Is Your AS/400 Trying to Tell You Something?

Because the AS/400 performs so many simultaneous operations, the sheer volume of system messages can be too much for a systems operator or administrator to handle. Now, a new tool on the market can filter out and translate messages, assuring that the most important ones are not overlooked.

Adding new features to ensure that important messages are acted on in a timely manner, Macro 4 (Parsipanny, N.J.) has announced the release of AutoConsole 1.5, its AS/400 message monitoring solution.

"The feedback we've received during beta testing has been extremely positive, with customers telling us that they've been able to cost-justify the product solely as a result of tremendous time-savings they're gaining with this release, and the human resources they've been able to direct to critical projects."

AutoConsole ensures that critical messages are acted on in a timely manner and do not go unanswered. As the AS/400 churns out various messages, it translates the messages into English so an operator can understand them.

Because the AS/400 performs so many operations within a company, the number of messages can be too much for the operator to handle at times. AutoConsole comes equipped with a feature that purges the messages, enabling only the important messages to be sent to the operator. It can also prioritize the messages by putting a certain color code to signify the importance.

Users can respond to specific messages using the program's filtering capabilities. Version 1.5 extends the filtering capabilities by delivering a full 32-bit application, using standard dialogs, which has the same look and feel of Windows 95, 98 or NT.

To ensure that high priority messages get full attention, they turn red and flash in AutoConsole 1.5. "It's just another way of attracting the operator's attention," says Patterson.

If a message is not answered by an operator, AutoConsole 1.5 will now automatically send an e-mail to other people in charge of managing the system, alerting them that something is wrong. "It simplifies managing the messaging, and is proactive in terms of assuring that important issues are not ignored," says Patterson.

AutoConsole 1.5 also has a new look and feel, with a revised PC interface designed to extend performance enhancement capabilities and give operators a single point of control. "We wanted to give it a look that users would be more comfortable with," says Patterson.

Other new features include:

  • the ability for users to see if they are managing message queues in locked or unlocked mode;
  • automatic alerts if an automated message reply or attempt to remove a message fails because the message queue is allocated to another job;
  • and a new message action type called FLAG which increases AutoConsole's automation capabilities by enabling the same actions to be performed on dissimilar messages.