to tell what CA's Strategic Vision is going forward. They have ESP, Dseries, and now Automic, yet they are keeping the old dinosaur CA-7 alive because they can't figure out how to get all of the old legacy clients off it without major heartburn.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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