August 18, 2016 Batch Automation 0 Comments

Assembler not Required

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We’ve all experienced that moment of dread after purchasing an item. We open the box and read the words “some assembly required.” For some, it was the night before Christmas and the item was something you were expecting would be complete, like a tricycle.

For me, it was almost every piece of furniture I got from Scandinavian Designs. The easy part was making sure you had all the parts—never a guarantee. But then, you’d have some confusing diagram that was supposed to guide you through a “quick and easy” process to get to your finished product. It was typically neither quick nor easy.

Our Application Wishlist

After a few of these interesting moments, I found myself thinking about software. The world of apps and plug-and-play hardware have caused even the most devout systems programmers to believe that software should just work. Of course, there is going to be some customization, but it shouldn’t require a complex language, let alone assembler programming. You want to get value from it immediately. It shouldn’t take months of labor trying to make it work in your shop.

And yet, too often, you find yourself mired in some assembler or REXX coding, creating APIs from scratch or learning some esoteric language that purports to make customization easy. What we want is “no assembler required.” We want any changes we have to make to be straightforward and obvious. No one has time to understand complex coding. We barely have time to install anything.

It Works Out of the Box

In the ideal world, the product would auto-customize to our needs, but we know we don’t live in that world. The next best thing is to have a language so straightforward that it simply makes sense. ThruPut Manager offers JAL (Job Action Language) and DAL (Data Action Language) to give you a basic way to communicate what you want to change in the solution.

But here’s a great part. For many companies, this might not even be necessary. Over many years experiencing the challenges ThruPut Manager solves, the defaults really do work for a lot of us. When you want to alter the way it behaves, you’ll find it straightforward and uncomplicated.

It’s sort of like finding out that the bike you thought you’d have to assemble is complete. If sometime down the road you want to add a basket or a water bottle holder, it’s easy to add some flair. But on Christmas day, that bike just works.

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Chief Innovator, Denise P. Kalm began her career in biochemical genetics (M.S. University of Michigan). She went on to have a career in IT, beginning with programming, moving to performance and capacity planning and then to work for vendors. Her experience as a performance analyst/capacity planner, software consultant, and then marketing maven at various software companies grounds her work providing contract writing, editing, marketing and speaking services. She is a frequently published author in both the IT world and outside. Kalm is a requested speaker at such venues as SHARE, CMG and ITFMA and has enhanced her skills through Toastmasters where she has earned her ACG/ALB. She is also a personal coach at DPK Coaching.