Cron jobs are a type of scheduling system that can be used to automate your business processes. A cron job is a command or program that runs at a specified time or period. The purpose of these jobs is to run tasks automatically, meaning you don’t need to log into the system every time you want something done. This article will cover everything from what cron jobs are and how can they help your business, all the way through setting up and using them.
Table Of Contents
- What Are Cron Jobs?
- What Can Cron Jobs Be Used For?
- What Are The Benefits Of Using A Cron Job Scheduler?
- How To Set Up A Cron Job Scheduler
- How To Schedule Tasks On Windows
- How To Schedule Tasks On Mac OSX
- How To Schedule Tasks On Linux
- 10 Examples Of Cron Jobs To Improve Business Efficiency
- 1. Email Reminders
- 2. Database Backups
- 3. Archiving Old Data
- 4. Monitoring And Alerting
- 5. Data Analytics Or Reporting
- 6. Running Inventory Scripts
- 7. Syncing Files Between Systems
- 8. Checking For Software Updates
- 9. Calling APIs At Regular Intervals
- 10. Running Security Scans Or Vulnerability Assessment Tools.
- Cron Job Terminology
What Are Cron Jobs?
Cron jobs are built into Unix-like operating systems and are used to schedule system tasks that need to be performed at a specific time. While they’re not something most users will ever have to configure or manage directly, they’re a valuable tool for administrators and software developers who need to automate routine tasks.
They can be used to automate repetitive tasks, like sending out a daily newsletter or running commands on a server. Cron jobs can be scheduled to run once every minute, or once an hour – or even once every day.
‘Cron’ is an abbreviation of chronometer, and it basically means “timekeeper”. A cron job runs at pre-defined times or intervals. For example, you can schedule a database backup to run every day at 5 pm.
What Can Cron Jobs Be Used For?
Cron jobs are used to schedule tasks on a periodic basis. For example, you may have a cron job that runs every day to carry out a data backup, archive old files, or have a cron job that runs every day at 7:30 PM that emails reports to your clients.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Cron Job Scheduler?
Cron jobs are a great way to free up your time and save money. Instead of having to spend your time manually scheduling tasks, cron jobs can be set up to automatically run at specific times or intervals. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing an important task, such as sending out marketing emails or updating an image on your website.
Cron jobs also save you money by reducing the amount of time spent on tedious tasks like updating social media, performing backups, or monitoring websites for changes in traffic. With a cron job scheduler, all this work will be done for you automatically when scheduled so that it doesn’t eat up any more of your precious development time!
How To Set Up A Cron Job Scheduler
A cron job scheduler is a tool that allows you to schedule tasks to be performed at specified times or intervals. You can even use them on your own computer or on other computers. They are incredibly useful for automating many different kinds of tasks, including updating your website and backing up files from other devices in your network.
There are two operating systems that support cron job scheduling: Linux and Unix-like systems (such as Mac OS X), which have the more traditional root access method; and Windows 10 Pro (which has an added feature called Task Scheduler). There will be some slight differences between these methods depending on what operating system you use, but all of them will allow you to set up automated tasks!
The process for creating a basic Cron Job is pretty simple: Open up the terminal window by clicking ‘Show Hidden Icons’ → ‘View’ → ‘All View Options’ → Click on “Show Developer Tools” and finally click on “CMD Prompt(Admin).” Once inside this new window type in “crontab -e” without quotes at the command prompt then hit Enter! This will open up Nano – the default text editor.
How To Schedule Tasks On Windows
- Firstly, make sure that you are logged on as an administrator, or that you have the same access as an administrator.
- Go to Start->Control Panel->System and Security->Administrative Tools->Task Scheduler
Action->Create Basic Task->Type a name for the scheduled job, and click ‘Next’
- Follow through the wizard to select the tasks and times you wish.
Your cron jobs will now run automatically at their specified intervals as per your settings, just like any other Windows task or scheduled event
How To Schedule Tasks On Mac OSX
To schedule tasks on Mac OSX:
- Click on the Applications folder in Finder and search for the Terminal app.
- Open the app by double-clicking it, or by pressing Command + Spacebar and typing ‘Terminal’ into Spotlight Search (which will open a new tab in Safari).
- Type in the following command: sudo crontab -e
- In the “Cron” window that opens up, type in your desired command to schedule a task (see example above). You can also add multiple commands here if you prefer!
- Hit Enter when finished typing out your command(s), then close out of Terminal by clicking File > Close tab at the top left corner of the window or hitting Command + Q
How To Schedule Tasks On Linux
When it comes to configuring Linux cron jobs, there are a few things you need to know. First, you can create and schedule tasks with the help of the crontab utility. The syntax for this command is as follows:
[user]@[hostname]:~$ sudo crontab -e
Where user is your username on the host machine and the hostname is either the IP address or hostname of your server (you don’t have to enter both). The tilde symbol (~) represents your home directory on Linux systems, so if your username is “John Doe” then ~ would refer to /home/john/. When running this command on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver (which comes with Python 3) you’ll see:
```python2 John Doe's Desktop 2 [21/08/2018 09:54]$ sudo crontab -e ```
Crontabs are stored in /var/spool/cron/. You can edit them with any text editor like vim or nano.
10 Examples Of Cron Jobs To Improve Business Efficiency
In a business setting, there are many tasks that need to be done routinely. These tasks can be done manually, but they’re often repetitive or time-sensitive. For example, you might want to run a report every month or send an email reminder to your employees every week. In these cases, using cron jobs to automate these processes will save time and make them more efficient. Here are 10 examples of how you can use cron jobs in your business:
1. Email Reminders
Email reminders are a great way to remind customers of upcoming events or deadlines. For example, you could schedule an email to be sent when a customer’s event is coming up so that they know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
The following code will send an email reminder one week before your birthday:
crontab -e * * * 2 # 0 0 1 * – name: Send Birthday Reminder email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to only receive the reminder on specific days of the week, use one of the following lines in place for “0 0 1 *” above:
- Sunday (Sun) at 12am
- Monday (Mon) at 12am
- Tuesday (Tue) at 12am
- Wednesday (Wed) at 12am
- Thursday (Thu) at 12am
- Friday (Fri) at 12am
- Saturday (Sat) at 12am
2. Database Backups
You can set up a cron job to run database backups – and restore them. You can also automate database backups with a cron job, so that they’re run at night or on weekends when there are fewer users on the system.
3. Archiving Old Data
If your business is like most, you have lots of data that gets stored and forgotten about. This is a problem because as time goes on, the older files are more likely to become lost if something happens to your hard drives or server.
To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you should set up a schedule for archiving old data. Cron jobs are the perfect tool for scheduling archiving because they’re easy to set up and run automatically in the background without any intervention from users.
4. Monitoring And Alerting
Alerting is a process that monitors the status of a system or application, and notifies the appropriate personnel when an event occurs that requires attention. Alerts can be triggered by events such as a change in CPU usage, file modification, or a network connection.
The most common type of alert is an email message sent to someone (or multiple people) who must attend to it immediately. This is useful for ensuring security breaches are detected as soon as possible so they can be stopped before causing more damage or being noticed by others outside your company. There are many different types of alerts available – some examples include:
- Email notifications
- SMS/text messages
- Phone calls
5. Data Analytics Or Reporting
If you’re looking for examples of analytics or reporting tasks that can be run from cron jobs, there are many out there. The most popular one is probably Google Analytics, which allows users to import their site’s traffic data into an app and then schedule reports in the time they want them sent on any given day.
If you have employees working remotely (or even if they’re not), it’s important that they know what their daily tasks are and when they need to complete them before setting up a cron job with email alerts. This will ensure that all employees follow through with their responsibilities and get work done on time without having to ask anyone else where they should start or what exactly needs doing today!
Knowing that every team member understands what tasks need completing can help eliminate any confusion about how much time is left before an important deadline arrives – which could mean less stress for everyone involved at work!
6. Running Inventory Scripts
Inventory scripts are used to track the inventory of a product. For example, if you have a product that is sold in stores and warehouses, you can use an inventory script to ensure that your store has enough products for customers. You can also use this type of script to track how much stock is in each warehouse location and determine which locations are running out faster than others.
7. Syncing Files Between Systems
It’s possible to create a cron job that will sync files between systems.
For example, if you are using a file synchronization tool like https://www.rsync.net and have both the source and destination servers set up correctly, then it’s possible to use the rsync command line utility to perform this task automatically.
8. Checking For Software Updates
You can check for software updates using the following command:
To install an update, run this command:
apt-get upgrade -y
To schedule a software update to happen automatically at a specific time, add the following cron job to your system’s crontab file (which you can find by typing “sudo nano /etc/cron.d/”):
* */5 * * * root apt-get upgrade -y
If you want to rollback an installed update, run this command:
apt-update && apt-full dist-upgrade -reinstall --auto-remove && reboot
9. Calling APIs At Regular Intervals
There are a number of popular APIs that you can use to automate some tasks within your business. For example, you could make a cron job that calls the Google Calendar API every hour, and creates events based on whether or not there are any meetings scheduled for the next day. This would ensure that the calendar stays up-to-date at all times, and it would also prevent employees from having to manually update their calendars after meetings have been canceled or rescheduled.
- Google Calendar API – A “personal” type of web service where users can maintain their own calendars as well as share them with other people.
- Upwork API – An “enterprise” type of web service where companies can hire freelancers with different skillsets at reasonable rates (compared to what they would pay in-house).
10. Running Security Scans Or Vulnerability Assessment Tools.
Security scanning tools scan your network for vulnerabilities and can be used to identify weaknesses in your software, operating systems, and applications that are open to hackers. Vulnerability assessment tools help you test the security of your hardware devices (such as printers) by checking whether they have been configured correctly. These tools allow you to improve business efficiency by ensuring that all of your devices are protected against cyber attacks. Setting up cron jobs to automate these scans, and send email alerts or reports if necessary offers another great advantage.
Cron Job Terminology
Cron is a time-based job scheduler that runs in the background on a server. Cron jobs are scripts or programs which are automatically executed at specific intervals for routine tasks such as sending out email notifications, refreshing analytics data, etc.
Cron jobs can be set up to run once, daily, weekly, and monthly. Most cron implementations allow users to set up jobs to run at any particular time of day or day of the week (or week). A cron job will be queued until its scheduled execution time arrives then executed at that time.
The actual events that are scheduled using Cron with a specific time interval and command.
Cron jobs can be scheduled to run at a specific time, or at a specific time of day.
- *At a specific time.* The cron job will run at the specified date and time.
- *At a specific time of day.* The cron job will run during the specified hour (0-23).
A cron job has three parts: an interval, a command, and the name of a user who will run the command.
The cron daemon is a time-based job scheduler that runs on Unix and Unix-like operating systems that allows you to schedule commands to run at specific times or intervals.
A configuration file containing all the scheduled cron jobs.
Crontab is a configuration file that contains the list of jobs to be run at specified times. It usually resides in /etc/cron.d and is edited using the crontab editor.
A tool that allows you to edit your crontab file easily, without having to use any coding.
Hopefully, by now you’re convinced that cron jobs are a useful tool to help automate your business processes. They have many benefits and can save you time in the long run. However, they do require some setting up before they work properly so make sure that you know what your needs are before getting started!
Categories: Server Management