A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Job Scheduler Tool Makes Dreams Come True

February 11, 2015

The 1806 Brothers Grimm story “The Elves and the Shoemaker” recounts the tale of a poor, overworked cobbler aided by elves while he sleeps, waking to find the tasks he was unable to complete the previous night are miraculously finished in the morning.

Two centuries later, that dream is reality, thanks to the new Job Scheduler implemented by UC Merced IT. This powerful tool, developed by Automic, is already being put through its paces by Admissions and the Office of the Registrar.

“Over a weekend, when most of us were sleeping, Automic was crunching about 13,000 undergraduate applications into BANNER,” Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions Ruben Lubers said. “The usual load process is a seven-step process that would take us weeks to complete for this number of applicants, and this product completed it with very little user interaction. To the Office of Admissions, this product has already offered significant savings.”

The Office of the Registrar recently started using Automic to schedule recurring nightly jobs, all of which had to be done manually in the past. Automic allows technical staff members to stack jobs together, and the program watches for errors, including notifications for process success or failure.

While the tool is being used for functions related to BANNER, IT Project Lead Mariette Araya said there are opportunities to apply this automation to other large-batch processes. For instance, if a research team needs to process a large amount of data but doesn't want to overtax its systems during lab hours, Job Scheduler can manage these processes while team members are away.

While it is an exciting tool, automation does not replace the need for human beings. Processes require knowledgeable personnel to manage the tools. 

But, especially as the campus grows, Job Scheduler will free up up valuable time and resources during peak hours, creating a better learning and working experience for students, faculty and staff.