The task scheduler in Windows Server 2008 is quite different from what is in previous versions of Windows Server. The key elements to a scheduled task are triggers, actions, conditions, and settings.

The triggers and actions area in Windows Server 2008 has an increased number of settings that you can use for a scheduled task. Looking at the task triggers, the standard options are available for scheduled tasks; it’s also possible to have the task triggered on a schedule, system boot, or user logon.

Some of the more important triggers include the following:

  • Event trigger: A scheduled task can be launched when a specified event occurs in the event log.
  • User session connection: This is similar to the logon trigger, but it is expanded to include remote desktop connections and settings for specific users.
  • User session disconnection: It can trigger a scheduled task when a user’s session is disconnected but not logged off within a session.
  • Workstation locking: When the computer is sent to a locked state on the console, the scheduled task can be configured to run at that time.

The interface for selecting the triggers for a scheduled task is improved in Windows Server 2008, and it’s context sensitive. Figure A shows the selection of user session connection for the task trigger.
Figure A

Once you select the triggers, you may want to configure additional rules to allow specific behavior for the task and the environment in which it will interact. For example, you can select a delay task option for most triggers. This will accommodate a back-end process recovery without interfering with a busy system during boot or other scenarios where a window of time may be needed before running the task after the triggered condition has been met. Figure B shows the Delay Task For a scheduled task.
Figure B

The additional trigger settings available in Windows Server 2008 allow for more complex rules for creating scheduled tasks in the Windows environment. Complex local scheduled task settings, however, do not scale well in terms of manageability.

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