S E C T I O N S

AS/400 & iSeries Solutions (Native)

Screen Manager II

Workstation Management For The AS/400

Fast Facts

Latest Release:  1.20

Last Update:      March 2000

Price:                   $399.00

Source Code:     Available

 

Screen Manager II is designed to assist you in dealing with workstations that are left signed on and unattended.  As everyone knows, workstations left signed on and unattended present a huge security risk.  Signed on and unattended workstations are an open invitation for anyone to view or, even worse, modify your company's most sensitive data.

Of course, Screen Manager II cannot sense whether or not a workstation has been left unattended.  Screen Manager II can, however, detect periods of inactivity for a signed on workstation.  With this information and some direction from you, Screen Manager II can issue a notification message, disconnect the inactive job, or end the inactive job.

Direction from you can be as detailed or as minimal as you wish.  First, identify the Users and/or Workstations whose jobs you want Screen Manager II to monitor for periods of inactivity.  Then, indicate the action(s) that you want Screen Manager II to take at specific time intervals during the inactive period.

Screen Manager II allows you to create a "default" User record in the Screen Manager II User Master File by specifying *ALLUSERS as the user name.  This feature is useful if you want Screen Manager II to take the same action(s) at the same time intervals for all users.  Individual User records can also be created allowing you to specify different action(s) and/or different time intervals for specific users.  If a User record does not exist for a specific user and there is not a "default" User record, then Screen Manager II does not monitor or record periods of inactivity for that particular user.

All features provided by Screen Manager II for Users are also provided for Workstations.  The "default" Workstation record in the Screen Manager II Workstation Master File will have *ALLWSTNS as the workstation name.  Managing inactive jobs by workstation is extremely useful if your concern is limited to specific workstations being left signed on and unattended.  A good example might be a workstation in a lobby or other high traffic area of an otherwise secure building.

Another useful feature of Screen Manager II is the ability to qualify Users and/or Workstations by Subsystem name.  This feature lets you easily manage idle workstations at remote locations differently from local workstations.  This feature also makes it easy to completely exclude a remote location's workstations from Screen Manager II processing.  This is assuming that your remote interactive jobs are running in a different subsystem from your local interactive jobs.

System security is not the only reason to use Screen Manager II .  Another reason to use Screen Manager II is to free up system resources.  Workstations that are signed on and left idle are still recognized by the AS/400 as active jobs.  Therefore, all system resources necessary to keep track of active jobs are being applied to idle workstations as well as active workstations.  By using Screen Manager II to sign off idle workstations, you free up these system resources to be used in a more productive manner.

You should be aware that there are similar capabilities built into OS/400.  However, these built-in capabilities are severely limited.  Using OS/400's built-in capabilities, a single time interval and a single action (issue message, disconnect job, or end job) must be applied to all users at all workstations across your entire system.  OS/400's built-in function also provides no reporting capabilities.  The implementation of this rigid solution often causes more problems than it solves.

An on-line help text support system is included with Screen Manager II .  The help system provides you with field level help text for all fields appearing on all screens within Screen Manager II .  The help text is presented to you via pop-up windows.  To access the help text, simply place the cursor on the desired field and press the F1 function key.  The help text for that field will be displayed in a window in the opposite quadrant of the screen.  The help text window can be enlarged to a full-screen display for easier reading or moved to a new screen location if needed information has been overlaid.

Features:

  • The ability to manage inactive jobs by Subsystem name, User name, or Workstation name.  Special values (*ALLSBS, *ALLUSERS, and *ALLWSTNS) may be used to manage multiple jobs with a single entry.
  • Three possible actions for inactive jobs.  The three actions are send a message to any message queue, end the inactive job, and disconnect the inactive job.
  • The ability to specify multiple actions for each inactive time interval.  For example, if a job inactive for five minutes, you can send a message and disconnect the job.
  • The ability to specify action(s) for multiple inactive time intervals.  For example, you may wish to send a message after a job has been inactive for five minutes and disconnect or end the job after it has been inactive for ten minutes.
  • The ability to specify a date and time window during which a particular action entry is to be used.  For example, you may wish to end inactive jobs after only ten minutes of inactivity during the day (8:00am through 5:00pm) and end inactive jobs after twenty minutes of inactivity after hours (5:01pm through 7:59am).
  • A menu from which all Screen Manager II functions and features can be accessed.  The menu provides an easy-to-use interface.
  • A command for each Screen Manager II function.  The command interface is provided so that Screen Manager II can be easily incorporated into your applications programs and/or job scheduler.
  • Automatic purging of the Screen Manager II Activity Log.  You control how many days of history are kept in the Activity Log via a Screen Manager II System Default.  This feature makes Screen Manager II virtually maintenance free.
  • Flexible reporting from Activity Log entries.  Reports are available by User or Workstation.  A date range can also be specified to limit the information shown on the reports.
  • Cursor sensitive on-line help text.  The help system included with Screen Manager II provides field level help text for all fields appearing on all screens within Screen Manager II.
  • Fast and simple installation and set up.  Whether upgrading or installing Screen Manager II for the first time, installation is done with a single LODRUN command.
     
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