Concept (XML task file)


Concept (XML task file)


To schedule or not to schedule ?


Scheduling a task is very useful for a lot of purposes. Your task (what you need to process) can be done using a script (page) that will be executed.


Here are some ideas :


  • Update currency values daily
    If your website allows your customers to display the price of your products in more than one currency, you should take into consideration currency market fluctuations and display the most current price so your customer will not be unhappy to see a different price on the final bill. Just write a script/page (ASP, ASP.NET, ...) that updates these values and schedules it to run everyday!

  • Send monthly sales reports

    You run a great e-commerce application and you want to receive a monthly report of the online sales? Write a script that generates the report and schedule it for monthly delivery.

  • Clear a temp directory

    You need to clear a temp directory on Monday’s and Tuesday’s? It's easier that you think.

  • Send weekly newsletter

    You publish news on your website daily, and you want to send an email that contains all the news of the last 7 days. This can be done automatically! Schedule the script that generates and sends the email and then schedule it to run each week !

  • etc…



You want to schedule...


You have several way to schedule the execution of your script (task) that will process what you want :


  1. Using Windows’ built-in task scheduler

    You can add a task that will execute a script. You will be able to execute VBScript.

    Plus: Works pretty well
    Minus: Only the server administrator can add tasks

  2. Application_Start and Session_Start trick

    You can use an Application variable to store "scheduled tasks" and then write a function in Session_Start that will check if a task needs to be run: if the actual time is greater that the scheduled time, then we run the task and flag it as having been run using the Application variable.

    Plus: You can use this system without any additional software.
    Minus: Not reliable. Everything depends on the Session_Start procedure running that needs to be triggered by a hypothetical visitor.


  3. Using ActiveQ

    This is the easiest and most reliable way to schedule the execution of your processing scripts.

    Plus: You have total control without having administrator privileges!
    Minus: The server administrator needs to install ActiveQ (really a minus?)


It's easier that you think


ActiveQ will help you schedule your tasks easily by querying your page using an HTTP GET or POST method… If you are an ISP, ActiveQ is the ideal application to provide scheduling capabilities to your users. You only need to define an XML configuration file (in the user’s web directory so they can edit it themselves) and then add it to the scheduled task files list.



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