grant tillerOn behalf of the RES Product Management Team, I am honored to announce the release of RES ONE Automation 2015. It has taken our committed R&D, engineering and QA teams 18 months of hard work, and I can’t wait for all of our customers to download and install this important and exciting new release…

RES ONE Automation Logo

An integral part of the RES ONE Suite, and underpinning the RES ONE Service Store that we released a couple of weeks ago (see the blog article from my friend and colleague Dave Bryant), there are many new additions to RES ONE Automation 2015 which I am positive you will like.

Over 1/3 of our new functionality is based on feedback from our community on the excellent UserVoice ideation platform (which is now accessible via the RES Success Center). Other key contributors included our early adopter customers and our RES Software Valued Professionals.

Here is a brief overview of some of the key new features that I hope excite you as much as they excite me!

Versioning

Versioning, from what I have been hearing from our customers, will take how RES ONE Automation is used into a whole new realm. We have revised the auditing functionality within the product to accommodate version numbering (major, minor and revision) which will either automatically increment when a console user makes a change, or will pop up when you try to save a change, asking you to enter the new version number.

version control

Importantly, versioning cannot be turned off – it is always there in the background recording what has been changed, when the change was made and by whom. We also added an additional comment field which allows the administrator to record their rationale behind the changes that have been made. While developing, we received a lot of input from our strategic outsourcers and systems integrator partners to make sure that our build meets their exact standards, and that RES ONE Automation can easily be dovetailed into their change management and change control processes.

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Based on your already overwhelmingly positive feedback, we plan to roll out similar functionality in our other RES ONE products in the not too distant future! To me though, the new versioning functionality is part of something much bigger. We have already started thinking about the next stage, which is to roll back the configuration to previous versions in the console. I hope you agree that it really will be the next piece of the puzzle!

Console Redesign

Our current console was released with RES Wisdom back in 2005. Who remembers RES Wisdom and our marketing catchphrase at the time Ready, Set, Go? Well the sentiment still holds true today. Still it was certainly time to update the console to make things more intuitive, quicker to navigate and a generally modern and nice place to be!

RES Wisdom Screenshot

The edges of the console have been rounded over and smoothed out. We have added the familiar Outlook style sections in the left pane and a command bar across the top to declutter the function panes on the right side.

Console new sidebar

We also renamed the sections to be more in line with other management tools that you are accustomed to using on a day to day basis, so that it will feel familiar to you from the very second you install it.

Console new menu

Finally, with guidance from the community, we reorganized some of the sections and functions so now the parts of the console that are used the most often are at the top of the list and accessible with fewer mouse clicks. A nice touch is that your last position in the console is now remembered the next time you launch it.

New Platforms

The list of platforms we support is always growing. Based on customer demand we have now included support for the following:

Global Password Security

RES ONE Automation 2015 is domain independent and, in some large and complex implementations, we see one installation reaching across multiple domains. Additionally, with many customers now working on Cloud and Web initiatives, we cannot guarantee that RES ONE Automation will always have Active Directory nearby for Security. Therefore, we have significantly hardened the security of the RES ONE Automation 2015 native login accounts.

Global Password Security Policy

We’ve added the following five security policies:

  • Password age – the number of days a password can be used before a console user is required to change it.
  • Password complexity – the number of required character types in the password (uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols – fixed value of 3 character types).
  • Password history – specify the number of passwords that will be stored to determine how often a password can be reused.
  • Minimum password length – specify the minimum number of characters that need to be used in new passwords.
  • Account lockout threshold – specify the number of password retries before an account will be locked.

We followed Microsoft’s guidelines on this, so administrators will find these policies familiar as they are so similar to active directory.

Improved Performance

Faster, quicker, snappier…whatever word you like, it all amounts to something wanted by all system administrators. We have made a number of optimizations in this release to contribute to better performance.

Manage Active Director User

  • Active directory management jobs – We received community requests to align the performance of these tasks and queries with the lightening performance seen in some of the other jobs. We have made some huge improvements here, and I trust those that use these tasks several time a day, you will now all have a suitable grin on your face!
  • Connectors – With the new license types we introduced in the last version of RES Automation Manager 2014 we were able to remove all references to connectors from our code altogether. This means that for any tasks or queries that previously used connectors, there is no longer a license check, thus noticeably improving performance across the board.

Even Better Scalability

We made some changes to better support very large enterprise environments where there were hundreds of thousands or even millions of entries in the audit trail or job history. We found in very rare cases that the response time of the console slowed down including two reports of the console freezing. So we acted.

To aid scalability into these huge environments, we have introduced a paging mechanism into these functions, which means that data is now pulled from the database and displayed in more manageable chunks.

Console page results

We also split the job history database entries into two separate tables:

  1. Archived data (for example the jobs that have already been run already)
  2. Active and scheduled (pending) jobs

Console 0 Results per page

It could be argued that these items could have gone under my “Improved Performance” heading!

Thank You to the Team

I am utterly delighted with the 2015 release of RES ONE Automation. It was a company-wide effort. But I would like to use this blog post to publicly call out the following people who have directly made RES ONE Automation 2015 possible:

  • Antoni Boeding
  • Ed Ebbinkhuijsen
  • Emy van Boxtel
  • Frank Lingsma
  • Hans Jan Visser
  • Harm Kocken
  • Heleen de Hamer
  • Karen van der Merwe
  • Leo Hofman
  • Marc van den Boomen
  • Ronald de Groot
  • Ronald Heinen
  • Patric Schepens
  • Peter Windmeijer
  • Tim Steeman

In my years of working in IT, I can honestly say this is the best team I have worked with!

So what are you waiting for? Download RES ONE Automation today from the RES Success Center and Keep Automating!

Grant