Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Introducing Star Command Center 3.0

The next major release of Star Analytics’ flagship product is undergoing the final steps in the QA process. It will be released at the end of this quarter (Q1 2011). We are very pleased with this release, and we would like to provide an overview of some of its new features.

With new capabilities, and with increased support for cloud-based computing environments (discussed in a future blog post), the 3.0 release has a new product name: Star Command Center (SCC). SCC provides a significant expansion of capabilities that go well beyond the initial use within finance departments of Fortune 1000 companies, such as MasterCard, EDMC and Symantec.
See and read more:

Based upon user feedback, the Star Command Center Client has improved usability, enhanced audit tracking, and an additional interface to handshake with 3rd party IT-based schedulers and enterprise management systems. The screenshots below, combined with short descriptions, help to illustrate the new capabilities found in Star Command Center 3.0.

  • Tabbed/Multiple document view, enabling multiple automation objects to be viewed and edited at the same time.

Example #1: In tabbed view mode:

Example #2: In document view mode:

  • The Process Overview view uses filters instead of drill down navigation


  • It is now possible to edit a process from the Run View with a single click, thereby allowing an iterative approach to automation setup.


  • Is it now possible to run a process directly from the Setup and Design View. This allows a user to run the complete process, to run a single task, or to do a partial run starting from a task.

  • The system of Task Plug-ins has been vastly improved, and it can now be managed directly from the Star Command Center client. Task Plugins are used to add new Computing Resources and Task Types to the system.

  • An Audit trail is now available for all objects. The audit trail answers the question of who did what and when they did it, which is especially important when managing automation.

For processes and file resources, old versions of a file resource can be promoted to become current versions, thereby providing the ability to restore from a previous state. Combined with the new labeling system in 3.0, a baseline of processes and file resources can be created. This can be restored in a single operation, thereby becoming the new baseline version.

  • The Star Command Center Server audit log now can be filtered.

  • As noted earlier, a new Label object has been introduced with Star Command Center 3.0. A label can be created with a set of specific process and file resource versions, which later can be used to restore in a single operation. During an Ecosystem Export operation, Star Command Center automatically labels the automation repository before doing an import, easily allowing the import to be undone.

  • A new Run Process task type has been introduced. This task type allows an automation process to be started as a subroutine.

Functional changes

  • Improved scheduling: It is now possible to schedule a process to run at 2pm on Wednesdays and at 3pm on Thursdays.
  • Improved process and ecosystem variable usage: Previously, a variable was expanded once and did not allow for nested variable references. With this enhancement, variables behave like this:
    • VAR_A = Command
    • VAR_B = Star $(VAR_A) Center
      In turn, $(VAR_B) will expand to "Star Command Center"
  • Import/Export now allows ecosystem import using a different name. This enhancement allows making a copy of an ecosystem on the same server.
  • Agents can now process tasks from multiple servers simultaneously. With a setup that includes multiple Star Command Center servers which utilize a common remote agents, the agents can now execute tasks from each server.

Command Line Client

With the release of Star Command Center 3.0, a command line client has been added as an additional licensed feature. The command line provides the following capabilities:

  • Start/stop/pause a Star Command Center processes
  • Query the state of a running process (not started, running, paused, warning, error, complete)
  • Query process statistics (run time, last run, number of runs, run by user)
  • Test connectivity to a Star Command Center agent
  • Export one or more ecosystems

The Command Line Client complements the existing Event Listener interface and the Web Service interface. It enables Star Command Center to be part of a larger automation ecosystem traditionally made up of IT-based scheduling and enterprise management tools such as CA AutoSys, IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler, BMC Control M, UC4, ActiveBatch and HP OpenView.

A link to the above can be downloaded here.

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