VisualCron is an automation, integration and task scheduling tool for Windows

Task Scheduler or Job Scheduler

We are basically talking about the same thing here – just different names for the same thing. In VisualCron we have Jobs and Tasks. A Job is a placeholder for one or more Tasks. What we call Tasks are sometimes called Actions in other tools. A Task could be to Download a file, Execute a process or make a SQL query.

The need for a Job Scheduling solution

The most common reasons for using a Job scheduling solution is to reduce manual work which both takes time and resources but also is very error prone. Manual errors costs a lot – both to handle and to fix. But the world has also changed in the last 20 years. Going from a 9-5 to around the clock business would not be possible without the help of computers But to be able to do that you need software that can automatically handle this for you, around the clock, without your need for attention.

As it now requires 24 hours a day support the downtime must be minimized. This means that you need to plan, to schedule, when something should be done. To make your service perform better you might need to automate maintenance during non peak hours – maintenance that can not be run during business hours because it slows down performance or aborts production.

Today, the customers expects zero or very little delay. Loading or waiting time is not accepted. Realtime data is expected. In order to provide this you need automation that reacts to changes and events right away and produces accurate results based on the events. You need a system that can handle and provide this for you and is also built on the same ideas.

Task scheduling yesterday and today

Years ago, many relied on the built in Scheduled Tasks. Still, many do and has seen the limitations of it. One of the problems with using the built in task scheduler is the lack of actions or tasks. This, in turn leads to custom scripts that it hard to manage and test. This defeats the whole purpose of Windows – to be able to use a graphical user interface to get a clear overview. Also, this requires more from the user, to be able to understand the scripts and executables. Maintaining these scripts costs a lot. Also, this can cause unimaginable effects when something has changed and the script no longer works. Built in error handling will give you options to retry and notify you when something fails. Because of the lack of the above you cannot rely on the built in Scheduled Tasks.

What you need is a task scheduling tool that gives you a clear overview of the current status. A tool where you can test something easily without the risk of breaking anything. Audit logs will also help you with seeing what was changed, by who and when. Clear output from Tasks will give you a more accurate reason why something failed. The VisualCron interface is built to manage many Jobs and Tasks at once.

Moving from Windows Task Scheduler to VisualCron

Moving from the Windows Task Scheduler to a much more advanced scheduler and automation tool like VisualCron is easy. VisualCron is able to connect to any existing task scheduler instance and import settings and translate to the VisualCron standard.

Cross platform scheduling

Today, we do not just have one server, one application or one system. Often, our data center or equivalent consists of multiple solutions and operating systems. These could be ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning systems, web servers or applications. When considering a solution you need to evaulate and find a tool which supports cross platform execution and scheduling. A tool that works with commons standards and protocols. VisualCron can schedule Tasks that executes on Windows on Linux systems and return back result on that.

Centralized scheduling solution

A centralized solution for scheduling reduces the maintenance and gives a better overview of the system. This is one of the requirements for a enterprise job scheduler. With the growing demand for control and one click fix all functionality, it helps to manage everything from one place.

Many descriptions on similar solutions

Job scheduling software, batch job scheduler, task scheduler software, orchestration software, windows scheduling and enterprise scheduler are some of many descriptions for this kind of software.

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