Posted by : Deepak Vasudevan Thursday, February 01, 2007

Scheduled Tasks for Web Applications

Hosted web applications also sometimes need some processing activities which needs to be run periodically at defined time intervals without any user intervention. But Http being stateless in nature, there can not be persistent processes running on the webserver. For example, you can have some thread in ASP.NET which keeps ticking a non-stop timer.

Fortunately, there are a lot of options or workarounds available to address this gap.

  1. Windows Scheduled Task or a NT service to be installed which keeps ticking and then invokes appropriate methods in the web application.
  2. Commercial components like the ones described in DnZone website.
  3. The points (1) and (2) however requires, desktop access and privileges on the webserver. If our hosting account is shared, then most probably, our web host might not allow to run scheduled tasks on the webserver. There is some good news for those underprivileged as well.

    Hosted Scheduler Services
    1. Web Service Scheduler
    2. Web Cron
    3. HostedCron

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