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TrackStudio Scheduler Service - v1.0 beta



Introduction

TrackStudio Scheduler Service

Many people point out that several tasks are often repeated in the development process. For example:

our System Administrators always have several repeated tasks: "Check backups of our internal servers", "Free our File server disk space ", "Burn backup files on DVDs", etc.

our Project Managers also have several repeated tasks: "Code review", "Project iteration Quality checks", "Project progress report", etc.

our QA Engineers also have lots of repeated tasks: "Regression testing", "Documentation checks", "Requirements checks" etc.

Moreover, mostly everyone in development team can describe several situations where repeated tasks take place.

While we are preparing our company for ISO 9001:2000 certification we are trying to make our work to be well scheduled and tracked. We chose TrackStudio system that helps us a lot and allows building very flexible workflows, track task states, etc.

But one point is missed: TrackStudio does not allow making periodical, scheduled tasks.

Our solution

As we are software development company the soft writing is not a problem for us.

Several hours of TrackStudio internal investigation and we have found facile and elegant solution: we wrote a Windows Service that checks Track Studio data. If Windows Service finds the task which has to be executed periodically we track it and repeat if necessary.

 

Scheduler Workflow

Environment

Our environment is somewhat specific that is why there can be some difficulties using our solution. But we are open to provide you configuration and adaptation service if you are interested in our solution. Please, contact our sales department for that purpose.

To be more concrete I'll describe our internal environment:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • IIS 6.0
  • TrackStudio 3.5.16
  • SQL Server 2005

TrackStudio was configured to use Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a data storage, IIS as a web access provider and Windows Server 2003 Enterprise as a host platform.

Solution internals

Our solution was based on TrackStudio Custom Fields feature. Each Task in TrackStudio (TS) will have four custom fields after configuration: Schedule Start Date, Schedule End Date, Schedule Parameters and Schedule Type.

The idea for scheduling implementation was taken from Microsoft Scheduled Tasks (can be found in Windows Control Panel). First of all, it is common and easy understandable for all Windows users. And the second point is that it's very flexible scheduling. You can see it on the diagram below.

Scheduling Mind Map
(Click on image to enlarge)

TrackStudio Configuration

Details about service configuration are placed on standalone page. Enjoy.

Installation

Installation contains files:

  • install.cmd
  • uninstall.cmd
  • TsSchedulerService.exe
  • TsSchedulerService.exe.config
  • TsSchedulerService.pdb
  • ts_signed.dll

Windows service installation is very simple. You have to copy archive files on server where TrackStudio and SQL Server are installed (installation on server is optional because our application contains information in configuration file that is sufficient to run it from any LAN location). Installation has only one restriction: computer on which Windows service will be installed must have access to TrackStudio SOAP interface and TrackStudio database.

After required files are copied TS needs to be properly configured. It's not an easy process and it requires TrackStudio administrator's account. If you are familiar with TS administration then configuration will take up to 10 minutes.

After that, run install.cmd script. Script will automatically install windows service on a computer (requires administrator rights for installation), and run it. In several minutes service will produce first results. They can be traced using Windows Event Viewer application.


Console output preview...

(Click on image to enlarge)

To check whether installation succeeded open Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services



(Click on image to enlarge)

As it was mentioned before, configuration is a little bit complicated process and the best choice for most customers is just to consult us, and we will help you for FREE.

Administration

For administration purposes the Event Viewer is used and it can be found in Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Event Viewer...



(Click on image to enlarge)

History

1.0 beta - General scheduling services were implemented. Known issues: solution is not optimized for server resources economy. In most cases server has sufficient CPU power to run scheduling without any problems, but we are trying to keep it simple instead of optimized and complicated.

Feedback

Please contact our Support Team if you have any questions or fill in the on-line support form to leave your comments about the product.


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