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A seismic step forward

At Ovington Capital Management we were looking for some batch/scheduling software to automate a lot of the tasks we have to do along with incorporating the business logic that we need to manage.

Quarterly, monthly, weekly, Last business day of the month, first business day of the month, fifth business day of the month are all significant for the firm and we wanted to ensure that not only were "batch jobs" being performed, but also "human jobs" were getting executed.

We had a look at a lot of the software in the market, and whilst we had a budget for the software, there is a large variety of software out there and we weren't convinced that any of it would fit our demands. Going with Open Source software on a platform we were comfortable with at least meant if there was some functionality we needed, we could add it.

At the time the main branch of schedulix was based around Unix, and as a largely Windows based team we decided to run the main scheduler as a Virtual Machine running Ubuntu on a Windows PC. This Virtual machine is running the scheduling server and the web server. Given that the all the data resides on our production database (MySql) on another machine with its own backup schedule, this setup means we have a hard copy, ready to run virtual machine that we can run and be sure that its going to work, which is more than we can say out our personal machines.

In terms of the scheduling software itself, we have automated many daily tedious tasks and it is amazing how much automating those "5 minute tasks" adds up to after a while. The software allows you to create calendars to base tasks on as well as time zones, so we have last US business day in the month schedules, 4pm US on US working day, 10th UK business, quarterly, annual, in fact every schedule we have needed we have been able to implement (which is big for us).

We are not the most demanding users of batch software, we do not have large structured batch processes that need to be managed, in fact we have no batches on schedulix, every process is a single task so I can't comment on that aspect of the s/w.

The interface to the s/w is via a web interface and via the command line. The web interface is not very pretty, but works and the command line interface which you may well need for advanced schedules, is well designed, but techy (you need to learn "schedulix").

Having chosen the s/w because of its Open Source nature, we have not actually modified the code at all, which is good.

In summary schedulix has done everything we required of it, has been running for a year without outage or error, and has actually been a seismic step forward in how our business works.

Any business task that needs to be done gets put onto the scheduler, even if its just a place holder task that someone needs to sign off.

Ovington Capital Management LLP
Aron Palmer
Risk Manager
London (U.K.)