Helmsman is a VME workload scheduling and control system. 

Working in conjunction with Fujitsu, we are able to announce that Helmsman v2.50 has been verified as operating successfully on Fujitsu’s Modern VME Environment (MVE).  For those customers who are planning to move to MVE, there are some amendments that need to be applied.  These are detailed at the end of this page.  

Helmsman is designed to benefit any VME installation in the areas of:

  • Work scheduling
  • Job set-up and execution
  • Workload control and workload tuning
  • Unattended and automated operation.

Helmsman is designed to benefit and address the requirements of:

  • Operations management  – by automating day-to-day scheduling of the batch workload
  • Capacity management – through information on performance and resource usage of the batch workload
  • Applications management – by enabling applications to run more effectively and with less use of applications programming
  • Service desk staff/support technicians – by enabling staff to integrate and investigate batch work at the point of failure
  • Service level management – by offering facilities which enable agreed services to be loaded and closed in accordance with service level agreements and support for batch and print turnaround times
  • Users – by enabling the planning and implementation of their own batch work schedule in a strictly controlled manner.

Helmsman contributes to cost savings by:

  • Controlling batch workload, opening/closing of online services, system loading and shut-down procedures, and recovery after system crashes
  • Improving utilisation of existing hardware
  • Reducing wasted time and resources resulting from re-runs caused by human error
  • Providing information and facilities to tune individual jobs or whole workloads
  • Helping set up work to be run in the future with dependencies catered for
  • Automating issuing of all batch work and system procedures
  • Enabling unattended operation of your VME system


Product status

The following product version continues to be supported:

     Helmsman version 2.50

     The latest generally issued amendment is number 250-128.

Software Notice 38 (v2020.3) provides a summary (RRL) of all currently available amendments.


As mentioned above, Helmsman 2.50 is now verified to run on MVE.

There are three new amendments plus one updated amendment that must be applied (091/1, 136, 137/1 and 138) prior to the move to MVE.  A further amendment (139) is also recommended, although this corrects a problem that could occur on the superNOVA platform as well as MVE.  These can be applied on the current VME superNOVA platform in order to ease the eventual transition to MVE.  Further information can be obtained direct from Fox Systems Software.

For those that are interested, click here to read a 'History of Helmsman'.

All support matters should be sent via email to support@FoxSystemsSoftware.co.uk


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