SQL Server Agent Jobs Schedules – A hidden evil…

One of the many beautiful features of SQL Server, is the possibility to schedule a query or job within a few minutes by using SQL Server Agent Jobs. Especially for people who want to run a query at a quiet moment of the day, but don’t want to stay up, or wake up at 4:00 AM in the morning.

Types of schedules
If you dig into the SQL Server Agent Jobs, you can create a job-specific schedule, or create a shared schedule. Both are essentially the same type of schedule, except the fact that the shared schedule can be a part of a lot of jobs.

What type do you need?
If you create a new SQL Server Agent Job, you need to figure out which type of schedule you want to use. If you want to start a number of jobs all at the same time, you want to go for a shared schedule. But if you easily want to move jobs in time (change the start date or start time), then a single (job specific) schedule is what you want.

How it works
Once you’ve created a job, you can click on “Schedules”, and then either choose “New” (single schedule), or “Pick” (shared schedule):

New schedule
If you decide to create a new schedule, you’ll get a window like this:

In this window you can set the runtime of the schedule, start- and end date, frequency, etc.

Pick a schedule
If you go for the “Pick” option, you’ll see a window like this:

In this window, you can select a previously made schedule, so you could run it in specifically created time windows for example.

Edit schedule
But what’s the catch? If you change a schedule, this might effect other jobs in the same schedule! This is where my issue comes in. A few weeks back a schedule was changed (we wanted to run the job 2 hours earlier every day), and suddenly several other jobs changed schedule. Without checking, the schedule was changed, and that resulted in a really strange situation with parallel running jobs that almost locked out all other processes.

So if you want to change the schedule of a job, click the “Jobs in schedule” button. Double check if your schedule isn’t turned into a shared schedule by you, or one of your colleagues or customers:

Manage schedules on server
But that’s not all. Last week I’ve read an article about shared job schedules, that was tweeted by Pieter Vanhove (Blog | @Pieter_Vanhove). In that article I discovered that you can also right-click on “Jobs”, and click on “Manage Schedules”:

This results in this window, where you can see the shared schedule overview, the amount of jobs per schedule, etc:

As I’ve said in previous posts: Always check, double check, and triple check before you make any changes before you run into more issues than you solve with your change!

2 Responses to SQL Server Agent Jobs Schedules – A hidden evil…

  1. Chris Yates says:

    Nicely done sir!

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