Framework 4 Features: Support for Timed Jobs

One of the new features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4 is the ability for the batch framework to support Timed Batch. Traditionally batch is associated with set processing in the background in a fixed time frame. For example, billing customers. Over the last few versions their has been functionality required by the products required a more monitoring style batch process. The monitor is a batch process that looks for specific business events based upon record status or other pieces of data. For example, the framework contains a fact monitor (F1-FCTRN) that can be configured to look for specific status's or other conditions. The batch process then uses the instructions on the object to determine what to do.

To support monitor style processing, you need to run the process regularly a number of times a day (for example, every ten minutes). Traditional batch could support this but it was not as optimal as expected (if you are a site using the old Workflow subsystem, you understand what I mean). The Batch framework was extended to add additional facilities to support times (and continuous batch which is another new feature for another blog entry).

The new facilities include:


  • The batch control now defines the job as Timed or Not Timed. Non-Timed batch are traditional batch jobs.

  • The timer interval (the interval between executions) can be specified

  • The timer can be made active or inactive. Only active timers are executed. Setting the Timer Active to inactive will stop the job at the next time interval. Setting the Timer Active to Active will start the execution of the timed job.

  • You can specify the credentials, language to view the messages and an email address to send the a summary of the execution to. The email address is optional and requires an email server to be specified in the relevant feature configuration.

  • You can specify the thread limits and commit intervals to be sued for the multiple executions.


Once a timer job is defined it will be executed automatically by the Business Application Server process if the DEFAULT threadpool is active. This threadpool can be started using the online batch daemon (for non-production) or externally using the threadpoolworker utility. At that time any batch process with the Timer Active set to Active and Batch Control Type of Timed will begin executing. As Timed jobs are executed automatically then they do not appear in any external schedule or are managed by an external scheduler (except via the DEFAULT threadpool itself of course).

Now, if the job has no work to do as the timer interval is being reached then that instance of the job is stopped and the next instance started at the timer interval. If there is still work to complete when the interval interval is reached, the instance will continue processing till the work is complete, then the instance will be stopped and the next instance scheduled for the next timer interval. One of the key ways of optimizing this processing is to set the timer interval correctly for the expected workload.

This is an interesting new feature of the batch framework and we anticipate it will come in handy for specific business situations with the monitor processes.

Comments:

Nice!! Great Info. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

Posted by Ceola Janusz on February 04, 2011 at 01:04 PM EST #

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About

Anthony Shorten
Hi, I am Anthony Shorten, I am the Principal Product Manager for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. I have been working for over 20+ years in the IT Business and am the author of many a technical whitepaper, manual and training material. I am one of the product managers working on strategy and designs for the next generation of the technology used for the Utilities and Tax markets. This blog is provided to announce new features, document tips and techniques and also outline features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. These products include Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management and Oracle Enterprise Taxation and Policy Management. I am the product manager for the Management Pack for these products.

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