How To Set-Up A Scheduled Task In Sitecore

Having scheduled re-occurring tasks is a very common website requirement, and is the reason why almost all of the major CMS systems provide some way to create and set scheduled tasks and Sitecore is no exception. From past projects, I’ve created scheduled tasks to sync content from CMS systems, clear database logs, send emails, log people out of systems and probably a number of other things I’ve forgotten about now. In today’s guide, I’m going to cover the basic code structure you need to create a scheduled task in Sitecore and how to enable that task so it runs.

What Code Do I Need to Create a Sitecore Scheduled Task?

The code to create a scheduled task in Sitecore is pretty straightforward:

using System;
using Utils;
namespace WebsiteNamespace
{
public class SitecoreScheduledTask
{
private static readonly object Monitor = new object();
public void Run()
{
// Do exciting stuff
lock (Monitor)
{
}
}
}
}

You don’t have to implement any interfaces, or classes. You just need to make sure your class has a public method that won’t take any parameters, the default Sitecore convention is to call this method Run() method. In the Run() method add the code you want to run.

Defining Your Scheduled Task in Sitecore

If you have ever needed to upgrade or install Sitecore, then you will know a lot of your website’s configuration settings are done in .config files, either in the web.config, or, the ‘App_Config’ directory. Creating your own custom scheduling agent is very similar. To define an agent you need to add a new entry in:

/configuration/Sitecore/scheduling

If you look in your web.config you’ll be able to find a bunch of default Sitecore scheduled tasks in this section. Each new task is added using an element. In the element you define the class to invoke and the time interval it should run under.

WARNING : If you are new to Sitecore it is very strongly recommended that you keep your web.config as stock as possible so upgrading, later on, is easier. As upgrades usually involve a lot of changes to the config files, it’s best to have all your custom configs in its own file. The less you have to untangle the easier your life will be.

A typical custom .config files which add a custom scheduler, will look like the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<!-- For more information on using transformations 
see the web.config examples at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=214134. -->
<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/" xmlns:set="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/set/" xmlns:xdt="http://schemas.microsoft.com/XML-Document-Transform">
<sitecore>
<scheduling xdt:Transform="Insert">
<agent type="[NAMESPACE.CLASSNAME], [ASSEMBLEY_NAME]" method="Run" interval="00:20:00"></agent>
</scheduling>
</sitecore>
</configuration>

Using the code for the scheduled task above and assuming that class was compiled into an assembly called, Website.Core assembly, my agent definition would look like this:

<agent type="WebsiteNamespace.SitecoreScheduledTask, Website.Core" method="Run" interval="00:20:00"></agent>
</scheduling>

The second parameter of the tag, ‘method’ defines the method that will be called on execution. In my example, I’m using the default Sitecore convention for the agent method, Run().

The interval parameter defines the time schedule that your scheduled task will be called. If value is set to nothing, e.g. ’00:00:00′ your scheduled task will be disabled.

Jon D Jones

Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge

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