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JAMS OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is JAMS?

JAMS is a centralized workload automation and job scheduling solution that runs, monitors, and manages jobs and workflows that support critical business processes. The software can automate jobs on any platform including Windows, Linux, UNIX, IBM i, zOS, and OpenVMS and includes native application integrations to run jobs specific to databases, BI tools, and ERP systems.

This solution can save you time & money, eliminate security risks, and give more visibility to the critical jobs that keep your business running.

Key Features:

  • Cross-platform scheduling with multiple interfaces including desktop and web clients, .NET SDK, REST API, and PowerShell cmdlets
  • Centralized monitoring with customizable alerts and notifications
  • Scheduling logic that includes triggers, dependencies, and sophisticated workflow logic
  • Enterprise security with granular controls for applying custom access privileges to jobs, folders, users, and schedulers
JAMS Buyer's Guide

Download the JAMS Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

JAMS Customers

Teradata

Arconic

General Dynamics

Yum!

CVS Health

Comcast

Ghiradelli

Boston’s Children’s Hospital

JAMS Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about JAMS pricing:
  • "JAMS is close to the lower end of the pricing models for enterprise scheduling solutions. They are much cheaper than Control-M, as well as some other products that I've used. I also don't know of another solution where you can actually get true, unlimited licensing, where you can have as many instances and as many agents as you want."
  • "It was $10,000 for the first year. Then, there is a maintenance cost for licensing every year that we get billed $5,000 for every year."
  • "It's certainly a lot cheaper than Tivoli and Control-M. In comparison to them, you get a lot more bang for your buck. You get pretty much the whole functionality and more, in some cases, when compared to Control-M, but at a fraction of the price."
  • "This is a good product at a fair price."

JAMS Reviews

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YvetteCarpenter
Technical Operations Manager at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Enabled us to consolidate jobs run by many tools into one solution, but there are some scenarios we haven't been able to automate

Pros and Cons

  • "Our company is based on data. Everything we do is data-driven, so it has been very valuable having one place where we can process all of the data and do batch schedules with chunks of data."
  • "JAMS handles exceptions fairly well but there are some areas where it might improve a little bit. It has to do with being able to automatically handle exceptions, out-of-the-box, rather than having to code them."

What is our primary use case?

We started with basic tasks because we were bringing things over from Windows Task Scheduler. We didn't have a whole lot of dependencies at that point. We have gotten much more detailed in our scheduling requirements since. We use what are currently called JAMS Setups, which in the new version are called Sequence Jobs, quite a bit, especially for our enterprise data analytics team. We do some pretty complex scheduling scenarios.

We also use it for holiday calendars that impact our scheduling and for multiple regular scenarios, such as dependencies on a file or another job or another Setup. 

Overall, we use it for basic, normal enterprise-scheduling solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

We've been able to automate a lot of processes that were done manually before. We're not a huge company, and we're a fairly new company, so a lot of things were being done before in Task Scheduler or in a homegrown solution called Batch Nucleus. They were also in cron and in SaaS. They were all over the place. Being able to consolidate all of that into this one enterprise scheduling solution allows us to put dependencies on different jobs between different systems. It also allows us to monitor everything from one place and gives us the ability to do some exception handling. We have unlimited licensing with JAMS and we have hundreds of environments that we have agents on and do testing on. Having one location that we can monitor everything from, and handle all the exceptions from, is critical.

We've automated our critical processes, which used to be done manually through an external product and that means we don't have to worry quite so much about manual, human error.

Because we have gone from a lot of manual processes to automated processes with JAMS, we have been able to free up IT staff time. We're not spending 30 minutes doing something manually that JAMS can do in five minutes. It has freed up IT resources, but it has also sped up our processing times. For just the Technical Operations Center team that I manage, it has saved about 20 hours a week.

JAMS has also helped eliminate “data slack” across our applications. All of our enterprise data analytics is done through JAMS, so being able to access things like Teradata, Hadoop, and Snowflake cloud solutions for data integration is important. Our company is based on data. Everything we do is data-driven, so it has been very valuable having one place where we can process all of the data and do batch schedules with chunks of data. It's been a good tool for that. Having current data ready to go when our users need it is extremely critical because we are a FinTech company. We have to be able to pull data instantaneously to make decisions. Otherwise, our customer base is reduced and there are also compliance issues. We have both financial and legal obligations to our partner companies, so that data has to be up-to-date and ready to go when they request it.

What is most valuable?

I've used a lot of the other scheduling packages in the past. The most valuable feature of JAMS is the ease of being able to update parameters on-the-fly. Also, their monitoring and historical views are pretty robust.

We are also able to go into a job that is inside of a Setup and say, "Turn this one off for a while," by using the Except clause.

Another useful functionality is being able to pass parameters and variables between different jobs, and different steps in a job, or a Setup.

What needs improvement?

JAMS handles exceptions fairly well but there are some areas where it might improve a little bit. It has to do with being able to automatically handle exceptions, out-of-the-box, rather than having to code them. I'd also like to be able to do different things, based on what the actual exception is. In our current version, there's a placeholder where you should be able to do some things along those lines, but we've never actually been able to get it to work. I've seen in the 7.x versions that that has been fixed.

In terms of automation, there are some scenarios that we're still working on trying to automate and we just haven't been able to find an applicable solution through JAMS for those yet. I'm excited to see, once we get to that point, if we can do those things in the newer version.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using JAMS in June of 2016. I was in charge of taking all of our disparate scheduling systems and converting everything into the JAMS scheduling package. I have used it from the ground up.

Right now we're on-prem, but we are going to want to go to the cloud sometime next year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the five years that I have worked on JAMS, I have never had it crash.

The fat client on your machine, for the 6.5 version, is not really reliable. It can slow down and it can get hung and you have to restart it. But with JAMS itself, the only issues we've had were when we didn't get the license key updated on time. For the most part, JAMS has been a very steady, reliable tool.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Because we have unlimited licensing, it has been extremely scalable for us. We can put agents on whatever servers and environments that we need to, fairly quickly and easily. We now have that set up as an automated process. So it's extremely scalable, based on the pricing model and how many agents you're allowed.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is an area in which JAMS has come a long way. When I first started with them, they didn't have any kind of training. The way it worked was that if we had a question, we would call their support team and there might be some back-and-forth trying to figure out how to get what we needed. But they now have JAMS University where you can go to a boot camp and learn more about the product. 

And their support is pretty good and pretty responsive. They get back to you fairly quickly and they usually have a good solution to whatever your issue is. And while they have generally been responsive, there have been several times when getting an answer has taken several weeks, instead of being able to get a really quick answer. I would rate JAMS support at seven out of 10, but I wouldn't give more than an eight for the support for any product that I've worked with. That makes a seven a high mark, for me.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Neutral

How was the initial setup?

We spun off from another company, and that other company used Control-M. When we went our own way, we didn't bring Control-M with us. The scheduling solutions that we were using before were Task Scheduler, a homegrown solution, and SQL Server Agent jobs, things that aren't necessarily true enterprise scheduling solutions.

In our migration to JAMS, we had to refactor some of the code, but that's because of the way that it was coded before. SQL Server Agent and Task Scheduler were pretty easy to migrate because there is actually a conversion routine where you can log in to a machine from JAMS and just say, "Go pull the job and convert it." It would automatically convert it, and we would just have to do some cleanup. That part was easy. But when it came to some of our other stuff, we pretty much had to build it from scratch.

I was the only person working on the migration back then, so it took about a year and a half to get everything over, but a lot of that was because we were having to go find things that were being scheduled on these other boxes. Some 80 percent of it was done within the first four to six months.

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

JAMS is close to the lower end of the pricing models for enterprise scheduling solutions. They are much cheaper than Control-M, as well as some other products that I've used.

I also don't know of another solution where you can actually get true, unlimited licensing, where you can have as many instances and as many agents as you want. That has been a godsend for us because we have environments that we spin up and take down on-demand. There are times when we have hundreds of environments going at one time. Having that lower-cost model has been really good for us, while still being able to get the functionality that we need from the tool.

Maintenance and additional features are all included in the yearly cost, and that cost is still much cheaper than what you would pay for maintenance for another product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The one that I had used most recently, and the longest, was BMC Control-M. It is an extremely robust product that has the ability to do some things that our current version of JAMS cannot do. For example, Control-M has the ability to truly diagram out what the flow looks like, from within the tool. My understanding, after having talked to my scheduling analyst, is that that feature is coming up in a future version of JAMS, which is cool.

Control-M also has the ability to do batch impact analysis, and to put a job at the end of a job flow that says that if anything in the job flow breaks, provide an alert. JAMS has the functionality to do that in the current version, but you have to code it. If you want to say, "If this job fails, I want this other job to run to fix it, and then come back and do this other job," you have to code it. But I believe, again, in the newer versions, it's easier to do that type of flow by using Sequence Jobs. That's the biggest area where I felt JAMS really needed to improve, in automatically handling issues, and they've come a long way.

Control-M enables you to send different types of notifications based on the output, which is also a feature that's coming up in the 7.0 version of JAMS.

JAMS has taken quite a few of the recommendations that we gave them and has built them into their newer versions of JAMS. It has been an exciting journey for us to be able to have a lot of input into how the product works.

What other advice do I have?

I'm really excited that we're trying to upgrade to the 7.x version, because it's so much better. But it's a huge change to go from the 6.0 version to the 7.0 version. The tool looks completely different. It works differently, with different ways to do things, so there is a big learning curve. Since our developers build their own jobs in the lower-level environments, it's going to be a big learning curve for our entire company to start using the most current version.

We've defined our complex scheduling scenarios the way that JAMS works in our current version, but in the future version that's going to be much easier. That version has the ability to create multiple schedules on the same job, instead of having multiple jobs with different schedules doing the same thing.

In terms of the upgrade process, we have multiple instances, including development, stage, and production. We've been trying to build a test environment and we have been doing a lot of our tests there. For our actual cut-over and conversion to the newest version, we are being told that we can actually upgrade in-place, instead of having to do a conversion of our database. We're going to take a two- to three-week freeze on any scheduling updates and on adding anything new. Then we'll convert our development instance and train all of our developers on how to use it and what the differences are. We'll let them test. Then we'll upgrade our stage environment and let them test on that. As soon as all of that looks good, we'll do an upgrade of our production system.

We will be working with HelpSystems on the upgrade when we get a little bit closer to it. At this point we're still trying to figure out exactly when we're going to be able to do it. But we have asked them multiple questions and gotten a lot of good feedback from them.

In terms of saving time when troubleshooting stalled jobs, JAMS could do that. But we don't have all of our code set to send the output from a job back to JAMS. So in a lot of instances, we're still having to dig into the system, like Informatica, to get that log back and find out what's wrong. That is something that we, as a company, need to improve. It's not a lack of functionality on the part of JAMS.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Vincent Kwok
Data Architect at San Francisco Public Works
Real User
Top 20
Works out dependencies between jobs, but doesn't have the friendliest of UIs

Pros and Cons

  • "The fact that we no longer need to use Excel spreadsheets is huge. Before JAMS, every group was keeping track of their own batch jobs. Nobody really knew what the other jobs were. So, if jobs failed, other groups wouldn't necessarily know. With JAMS, everything is done through a single scheduler. You can choose who to notify."
  • "The client is horrible. Every time JAMS puts out a survey on what they can improve, I always say, "The client: When you are setting up jobs, it is quite horrible." The response has been, "Well, we are just using the Windows foundation," and I am like, "Why isn't it only your product?" We can get around it now that we know its quirks, but it is not the most user-friendly of tools out there. The UI is completely unintuitive. We had to go and open up a support ticket with JAMS just to get something back. It is not user-friendly at all."

What is our primary use case?

We use it to schedule batch jobs. Batch jobs are a combination of SSIS jobs, which is actually our group's main use case. I brought it in mostly to schedule our SSIS batch jobs. Then, there are other groups who are using it for SQL Server stored procedures. We also have another group using it for a few Python scripts and FME, which is a different type of ETL tool. So, we are using JAMS to schedule those four types of jobs as well as a bunch of FTP jobs.

The application developers have been doing a combination of migrating some of their older jobs, like Python scripts and SQL stored procedures, and FME jobs over to JAMS. Any new batch jobs that they are creating default to using JAMS. They mostly do interactive online type applications. However, on occasions where they do need batch processes, they just use JAMS.

How has it helped my organization?

The fact that we no longer need to use Excel spreadsheets is huge. Before JAMS, every group was keeping track of their own batch jobs. Nobody really knew what the other jobs were. So, if jobs failed, other groups wouldn't necessarily know. With JAMS, everything is done through a single scheduler. You can choose who to notify. 

What is most valuable?

The ability to work out dependencies between jobs is the most valuable feature, which is actually the main reason why we went with JAMS. We went from everybody trying to keep track of stuff on Excel spreadsheets to being able to see things graphically, and say, "This job should not continue or start unless another job begins." That is very useful. Plus, we have a bunch of jobs that are using File Watchers. So, the job doesn't start up until a file is put on a shared drive, which is the automation that JAMS provides that the old SQL Server agent did not do at all.

It provides notifications. 

The fact that JAMS provides metrics is actually nice, although this feature is not really used that much. Before it was a lot harder to get metrics, whereas there are now metrics if we want them.

What needs improvement?

The client needs a complete revamp as it is not the most intuitive of methods of setting up jobs.    We have encountered situations like options disappearing and with no obvious way of getting it back, we have had to open up a Support ticket just to figure out how to get the missing options back

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for around three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We are about two versions behind. Our upgrades are done by our infrastructure team. We decided that to reduce the amount of work for them that we were going to limit upgrades to approximately every six months, because JAMS does frequently update their software. For the most part, it is fairly stable. We have basically worked out with our infrastructure team to not update every time a new version is released. So, it is done around twice a year.

The product is quite stable and we haven't run into any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our infrastructure is pretty straightforward. It is just SQL Server jobs. It works fine on all our Windows machines. We might be exploring a Linux machine for scheduling a SQL Database job, but we haven't done that yet. 

The plan is to have all our batch jobs managed by JAMS. For various reasons, mostly related to strange quirks, they weren't able to just migrate every single thing to JAMS, but that is the end goal. We want to have a single scheduling tool that manages all our batch jobs.

We haven't really encountered any scalability issues. Most of our jobs run at night. We have a bunch of daily jobs that run every half an hour. Therefore, it has not been a huge strain on the JAM server.

There are not that many users of JAMS, probably five or six. We have one administrator who is part of our infrastructure team who can configure JAMS etc., but acts in more of an implementer role. He was the one who installed the software. Setting up jobs and things like that is left up to my group. There are two people in my group who have permission to create and submit jobs. Then, we have about three or four inquirers who look at the output of the jobs, but don't have the permissions to submit jobs.

How are customer service and support?

Reach out to their support, because they're support is really good.

I would give HelpSystems IT support a nine out of 10, which is really good. I have been very impressed with their support. The only reason for a nine out of 10 is sometimes it takes at least a day for them to get back to me, which isn't really that big a deal. However, for the most part, if we do it within U.S.A. working hours, then I get a response pretty quickly. Also, after hours, I think I have sometimes gotten their London support.

We have had situations where we would hide things and could never figure out how to actually get things back. We would inadvertently just hide things without even knowing that we hid them, then we literally have to reach out to JAMS support. As far as kudos, JAMS support is excellent. They are very responsive. There have been little things like, "We lost a window. How do we get that back?" The fact that you had to hover over a specific area of the UI, then depending on where you hovered, you could get that particular window pane back. That was the first thing that we ran into, because it was like, "We lost this. How do we get this back?" 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I actually was the one who brought the product in. My group was looking for a scheduling tool. Until I arrived, everybody was just using the built-in scheduler, which was fine, but it was impossible to look at things practically or even determine dependencies. So, everybody was just using spreadsheets, but I hadn't. The place I came from, which was the private sector, had money. They were using a full-fledged scheduling software, Control-M, which was really expensive. When I came to San Francisco Public Works, they didn't have it. Therefore, I started looking around to see what was available. 

Previously, we were using SQL Server Agent. Migrating these has been going well. One of the great advantages of JAMS is it can just convert SQL Server Agent jobs directly, which is not ideal because you are still running SQL Server Agent. This is one reason why we are doing things slowly. We are decomposing the SQL Server Agent jobs into steps and scheduling those, rather than running SQL Server Agent jobs.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We just followed the instructions that were on the webpage. So, on the actual JAMS site, there are steps you need to follow if you are installing JAMS. We just followed them and pretty much everything worked. 

The deployment took less than an hour. It was pretty quick.

We went from nothing. We just deployed all the new tasks first. So, all of the SSIS jobs that my group had built. These were all new. We didn't really have anything to convert because it was already there. That was the initial phase. That is why it was pretty quick. Once we were comfortable using it, we started to expand the use of JAMS to start converting some of the SQL Server agent jobs into JAMS.

We migrated from an on-prem JAMS to an Azure VM JAMS. So, we actually did a migration, which also involved an upgrade in the process. There was a time when we hadn't upgraded JAMS for over a year, so we were way behind. What we were told by JAMS support is to upgrade our JAMS first, then redeploy it on an Azure VM, and that went without a hitch. I was quite surprised and impressed by how easy it was. Support also said, "If you need us, we can be on the line." We scheduled some time with them, but we never really used them.

We installed the Interactive Agents once. There was an odd case where we were trying to automate a Microsoft Access script or something, which required the Interactive Agent to be installed. This took awhile because of permissions and things like that. Once it was working, it just worked like any other JAMS job. The only hassle was setting it up. We were a bit confused by the documentation. This was at least six months back, but it had something to do with the instructions not being entirely clear as to what types of authentication we had to set up. We reached out to JAMS support, and they said, "Do this." Once we did that, it worked. That was really our only exposure to the Interactive Agents.

What about the implementation team?

We did it all ourselves.

It has been a while since we installed it, but we might have had someone on the line. They actually said, "If you want, we can be on the line." We might have used that, but I don't think we really needed them because it was just click, click, click, and follow the instructions.

We have an infrastructure group, but deployment for JAMS usually defaults to a single person, since he was the one who installed it in the first place. So, he has the most "knowledge" for upgrading patches.

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

We haven't had the requirement to go beyond our number of licenses. The way that the license is set up, we are allowed a certain number of jobs a day. That is the license that we have, which is more than enough. 

It was $10,000 for the first year. Then, there is a maintenance cost for licensing every year that we get billed $5,000 for every year.

The way that the license is set up = it will allow you to 350 jobs a day. You can install the agent on as many machines as you want, but you can only run 350 jobs a day. Then, if you want more, you pay for more.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I looked at VisualCron. The reason why I picked JAMS over VisualCron was that JAMS got back to me very quickly. VisualCron took two days. They are a much smaller company and took a couple of days before they got back to me. Because the main thing is really the type of support that I could get, JAMS won out over VisualCron, even though VisualCron ironically looks prettier. 

The JAMS client is ugly, but I got support. With VisualCron, which I think is based in Sweden, the time difference would have been difficult, whereas JAMS is somewhere within the U.S.A. In hindsight, it is probably a lot easier to use JAMS because we are the government, so it probably looked better than if I was dealing with someone from overseas. 

Before they were bought over by HelpSystems, they were just JAMS. I spent time on quite a few phone calls with their sales rep, who won me over with their level of support. 

What other advice do I have?

Biggest lesson learnt: It is critical having a scheduling tool that will show you where all the jobs are and what their dependencies have been when you are doing batch jobs. In the past, SQL Server Agent jobs allowed you to do it, but you really needed the ability to look at interdependencies between jobs. That is what JAMS gives you.

The reason why I am giving it a seven is because of the UI. If they fix the UI, I would give a higher grade than seven.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Learn what your peers think about JAMS. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
554,873 professionals have used our research since 2012.
IR
Database Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Provides granular alerting and security, and natural language selection gives us huge flexibility in scheduling jobs

Pros and Cons

  • "The alerting in it is really targeted... you can set specific alerting so that if jobs in a given folder fail, certain people are alerted. You can also set security at the folder level, so that only people in those areas can go set them. That means that the alerting and security can be set at a very granular level."
  • "The only thing that they could improve on is the fact that they don't have a browser version of JAMS. They've got all the bits and pieces there if you want to build your own web version of it. It does come with a web client, but it's pretty clunky. They could improve on that."

What is our primary use case?

It is our enterprise job scheduler. Every batch job that runs in the company runs on JAMS. 

How has it helped my organization?

It helps save time when troubleshooting stalled jobs. It has full logging. You go into your single pane of glass, you see all your failed jobs, you click on the job, go straight to the log, and you see what has gone wrong. And if something fails in the middle of the night, with the targeted alerting it sends an email or an SMS and does all your on-call for you. We've been using it for so long that it's hard to say how much time it saves us. But it's probably fair to say it quite easily saved us a day a week, and even more. The time saved could easily be the equivalent of one FTE. And that, of course, allows that FTE to do other work that's beneficial to the company.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features is the natural language selection. That means that when you are scheduling a job, you've got more flexibility than anything else I've ever come across in the industry. You can not only tell it to run something daily or on a specify a day of the week, but you can specify "the first Monday of the month," or "the second workday of the month," or "the second business day of the month," or "the last business day of the month," or "every other Tuesday." The flexibility in the scheduling is because of JAMS' natural language selection. It's better than anything else on the market that I've seen.

The ability to change jobs is the stock standard for a job scheduler, but JAMS has the ability to allocate resources. We mainly use that at a global level. If we are doing scheduled maintenance, for example, we can halt all jobs. We can set the resource level to zero and no jobs will run. That way, we don't have to go through turning off schedules. For maintenance windows, it makes life an absolute breeze.

The alerting in it is really targeted. You can set a hierarchy of jobs if you like. There is a global level, obviously. But underneath that, you can have folders. We set up those folders at a functional level within the business. For instance, we have a folder for our finance jobs, another for our compliance jobs, and another folder for our equities jobs. At that folder level, you can set specific alerting so that if jobs in a given folder fail, certain people are alerted. You can also set security at the folder level, so that only people in those areas can go set them. That means that the alerting and security can be set at a very granular level.

Another great feature is the full auditing capability. If anyone makes a change to a job, you can see who's changed it and when. That full auditing capability is huge for compliance. And you've got version control, as well. If you make a change to a job and it fails, all you have to do is revert back to the previous version and you're back in business.

In addition, it's built on .NET. If you're a Microsoft shop, PowerShell is exposed natively and seamlessly integrates with it, which is brilliant. We use an awful lot of PowerShell in our organization because we're a Microsoft shop.

But it can run agents on any operating system and it can run all types of jobs. The execution methods it has are amazing. It can run stored procedures, SQL Agent jobs, SSIS packages, batch jobs, Linux jobs, and Oracle. The number of execution methods is huge and it runs just about any type of job you would want to run, and on any platform, which is also huge.

JAMS is also very intuitive and easy to use. It doesn't take a lot of work to set up and get started with it. It integrates natively with Windows Workflow Foundation, so you can build quite complex workflows, with if-then-else structures, and you can run things in parallel or in sequence. It really is a very feature-rich product but it's also very easy to use.

In addition, it helps centralize the management of all jobs and all your platforms and applications. You have a single pane of glass where you're looking at everything. If your organization is big, you might have multiple administrators. In that case, you set security at whatever level you like and certain people can only look at certain jobs. In my case, because I'm effectively the administrator of it in our organization, I see everything. But that one pane of glass for a whole organization is its great strength.

What needs improvement?

The only thing that they could improve on is the fact that they don't have a browser version of JAMS. They've got all the bits and pieces there if you want to build your own web version of it. It does come with a web client, but it's pretty clunky. They could improve on that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using JAMS since 2009. I was the first in the Australasian region to implement it. We're currently using version 6.5, but we're in the process of upgrading to 7.3.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is really good. They do have a failover solution, which we're not using. We are just using the standalone, with a single server, but with no problems at all. We have never missed a beat.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't had a problem scaling up. We have over 2,000 individual jobs, and we run 25,000 instances of those jobs every day. We plan to increase our usage as this is the only solution that runs jobs in our company.

All of IT uses it to schedule our jobs. And because of the security aspects, we make ad hoc jobs available to end-users as well. They can go in and all they're able to see, and run, only their ad hoc job. So about 50 out of the 350 people in our organization are using it.

How are customer service and support?

The support is terrific. I've been working with these guys for 12 years and, as often as not, they've come across every problem that I've come across. I'll say, "Oh, listen, I've got this problem," and they'll say, "Here's a piece of code you can run. Here's an example where one of our other clients has done it before and we helped them do it." The support is brilliant; really good.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When I started with this company, they didn't have JAMS. Because I'd used it at a different company, the first thing I did when I got here was to say, "We're putting this in," and they did. They were running jobs via SQL Agent, as well as Windows Tasks Scheduler, SQL Server Reporting Services schedule, via Linux cron, and someone had even built an in-house job scheduler. Back then, when a job failed, remediating it was an absolute nightmare because nothing was synchronized. There were no dependencies on any of the jobs.

All the monitoring was done manually before, in our organization. Any company of a certain size should have an enterprise job scheduler. If you don't, you're just kidding yourself. You are making a rod for your own back, because someone has to monitor things, whether it's SQL Agent or Window Task Scheduler, to make sure the jobs are all working properly. Because it was manual, things would get missed and it was a nightmare.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of JAMS was very straightforward. It was really good and their support staff was terrific in helping with that as well.

You get it up and running in a day, if you've got your servers built. It's a matter of provisioning a server, making sure you've got your service account set up, database ready to go or your database server provisioned. As long as you've got all the bits and pieces, you could be up and running in an hour, really.

What was our ROI?

ROI is hard to quantify. But whereas in the past we might have had one or more people monitoring batches and remediating failed batches, JAMS does all that now. It frees up one or two people. It's been an absolute no-brainer for us. It's worth its weight in gold and we cannot get rid of it now.

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

There was a price hike recently, which makes it a lot more expensive than what we are currently paying for it. You can do an enterprise license, which is probably the best value. But it's certainly a lot cheaper than Tivoli and Control-M. In comparison to them, you get a lot more bang for your buck. You get pretty much the whole functionality and more, in some cases, when compared to Control-M, but at a fraction of the price.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before coming across JAMS, I had worked in bigger organizations that used Tivoli and Control-M. They are what I would call your "Tier One" solutions. Very big companies use them, although I don't know why they do, given that they're super expensive. Both of them are very feature-rich products, but in addition to being very expensive, they're very complex to set up. They also require a very heavy touch to maintain and administer. JAMS is easier to set up, much cheaper, and much easier to administer. 

There's another product called ActiveBatch, which is what I would call "Tier Two," because it's not as expensive as Tivoli and Control-M. ActiveBatch is in the same category as JAMS, price-wise. It has a nice drag-and-drop interface, which is something that JAMS doesn't have, but it's a lot more complex to use and not as intuitive.

What other advice do I have?

Give it a go. Compare it to everything else on the market and, in terms of bang for your buck and the features you get, I would be very surprised if anything even comes close to JAMS.

You put an agent on every box that you want to run a job on. It's not agentless. But, as I said, you can put an agent on a Linux box or a Windows box or whatever other type of box you have and run jobs on any type of OS.

JAMS stays well ahead of the curve. I've been using it for 12 years and I still love it. I've recommended it at every company I've worked for.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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MS
DBA at a marketing services firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Good DR capabilities, responsive and knowledgeable support, good PowerShell integration adds flexibility

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature for us is that it's DR-ready. With respect to disaster recovery, it has the built-in capability for failover to our DR site. If all of the required ports are open, it can be done seamlessly."
  • "The search capability needs to be improved because when we try to search for a job, it's hard to do."

What is our primary use case?

The initial use case is that we use it to centralize everything, including all jobs from across different environments. Our goal is to be able to do all of the maintenance centrally.

When our jobs run, our team handles the jobs and they are not assigned to other teams. The output, which is on the backend and put into the database, is available for everyone.

How has it helped my organization?

JAMS helps us to deal with the small issues that come up here and there because we implement notifications for jobs. Whenever a job fails, it sends a notification and most of the time, there is a setting in the configuration that has to be changed. We have JAMS configured in a data-driven setup.

Whenever a job runs, it reads the configuration settings that are specific to it. If ever there is an issue, it's typically because we have the wrong configuration. In cases like this, we tweak the configuration and then somebody runs the job again by right-clicking on it.

We have JAMS set up so that we are running two interactive agents. One is a scheduler and the other is exclusive for SSIS execution. These are important to us and without them, it's going to negatively affect the business.

The way that we implemented and use JAMS is in a centralized configuration. We don't have people running jobs on their desktop because it would mean that we don't have visibility of it. Instead, everything has been migrated to JAMS so that it can run centrally. If anybody needs to run a job or perform any execution, especially for production, they can do so in JAMS. Later, we can look and see who ran what jobs at what times, and if ever there is a modification then we will know who modified it.

JAMS is able to handle exceptions in different ways. The way that we have it configured is to notify us. The process may be retried several times and we can set the limit for this. We also configure what the delay is between retries. It will depend on the use case and how long it takes. However, if it fails then it has to notify another group so that they can take a look at what the exception was.

We have a job that is similar to a report subscription, and this is done for each of our 50 partners. Prior to JAMS, we were required to run 50 different jobs. As it is now, given that JAMS is data-driven, we have only created a single job. It is written as a workflow with those configuration items. We don't need to change the job or add to it. Instead, it reads the configuration table and runs the 50 processes right away.

If there is a process that needs to be disabled then we do so in the configuration table, and the workflow picks up the changes. Having a single job taking care of the 50 processes makes the system more flexible.

JAMS helps free up time for our IT staff because it's centralized and the logging is there. The time that IT spends troubleshooting a job has been significantly reduced. The amount of time it saves varies on a case-by-case basis. For a more complex job, it can save more time. If we consider SSIS, it has its own logging capabilities but it requires that somebody with the right permissions go in and open the logs. Not everybody has permission for that, so the job depends on perhaps a single person. Often, that person has several responsibilities and other things to do, so the task can take longer to complete. JAMS collects all of the relevant logs, and having them centralized means that several people can view them, rather than only those with that application-specific set of permissions. This is one of the reasons that it saves us time.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature for us is that it's DR-ready. With respect to disaster recovery, it has the built-in capability for failover to our DR site. If all of the required ports are open, it can be done seamlessly.

We test the disaster recovery capability every now and then because it is important for us to be able to failover to another site. As long as that works, if we have a problem then it's business as usual. A problem doesn't impede our work because there's no interruption in the service.

Writing the JAMS schedule is nice because we can use natural language in English. For example, we can specify days by writing "the first of March" or "the second of March". It's clear. Being able to specify the schedule in this way is good.

JAMS saves us time when it comes to troubleshooting stalled jobs because of the logging that it provides. It allows us to go to the execution history, look at the log, and find the problem. Even if the log is very large, it provides a path for us to follow and find what we need to look at. We can typically solve issues in an hour or less because of the logging.

The PowerShell integration is great. When there are things that we couldn't do out of the box, they have execution methods that we can use in PowerShell that make things more flexible for us.

What needs improvement?

The search capability needs to be improved because when we try to search for a job, it's hard to do. We have to know where it is. This is really the functionality that I think is lacking.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using JAMS for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

JAMS is a pretty stable solution that handles the resources very well. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is highly scalable.

We have two people on the administration side and another ten people who are working with it. They are using it as part of their support role with the helpdesk. We also have a developer that creates the jobs, which are then scheduled by JAMS.

We will probably increase our usage in the future. Right now, we're implementing the web client of JAMS. When we get to the point that we are fully using it, including the web component, then that may be the time for us to look into expanding our usage. At this point, we want to be able to maximize the use of JAMS, and so far, it seems that there's a lot to JAMS that we haven't really used yet.

How are customer service and support?

I would rate the support very high.

First, the response time is very good. When we engage the support engineers, they always know what to provide us with so that we can figure out what's wrong. Whenever we need to go to meetings, it's always a learning experience. They're very smart.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

JAMS did not replace other monitoring tools and it was able to solve the problem that we had.

How was the initial setup?

I was not the person that initially set up JAMS. It's not complex but that person didn't follow the procedure fully. When I took over the implementation and setup, JAMS provided a checklist. It was good because I was able to follow each of the steps. From what I can tell, in the initial setup, we didn't follow it to a tee, and this caused some complexity on our end.

The deployment took about a year in total, although in a typical situation, I think that two weeks would be enough time to implement it. Depending on how much work needs to be done, it may take a month to complete.

In our team, we have a two-week scrum process and it would be quicker for us to do. Our security and infrastructure are also different than it is in the rest of the organization. For example, we can set up our own VM, database, and scheduler if they are not already set up.

JAMS provides a list of the best practices with regard to security. 

What about the implementation team?

We have two people in-house that are responsible for maintenance.

What other advice do I have?

There are a lot of features in JAMS that we haven't used yet. For example, there is a special calendar and we haven't even tried to utilize it. However, we would like to eventually use it to its full potential.

In summary, this product is top class. I would like to commend all of the engineers and support team at JAMS, and I highly recommend it to others.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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Garth Ries
CTO at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Real User
Having a single pane of glass enables us to track the success of all of our automations throughout the day

Pros and Cons

  • "JAMS has improved my organization by taking a myriad of manual processes and allowing us to automate them. It enables our folks to focus more on tasks that require their human intelligence and their creativity and less on just mundane tasks. It increases efficiency, accuracy, and consistency."
  • "One thing that I know that the JAMS people said that they were working on that would be huge for us is a search capability so that you could search for tasks. It may be available in version 7 or in a future release of 7. I think that's on their roadmap. But right now, for us to do a search, we have to search through database queries."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is for batch automation. We don't use the RPA product. We use the scheduling agents that can run on other machines so that when the scheduler kicks off the job, it can run either on the main JAMS server or it can run on an agent box.

We do have some interactive jobs that interact with the desktop mainly in Excel, but that's not our preferred method. We want to be, as much as we can, a more structured batch. As far as interactive, we don't have folks that are interacting with the jobs. The jobs are built to run standalone. They may interact with the desktop or with the computer itself to run the job, but the users interact directly with the jobs.

How has it helped my organization?

JAMS has improved my organization by taking a myriad of manual processes and allowing us to automate them. It enables our folks to focus more on tasks that require their human intelligence and their creativity and less on just mundane tasks. It increases efficiency, accuracy, and consistency.

Over the past few years, JAMS has saved them at least 20% of their time. At least.

Its ability to centralize the management of jobs on all of our platforms and applications is a huge advantage. Before we used JAMS, there were pockets of what I would call semi-automation in different places and it was somewhat restricted and not very flexible. We were able to really combine a lot of the automations that were being done throughout the company, add a whole lot more, and all monitor it from the central JAMS console.

JAMS has helped eliminate monitoring tools. We do have some JAMS-related monitoring that goes on. We have jobs that we were having some difficulty with some connections and we implemented some jobs in JAMS that monitor those connections throughout the day. This helped us identify issues faster than some of our vendors which we would have expected to be able to identify those issues. We were able to identify them even faster and actually warn us of issues before they made an impact.

What is most valuable?

Batch scheduling and having a single pane of glass that we can track the success of all of our automations throughout the day are the most valuable features. 

JAMS is very good at helping to handle common nuisances preventing our ops from running. We set up warnings whenever a job is having trouble, and that allows us to address it before it becomes business impacting. JAMS support has always been very helpful in providing us any guidance on how to address issues.

We use their interactive agents. We use agents on a few machines. We have some automations that will run the first part and then wait for a user to release or run a second part. That is used frequently and is very useful, but we don't have a ton of straight-up interaction. We do have some users that interact with JAMS, to release jobs or kickoff new jobs after they've done their checks.

Running interactive tasks helps our users focus on their business processes. Running tasks out of JAMS really helps us to do more with less and rerun as a fairly lean organization. That helps us to maintain that leanness so that we can do more with less. Since adopting JAMS, we have been able to actually reduce staff in areas and not replace them, just because of attrition. We didn't lay people off but we didn't have to hire replacements because JAMS processes were helping.

I think JAMS has a very good engine for being able to identify exceptions. We're probably not using it to its fullest extent, but I think it has pretty good capabilities as far as handling exceptions and if a job fails, how to react to it. 

The code driven automation for helping us handle complex scheduling requirements has been great. We have somewhat complex scheduling that we need to do based on business and holiday schedules and running it on a certain business day of the month and that kind of thing, and it has been no sweat. The support at JAMS has been very helpful in helping us to use that effectively.

What needs improvement?

We are still using JAMS 6.5, so I don't really feel comfortable talking about room for improvement as much because we're still using a little bit of the older version. My understanding is that the newer version has some additional capabilities. One thing that I know that the JAMS people said that they were working on that would be huge for us is a search capability so that you could search for tasks.

It may be available in version 7 or in a future release of 7. I think that's on their roadmap. But right now, for us to do a search, we have to search through database queries.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using JAMS for almost seven years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's been rock solid. We haven't had JAMS have issues that weren't introduced by other products. It's been rock solid and we depend on it as a mission-critical system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have the ability to scale out using more agents on other agent machines so that we could run more jobs simultaneously. I don't think scalability has ever been a problem honestly. I don't know that we really push JAMS all that hard. A bigger company would probably push JAMS a lot harder than we do, but scalability from our perspective has never been an issue.

We run hundreds of jobs a day. We don't have a ton of users of JAMS, but I would say that JAMS benefits almost the entire company in its automation.

How are customer service and technical support?

JAMS support is as near to perfect as we can get, so I would rate them a nine out of ten. They are the best support that we deal with of any of our vendors.

They help to save time when troubleshooting stalled jobs. They're great. They're responsive. They're always willing to jump in and help whenever they can. They're always very knowledgeable and engaging. We love JAMS' support. They've always been very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used the Microsoft Windows Task Scheduler, but it wasn't anywhere near what JAMS is.

I had used Tidal before and I found JAMS more cost-effective and easier to use.

The bottom line for me in selecting JAMS was that it was cost-effective, it was not a hugely expensive product to purchase or maintain, and it did pretty much everything we needed it to do for what we were looking for. It has high capability and lower costs compared to its competitors, and that was the deciding factor for us.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We have a relatively simple setup. So when we started out with JAMS, it was one JAMS server and we were running most of our jobs on that server. Then we grew with JAMS over the years and expanded it to other machines to run jobs because of the capabilities or the setups of those machines. That was all really pretty straightforward. If we ever ran into any questions or anything, JAMS support has been great.

What other advice do I have?

We've been able to do more with less. In other words, we've either not had to increase staff in some cases, or when people left, we didn't replace them. We've been able to reduce staff. We didn't have layoffs, but when people left, we didn't replace them, and that was largely due to the automation efforts through JAMS.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably use their professional services to kickstart things. We did a lot of self-training on JAMS, so we've learned a lot along the way, but if I had to do it over again, I would probably have used more of their training capabilities and maybe some of their professional services. My advice to anybody considering JAMS is to get started and because it really helps us a ton for that single pane of glass for managing automated processes.

I would rate JAMS a nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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ITCS user
Director of IS at Bennington Marine
Real User
Top 20
Multiple daily jobs manage the integration of our systems and we don’t have to monitor them; they just run

Pros and Cons

  • "We also use the solution’s Interactive Agents. If we need to push something to our dealer portal, we can just drop a file in a folder and it goes. Running interactive tasks helps me users focus on business processes since I don’t have to take care of running the jobs manually."
  • "If there were a softcover book on how to really take advantage of all of JAMS' tools, I would buy it. I do better with training books than online searching, so a book would be helpful."

What is our primary use case?

We have a lot of automation between picking up files and pushing them to our dealer portal and to vendors in the cloud. We also use it so that vendors can place files in folders. In addition, we automatically email statements and inventory reports.

How has it helped my organization?

We have some jobs that run once a day at a certain time, but we have many jobs that are set to auto-run if a file shows up. When the time changes or a batch job on another server fails and we restart it, we don’t have to follow the job to the end. JAMS just grabs the file when it shows up and sends it. I love that.

We have over 50 jobs running daily to manage all the integration of our systems and we don’t have to monitor these jobs. They just run. In addition, JAMS centralizes the management of jobs in our environment and this has streamlined our monitoring.

The solution saves us about four hours a week in troubleshooting time and has helped free up about eight hours a week of IT staff time.

What is most valuable?

Among the most valuable features are

  • the ability to define autorun jobs to pick up files and push them when they show up
  • the scripting 
  • PHP
  • the timing.

All of these are perfect.

We also use the solution’s Interactive Agents. If we need to push something to our dealer portal, we can just drop a file in a folder and it goes. Running interactive tasks helps me users focus on business processes since I don’t have to take care of running the jobs manually.

Another useful feature is the solution’s ability to handle exceptions. If there are errors, we get notifications. 

The code-driven automation for handling complex scheduling works great. We have reports that come out and we have programs that will bust them and email them to our dealers by dealer number. JAMS helps with automation.

What needs improvement?

If there were a softcover book on how to really take advantage of all of JAMS' tools, I would buy it. I do better with training books than online searching, so a book would be helpful. I would read the whole thing and learn as much as possible about the product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using JAMS since February of 2019.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. The only time it stops is when the server is rebooted and then the services are restarted.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable and we really use a lot of what JAMS offers.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support has been very helpful and that was particularly true when I hired a new programmer.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We used Freebyte and we needed to move off of that product.

How was the initial setup?

I didn’t do the initial setup, but I didn’t hear any complaints from my programmer about it.

Initially, it took a couple of weeks to get all the jobs set up. But we have added so many more because the software has so many great features. We didn't do a migration from our old solution, we just keyed in all the definitions.

We have two people using and maintaining JAMS, but you don’t need everyone in the company setting up automated jobs, just the programmers and integrators.

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

This is a good product at a fair price. In addition to the standard licensing fees, there is an annual maintenance cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at other options, but this was the best.

What other advice do I have?

Consider how much integration and automation you require. This product is very robust.

Overall, the product is excellent.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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