Thoughts on not trying to nail jelly to the wall

For a number of years now I’ve been a keen user of some of Ytria‘s tools. If you’re a Notes/Domino developer you’re probably already familiar with some of them: ScanEZ is the best known, and particularly for Notes client development (yes, I still do a fair bit of that) some of the others like ViewEZ are indispensable.

However, a couple of weeks ago I had the occasion to explore further. The scenario was this: a large suite of databases, thousands of them in fact, was being consolidated from a global network into a reduced number of servers. As part of this process, the server on which most (not all) of the scheduled agents run needed to be changed, some agents enabled, and some others disabled. “Easy“, you might say, “just go into the agent properties and change the server it runs on and do your disabling/enabling“. Not so fast, sunshine! I knew that there were multiple databases containing scheduled agents, and quite a few in each. It would take a long time to do by hand, and I would be bound to lose attention and make a mistake, because, well, I’m human (honestly). Enter AgentEZ!

Using AgentEZ I was able to quickly select all of the agent-containing databases, and get it to scan them for scheduled agents. 30 databases scanned, and 451 scheduled agents found. Four hundred and fifty one! Then I was able to select them in groups, search for them by name, filter them by whether or not they’re currently enabled, etc etc. And, then, change the run-on server, and do my enabling and disabling in bulk. AgentEZ even lets you then save the selection of databases as an XML file, and reload it later.

The five minutes I spent learning my way around ScanEZ’s interface were repaid many times over. No only was I able to make all the changes I needed in minutes, rather than hours, I was also as sure as possible that it was all done right, every agent that should be running was running, every agent that should no longer be running had been disabled, and they were all running on the correct servers.

Not a tool you’re necessarily going to need every day. But when it does fit the bill, worth its weight in gold.*




* Metaphorically, of course. Software generally doesn’t weigh very much at all. Except WebSphere, of course.

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