THE DEMO: Automate anything with VisualCron

VisualCron is a task scheduler and automation tool that allows you to do what the built-in task editor in Windows doesn’t. The latest version, 5.1.6, was released in June by Sweden-based NetCart.

VisualCron uses a client-server architecture and the programming interface provides a way for users to interact between VisualCron and their own applications, said Henrik Erlandsson, founder of VisualCron.

“The client communicates locally and over the Internet, so many users are sitting at their local computers and configuring a server across the globe,” he said.

The number of tasks you can automate using this tool is extensive. Just some of the functions include file handling (read/write/delete/copy), file transfer (FTP/FTPS/SFTP/HTTP), posting and receiving information through HTTP, executing commands on Linux through SSH, powering off remote computers, and starting and stopping processes, batch files, services and e-mail.

But the most commonly used task is transferring files between systems, noted Erlandsson. “What we are trying to do is cover all the main protocols to transfer information,” he said.

Other popular tasks include SQL queries/stored procedures and automatic encryption/decryption. The company is currently working to add instant message notifications and a task that can add or remove users from a server, he said.

Real time updates, a report generator and an archive task for compressing and decompressing zip files with encryption are other features included.

What sets VisualCron apart from its handful of competitors, according to Erlandsson, is that an unlimited number of clients that can connect to one server at a time.

More than half the company’s clients are based in the U.S. and include NASA, government organizations and banks. The United Nations also uses VisualCron, he said.

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