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Quartz | Level 8


I'm not sure if this is where I ask my questions but here goes...


I have a SAS EG job that is scheduled to run in Windows Task Scheduler. I do not have to manually run the job or submit the job as it's set to run automatically early in the morning when I am in bed. Before hand, I do have to email the person for the excel input file, make sure it's columns and tabs are the correct names and place in the correct location for SAS to read. The job runs and when I come in in the morning, I email out the link of the job location to my customers.


Here's my questions:

1. In your opinion, would you consider this an automated job considering the before and after work that is done?

2. What about levels of software automation such as partially vs. fully automated, is this a real thing?




Barite | Level 11

On #1 (and #2), I don't consider anything automated that requires manual input. If I was doing this myself, I would pre-process using PowerShell or a C# job to make sure I have what is needed. PowerShell is probably your best bet if you don't want to get into the intricacies of C#. Of course you can do it in other ways such as Java or Python but PowerShell would be the natural choice IMO.


Partial automation is like partial pregnancy.
Quartz | Level 8

Thank you for your response.


Of course the goal should be complete automation, but in a less than ideal world sometimes you have to compromise and accept manual inputs simply because:

  • they are not available any other way
  • the resources required to automate completely cannot be justified

I personally have to deal with a small number of manual inputs in my work, but with good systems and management, they can be handled efficiently and effectively.

Quartz | Level 8

Thank you for your responses. I've come to the conclusion and in my opinion partial-automation can still be considered automated albeit partial. Here's my reasoning:


1. False Dilemma - Specific to this instance, to say something is 100% automated or 0% automated is also known as "either/or fallacy", "black and white fallacy", "excluded middle fallacy" or "all or nothing fallacy" -- it omits choices when other choices are available.


2. Definition of "automation" by,, The, defines it as "the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by highly automatic means, as by electronic devices, reducing human intervention to a minimum." Notice it says reducing, not eliminating completely. Other definitions include similar wording such as that include the verbiage "...with minimal or reduced human intervention."


3.There is precedent in industries, including software, hardware, robotics, and the automobile industry (as well as others) that use the nomenclature of various levels of automation (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, etc. Partial vs. Fully Automated).


4. Windows task scheduler's own definition states that it "enables you to automatically perform routine tasks..." and when you click the help it states "Schedule computer tasks that run automatically". So regardless of the process before or after, I do not have to sit at my computer and click run, I've scheduled the task off hours regardless of what happens before or after and in that regard, it's partially-automated.


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