What users are saying about

ActiveBatch

7 Ratings

Ansible

63 Ratings

ActiveBatch

7 Ratings
Score 8.6 out of 101

Ansible

63 Ratings
Score 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 works well if you can rely on having rock solid SSH connectivity. It also works well with the instances that you're configurations are relatively disposable. As Ansible makes changes as it processes the playbook, it is possible for changes to be made halfway down the playbook and then a failure to put the instance in an in-between state where it's neither the before state or after state. Rather it's somewhere in between.
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Feature Rating Comparison

Workload Automation

ActiveBatch
6.9
Ansible
Multi-platform scheduling
ActiveBatch
8.1
Ansible
Central monitoring
ActiveBatch
8.5
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

  • 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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  • Easy YAML syntax
  • Provisioning over SSH. Management sever is not needed
  • Big community
Blagovest Petrov 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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  • Ansible struggles with complex and large inventories. It could greatly improve with improvements to inventory processing.
  • There are no real walk-throughs on how to start with ansible module development
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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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Hands-Down what makes Ansible shine is it's simplicity. Other CM tools provide more features, but for many use cases, these features simply aren't needed.Ansible is like a pocket knife - quick, small, easy to pull out and use, and so you always keep it in your back pocket. However, if you're working on a large, more specific infrastructure project, you may find Ansible to be lacking.
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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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  • Cost and time efficient due to the community open-sourcing playbooks and roles for common tasks.
  • More consistency across different departments in an organization.
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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