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66 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 101
66 Ratings
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Score 8.9 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

ActiveBatch

I used to work in a company that only used SQL Server Agent to handle imports and exports of ETL data. ActiveBatch is far more powerful and easy to use, so I definitely would recommend it. I would think of three questions: (1) Do you handle a large volume of exports and imports in a given week? (2) Do you need a lot of configurable options, such as with scheduling? (3) Do you utilize a variety of ETL processing tools (such as GlobalScape EFT and Microsoft SSIS) but want one tool to work with them all? If yes to those questions, then ActiveBatch would well fit the bill for you then.
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Ansible

Ansible did a great job helping us patch simple security vulnerabilities on many servers. The code for the fix were no more than about 100 lines. We patched each vulnerability in about 10 minutes. We patched both the HeartBleed/OpenSSH along with the Shellshock Bash vulnerability on 200+ servers in a few days.
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Feature Rating Comparison

Workload Automation

ActiveBatch
6.9
Ansible
Multi-platform scheduling
ActiveBatch
8.1
Ansible
Central monitoring
ActiveBatch
8.4
Ansible
Logging
ActiveBatch
5.0
Ansible
Alerts and notifications
ActiveBatch
7.0
Ansible
Analysis and visualization
ActiveBatch
5.4
Ansible
Application integration
ActiveBatch
7.6
Ansible

Pros

  • ActiveBatch does Microsoft SQL jobs well, providing centralized configurations.
  • The scheduling options and flexibility is very good in ActiveBatch.
  • The ability to restrict ActiveBatch users to specific areas of the application is easy to manage.
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  • Installing and configuring software on instances.
  • Lightweight footprint. No agent required.
  • Predictable execution. Generally, the playbooks are run top to bottom.
Chien Huey profile photo

Cons

  • While I like being able to reuse scheduling objects and the like, more work needs to be done to help one not reinvent the same scheduling object without realizing it and to then find scheduling objects that have similar schedules even if they are worded slightly differently than what I'm expecting. It needs to be "smarter". It was easy to accumulate a pool of scheduling objects that while named differently, had exactly the same schedule. It was also hard to sift through to find the little differences between similarly named scheduling objects.
  • The logger had a clean enough interface but it could be more legible and offer contextual help to describe the messages one is reading. I remember trying to read black text on a medium gray background with Courier size 10-11 font. Not so easy to read quickly and to parse through the relevant parts. I think some selective color coding would be good and links to message definitions or any form of further information would be nice. Maybe the ability to export the log file to various formats would also be helpful.
  • I don't remember a dashboard that at a glance on the top level would highlight what jobs failed completely and which jobs might have warnings or non-critical errors. I got emails because I defined to get them. Maybe again if there was a way to color-code the type of error would be good nice-to-have.
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  • Python 2.7 was required for the older versions
  • SSH as a requirement by default
  • Not as fast as container driven development
Blagovest Petrov profile photo

Alternatives Considered

N/A - It was already in place when I was on the scene, but like I said earlier it is much more powerful than SQL Server Agent and probably anything we would've come up with from scratch using .Net. However if your needs are small and traffic is light, then maybe SQL Server Agent or something smaller and less powerful (and less expensive) than ActiveBatch would work just fine.
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I haven't used Puppet personally, but I believe Ansible is a robust solution which can serve many purposes. Puppet I'm sure is customizable in similar ways, I just don't have the experience to speak intelligently on the subject.
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Return on Investment

  • Definitely increased ETL tool testing and deployment efficiency for the IT DevOps staff.
  • Troubleshooting and retesting of problems with using ETL tools is enhanced, but there's definitely room for improvement there. Emails and logging helped but didn't really provide any additional help to those provided by GlobalScape and Microsoft. So a positive, but not a strong positive there.
  • For as much data that it manages coming in and out, the errors that came up were certainly important to deal with very quickly and this product could make that aspect better, the errors were few and far between and almost always the errors had nothing to do with ActiveBatch itself (usually with the quality of the data it was handling)--so in that sense, it brought visibility to areas of quality improvement to be made between the company and the clients.
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  • It helps with setting up customer environments with short notice and with little workforce so it's very cost-efficient.
  • There are less mistakes because setting up machines requires little human interaction.
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Pricing Details

ActiveBatch

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional
Additional Pricing Details

Ansible

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details