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OpalisRobot

Automate network administrative tasks and improve server performance & availability at the same time!

OpalisRobot is a 'three-in-one' comprehensive system management and automation solution. It provides you with real-time monitoring, notification, corrective action and event driven job scheduling so you can proactively manage your Windows NT/W2K environment.

NEW! Read the recent Network World review

Product Features

JOB SCHEDULING & PROCESS AUTOMATION
OpalisRobot provides flexible options to address any task scheduling you need to set up. Automate simple or multi-step job sequences based on date/time or event driven options. OpalisRobot provides you the advanced parallel scheduling capabilities necessary to automate your complex processes. You can use conditional logic, branching and dependencies to create powerful job sequences and reliable automation flows, and to build your own true ‘lights-out' solution for your Windows NT/2000 environment.

Save Time. You can schedule all kinds of things: uploads, downloads, file transfers, database updates, report generation, email distribution, backups, server reboots, internet connections, program executions, batch files to execute at any time you want.

EVENT LOG & APPLICATION MONITORING
OpalisRobot can monitor virtually any component running on your Windows NT/2000 servers, including Performance Counters, the Event Log, Applications, Processes, Services, SNMP Traps, Disk Space, Computers, File Systems and more. When a monitored condition is detected OpalisRobot can trigger automated job sequences, corrective action and notifiy you of what happened.

Increase Availability & Performance. You can automate tedious monitoring tasks and improve administrative response time to system malfunctions.

INTERNET APPLICATION MONITORING
You can extend OpalisRobot's monitoring capabilities to TCP/IP devices and applications including Web Servers, FTP Servers, DNS Servers, SMTP and POP3.

Ensure 24/7 e-Business Availability. Automate monitoring, notification and corrective action to ensure your business critical online resources are available and performing.

Object Description Benefit

Monitor Internet Application

Monitor, Web (HTTP), FTP, DNS, SMTP and POP3 functionality.

Automatically polls applications based on user defined frequency to alert/report of applications that are not functioning.

Test Internet Application

Tests Web, FTP, DNS, SMTP and POP3 are available and functioning.

Enables administrators to test the status of remote TCP/IP resources.

Monitoring the performance and availability of internet-based resources is becoming a critical issue for IT professionals and network administrators. With increasing e-commerce strategies, today's administrators require additional management and monitoring functionality. OpalisRobot extends its monitoring and automation to ensure you won't lose revenues to slow or malfunctioning internet resources. 

FILE MANAGEMENT
In today's IT infrastructure managing data is an important and time consuming task. OpalisRobot's Advanced File Management features enables administrators to automate file management tasks to improve availability and integrity of network data. Simple tasks such as updating your ISP with new web pages and complex tasks such as comparing file lists for synchronization can now be automated with OpalisRobot!

OpalisRobot includes several powerful file management features that enable you to integrate file management tasks with automated job processing configurations. With this new feature you can now also compress data, files and folders, move, copy, delete, rename and compare file lists. Transfer options include internet and Windows copy.

Automate File Management. You can now combine job processing with file management tasks to automate file/data distribution so that your data availability and integrity improves.

Object Description Benefit
File List Management

Create, load, save, compare, publish, add, subtract and merge file lists options.

Automates file management tasks to improve file integrity.

File Transfer

Copy or move files contained in a file list.

Automates daily file maintenance tasks to improve data availability.

Folder Management

Create or delete folders.

Automates folder creation and removal to improve file system architecture.

Internet Transfer

Transfer files via the Internet using a direct connection or the RDV protocol.

Automates file transfers between dial-up computers via the Internet.

Compression

Compress files from a list into a zip archive file.

Automates compression of files for quicker file transfer or archival.

Test If File Exists

Check if a file exists.

Quick and simple way to determine if a file exists.

Delete File List Entries

Delete files or folders contained in a list.

Automate the deletion of files and folders.

CORRECTIVE ACTION
You can also automate corrective action with OpalisRobot. This is a pretty cool feature. You define a threshold (such as an error in the event log, or stopped service) and when it is detected OpalisRobot triggers the associated Task you gave it. Task options include program executions, file management (copy, move, print, delete or rename files), send e-mail, send message, action on a service (stop, start, pause), RAS action, database execution (query SQL or ODBC), system restart, ping computer or trigger OpalisRobot (you can trigger job sequences on other OpalisRobot computers).

Improve Uptime. This allows you to completely automate corrective actions that improves system performance and availability.

NOTIFICATION
Receive real-time status on monitored resources and automated jobs. Detailed logging and reporting options available through standard communication channel such as email, telephone, pager, pop-up and ODBC/SQL database logging.

Improve Response Time. Multiple-route notification enables you to determine the method(s) system information is transmitted through.

SYSTEM MANAGEMENT
The intuitive graphical environment provides you with a single interface to automate job processing, monitor system resources and manage your network productivity.

Optimize Resources. Take advantage of network capacity after hours, implement 24/7 monitoring and IT process automation. Automated tasks eliminate potential human error. OpalisRobot gets you a great tool to accurate, reliable system management.

Product Benefits

OpalisRobot gets you a powerful graphical environment to automate IT processes and network administrative tasks in your hands. The object- oriented interface allows for quick deployment and easy management. It enables you to create custom solutions that fit specific needs within your organization. By combining any number of objects you can create a nearly infinite number of automated processes. Simple job scheduling solutions such as automating the back up or complex jobs such as data flow sequences can be built in one easy to use product. OpalisRobot is built on three concepts; events, links and tasks.

EVENTS
Events are the monitored component of the job sequence. Events can be triggered by date/time parameters or by monitoring for a specified condition such as an error in the event log or a stopped service. A complete list of events is listed below.

TASKS
Tasks specify what action needs to be taken when the Event occurs. Tasks provide functionality for both job scheduling and corrective action.

LINKS
Links join the objects together to complete the automated process. Link properties enable conditional logic, branching and time delays. Simple or multi-step job sequences can be created by linking any number of tasks to any number of events.

Event objects

  • Date/Time
    Create event cycles based on time/day (i.e. run every day; specified days of the week; last day of the month; run 1/4/199X, etc).
  • Monitor File System
    Monitor folders on local hard drive(s). Triggers task when files are modified, i.e. the total size of selected folder exceeds defined threshold of Bytes or when the total number of files reaches a certain limit.
  • Monitor Services
    Monitor the status during defined (regular) intervals for services that have started, stopped or paused on any local Windows NT Service.
  • Monitor Event Log
    Check the contents of the local Windows NT/2000 System, Security or Application Log for Event ID’s, messages from specific applications or keywords.
  • Monitor Database
    Query an SQL or ODBC source at regular (defined) intervals.
  • Monitor Process
    Check the availability of any Process running locally.

  • Monitor Computer
    Check the availability of a remote host inside the network on regular (defined) intervals.
  • Monitor Disk Space
    Check the availability of free space on any local hard drive.

  • Monitor SNMP Traps
    The Opalis TrapRedirector forwards SNMP Traps to the Event Log for easy filtering and alerting.

  • Interactive Event
    Allows remote users to trigger jobs and exchange data on the NT/2000 system running OpalisRobot.

Task objects

  • Program execution
    Launch any application that runs on Windows NT, or execute any Windows NT command line.
  • File management
    Copy, Move, Print, Delete and/or Rename files.
  • Send E-mail
    Send SMTP or MAPI E-mail with or without attachments.

  • Send Message
    Send on screen Pop-ups or write messages into the Windows NT Event Log.

  • Action on a Service
    Start, Pause and Stop any local Windows NT Service.
  • RAS Action
    Connect or disconnect from any remote host using Dial-Up Networking Phonebook settings.

  • Database execution
    Query any SQL or ODBC source. SQL file execution is also supported.

  • System restart
    Reboot Windows NT.

  • Ping computer
    Check the availability of any remote host on a TCP/IP network using the ‘ping’ command.
  • Trigger Opalis Object
    Trigger jobs on PCs running OpalisRobot or OpalisRendezVous locally or remotely.
  • Send Page
    Send TAP or DTMF alphanumeric pager messages.

  • Text File
    Insert, Append, Delete, Find/Replace character strings in text files.



Images, Diagrams and Screen Shots


OpalisRobot Advanced Features

The advanced features in OpalisRobot enable administrators to build additional functionality into job processing tasks. The following document will describe the functionality of each object within the tabs.

The ‘Advanced’ tab from the ‘New Object’ window contains objects that enable the creation of highly sophisticated automation flows. Performance monitoring, statistical functions and dynamic job alteration are just some of the possibilities of the objects found here.

Object Description Benefit

Link Adder

Enables you to link multiple events or tasks together to create an unlimited number of triggers. Adding links enables you to trigger many actions based on one event occurring, or having several events trigger the same task.

Build Task

Allows developers to launch compilers. Multiple projects can be compiled in one step.

Text File Task

The Text File Task provides simple yet powerful functions to work with text files in OpalisRobot.

The task function include: search/replace, insert, append, replace, read, delete, find first and find all.

The task can export the text file name, a full line or a line number.

Working with text files enables administrators to use specific information to initiate job processing tasks or corrective action.

Enable or Disable Object

With this Task objects (Events or Tasks), on a local or remote OpalisRobot Service, can be enabled or disabled. Inactivate or activate objects instead of deleting them.

Apply Changes

Saves all new settings. Any changes made (active / inactive settings for example) to one or more objects will be automatically saved when the ‘Apply Changes’ is performed. Automatically saving changes is ideal for configurations that are modified frequently by dynamic data or other variables.

Create Report

Create extensive reports in various text formats. Reports can be made for single objects, multiple objects, folders or the entire OpalisRobot configurations. Generates additional information about job processing tasks.

Compare Strings

The Compare strings task is a logical operator that can be used to compare strings. Strings can be Dynamic Data that is produced as a result of a database query or a file management task. Comparing strings provides a useful tool to implement conditional logic into automated job processing tasks.

Notes

The Notes object is neither a Task nor an Event, it enables administrators to insert an electronic ‘stickie’ with notes, comments, explanations etc within the OpalisRobot interface. A simple and useful option to make comments on job sequences.
Trigger Object The Trigger Object Task allows you to trigger objects on a local or remote OpalisRobot Service. Provides interactivity between OpalisRobot servers. An event on one server can trigger a process on another server.
Service Started The ‘Service Started’ event is triggered when the OpalisRobot Service is started. Use this event to start or continue an automation sequence as soon as the OpalisRobot Service starts. Administrators can automatically set the service to start to ensure job processing tasks are running as soon as the service is started.
Service Started after Reboot The ‘Service Started after Reboot’ event is triggered when the OpalisRobot Service is started within 10 minutes after a system reboot. Use this event to automatically continue or start a job sequence after a system reboot. Administrators can ensure system resources are automatically enabled after a system reboot has occurs.


Paging
Object Description Benefit
Send to Pager The Send to Pager task provides paging capabilities to OpalisRobot. It can send alphanumeric messages to paging services supporting the TAP protocol (they almost all do) and numeric messages to paging services supporting DTMF sequences only. The paging task is an ideal method for mobile technicians to receive audible alerts when a user-defined error or threshold has been detected.



Performance Monitoring

Object Description Benefit
Monitor Performance Counter On a Windows NT system you can view the behavior of objects, such as processors, memory, cache, threads, and processes. Each of these objects has an associated set of counters that provide information about device usage, queue lengths, delays, and information used to measure throughput and internal congestion. This event provides an easy tool for measuring the performance of a local computer.



Statistics

Object Description Benefit
Monitor Counter With statistics functions you can analyze the occurrence of a certain Event or Task. You can use counters to store any numeric data and manipulate it during the execution of the automated jobs. "If this error occurs more than 3 times per day, warn the Network Administrator on his mobile telephone" automated processes.

Modify Counter

The Modify Counter Task can be used to Increment, Decrement and Set the value of a Counter. "If this product is out of stock more than 2 times per month, increase the amount of products ordered from the manufacturer by 10 and inform the Purchase Department of the fact that they should negotiate a better price!"



Zip Tab

Object Description Benefit

Zip Task

The Zip task gives you all the basic functionality of PKZip or WinZip within OpalisRobot. The Zip task, provides a convenient method to and decompress files.



White Papers, Documents and Other Files

Opalis Robot Job Engine User Manual (PDF)

Opalis Robot User Manual (PDF)

Opalis Robot and Windows 2000 white paper (PDF)

Read about OpalisWizard™ client licensing (PDF)

Case Study: Driving Electronic Commerce and Kawasaki Motorcycles - Let the Good Times Roll! (HTM)

Case Study: Read up on a leading US electricity producer's implementation of Opalis Robot (HTM)



Product Requirements

OS Platform Supported
Windows 2000 Server
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows NT4 Server (SP3 or higher)
Windows NT4 Workstation (SP3 or higher)
Terminal Server Edition

Minimum Hardware Required
CPU Pentium 200
RAM 32
HD (Install) 10MB
HD (Operating) 12MB

Additional Requirement Notes
TCP/IP for SMTP functions. RAS for dial-up operations. ODBC database functions.
Client can be run on Windows 2000, Windows NT 4.0 SP3, Windows 98 or Windows 95



FAQs

Q: How is OpalisRobot Licensed?
A: OpalisRobot is licensed per Windows NT/2000 system. An OpalisRobot Server License consists of serial number and key to be entered during installation or at a later stage in the OpalisRobot graphical user interface. You can also read this PDF document located in the White Paper, Documents and Other Files section below.

Q: What is an Event?
A: Events are triggers for tasks. OpalisRobot automatically generates events when certain conditions are met. You will link these events to tasks (links are introduced shortly). Here is how it works: you define the conditions, OpalisRobot efficiently tests them and generates appropriate events when it detects that the conditions are met. If the event is linked to a task, OpalisRobot performs the task. OpalisRobot supports numerous events, including:

  • Periodic: OpalisRobot generates events at certain date/time;
  • File system: actions on files or folders (move, copy, etc.) generate events;
  • Data queries: OpalisRobot can pool databases (whether SQL server or ODBC) until certain conditions are met;
  • Task-related: the end of a task is an event so that you can chain tasks.
  • And more: it is also possible to interactively trigger events. You can think of events as the result of the evaluation of a condition. OpalisRobot events are a convenient and efficient solution to dynamically test for conditions.

Q: What is a Task?
A: Tasks are actions OpalisRobot can perform. You can think of tasks as small procedures. Typically, OpalisRobot will execute tasks in response to events (to be introduced shortly). A task is the unit of action in OpalisRobot. You can run any program or system command from OpalisRobot. OpalisRobot also offers numerous other built-in tasks:

  • File and directory operations: copy, move and print files from OpalisRobot;
  • SQL and ODBC queries: send SQL and ODBC queries to databases or files from OpalisRobot;
  • Remote access: connect to other computers from OpalisRobot;
  • Network messaging: send messages (alerts, etc.) from OpalisRobot;
  • Service manipulation: start, stop or pause NT Services from OpalisRobot;

Q: What is a Link?
A: Links associate tasks to events. A link enables OpalisRobot to run a task in response to one or more events.

Events and tasks by themselves are not sufficient; it is the combination of one or more events and tasks which will perform actual work.

Q: A task does not start or fails. Why is that?
A: There could be any of the reasons below:

  • OpalisRobot Services can be configured to execute under the LocalSystem account. This account is not a regular one and has limitations (for example, it cannot connect to remote computer).
  • Change the account used by the Service with an Administrator’s account or one of your accounts. To do so, use the Services applet of the Control Panel (Startup button, select Log On As, This Account).
  • Check that the required software for this task is installed on the server (RAS for RAS functions, TCP/IP for SMTP email and ODBC for ODBC functions). If required software is not installed, the log will display an alert log entry for each object that failed to start.
  • The "Active / Inactive" option for objects in the automation sequence.
  • Incorrect dynamic data codes can prevent the task from being started when they are not replaced. Make sure that the codes used in the task configuration actually correspond to the events or tasks that triggers it.
  • If you are using the OpalisRobot evaluation version, the program will only run the first three active tasks in the "Events, tasks and links" list. Use the "Active / Inactive" option to enable the tasks that you want to test.

Q: OpalisRobot is connected to the service but cannot read configurations. Why?
A: If you are connected to the service via the client with a green light (pipe access) but cannot read configurations check the following things:

Ensure logged on user (at client machine) is domain account with administrator rights

If access to file system still denied, verify that default $ share has not been removed, if so reassign default $ share to Opalis robot service install drive (volume)

Restart client and connect to suspect service, full access to file system (via $ admin share) should be restored

Q: OpalisRobot runs in evaluation mode instead of full licensed mode. Why?
A: To be sure that the OpalisRobot license information is properly entered.

In the Client, connect to the server (in administrator mode). Select Options | Service | Licensing, click on the OpalisRobot line and input the serial number and key. If the key is correct, there is no message when you click OK. If the key is incorrect, you get an error message.

Restart the Service.

Q: OpalisRobot cannot connect to a server. Why?
A: If you’re using Windows 95, check that Microsoft Remote Registry Services is installed on the system. It is available on Windows 95 CD- ROM: folder "Admin\Nettools\Remotereg".

If you’re using Windows 98, check that Microsoft Remote Registry Services is installed on the system. It is available on Windows 98 CD- ROM: folder "tools\reskit\netadmin\remotereg"

You must also have sufficient rights to connect


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