Utilize ObjectGears: Jobs and time operations

27.07.2015

Have you ever come across situation when you forget to do anything in time? Ordering goods, new certificate, prolonging permission or demanding delivery of documentation...? Then you may be interested in how ObjectGears solves these issues. Nevertheless, let`s start a bit high level first.

Process automation

Apart from workflow, which design we have already discussed, ObjectGears provides two more tools for process automation. They are jobs and time operations. Jobs can schedule regular activities that are automatically executed in certain frequency (daily, weekly, monthly etc.). There can be sequence of steps, that shall be executed, defined in the job. Data imports and exports, URL calls, comand line commands or other jobs may be performed in particular steps. Similarly, like job called from workflow, also workflow can be called from job. The most general activity that can be executed in a job step is script, within which you can do anything both in ObjectGears and outside it.

The other tool are time operations. They are tasks related to particular data, ie. class or query. We are used to mention various time data in our records / end of validity, deadline for order processing, delivery time etc. We often derive deadlines from these data and record them in our calendars. This means extra work and this activity is also susceptible to errors. We often forget something. In case of larger volume of data, need for reminders or need of various actions at various times (preliminary notice, task, escallation when not met...) manual activity is not practicable any more.

Automated operations available for all data

ObjectGears provides you with time operations on any data containing date. These time operations are regularly assessed and defined tasks are performed. They can be set directly on the own data or on certain data views (queries consolidating, summarizing, modifying or adjusting the data). What tasks time operations can perform? Most frequently we may need just to send a notification email. In other cases we may need to start a workflow or script, that will perform everything necessary. We may define more actions at each time operation, that shall be performed according to how far in the past or in future we have the date in a particular record.

Imaging a situation, when employees shall renew trainings, examinations and certifications. We will have several such examinations and certifications for each employee. The first notification should be send to employees 3 months in advance. It will be a notice of an approaching deadline. We want to send another email one month in advance and another a week before the deadline. The last one in copy to employee`s manager. If the deadline is not met we want to create a workflow task to the manager that shall confirm in a week, how the training was provided. Of course, if the employee takes the training after the first or second notice, the other actions are not performed.

When job is best to use

  • The activity is defined by time
  • Regular repeating with daily, weekly, monthly etc. frequency
  • The activity is not related to a particular record and time associated with it (record attribute)

When time operation is best to use

  • The activity is defined by time that is associated with the class or query record (its attribute)
  • We need activities of various type (notice, reminder, workflow task, escallation email, solver escallation etc.) depending on approaching or not met deadline
  • Monitoring validity of examinations, trainings, validity of server certificates, revisions, configuration item end of life cycle
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