Tue, Jul
4 New Articles

Partner TechTip: Interface Evolution (and How It Impacts Your Job Schedule)

  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

From green screen to GUI to the new web interface, Robot SCHEDULE job scheduling software includes new features that make mobile job schedule management easy.


When Doug Engelbart delivered the "mother of all demos" in 1968, did he know what kind of controversy would come from the introduction of his "X–Y position indicator," better known today as a computer mouse?


What once was a wooden box with wheels has evolved into sleeker tools, but the debate still rages. Is a mouse more ergonomic than a keyboard? When compared to green screen or command line interfaces, does using a mouse to navigate a graphical display actually save time? Does a mouse limit functionality?


All of this may be moot in a few years as web user interfaces and the touchscreen technology of smartphones and tablets continue to transform the way we engage with our personal communication and entertainment devices, even impacting our work style in the process.


In the 2015 IBM i Marketplace Survey, participants were asked whether their main application is still green screen. While 40 percent confirmed that they are still on green screen technology, 42 percent indicated that they also use a graphical interface. Meanwhile, 47 percent are already accessing their primary application from a web-based user interface.



Figure 1: Fifty-nine percent of organizations include application modernization on their list of top IT initiatives for the next 5–10 years.


While the green screen may never completely disappear, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) provide a more appealing user experience and make it easier for newer staff members to learn applications. Even so, there are organizations where the GUI has not caught on. That's where web-based user interfaces come in, offering a few advantages in areas where the GUI has traditionally struggled.


Some web interfaces, like the one available for Robot SCHEDULE job scheduling software, are built using responsive design technology, which allows the display to adapt to fit the screen size of any mobile device.


Web interfaces may sometimes contain new functionality that is available exclusively through the web interface. The Robot SCHEDULE web interface introduced a number of new features, making mobile job schedule management much easier.


Central Visibility

User-definable dashboards also provide visibility into key metrics for critical jobs and job streams so users can see their critical information at a glance. Guest dashboards are also available, making it easy to create a modern display for executives to view summary information without needing an IBM i profile.


A business window dashboard makes it easy to manage by exception. Users set a window of time for things to run, and the dashboard displays the exceptions that did not run within this window.


Graphical Diagrams



Figure 2: Job flow diagrams allow users to see their jobs streams on demand and include a live option that shows a job stream as it flows through the system.


Active diagrams make it possible to visualize the job flow and status for a single job stream, which helps with troubleshooting and making changes to the schedule.


To help make meeting Service Level Agreements (SLAs) easier, reactivity chains also diagram event dependencies and highlight jobs and paths that are critical.


Detailed Information

Critical jobs lists allow users to define an individualized view of jobs across systems that are most important and have the biggest impact so the status of critical jobs is instantly available.


Enhanced GUI

In addition to the new features, Schedule Activity Monitor, or SAM—an already popular feature in the Robot SCHEDULE GUI—is now available in the web interface. SAM allows users to see what's coming up, what's currently running, and what has already run and its status for multiple job streams across partitions. It provides a single pane of glass for viewing the job schedule.


Another old favorite, Work with Active Jobs, provides direct visibility and control over jobs currently running on the system and identifies where (which subsystem), even if they are not on Robot SCHEDULE. This is now available in the web interface and helps to facilitate work management.


As IT departments look to simplify change management and avoid administering remote desktops that require installing a graphical interface, web user interfaces are the new focus of modernization initiatives.


The Robot SCHEDULE web interface is easy to deploy, has a low administrative cost, and completely eliminates the footprint on the desktop. Learn more about mobile job schedule management today.



Tom Huntington is Executive Vice President of Technical Solutions at HelpSystems, and has been with the company for nearly 30 years. He works with business alliances, acquisitions and large customer relationships and ensures that the HelpSystems software works with other major software and hardware vendors worldwide.

Tom often speaks on enterprise scheduling, security, automation topics, IBM i technology, and the HelpSystems products, and hosts technical presentations on a variety of automation topics. He is the author of the HelpSystems IBM i Marketplace Survey and has written articles on automated operations, security, cloud computing, and business intelligence for leading trade journals and newsletters. He was named an IBM Champion in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 for over three decades of advocation and thought leadership on the IBM i platform.

Contact Tom at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Support MC Press Online


Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: