Monday, 27 July 2009

Using a windows service to schedule a job in VB.Net

A quick rundown on how to schedule a job from a windows service in VB.Net using the scheduling library. You may need to schedule a job to run for all sorts of reasons:

• Closing down old website sessions in a database
• Running a nightly refresh of data
• Pull files down from the internet

Or a million other things that I won't list here.

Depending on your level access to the server / your server policy, you may be able to tackle this task using a variety of other methods like scheduled tasks or, particularly pertinent if you are in a shared hosting environment, using IIS Cache expiry as a cheap way to schedule tasks.

A bit of background on Quartz

"Quartz.NET is a port of very propular open source Java job scheduling framework, Quartz. This project owes very much to original Java project, it's father James House and the project contributors.

Quartz.NET is a pure .NET library written in C# which currently targets Framework version 1.1 and above. Quartz.NET is feature-wise equal to Quartz Java 1.6 excluding Java specifics. Quartz.NET is already running in production systems and has received good feedback."

Some Code

The following example is some code I created to run a refresh job on some data:

First off, create a windows service project.

Add a reference to the Quartz library, which can be downloaded at

At the top of your file add the import statements to the namespaces we will be using:

Imports Quartz
Imports Quartz.Impl

Now, in the service OnStart event of your service, add the following code:

' construct a scheduler factory
Dim schedFact As ISchedulerFactory = New StdSchedulerFactory()

' get a scheduler
Dim sched As IScheduler = schedFact.GetScheduler()

' construct job info
Dim jobDetail As New JobDetail("RefreshJob", Nothing, GetType(Refreshjob))

Dim trigger As Trigger = TriggerUtils.MakeDailyTrigger(10, 30)

trigger.StartTimeUtc = DateTime.UtcNow

trigger.Name = "RefreshTrigger"
sched.ScheduleJob(jobDetail, trigger)

The above code has basically set up a scheduler, which, when triggered (by the time hitting 10:30) will look for a type (in this case RefreshJob) and run the execute method within the class.

So now we have to create the RefreshJob type, which will implement the interface Quartz.IJob

Imports Quartz

Public Class Refreshjob
Implements IJob

Public Sub New()
End Sub

Public Sub Execute1(ByVal context As Quartz.JobExecutionContext) Implements Quartz.IJob.Execute

' Run your code

End Sub

End Class


Really nice library, easy to use, Job's a good 'un.

For more functionality, check out the Quartz docs and examples at

kick it on