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Schedule Jobs

Figure: Example Schedule Jobs Screen

At the top of the form you can select the session which is being set up. There are three tabs of sessions (Morning, Afternoon and Miscellaneous) with seven sessions in each tab. To set up a particular session, select the tab and then the session within the tab. When you start the Schedule Processor, Process Jobs it has corresponding session buttons. You select the required session and all the jobs which you have set up in this form for that session are performed.

A list of all jobs which have been set up for the session are shown. As you change the session, using the buttons at the top of the form, the listed jobs change. The details for each job within the list can be seen by double-clicking the line.

Since jobs are set up to be run on a routine basis, it would be useless if you had to specify an actual date for date parameters. Every time you wanted to start the Schedule Processor you would have to get into this program and change the dates in order to do meaningful processing.

Instead of real dates, you can enter variables such as $TODAY or $START_NEXT_WEEK. Process Jobs automatically translates these variables into the required date, using the date started as $TODAY. If the Schedule Processor started on Wednesday night and ran through to early Thursday morning, $TODAY would always be considered as Wednesday. You can also add and subtract numbers to the variables for extra flexibility, for example $TODAY+2. Parameters which require a statistics period can also use variables such as $THIS_PERIOD.

Reports which require specific parameters such as Location or Department can also be set up as a job. You simply select the report required and enter the parameters requested. On some reports you don’t have to enter all the parameters. You may find it easier to do the following:

  1. Run the report program directly.

  2. Set the parameters.

  3. Press the Schedule button.

This adds the report to today's afternoon session. You can then check the session details and see just how the report is set up. Note that when you run a report from its program, the parameters you enter are validated. When you enter the parameters in this program, the parameters are not validated. If you don’t specify a valid department you don’t get any data on your report!

Job Type

Usually set to ‘Default’. A 'Default' job will be run each time the session is processed. A 'Request' job will be run once then removed from the session.

Sequence#

This is a sequence number which determines the order in which jobs are performed. For example, a job with sequence number 10 will be performed before a job with sequence number 50. If you leave this blank when entering a new job, it will automatically be given a sequence number 10 higher than the current highest sequence number. This effectively places the job at the end of the queue. If you need a job to run between two existing jobs, simply enter a sequence number which falls between the two existing jobs.

Process

The actual task which needs to be performed. This can include checking for expired costs or running reports. See Scheduled Tasks for an explanation of available tasks. The tasks are grouped by type to make it easier to find a particular task.

Parameters

Up to twenty parameters can be entered to control a task. When a task is selected, the labels of parameters which are required are automatically displayed. In the above example, there are two labels, Start Date and End Date. Only those parameters with a label need to be entered. If you enter data into any parameter which does not have a label it will be ignored.

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