When PowerShell, the command-line shell and scripting language developed by Microsoft, was first released in 2006, it was a game-changer for administrators and application developers, enabling them to work more efficiently with applications running on the Windows platform. In fact, PowerShell is now considered the standard for automation and administration of any Microsoft-related application and can now even be leveraged cross-platform on Mac and Linux.
The introduction of PowerShell replaced the Windows Command Prompt by creating scripts using single or multiple commands. As a ‘cross-platform task automation and configuration management framework,’ Microsoft indicates that PowerShell is different from other shells because it was ‘built on top of the .NET Common Language Runtime (CLR), and accepts and returns .NET objects.’ This allowed an entirely new way to simplify and automate tedious and repetitive tasks by creating scripts and combining them with multiple commands.
So, when searching for a solution that enables you to easily schedule a PowerShell script, you need to identify and determine whether the scheduling software integrates fully with this architecture and enables robust automation for Windows PowerShell. In this blog, we will examine three specific must-haves within a job scheduling solution to effectively schedule PowerShell scripts, empowering your administrators to work more efficiently with applications running on the Windows platform.
Must-Have #1: Engineered on the .NET Framework
Microsoft designed PowerShell to provide task automation and configuration management tools based on the .NET Framework. PowerShell includes a command-line shell and an extensive scripting language that uses small programs called ‘cmdlets.’ The ability to fully incorporate into this .NET architecture is essential to unlock the extensive functionality within PowerShell.
The rise in popularity of .NET technologies has increased as organizations build mission-critical applications for both internal requirements and for customers. As development efforts continue to expand, and .NET application developers build custom processes to help support and grow their organization, access to the best, most cost-effective developer tools is required. Yet finding a job scheduler that is engineered on a .NET Framework and deeply integrated with the Windows platform can prove challenging.
The only leading job scheduling solution available on the market today that is built on .NET is JAMS. JAMS is the ideal PowerShell automation solution for administrators and application developers in need of a .NET job scheduler to easily and rapidly integrate batch processing into PowerShell scripts or use PowerShell scripts to manage their batch processing. JAMS includes a PowerShell Host for executing PowerShell scripts. The PowerShell Module comes with more than 80 JAMS-specific cmdlets and a JAMS Provider to expose your JAMS objects to PowerShell.
Ultimately, by leveraging .NET application development with job scheduling built specifically for Windows, your organization can easily and effectively schedule a PowerShell script, unleash the possibilities of everything PowerShell can do alongside JAMS, and create a solution that is specifically tailored for your needs.
Must-Have #2: Enterprise Scalability
Within a large, distributed environment, organizations can potentially run up to millions of jobs per day. Managing these environments requires technology that can handle the loads and address these scaling issues. You need the ability to automatically centralize, track, orchestrate, and run jobs efficiently and effectively by leveraging PowerShell alongside an enterprise job scheduler like JAMS. Simply, PowerShell and JAMS can scale up or down to automate whatever magnitude your organization needs.
While JAMS can easily run PowerShell scripts, the JAMS client component also includes a PowerShell module with more than six dozen cmdlets that can perform a variety of useful, scalable automation and configuration tasks. PowerShell cmdlets provide alternative ways to simplify and automate repetitive tasks using scripts. For example, with PowerShell you can get or set a JAMS variable value to control a JAMS trigger definition, which forces a JAMS entry to delay until certain conditions are met. Or you can submit a job that passes parameters from one job to the next.
JAMS is a robust solution that provides the tools your developers need to break a complex application into manageable units. By dividing a large, complex application into smaller, parallel units of work, you gain the ability to distribute the work across multi-core and virtual servers and can schedule virtually unlimited PowerShell scripts to execute—making you and your team highly efficient.
Must-Have #3: Object-Based Approach
Mentioned earlier, PowerShell offers a new approach to command-line technology through PowerShell cmdlets. It provides a command-line syntax and scripting syntax that you can type commands into. But these cmdlets are designed to deal with objects, or structured information that goes beyond text or characters on the screen. PowerShell takes information that you can pass from one application to the next, piping it as rich objects that you can query and manipulate. This is accomplished more easily and accurately than processing text as CMD and Bash do.
Finding job scheduling software that embraces an object-based approach to schedule a PowerShell script is crucial. Look for a solution that includes specific cmdlets that make it easy to manage, manipulate, and control the scheduler using PowerShell. JAMS has more than 80 specific cmdlets that follow all PowerShell naming and usage guidelines to make full use of the object pipeline. JAMS also includes a PowerShell provider that exposes the JAMS object hierarchy, so moving and managing JAMS objects is as easy as moving and managing files.
Why Choose JAMS as a PowerShell Scheduler
JAMS leverages PowerShell unlike any other job scheduling provider available today. JAMS is the leading PowerShell automation solution, engineered on the .NET Framework, enabling your administrators and application developers to easily and rapidly integrate batch processing into PowerShell scripts or use PowerShell scripts to manage their batch processing.
One benefit that JAMS provides is the power to script the creation of new Jobs, Sequences, Folders, or any type of JAMS definition. Because the JAMS Module includes a PowerShell provider, you can use native PowerShell commands to define or change any JAMS definition.
In addition, the JAMS module includes a provider where you can set up a PowerShell drive to connect to your JAMS installation as if it were a mounted flat file system. The data, which appears in a temporary drive for the session, can be managed with built-in or custom cmdlets. This feature is especially helpful when you need to synchronize development and production environments.
Finally, you can create a PowerShell profile to create repetitive PowerShell settings. For example, you can automatically add the JAMS PowerShell module, define a JAMS PowerShell drive, or a default JAMS server so you don’t have to reconfigure these settings from scratch every time you launch PowerShell. In short, PowerShell brings out the best in JAMS—and JAMS brings out the best in PowerShell.