The Scheduler is the key function that determines when and how tasks are triggered. Rather than using Windows Task Scheduler, SQL-RD uses ChristianSteven's proprietary scheduler to execute tasks. This creates a far more reliable, dedicated scheduling system.
Within SQL-RD, the following scheduling options are available:
Note: Use the links above to navigate to the section of the page which contains a description of and directions for setting up each scheduling option listed.
SQL-RD can be used as an ad-hoc report managing tool with no scheduling. If you do not want any automated scheduling, select this option. However, this means you will need to execute each schedule manually.
This option is also used to uninstall any previously installed scheduling services.
To choose this options, perform the following:
1. Click the radio button next to No Schedule Required.
2. Click Apply Setting. This will uninstall any previously installed Schedulers and apply the new settings.
Background Application Scheduler
The background application scheduler is a windows application which monitors SQL-RD and fires off reports when they become due.
Note: The background scheduler is an application independent of SQL-RD. Therefore, it will stop working if the user logs off or the PC is shut down. If you want to be able to log off the PC without stopping SQL-RD scheduling, then you must install and use the Windows (NT) Service Scheduler.
To use the background application scheduler, perform the following:
1. Select the radio button next to Use background scheduling application (recommended).
2. Click Apply Setting.
3. Click Start Service to start the scheduler.
4. Click Apply at the bottom right of the Options window.
Now, let's look at the Polling Intervals, Multi-Threading, and Miscellaneous options.
NT (Windows) Service Scheduler
The NT service is a Windows service. It installs into the Windows "Services" control panel. As this is a windows service, it will continue to run scheduled reports even when there is no user logged on to the PC.
Note: The machine MUST be powered on in order for the NT Service to work. If the machine is not on, the NT Service cannot run and schedules will not kick off as scheduled.
Prior to selecting the NT Service option as your Scheduler, you must ensure that the following pre-requisites have been met:
- You are logged onto the machine/server as the NT Service user
- The above listed NT Service user has the following windows security rights on the PC you are installing it on:
- Act as part of the operating system
- Log on as a service
- Is a member of the Local Administrators security group
- If you are using MS Exchange Server, the above listed NT Service user must have full rights to the designated email account.
These security requirements are stipulated by Windows. If you are unsure how to set up Windows security settings, your system administrator will be able to help.
Setting up the NT Service
Once you have ensured that the above pre-requisites have been met, perform the following:
1. Select the radio button next to Use NT Service (advanced users on Windows NT, 2000 or later).
2. Enter the following credentials:
- Windows Domain: Type in the Domain name. If you are using MS Exchange Server, then this must be your network domain so that SQL-RD can connect to your Exchange server.
- Windows User Name: Enter the username for the above user.
- Windows Password: Enter the password for the above user.
3. Click Apply Setting.
4. Verify that each of the requirements listed on the NT Service Checklist window have been met. If so, check each of the boxes and click Proceed.
Note: If you have not completed the listed requirements and/or do not check all of the boxes, you will be unable to continue setting up the NT Service.
5. If you have configured SQL-RD to use MAPI mail, you will be prompted to select the type of email system you are using with SQL-RD: Stand Alone Outlook, Exchange Server, or Exchange Web Service. Once you have selected the appropriate option from the drop-down menu, click OK.
6. The NT Service will now install. Once completed, the service will be visible in the windows "Services" control panel and will be known as SQL-RD. You should also see SQL-RD Monitor. This is a monitoring service which ensures that the SQL-RD service is continually running.
7. If it is not already grayed out, select Start Service.
8. Click Apply at the bottom right of the Options window, if available.
Note: If any of the above credentials are changed (e.g. the password is changed or times out), the service will stop running. Under these circumstances, you will have to uninstall it and re-install it ensuring you enter the new credentials correctly. We recommend that your system administrator ensures that the NT user's credentials never change and never time out.
Now, let's look at the Polling Intervals, Multi-Threading, and Miscellaneous options.
Additional Scheduling Options
After setting up the Scheduler you will use, you will see three additional sections that allow you to configure the following: Polling Interval, Multi-Threading, and Miscellaneous options.
The Scheduler you selected polls the SQL-RD schedule database at regular intervals to see if there are any schedules to execute. The polling interval defines how often you wish the Scheduler to check for schedules that need to run.
You can set separate polling intervals for standard schedules and event based schedules.
The CPU Priority determines how CPU is prioritized by Windows for SQL-RD during the exporting
If you select the checkbox next to Pre-Check Database conditions using multiple threads, SQL-RD will use multi-threading technology to check multiple conditions for multiple schedules using up to 5 threads. This can increase the speed at which SQL-RD runs Event Based Schedules.
Enabling multi-threading allows up to 4 reports to be exported simultaneously.
When Multi-Threading is enabled, your system resources will be shared. This will not always mean that reports will take 1/4 the normal time.
"You have 4 reports. Each one takes 15 minutes to export. In single threaded mode, it would take 1 hour to complete the export. In multi-threaded mode, you would expect it to take 15 minutes for all 4.
However, the sharing of your system resources by 4 reports may result in each report taking longer than 15 minutes, and the total time for 4 reports may be more than 15 minutes (but definitely less than 1 hour)."
Note: Combine Collaboration with multi-threading to further increase your reporting performance. Each collaborator (SQL-RD installation) will receive 4 threads. For example: If you have 3 Collaborators, you have a total of 12 threads available to use.
Two of the three options under the Miscellaneous section pertain to the SQL-RD Editor. This refers to the actual SQL-RD User Interface that you are currently viewing (where you create and edit schedules, etc.).
If you would like SQL-RD to open and NOT automatically start the Scheduler, check the box next to Do not check and restart the scheduler on editor start-up. Checking this option means that you will have to manually start the scheduler each time you open SQL-RD.
Note: Failure to manually start the Scheduler, if this option is checked, will mean that schedules will not run as expected.
If you want the Scheduler to restart automatically, but not immediately after opening SQL-RD, check the box next to On editor start-up, delay restarting the scheduler. Then, select how many minutes you would like to wait before the Scheduler starts again.
If you want the Scheduler to stop running completely for a designated period of time (e.g. between 1 and 2 am, before 10 am, etc.), perform the following:
- Check the box next to Use Blackout times for the scheduler.
- Click the ellipses button (...).
- On the pop-up that appears, click the drop down and select <New..>.
- Name the event you are blacking out the Scheduler for and select the days and times you wish to turn the Scheduler off.
- Click OK.
- Click OK on the Scheduler Blackout Times window.
Note: If a schedule is running when blackout times go into effect, the schedule will complete its run. However, no new schedules will run during blackout times.
If you changed any of the settings in the Polling Intervals, Multi-threading, or Miscellaneous sections, click Apply in the bottom right of the Options window. Failure to do so will result in your changes not being saved.
Once you have successfully set up the scheduler you will be using, you will gain access to the SQL-RD/Scheduler Agent, which gives you easy access to many scheduling options. The SQL-RD/Scheduler Agent appears as a red and white bell icon that is visible in the system tray (next to the clock) when the Scheduler is running. It looks like this:
Double-clicking this icon will bring up the full Scheduler Agent.
The full Scheduler Agent is also available within SQL-RD on the right-hand side of the screen (after you click System).
Stopping the Scheduler: To stop the scheduler using the Agent, open the scheduler agent, and click the red Stop button. The stop light will switch to yellow then red. This will stop the scheduler and no reports or task will execute. If you open SQL-RD, the scheduler will automatically restart.
Note: You can turn off the automatic restart of the Scheduler using the instructions listed in the Miscellaneous section above.
Starting the Scheduler: To start the Scheduler using the Agent, open the Scheduler Agent, and click the green Start button. The light will switch from red to yellow to green. Once enabled, your schedules will resume their normal running.
You can also review other system information such as the polling interval, the number of schedules found during the last poll, and the type of Scheduler the system is using.
If you do not wish to open the SQL-RD/Scheduler Agent, right-click the system tray icon to gain access to the following functions:
- Load Editor - Opens SQL-RD
- System Monitor - Opens just the SQL-RD System Monitor
- Exit - Closes the SQL-RD/Scheduler Agent
Congratulations! You have successfully configured your Scheduler Settings.