Scheduling is the final step of every workflow by which we configure a process to run at different timings based on the requirement. In this blog, we will understand how to schedule a workflow in Alteryx, and a brief comparison of its scheduling features with SAP BODS.
Like any scheduler, Alteryx Scheduler makes it easy to specify the date, time and frequency to run Alteryx workflows. Adding to it, Alteryx Scheduler can also be configured to employ Distributed Scheduling functionality across your network of computers (Workers).
Every workflow that you create in the Alteryx designer can be scheduled by selecting Options >> Schedule workflow from the menu bar.
On the click of the schedule option, a pop-up window appears as shown below with the list of Alteryx gallery and Alteryx controllers.
Select the location, where you want to schedule or else you can add a new location to schedule the workflow.
Note: The Alteryx Gallery is a cloud-based application for publishing, sharing, and executing workflows. It communicates directly with the Alteryx Service for the management and execution of the workflows and utilizes a MongoDB persistence layer for all state maintenance.
The Alteryx Service Controller is responsible for the management of the service settings and the delegation of work to the Alteryx Service Workers which is responsible for executing analytic workflows.
It opens a new pop-up as shown below with a list of predefined scheduling options.
You can schedule a workflow from one of three methods given below with an option to provide the scheduling job name:
Scheduling – Once
This option allows us to run a workflow once at a specific time.
Scheduling – Recurring
It allows us to schedule a job to run Hourly, Daily, Weekly or Monthly for a specific period with this option.
Where you can select the interval in which the workflow needs to be iterated from the list available in the drop-down. The time selection options differ based on our selection in the drop-down that enables us to configure the iteration of the job.
Each option in the frequency tab is used to address a specific requirement or scenario as follows;
- Hourly: If the workflow needs to run multiple times every day, at a regular interval of time, it can be achieved by specifying the duration in the input field of in Hours and minutes.
- Daily: If a workflow needs to run every day at a specific time, select the daily option and specify the time on which the workflow needs to be executed.
- Weekly: If a workflow needs to run at different days of a week, select the weekly option and select the days on which the workflow to run and schedule it.
- Monthly: If a workflow needs to run monthly on a day or a date, the monthly option can be used in which we can select a day of the month or week.
Scheduling – Custom
It allows us to schedule a workflow to run at a custom date list for different months between a period with this option.
If the workflow needs to be scheduled at a time on different days in different months, the custom option can be used and as shown.
Note: You can also assign the priority of the scheduling job and the worker, to distribute the load. Let us see more about workers and priorities of workflow in the next section.
As we have similar scheduling features in SAP BODS, we have a brief comparison of Alteryx.
Alteryx Vs BODS
|Scheduling from the tool without external services||Yes||No (Need to schedule from server)|
|Scheduling multiple times, a day||Yes||Yes|
|Option to specify the end date of scheduling||Yes||Yes|
|Assigning priority for the Job||Yes||No (Need to write Shell script)|
|Scheduling Daily or only in working days(Monday – Friday)||Yes||Yes|
|Scheduling at different days of a week||Yes||Yes|
|Scheduling at a specific day in a month(First Sunday)||Yes||Yes|
|Scheduling at a custom set of dates in a set of months||Yes||Yes|
|Assigning a worker||Yes||No|
|Trigger a mail before/after running||Yes||Yes|
|Trigger a mail when a job is completed with or without error||Yes||Yes|
|Attaching assets of the Job by default in the mail||Yes||No (Need to write Shell Script)|
|Running a custom command when a workflow is completed||Yes||No (Need to write Shell Script)|
We can schedule every workflow using the Alteryx designer with the simple steps described above. Based on the above comparison, we can infer that scheduling in Alteryx is much easier and offers far more features than SAP BODS.
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