I'm afraid that since v11.5, Datawatch have made desktop automation a feature that requires a special licence. There is v12 with automation, but it costs significantly more than the standard desktop licence, and you might find it makes sense to migrate the scripts to Datawatch Server instead.
Did you buy the upgrade direct from Datawatch or via a reseller/distributor? I have to ask because I would have thought that at least someone in the sales process might have mentioned this important consideration.
Starting with Monarch 11.5 Datawatch removed the automation part of the program that let you automate tasks in batch and VBA files in a move to have users move to the Automator/Datapump program.
Teh automation package for the desktop is still avaliable but requires a separate license. From what I hear, that license runs around $25,000.
At work we are still using Monarch 10.5 and have 99% of our Monarch use scripted as trying to justify spending that kind of money is difficult at best when they are talking about cut backs.
In my opinion Modeler is a major step back from Monarch 10.5, in usability, speed and licensing. Its like using a new program. When I eventually have to move users to a new version off of 10.5 because of O/S requirements, I might as well move them to TextCoverter. At least with that software the $2000 version allows automation. Don't need automation you only pay $950.
It seems like Datawatch has become an enterprise focused company, and isn't concerned with the SMB market. That is a far cry from the Datawatch that had the Monarch User Conference here in Phoenix back in 2008.
I remember Phoenix - I wish Datawatch would have another user conference sometime. I remember meeting a couple of people then - Ray Huger, who invented Monarch back in 1991, was there, as was the then CEO of Datawatch. I had great feelings about the product, but worries about the company back then.
At one point in 2009, I think, Datawatch had about 7 million dollars of cash in the bank, and a total stock market valuation of only about 8 million dollars. From the crisis in August 2008, the SMB market largely stopped paying maintenance on Monarch, or upgrading, perhaps because Monarch 10.5 was just a great product.
You got desktop automation, a really fast product, an interface that was a natural evolution from v4 through to v10, all for under a $1000 a seat. But the management weren't interested in selling single copies and so pushed all the business through the channel, which led to Datawatch having hundreds of thousands of users, but not knowing who they were and not earning anything from them.
Management back then wasted the revenue on some pretty silly acquisitions - BDS, MailManager... - and completely missed opportunities to get into visualisations - they messed up a partnership with DI Diver, and didn't "get" Tableau.
Development of v11 was just horrible - 11.0 was followed by 11.1 and so on to 11.9, which gives you an idea of the QA resources Datawatch invested in that mess. I feel partly responsible - I suggested the floating field list which I thought would be useful, but making that something you could update live while looking at your data messed with the interface and the result wasn't properly thought through.
So v12 comes along, and I think Datawatch have got this one right. It's not perfect - the release notes for the latest patch showed a ton of tiny niggly bugs that needed ironing out. But it's solid - I've not crashed it in production - it's fast enough, but I know there are tweaks coming to make it faster, but if you've got a report you think runs slower in v12, please share it and I'll happily benchmark it here. Also the PDF handling is way better - Stretch and Crop and Zoom let you really control the white space to make difficult reports parse-able.
The usability's OK, I think. Once you get the idea of Design mode, and Accept your changes to commit them, you can do everything you did before, and more. I like having more external lookups and more fields in the table - I don't ever hit the "maximum record length exceeded" error anymore. I've seen some users jump into quickly, and others need more training to hunt around to find the options they want, but I certainly don't think it's a backward step.
There are things in v12 I don't like - the forced conversion from XML to binary formats for models and projects, coupled with the absence of a Utility, makes it annoying when managing large libraries of models. But that will get fixed - I hope before Christmas.
Since the new management of Datawatch took over, Datawatch has acquired the IP of Monarch, bought Panopticon, raised $50m of working capital, and delivered a decent stable version of Monarch on a future-proof scalable local SQL platform. I think they're about halfway there in merging Modeler (Monarch) and Designer (Panopticon), both on the desktop and the server. When that happens, we'll be able to take data from any source, and turn it into auditable, trustworthy dashboards, without programming. It's that goal which keeps me hanging in here.
But what about automation? Datawatch turned it off in 11.5, silently, in the terms and conditions of the end user licence agreement of a minor point upgrade. Nice touch... They then didn't publish a price for a copy of Monarch with automation enabled - if you wanted what you used to have, you had to ask them nicely to find out what it would cost you - again, classy. I don't know have an MBA and I don't pretend to know much about business, but I can understand how customers without DataPump might feel about that.
Yes, it's true that some of these customers' stopped paying maintenance, didn't deploy DataPump when it was $5000, and abused the licence to run Monarch on a server and solve huge ETL workflows for peanuts. But to treat all the customers as if they were your enemy and not your friend, and to make no comment to the community or the market about the policy, strikes me as short-sighted.
I still think that automation doesn't belong on the desktop and should be done on the server - that's just my view having managed a Monarch / DataPump deployment for six years, and having helped at other customers. But I have to be careful - the last time I wrote that on the forum, someone accused me of being in Datawatch's pocket. I'm not - I genuinely have no stock, no options and no commission. If you decide that TextConverter, or an awk script, or anything else is a better approach, it makes no difference to me. But if you'd like a chat about managing Monarch, and managing users and models through an upgrade, and what the options are for Server and Automator, then I'd be happy to help.
Olly, thank you for taking the time to type this. It helps me appreciate where Datawatch is now. In my opinion, Monarch 10.5 was the Windows XP of Datawatch. It was so good, and so popular. I don't feel that they've improved upon it, with the exception of providing support for some extreme data heavy users.
I may be in the minority. But V12 gives me important improvements, more fields, lookups, and traps. It’s stable. The first V11 version was a horrible upgrade from V10 although latter patches did fix many of the initial issues. At the Vegas conference ~ +10 years ago I asked about DI Diver since I used with Monarch. Datawatch told me the issue is DI Diver management who dropped the ball and may not be that interested the partnership. I prefer using Datawatch Designer over Tableau based on Designer’s performance and UI. The UI when dealing with over 40 fields, filtering, continual changing filtering status, dragging fields back and forth is more effective, transparent than Tableau. The copy paste to excel is easier. I agree with Olly “Once you get the idea of Design mode, and accept your changes to commit them, you can do everything you did before, and more.” As far as complete merging of Modeler with Designer, I’m okay keeping the products and process separate. But then again I do remember with Di Diver it was nice with one click in Monarch’s table mode be in DiDiver with the performance boost outside of Monarch. I used VB automation and at one time had data pump personal edition. So, I too would be angry if my prior scripts didn’t work. Just some thoughts based on using all versions since Monarch V2 for DOS. Best John