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ETAPS – Enterprise Tools for Application Support

Today's business environment
The unrelenting growth in the deployment of Information Technology and application systems have placed enormous demands on IT departments and support personnel.

The real-time nature of today's computer systems raises the importance for timely and efficient resolution of system problems needing rapid resolution. The need to compete in today's marketplace has forced many companies to forgo sound quality assurance methodologies in favor of "just-in-time delivery" or "extreme programming".

This approach, unfortunately, affects the quality of software that is promoted into production. The modular design of computer networks in an n-Tiered Architecture, and the replication of Web Servers, Application Servers, Database Servers and Gateway Servers have made troubleshooting more difficult.

Staff rotations and the integration of new employees into the workplace reduce productivity because of the need to adapt to frequent changes to applications and networks.

ETAPS can help you alleviate some of these problems.

What is ETAPS?

ETAPS is a comprehensive set of tools bundled in an integrated workbench consisting of :

Configuration Tool
The modular design of the ETAPS workbench allows you to choose your implementation strategy and to tailor the tools to your specific needs. ETAPS'powerful, yet simple, Configuration Tool can quickly adapt ETAPS to your changing requirements, maintaining support profiles of computer systems and applications. Configuration files are backed up automatically before changes are applied.

Download Tool
The multi-threaded File Download Tool can transfer up to 32 files concurrently from other computers and servers!

Three download modes are supported:
• FTP: ETAPS communicates with 3rd party File Transfer Protocol software on servers (Windows, UNIX, etc.)
• FTA: Uses ETAPS'File Transfer Agent installed on remote Windows PCs or servers;
• COPY: Copies files from Windows accessible PCs or servers (LAN / WAN).

By running multiple instances of this tool, even higher levels of downloads can be reached.
Up to 32 progress bars are displayed on one screen.
Optionally, GZIP compressed files can be decompressed on the receiving end of the file transfer.

FTA - File Transfer Agent
The ETAPS FTA tool is a TCP/IP based server software that you can install on Windows PC’s or servers (Windows 98, NT, 2000, XP) from which you download files. FTA services up to 8 simultaneous calls from ETAPS running on other computers[MMAC1] .

In addition to transferring normal files, a special feature can download Microsoft Event Logs from remote computers.

ETAPS security features allow you to:
• Limit access to specific ETAPS users (domain\user);
• Control which services to invoke (File Transfer, ETAPS Ping);
• Specify which TCP/IP ports to use (so that you can use a Firewall to limit access) ;
• Remotely logon to Windows (logon ID/password authentication, security policy, user account status and user rights to batch logon);

Confidential logon information is transmitted encrypted using a 128-bit cipher key that changes with each request;
User specifies logon ID and password known to the remote machine which may differ from the computer from which he sends the request.

Search Engine Feature
The powerful search engine feature enables you to simultaneously search through many files. Using up to 12 search arguments and accommodating Boolean AND/OR operators. You can also:

• Specify starting and ending positions within each file, i.e., start searching lines of text when the START search argument is found and stop when the STOP search argument is found, repeating for each file. This can be used to search log files for a specific time period by specifying starting and ending timestamps.

Select which lines to view:
• All lines;
• Only lines in which one or more search arguments were found;
• Up to 20 lines before, and up to 20 lines after, any line containing at least one search argument, ensuring that each line is displayed only once.
• Choose a different color to highlight each search argument;
• Scroll forward or backward through the files using any of the search arguments. Switching to another search argument is based upon current position;
• Scroll forward or backward to the first displayed line of each file;
• Copy the viewed lines to the Windows Clipboard for pasting into another software product.
• Export the viewed lines to a folder on a Windows PC or server, optionally sending an e-mail notification to recipients. You can also Export the viewed lines as an e-mail attachment[MMAC2].

Directory and File Compare Tool
This tool compares the contents of up to 16 directories at a time, on local or remote computers, displaying the filename, last update timestamp and file size of each file.

From this list you can request ETAPS to compare up to 16 occurrences of the same filename (from different computers and/or directories). ETAPS then lists the contents of the files, identifying differences.

ETAPS can compare text and binary files.

Terminal Emulation Tool
This tool launches one or more instances of third party Terminal Emulation software using protocols such as Telnet, SSH1 or SSH2. ETAPS initiates the sessions as tiled, cascaded, minimized or maximized on your desktop. You may change the display mode later if you wish.

At the touch of a button, you may terminate all sessions whenever you decide.

Document Tool
The prime objective of this tool is to organize, view and maintain documentation.

It can also be used to:
• Access your favorite Internet or Intranet sites;
• Open specific folders using Windows Explorer;
• Launch your own applications and tools.

If the document filename suffix (doc, xls, html, etc.) is registered, you need not specify the software executable file.[MMAC3]

SQL Tool
The SQL Tool launches your SQL software product (external licenses may be required). It allows you to organize your database SQL scripts that you use to help diagnose problems and to produce ad-hoc reports.

SQLite is a freeware installed with ETAPS;

MySQL is a freeware you can download from www.mysql.com/downloads

ETAPS sets up sample scripts for SQLite, MySQL, Oracle and Microsoft Transact-SQL using MSDE (MS SQL compatible). If your script contains input parameters (example: where account = &acct;), you can request ETAPS to substitute values from the configuration file and/or be prompted to provide the values prior to execution. The original script is not changed. This tool first displays comments that you placed at the start of the script, to ensure that the selected script is the correct one. You can then choose to:
• Exit without running the script;
• View the whole script;
• View the previous result set produced by the script;
• Run the script.

Miscellaneous Tools
These tools allow you to:
• View and maintain ETAPS logs;
• Remove old backups of configuration files;
• Compress and decompress files using the GZIP algorithm;
• Activate the currently installed Windows screensaver immediately (allowing a few seconds to release the mouse).

ETAPS Main Objectives are to:
• Reduce production downtime due to system application failures by providing fast, efficient and effective tools for problem determination;
• Minimize the inherent risks to the production environment caused by support personnel doing troubleshooting on production servers;
• Normalize the use of support tools, procedures and methodologies thereby improving productivity and reducing staffs duplication of effort.
• Provide tools to generate concise and useful information to assist in determining long-term corrective solutions for application systemic bugs and system performance problems.

ETAPS Main Benefits are to:
• Improve problem determination.
• Speed up problem resolution.
• Reduce down-time.
• Cut down-time costs.
• Increase employee productivity.

Who benefits from using ETAPS?
ETAPS is intended primarily for personnel working in these IT areas:
   – Applications Support
   – Operations Support
   – Quality Assurance
   – System Integration Testing

ETAPS will also help software developers to:
   – Deliver software that is easier to maintain;
   – Correct application bugs;
   – Collaborate with personnel involved in the problem resolution effort.

Want to learn more about Enterprise Tools for Application Support ?
To speak to a representative who can help answer your questions please contact the itBMS sales office nearest you or email your questions to: epsod@itbms.biz


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