What users are saying about
7 Ratings
85 Ratings
7 Ratings
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Score 8.6 out of 101
85 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 101

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

I would recommend Ansible to any business of small to medium size that is looking for an automation tool. For any company looking for something lightweight that could be run on a personal computer rather than a server, I would recommend Ansible. I feel like it is well suited for smaller environments as the task load tends to be lighter and Ansible does usually have slower run times than larger scale tools like Chef and Puppet. Small scale cloud environments do very well as Ansible has a plethora of modules to support many different IaaS structures. Processes that have an extensive amount of tasks to perform are also not well-suited for Ansible in my opinion and should probably be avoided. Large scale implementations may also want to avoid Ansible as I feel that it scales poorly compared to some other competitors.
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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
5.3
Ansible
Application integration
ActiveBatch
7.6
Ansible

Pros

ActiveBatch

  • One good feature I already mentioned is that once you create a configuration object (such as a schedule object), you can reuse it as much as needed. This minimizes errors in scheduling because there's less opportunity to make a configuration error with future similar jobs that would follow the same schedule, makes it more efficient to schedule those new jobs, and makes it efficient to make scheduling changes--change the scheduling object once and all the related jobs' schedules are automatically changed.
  • Partial path execution is a good strength, especially for testing/debugging. I can have a decently sized tree of process nodes for a given job, but I can easily deactivate the nodes I do not want to include in my testing.
  • Being able to define test and production jobs in separate environments and easily change the settings of one without affecting the other is another strength. Often I would have a job set up in a test environment and after testing it, it would get ported to a very similar production environment with only having to change 3-4 parameter settings. And then I could easily deactivate the test job while still keeping it all set up in the event of needing it for future enhancement/troubleshooting.
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Ansible

  • Easy YAML syntax
  • Provisioning over SSH. Management sever is not needed
  • Big community
Blagovest Petrov profile photo

Cons

ActiveBatch

  • 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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Ansible

  • 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

Performance

ActiveBatch

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic

Ansible

Ansible 8.3
Based on 4 answers
Ansible has always operated as we expected it to. It does require digging into the configuration documentation at times, especially when using some of the modules, but that's just a small learning curve. Once it's set up it runs great. We've not had any issues.
John Reeve profile photo

Alternatives Considered

ActiveBatch

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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Ansible

Chef seems slow to develop with and there are lots of moving pieces associated with it. Ansible is much simpler and easier to get started with while having the same powerful modules to manage infrastructure.
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Return on Investment

ActiveBatch

  • 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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Ansible

  • Ansible is a great investment if used for its well-suited scenarios. It has had a positive impact on my clients who used it to modernize their application deployment process. Ansible has 1) increased the reliability of the deployment process and 2) reduced scripts maintenance overhead.
  • Since Ansible is simpler and faster to get started with - compared to centralized configuration management solutions - it can be tempting to use it initially for simpler applications/infrastructure that are anticipated to evolve to complex ecosystems, you may find yourself having to rewrite in another tool in such cases.
Aiman Najjar profile photo

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

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