Back in November we released a free cron service for windows
What is it?
It is a task scheduler that uses the same format as the unix cron service.
The motivation for this tool was that the task scheduler built into windows did not have a good way of moving jobs from one computer to another.
With our cron service, you can setup your list of jobs and easily copy the ‘crontab’ file to other servers – the cron service instantly sees the change. No messing around in the registry.
A few problems with 1.0:
-It did not recognize vbs or bat files, so you would have to go through all kinds of trouble to get the command line right
-The logging was not very good, so it was hard to see if a job failed
-All processes executed in the service context. That means you can never run a visual application, and your scripts cannot access network drives.
-No easy way to edit the file – Just notepad.exe. Why not have a nice job editing tool?
With 2.0 we fixed that and more
The first thing we did was add a bunch of execution options. With your job you can:
-Run the job in all active remote desktop sessions
-Run the job in the console session
-Run the job as the current user, or as an administrator
-Run the job in the console, even if no one is logged on. Like this:
Why would you need that?
Think of all the scripts you wish you could run that either need to at least show one small progress window…or access a network drive – even if a user was logged off.
Now with IntelliAdmin Cron 2.0 you can do it.
I bet you are thinking:
“Man that would be cool if remote execute in Network Administrator could do that.”
Included with this version is a crontab edit application. It makes it a breeze to edit your jobs:
If you forget the crontab format, it has a cheat sheet included…so you don’t have to browse around trying to figure it out:
The new service uses log rotation, so the log files will never threaten to take up too much disk space:
Status.log – List of the latest job runs and the result
Error.log – Any errors encountered are reported here
The service watches the crontab file, so all changes are immediate.
If you want to create the crontab file manually, you can find more about it here
We have made a change to the format (It will accept the old format too) to accommodate our execution options.
A typical line in your crontab will look like this:
* * * * * "c:\temp\test.vbs"
The new format has an integer value right before the path of the program to execute:
* * * * * 121 "c:\temp\test.vbs"
Here are the execution options that make up that value:
1 = The process is executed as an administrator
2 = The process is executed as the session user
4 = The process is hidden when executed
8 = The process is executed in the console session
16 = The process will only be executed if someone is logged into the console
32 = The process will be executed in all RDP sessions.
64 = The will disable the job
If you wanted the program to run as administrator in all the current RDP sessions you would use: 33
This is calculated by adding the options together…32+1
If you wanted the program to run in the console as the current user, but only if someone was logged in, it would be: 2 + 16 + 8 = 26
Finally, we made this app as tight as possible. The service app is a little under 150K. If you want to install it without our setup, just copy the icronsvr.exe to the folder you want it in, and install it like this from the command line:
icronsvr.exe install icronsvr
The second argument is the service name..don’t forget to include that.
If you want to remove it use this:
icronsvr.exe uninstall icronsvr
The crontab edit tool just needs to be run in the same folder as the crontab file, but is not required for its operation.
Finally, this is totally free for commercial and personal use.
Enjoy the IntelliAdmin software goodnees – and as always no spyware or badware.
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