One of the major failings of RES Wisdom 2009 (and prior) was the inability to automatically action the results based on a query. For example, there has never been an easy way to defragment computers if the local drives were above a threshold. We could always automate the querying of machines and automate the defragmenting of disks drives, but basing an action on the results of a query involved manual intervention.
Some if this has been remedied in RES Automation Manager 2011. The list of queries that support the new “Evaluators” is limited, but it certainly a good start and hopefully this list will grow in future Service Releases (or are they now Service Packs?) and/or RES Automation Manager releases. These are the query types that are supported:
- Query Computer Properties
- Query Disk Space
- Query Installed programs
- Query Service Properties
- Query TCP/IP Properties
This new feature provides us with an additional tab on particular queries. We can evaluate (now you know why they’re called Evaluators!) the results of the query and set whether query is successful or not. RES Automation Manager 2011 will fail the task if the evaluator fails our criteria enabling us to have some logic control. Note: setting Evaluators automatically sets the job to “Continue On Error” where the normal default is “Stop On Error.” Unlike Conditions, Evaluators are evaluated after the task and not before (like Conditions).
The example RES provides in the Help takes a Windows Installer job that queries the amount of disk space first. An Evaluator can be set to fail the query and the job (assuming you alter the task error control). Here is an example of this Evaluator that will fail the query if there is less than 500MB of free disk space.
If we alter the task properties like this then we can fail the job as a whole (which we would probably do in this instance):
Notice that we still can’t do this with the disk defragmentation example at the beginning of this post as it’s not a supported query type!
Note: If the query fails the job as a whole is reported as failed which makes managing by exception difficult when evaluators are used and clouds the job results view. Hopefully this behaviour will be updated (tested with the Release Candidate) in the RTM or a Service Pack release.