1 Introduction to Oracle Enterprise Scheduler

This chapter introduces Oracle Enterprise Scheduler as a service for developing jobs that off-load work such as executing Java, PL/SQL, and binary process code.

This chapter includes the following sections:

1.1 About Oracle Enterprise Scheduler

Using Oracle Enterprise Scheduler you can run different job types, including: Java, PL/SQL, binary scripts, web services and EJBs distributed across the nodes in an Oracle WebLogic Server cluster.

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler runs these jobs securely, with high availability and scalability, with load balancing and provides monitoring and management through Fusion Middleware Control.

Fusion Middleware Control provides accessibility options for the pages on which you monitor and manage Oracle Enterprise Scheduler applications. Fusion Middleware Control supports screen readers and provides standard shortcut keys to support keyboard navigation. You can also view the console pages in high contrast or with large fonts for better readability. For information and instructions on configuring accessibility in Fusion Middleware Control, see "Using Oracle Fusion Middleware Accessibility Options" in Oracle Fusion Middleware Administrator's Guide.

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler provides scheduling services for the following purposes:

  • To distribute job request processing across a grid of application servers

  • To run Java, PL/SQL, binary process jobs, web services and EJBs

  • To group job requests into job sets

  • To schedule job requests based on recurrence expressions

  • To administer job requests with Fusion Middleware Control

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler provides the critical requirements in a service-oriented environment to automate processes that must recur on a scheduled basis and to defer heavy processing to specific time windows. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler lets you:

  • Support sophisticated scheduling and workload management,

  • Automate the running of administrative jobs,

  • Schedule the creation and distribution of reports,

  • Schedule a future time for a step in a business flow for business process management.

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler provides features to manage the complete life cycle of a job definition: development, distribution, scheduling, and monitoring. Using Oracle JDeveloper, application developers can easily create job requests in their development environment. Application administrators and other users can specify when and where they want their job requests to run. Users and administrators can monitor how the job ran and access the end results of those jobs.

Customers that implement large systems typically have to manage a large number of diverse machines to handle the workload of their users. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler provides the ability to control how work is distributed to individual machines or groups of machines.

1.2 Oracle Enterprise Scheduler Overview for Application Developers

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler is primarily a Java EE application that provides time- and schedule-based callbacks to other applications to run their jobs.

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler compares with the Calendar application you might use in your phone or the Oracle Calendar, where you create events and meetings with details about time and recurrence; the application sends an alarm or notification at the right time for the particular event. Similarly, Oracle Enterprise Scheduler applications define jobs and specify when those jobs need to be executed, and Oracle Enterprise Scheduler gives these applications a callback when that time or when a particular event arrives. This is a simplified model of how a particular application can interact with an instance of Oracle Enterprise Scheduler. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler does not execute the jobs itself, it gives a callback to the application and the application actually executes the job request. This implies that Oracle Enterprise Scheduler is not aware of the details of the job request, all the job request details are owned and consumed by the application. An application that submits requests to run a job is called a client application.

For development purposes, both Oracle Enterprise Scheduler and the Oracle Enterprise Scheduler client application are deployed on the same Oracle WebLogic Server. The Fusion Middleware Control can provide an interface for interacting with Oracle Enterprise Scheduler. Typically, however, you provide a client application with which the end user can set up a job request and to specify when the job request is scheduled to be executed, and eventually gets a callback from Oracle Enterprise Scheduler when the time or event arrives.

1.2.1 Introduction to Working with Oracle Enterprise Scheduler at Design-Time

At design time an application developer uses Oracle JDeveloper to create a Java EE application that contains the Oracle Enterprise Scheduler executable class and Oracle Enterprise Scheduler specific metadata for this executable. The Oracle Enterprise Scheduler metadata consists of job definitions, including the executable class and parameters, and schedules. Schedules capture the times when a job request can be sent for execution. Schedules are defined independent of job requests and get associated with job requests at runtime when the job request is submitted for execution. Figure 1-1 shows the design time view of an Oracle Enterprise Scheduler application.

Figure 1-1 Oracle Enterprise Scheduler Design Time Integration

ESS design time integration

In Figure 1-1, although the metadata is written to the MDS store through Oracle Enterprise Scheduler APIs, the client application owns the metadata and the metadata does not belong to the Oracle Enterprise Scheduler application. This metadata together with the job implementation is packaged in an OAR, including the EAR for the application and the MAR containing the metadata; this is deployed in the runtime environment.

You can create the following types of metadata at design time.

  • Job type: This is a basic definition of what a job would be comprised of and defines the following:

    1. The type of job to be run, such as Java, PL/SQL, binary script, and so on.

    2. The Java executable class if the job is of Java type, or the PL/SQL function if the job is of PL/SQL type, or the script if the job is of Script type.

    3. Parameters definitions for the job and their data type, and default values.

  • Job definition: A job definition, or job, is the smallest unit of work which gets performed in context of the client application. It is defined by an underlying job type and any parameters additional to the ones defined in the job type.

  • Job set: A job set is a sequential or parallel set of job steps, where a job step can be a single job or another job set. A job set and each of its job set steps can have additional parameters, the value for which is provided when the job or job set is submitted as a job request.

  • Schedule: A job schedule is a predefined time or a recurrence for a period of time or indefinite. Schedules are defined independent of jobs but are associated with one or more jobs at runtime when a job request is submitted.

  • Incompatibility: An incompatibility lets you specify job definitions and job sets that cannot run at the same time.

1.2.2 Introduction to Working with Oracle Enterprise Scheduler at Runtime

At runtime an application user associates a schedule with the job to be submitted and provides values for the job parameters. This information is then submitted as a job request. After Oracle Enterprise Scheduler receives a job request it determines the right time to execute the job request, and at that time sends a message to the owning client application. The client application then executes the job based on the job metadata and runtime values for the parameters.

Figure 1-2 Oracle Enterprise Scheduler Runtime Integration

ESS runtime integration

Figure 1-2 shows the sequence involved with running an application using Oracle Enterprise Scheduler, and the following steps:

  1. User submits a request using a client application.

  2. Client application sends the request to Oracle Enterprise Scheduler.

  3. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler reads the metadata for the request.

  4. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler puts the request in a wait queue in Oracle Enterprise Scheduler data store, along with the metadata.

  5. At the appropriate time, according to the request specifics, Oracle Enterprise Scheduler sends a message to the client application with all the request parameters and metadata captured at the time of submission.

  6. Client application performs the jobs and returns a status.

  7. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler updates the history with the job request status.

1.2.3 Oracle Enterprise Scheduler Job Requests

Figure 1-3 shows the important Oracle Enterprise Scheduler components, including the following:

  • The scheduler component itself, including the runtime module, request dispatcher and request processor.

  • The client application, including the runtime EJB and end point Message-Driven-Bean (MDB) which it calls and the job it requests to execute.

  • Oracle Metadata Store and the client application metadata.

  • Oracle Enterprise Scheduler schema, including the wait and ready queues and job history.

Figure 1-3 Oracle Enterprise Scheduler Runtime Details

ESS runtime details

As shown in Figure 1-3, a client application is composed and runs as follows:

  1. A user interacts with the client application, submitting a job request.

  2. The client application specifies the two EJBs and the Endpoint MDB in its ejb-jar.xml. These beans are then instantiated in the client application context.

  3. The beans in the application context contact the underlying Oracle Enterprise Scheduler modules. The runtime EJB sends the job request to the underlying runtime module in Oracle Enterprise Scheduler.

  4. The runtime module accesses the client application metadata from Oracle MDS.

  5. The runtime module persists the request along with its metadata and schedule in the wait queue in the Oracle Enterprise Scheduler schema.

  6. The Oracle Enterprise Scheduler request dispatcher determines the correct time to run the job request based on its corresponding schedule. At this time, the request dispatcher moves the request to a ready queue in Oracle Enterprise Scheduler schema.

  7. The Oracle Enterprise Scheduler request processor continues picking up job requests to be processed from the ready queue.

  8. The request processor sends a message to the application using the endpoint MDB.

  9. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler executes the scheduled job.

In most cases or at least in the simplified case, this application is the same as the application which submitted the request.

1.2.4 Overview of Integration Steps

After you have installed a basic Oracle WebLogic Server instance, take the following steps to set up Oracle Enterprise Scheduler.

  1. Configure Oracle Enterprise Scheduler.

  2. Develop your client application which has your job definitions and other required metadata.

  3. Deploy your client application.

  4. Invoke your client application to submit job request, which in turn calls Oracle Enterprise Scheduler.

  5. Invoke your client application to check the status of job request, or other history, which in turn calls Oracle Enterprise Scheduler. Alternatively, use Fusion Middleware Control to check the status of a given job request.

1.3 Fixed-Rate Scheduling with Oracle Enterprise Scheduler

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler supports fixed-rate scheduling where instances of a repeating job request are executed at a constant rate starting from the initial scheduled execution time.

Each job request runs as near to the absolute time of the schedule as possible. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler ensures that only one job request in a repeating request is running at any one time. If a job request runs beyond the scheduled execution time of the next job request, the next job request becomes late and is dispatched immediately upon completion of the previous job request.

When a job request is dispatched, the next request is placed in the wait queue. The execution time for the next job request is the next time in the schedule that is no earlier than the current time. Oracle Enterprise Scheduler skips time slots that are in the past.

If the desired behavior is to run all instances of the repeating request regardless of when they are run and regardless of the requested or recurrence end date, the request must set the system property EXECUTE_PAST.

Oracle Enterprise Scheduler does not support fixed-delay scheduling. Using fixed-delay scheduling, each request is executed a fixed delay period after the previous request completes. This means that when one request is late, all subsequent requests are late as well. In contrast, fixed-rate scheduling tries to get things back on schedule after a late request.