Control-M Room for Improvement
AVP - Systems Engineer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
We have been experimenting with centralized connection profiles. There are some bugs to be worked out. So, we don't feel 100% comfortable with only using centralized connection profiles. We do have a mix of control on agents out there, which leads to some complications because earlier agents do not support centralized connection profiles.
A lot of the areas of improvement revolve around Automation API because that area is constantly evolving. It is constantly changing, and it is constantly being updated. There are some bugs that are introduced from one version to the next. So, the regression testing doesn't seem to capture some of the bugs that have been fixed in prior versions, and those bugs are then reintroduced in later versions. One particular example is that we were trying to use the Automation API to fetch a number of run ads users from the environment. The username had special characters and backspace characters because it was a Windows User ID. In the documentation, there is a documented workaround for that. However, that relied on two particular settings in the Tomcat web server. I later found out that these settings work out-of-the-box for version 9.0.19, but those two options were not included in the config file for 9.0.20. So, it led to a little bit of confusion and a lot of time trying to diagnose, both with support and the BMC community, what is the issue. Ultimately, we did resolve that, but that is time spent that really shouldn't have been spent. It had obviously been working in 9.0.19, and I don't know why that was missed in 9.0.20, but that's a primary example of an improvement that can happen.
We've also noticed that the Control-M agents themselves now run Java components. Over time, they tend to destabilize. It could be because garbage collection isn't happening, or something is not happening. We then realize that the agent is consuming quite a large amount of memory resources on the servers themselves. After recycling the agents and releasing that memory, things go back to normal, but there are times when the agent becomes unresponsive. The jobs get submitted, and nothing executes, but we don't know about it until somebody says, "Hey, but my job isn't running." When we look at it, it says Executing within the GUI, but there is no actual process running on the server. So, there is some disconnect there. There is no alerting function or the agent there that says, "Hey, I'm not responding." It is not showing up in the x alerts or anything like that.
The integrated guides have not been that helpful to us. I do find a lot of the how-to videos on the knowledge portal to be useful. However, there are some videos where the directions don't always match with some of the implementations. There are some typos here and there, but overall, those have been more helpful for us.
Its pricing and licensing could be a little bit better. The regular Managed File Transfer piece, is a little overpriced, especially for folks who already have licensed Advanced File Transfer.
What I'm also noticing when I'm trying to recruit for Control-M positions is that the talent pool is quite small. There's not a whole lot of companies that utilize Control-M, and if they do, most people don't want to let their Control-M resources go if they're good. There is a high barrier of entry for most people to learn Control-M. There are Workbench, Automation API, and so forth mainly for developers to learn, but there are not a whole lot of resources out there for people to get more familiar with administering Control-M or things like that in terms of the technology or even awareness. So, it becomes very challenging to acquire new resources for that. A lot of the newer people coming out of college don't even know what is Control-M. If they do, they think of it as a batch scheduler, which is certainly not true in its current transformation.
Control-M is a very powerful enterprise tool, but the overall perception has not changed in the past five to six years that I've been working with Control-M. There's not much incentive for people to dive into that world. It is a very small community, and overall, the value of Control-M is not being showcased adequately, maybe at the C-level for corporations. I've had multiple conversations with other people and other companies who have already exit using Control-M. About 70% of the companies out there do not take full advantage of the capabilities in Control-M. So, that type of utilization really hampers and hinders the reputation of Control-M. That's because people then acquire this untrue concept that Control-M can only do X, Y, and Z, rather than the fact that Control-M can do so much more. I don't know if it needs a grassroots marketing movement or a top-down marketing movement, but this is what the perception is because that's what I'm hearing and that's what I'm seeing. For some of the challenges that I face working in Control-M, when I go back to my management and say, "Hey, I want to spend more money in this space," they're like, "Why? Can you justify it? This is what we see Control-M as it is. It's not going to bring us value in this area or that area." I have to go back and develop a new business case to say, "Hey, we need to upgrade to MFT enterprise or something like that." So, it definitely requires a lot more work convincing management in order to get all these components. In the past, we had to justify acquiring a workload change manager. We had to justify acquiring the workload archive. All of these bring benefits not only to our audit environment but also to the development environment, but the fact that we had to fight so hard to acquire these is challenging.View full review »
Maintenance Manager at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
The reporting has improved. It is not where it should be yet, but we have seen improvements. The biggest thing for me is the restrictions regarding templates for reporting. You can't create your report with your own parameters. We have a meeting weekly with BMC and our customer lifecycle architect, and this comes up quite frequently. We have been privileged enough to do work with the developers. They are aware of the requirements regarding reporting and what our customers are asking for.
What I found lately about the YouTube videos, specifically, is that they are very simple. Usually, when I watch a video, I would read the manual, instructions, etc. to see if I understand it. I would hope that the interactive sessions, Q&As, or videos could be used to handle more complex issues of what they're discussing. An example would be the LDAP authentication for the Enterprise Manager. They would typically just go through the steps that are in the documentation. What people typically looking at those videos are looking for is how to do the more complex setup, doing it with SSL and distributed Active Directory data mines. Things that are not documented. I find those videos helpful for somebody who is too lazy to read the manual. I expect them to handle more than what is available in the documentation and the more complex situations.
The high availability that comes from BMC with its supplied Postgres database is very limited. Even using your customer-supplied Postgres database is problematic. We have engaged with them regarding this, but it is difficult. My company doesn't want to do this and BMC doesn't want to do that. We just need to find some middle ground to get the proper high availability.
We're also moving away, like the rest of the world, from the more expensive offerings, like Oracle. We are trying to use Postgres, which is free. The stability is good. It is just that the high availability configuration is not ideal. It could be better.
I will say that at one time we used to run on Solaris and not Windows, however, we were taken over by a company that decided that everything had to be on Windows. We put this in when we were the previous company, and then we were more or less given to the current bank by the FDAC, during the 2009 banking crisis. At that point, they wanted us to implement their solution, which was rudimentary at best. It was a CA product that did not meet the needs. I could not convert what we had in Control-M, to run in that system at that time.
While they have a very good reporting facility, the reports that I'm asked to produce, a lot of times aren't necessarily what we need. They need to be better customized. I haven't been able to produce the right reports through their reportings facility. I was a Perl programmer and a C programmer at one time. Perl just worked right in there. A lot of our reports were written in Perl, which right now they don't like at all as Perl's not ideal for our company.
I can't get to the database tables I want to get to. The database tables they allow me to get to aren't the ones I'm looking for, as, usually, I'm going right into the database, into the raw database, and pulling things out for the reporting I need. I can't do that through their reporting facility, Crystal Reports.
New plugins could be tested better. We've had a lot of problems with the MFT plugin. We've been working through a lot of issues with BMC on it.
The functionality that has existed for long periods is very stable. But the problems with the MFT plugin specifically, and problems we've had with MFT in general, have unfortunately caused the entire stack to be affected enough that our end-users couldn't even log in to the application.
I wish we would have known better about how MFT impacts the application as a whole, and I wish they would have done more load testing around that. That seems to be where most of our issues have been. The issues have been so bad sometimes that the entire app goes down, not just MFT.View full review »
Subject Matter Expert at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
With the current version update, I'm not sure why we needed a separate database upgrade. Why not put it all in one package? Previously, you could do it either via a manual upgrade or an in-place upgrade but it wasn't separate. But for the current version, we needed to upgrade the database separately. It meant doubling our tasks to do the upgrade. That is something that needs to be improved.
Director at a performing arts with 5,001-10,000 employees
We develop software. More frequently, we are working with microservices and APIs, using our integration tool, MuleSoft. While Control-M is really a good tool to integrate with other tools, it is important for them to continue improving their microservices and API.View full review »
ITSM Implementation Manager at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
The MFT applications should have more functionality and flexibility within that tool. Having more flexibility with that tool for handling the one to many or many to one concept. Like being able to take data from one source and push it to many locations or pull data from many locations and bring it back into a single source. That's why we still use our TPS program for the file transfers just because we don't have some of those capabilities available to us within MFT.
It is still a little difficult to get support on Control-M. It seems to be its own very specific BMC product unlike Remedy and some of the other BMC tools we have. It's quite a bit more difficult to get support for Control-M.
I would rate their support a five out of ten. They're just average to adequate.
You don't have the option to have a dedicated support resource and engineer. Someone that works with you individually to understand your environment, to help you grow and adapt to new things, and to roadmap your maturity within the tool as you do with some of the other BMC tools.
We use Premier Support for other BMC tools, just not this one.
The reporting functionality needs a lot of work. We have faced problems with different versions where we run the right report, but it gives us blank entries. Then, when we run the same report again, it gives the correct data. We have spoken with Customer Care and some of the issues are fixed in the latest version, 9.20.View full review »
Batch Scheduling Administrator at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
When it comes to supporting cloud services, Control-M is a bit slow. We are not advancing with the technology because we don't have the modules that can interact or use the new application services provided by the cloud technologies. BMC has been telling me that they are working hard to be more aligned with these new technologies, but they are a bit slow. Consequently, we are having a few issues when it comes to implementing Control-M. Some services that are being offered, such as Databricks, have been a problem.
The documentation is something that needs to be improved. Years ago, the documentation was very good, and I don't understand why but the documentation is no longer as good as it should be. For example, if I need to install or upgrade Control-M Enterprise Manager or Control-M server, the only information that I have in the documentation are things like "Execute this and follow the instructions on the screen". What it doesn't tell you is what will be needed for the process. For example, you may need to enter a password or select a source, but you won't know what these parameters are in advance.
Also, it is different to find what you are looking for in terms of documentation. For instance, if you visit the Control-M download page, you see several tabs. There is a tab where you can download software and another tab where you can download patches. This is perfect. However, there is another tab for the documentation but there is never anything there.
With any Control-M product, it is hard to find the documentation. The reason for this is that they are moving all of the documentation online, in an HTML format. The problem is that it is hard to download documentation in this format. In particular, if it is a specific part that you need or a certain module, then it would be much easier to have a PDF version like they used to have. Consequently, it is more difficult for us to pass the documentation to our internal teams.
For example, if we are trying to configure a module for Informatica or SAP, it's hard because we don't have PDF documentation. We need to go online but it is difficult because it is very hard to find what you are looking for.
Another area of improvement for Control-M is the version release lifecycle. Prior to 2018, we had the same, main version of Control-M for two or three years. Since 2018, they have been releasing a new version every year. There was a 2018, 2019, and 2020 version. It seems that these new versions are being released in an unfinished state because we are seeing a lot of bugs. Historically, it has been very stable, but from a point between two and three years ago, it has not been so much so. It seems that the problem is that the versions are changing too quickly.
They really need to work on improving the web interface, as there are still a lot of bugs.
Also, the new Helix Control-M version doesn't seem quite ready for prime time for many of us.
In general, they need to do a lot of work on shoring up their testing and quality assurance. A lot of bugs seem to make it into the product.View full review »
Control-M reporting is a bit of a pain point right now. Control-M doesn't have robust reporting. I would like to see better reporting options. I would like to be able to pull charts or statistics that look nicer. Right now, we can pull some data, but it is kind of choppy. It would be nicer to have enterprise-level reporting that you can present to managers.View full review »
Since we are using version 9.0.18, the web interface is a bit outdated and doesn't really support all our needs. However, we are migrating to 9.0.20, which should give us a lot more options, even in the web interface.
The unifying features between Control-M for different platforms needs improvement. The scheduling options on the Control-M mainframe jobs are different than they are on our Linux server. There are a few differences here and there.
There are capability-related issues between versions, but I think the latest fix pack has that covered. BMC has been doing a pretty good job about this.
DBA Team Leader at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
There is definitely room for improvement. Version 9.0.20 actually comes with a web-based interface, but there are still a lot of things unavailable with it. There will eventually be more inclusions added into the web interface, but there is still a long way to go.
There is also the automation API, which is a way to interact with Control-M, but it also needs a lot of improvement for other people to understand how to use it.
The documentation isn't really straightforward for the initial setup. It says, "Follow the on-screen instructions." The reason why people read the documentation is to have a heads up of what to expect and what is coming up. However, when you say, "Follow the on-screen instructions," I believe that is inappropriate.View full review »
A lot of businesses are using ServiceNow, which is another tool. I would like there to be some integration with ServiceNow or other third-party tools as well as have easily available integrations. Right now, we need to write scripts. Apart from that, if there were some integrations with an ITSM tool, then that would be good. Because at the end of the day, most of our clients are using different ITSM tools. I know that BMC Remedy is easy to integrate with Control-M. However, if there was availability for Jira as well as other ITSM and DevOps tools, that would be a good improvement.View full review »
We have had a few small bugs with the configuration of the different types of jobs where it is the order of operations if it's doing a statement, we've noticed that if you try and do a little bit of both, it may cause one of them not to work.
We've also had a few database bugs within our organization. I think we are migrating to OpenJDK rather than just regular Java and that has since shown some issues with our Control-M instance, timing out and causing our jobs to stop running. We are still working with BMC to fine-tune that and get that resolved.
I believe the file transfer process does everything that it needs to do. I don't believe that there's anything that would need to be changed there with all the features that it has, it's pretty robust. But overall I don't really see many changes that we would need.
The biggest improvement they could have is better QA testing before releases come out the door.View full review »
After we complete FTP jobs, those FTP jobs will be cleared from the Control-M schedule after the noon refresh. So, I struggle to find out where those jobs are saved. Then, we need to request execution of the FTP jobs again. If there could be an option to show the logs, which have been previously completed, that would help us. I can find all other job logs from the server side, but FTP job logs. Maybe I am missing the feature, or if it is not there, it could be added.
When integrating different projects through Control-M, sometimes dependencies cannot be identified.View full review »
Operator /Assistant Scheduler at Engen
Everybody's biggest gripe is the reporting capability option. It is a gripe because there is a lot of information in Control-M, but the solution doesn't have a good reporting tool to extract that information. Now, if you want all that information, you need to rely on another third-party BI tool to extract the information out of Control-M.
Two or three years ago, I was at a seminar where they said that they were looking at improving the reporting. However, from that time until now, there hasn't been much of a change in the reporting capabilities. Especially in today's day and age, where accessing data has become very important, this is something that they should be looking at.
We are using Commvault as our backup application. Currently, there is no integration between Control-M and Commvault.View full review »
In general, it is a very good product, and we are very happy with it. It meets all of our expectations.
Although we have used the Smart Tables facility for a long time, today we have had a need to process services that include processes that combine Mainframe and non-mainframe jobs (Windows, SAP, Informatica). An improvement for Control-M EM would be the possibility of creating combined Smart Tables, that is, they include mainframe and non-mainframe jobs so that the work order can be generated with the Unique option. Today, to achieve this we must manage global Conditions with Variables and generating a unique code to pass to the MF tables and not MF. Let me name this feature “Global Smart Tables”.
Another need we have is that Control-M MFT also supports commercial file transfer protocols such as CA-XCOM.
DevOps Expert at Saint-Gobain ADFORS CZ s.r.o.
I would like to have a web version of Control-M to replace the client. Currently, our support and jobs-creation teams are using the client and that needs to be installed on a PC. It's very heavy, consuming a lot of resources compared to the web portal. I know that they're trying to improve the client with the latest version, but for me, there hasn't been enough improvement yet. I think their roadmap shows that there will not be a new version next year, due to the crisis. I think the next major version will only come out in two years.View full review »
Compared to similar technologies, AFT takes a lot of time when transferring a large file from server to server.
The history module only contains a maximum of 10 days, but we would like to have access to more. For example, it would be helpful to have 30 days or two months of history available.
There should be more granular control available for monitoring applications and sub-applications. For example, when we want to monitor a job, we can specify the application, but we want to have the option to only specify sub-applications that are related to it. As it is now, all of the sub-applications are monitored.View full review »
The user interface is not that good. While we know that BMC is working on it, the user interface is how we work in the client. Also, the web version is quite slow when compared to the client version.
Currently, per our requirements, we are planning to use Control-M Web more. However, because the UI is not good and still not up to the standard, we are not using it fully. This is one area where BMC needs to really focus further development.
For installing or upgrading the PeopleSoft and SAP plugins, currently there is no way to do it via Control-M Configuration Manager. So, we are installing or upgrading the plugins, like PeopleSoft and SAP, manually. If BMC could provide an option via Control-M Configuration Manager to upgrade these plugins, it probably would reduce a lot of manual work as well as ease our work. This is one improvement that I personally want to see, because it would help our way of working.View full review »
Control-M reporting isn't that good. It is very limited. We would like the ability to create our own reports as well as the ability to publish dashboards in the cloud, which would help us. Improved reporting will help us determine statuses and get the answers that we need. However, I personally think BMC is not focusing on the reporting. I have even visited the BMC office in India, and asked, "Why haven't you improved the reporting?"
There are some latency issues with jobs between on-premises and the cloud. BMC is helping a lot to check the imports and exports from version 7 to version 9, including the EM server and the mainframe.
Control-M could improve agentless connectivity a little more. We are using it almost 100% with agents, but when we start using agentless, Sainsbury's Bank has different security mechanisms and we cannot install Control-M. For example, the agentless connection fluctuates a lot, which triggers alerts.View full review »
Project Manager at a energy/utilities company with 10,001+ employees
Integration with some applications and platforms is complex and requires development. We have done some integration with the application integrator, but it was more like a manual solution. This is an area that can be improved.View full review »
A Control-M on-prem license is based on the number of jobs, which is the number of tasks a particular customer wants to have. These tasks have to be run within 24 hours window. For example, if you have a license for 100 jobs, you can run a maximum of 100 jobs in a 24-hour window. If your operations could not run 10 jobs, and they ran only 90 jobs, they just carry over to the next day, but the next day, they will have 110 jobs. Control-M asks you to buy those 10 more licenses because you were out of compliance in terms of the number of licenses. This is something that needs to be indicated in Control-M GUI so that customers know the number of licenses they're going to use in this time window.
Their support and documentation should be improved. I am not that satisfied with their customer support. Sometimes, they don't have the answers. Their documentation is very poor. It is not well written, and it is not in a very logical manner.
You can use it on Unix, Linux, Windows, and AIX, but it needs some improvement on iSeries. It needs a built-in mechanism inside the system to give you an option to restore from the last point of failure. If a process crashes, the Control-M needs to have a mechanism in iSeries where the process can be restored from the last point of failure.
In these three areas, I would like to see improvements in Control-M:
- It is not giving us diagnostic logs during job runs.
- I would like them to beautify the dashboards, in terms of the number of jobs processed which have failed or are in progress.
- Control-M doesn't have any dynamic reporting facilities or features.
Tech lead at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Some of the features are not available. We were about to deploy the REST API, but we had some challenges. We had to use a third-party application. So, it should be improved in terms of integrating REST API jobs. That was something that was lacking. The customer was not that happy in terms of getting the desired output. So, we had to use a third-party application called Hangfire. We would like to have more videos on REST API integration, and we would like to have easy integration with the Control-M application through the REST API.View full review »
Administrator at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
I would like to see more audit report templates added, and perhaps more customizability in terms of reporting.View full review »
System Engineering Manager at a marketing services firm with 10,001+ employees
The infrastructure updates could use improvement. Some of the previous updates that we have run to get to version nineteen were troublesome. So, a more seamless upgrade path for the infrastructure components would be useful. I don't know if they have replaced that in version 20 or if version 20 has an easier path, but I would like to see the upgrade from one version to the next version be a little smoother.
I can't think of any features that are missing at this time. It's a pretty complete solution.
The licensing needs to be improved. It's a bit difficult right now.
You need to pay for extra features if you need them. Other options have them for free as part of their offering.
The product could be more affordable. Right now, we consider it to be expensive.View full review »
AWS Certified Solution Architect at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Its cost should be improved. It is more expensive than other solutions.
Its architecture is old. AutoSys gives more flexibility.
Some companies have found Control-M a very cost solution, and they thing it’s not worth the investment.
My recommendation is that they can evaluate some points like Control-M is a leader in EMA Analysis (similar to Gartner Studio), and see the potential of Control-M and the immediate benefits that it can have to the Business.
It’s my understanding that BMC will be releasing Control-M Saas, which will have a new commercial schema, more accesible than the On-Premise schema.View full review »
Technical Director at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
There are four things that need to be improved about Control-M:
- Improvement in the slow architecture. Distributed architecture is not currently supported.
- The report form and display function are weak; they are not very powerful.
- The Web interface is not yet a complete replacement for the C/S interface.
- SSO and multi-tenant features are not yet supported.
An issue we have run into in our lower environments is that Control-M can log you out frequently. This happens when you have a lot of applications running. Maybe it's just a configuration issue, but this is a pain point that would be good to look into.View full review »
Some companies have found Control-M a very costly solution, and they think it’s not worth the investment. My recommendation is that they can evaluate some points like Control-M is a leader in EMA Analysis (similar to Gartner Studio), and see the potential of Control-M and the immediate benefits that it can have to the Business. It’s my understanding that BMC will be releasing Control-M Saas, which will have a new commercial schema, more accessible than the On-Premise schema.View full review »
Its installation can be better. Currently, we have to install it manually. The file transfer feature can also be improved. It is not very easy to transfer a file from business to business.
In terms of new features, they can include new technologies. It can have API integration.View full review »
Software Engineer at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
I think it's slightly expensive but at the same time, it's a good product.View full review »