Thursday, June 11, 2015

BMC’s Control-M Application Integrator makes app management easier and faster

By Rich Ptak

BMC’s Workload Automation team continues to deliver innovative solutions that create customer value, such as Control-M Application Integrator with the added benefit of the Application Hub community exchange. Everyone understands the problem as the world of digital business continues to grow; the number of critical business applications is exploding. Nearly all touch the customer whether internal or external. To be successful, the customer/consume must be provided an exceptional experience, which translates to the need to monitor and manage to optimize that experience.

App developers understand this with the result that many are now pro-actively including some level of management functionality, such as scheduling, optimization, etc. in their programs. Compared to the days when management was a long-delayed, often minimally considered after-thought, this is progress. Unfortunately, there is a downside.

In his Meditation XVII, John Donne said that ‘no man is an island, entire by itself.” The point being that every person’s life is part of a larger whole, interacting with and dependent upon others. That is also true for today’s applications; they are rarely complete unto themselves.  The provider of each app will include functions, make assumptions and operate in ways unique to the ingenuity of its creator. When the app is introduced into your data center, operations will want to include it as part of a workload automation solution. They will also want to use the management tools unique to the app.

Unfortunately, even once IT has learned how to use the tool, the result can be mayhem as it is unlikely that the app’s creator had your unique environment in mind when creating his scheduler. Therefore, the ugly work of integration on an application by application basis must be undertaken. (Hence the last part of the quote “never send to ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”) In short, there is a lot of work ahead to get the most from the app.

BMC’s Control-M Application Integrator is a web-based design tool to address that integration problem for data centers running Control-M. BMC has developed native integration  for about 40 widely used applications, e.g. SAP, ERPs, retail apps, etc. See the details here. BMC has not neglected any of the other apps running and being developed. The tool is self-service, so that with relatively few steps e.g. identifying the  interfaces available with the new app and how to access them. Then, Control-M can learn how to control and manage the app. Of course, you will still have to specify the workload process.  The integration self-service tool is available for all Control-M V8 FP7 (Fix Pak 7) users with no additional charge.

BMC went a step further, recognizing there exists a near infinite number of applications that benefit from native integration. While BMC will continue to develop for larger apps, they realize the demand far exceeds what they can deliver. Therefore, they set up an open community for users, the “Application Hub”. It is open to any one that is part of the BMC community, employees, customers, partners, VARs, etc. The members can develop and share their code through this network. Those with early access to the site have been very enthusiastic. 

So, BMC has announced the Application Integrator which is easy-to-use, automatically deploys and is highly integrated with Control-M. They have set up the Application Hub to allow “crowd sourcing” of control module development to rapidly increase number of applications supported. This sounds like a win all around. Congratulations to BMC, we predict that the customers using the Control-M Application Integrator and Application Hub won’t have to worry about “for whom the bell tolls”!