The Scheduler is the key function that determines when and how tasks are triggered. Rather than using Windows Task Scheduler, MARS uses ChristianSteven's proprietary scheduler to execute tasks. This creates a far more reliable, dedicated scheduling system.
Within MARS, the following scheduling options are available:
MARS can be used as an ad-hoc report managing tool with no scheduling. If you do not want any automated scheduling, select this option. However, this means you will need to execute each schedule manually.
This option is also used to uninstall any previously installed scheduling services.
To choose this options, perform the following:
The background application scheduler is a windows application which monitors MARS and fires off reports when they become due.
The background scheduler is an application independent of MARS. Therefore, it will stop working if the user logs off or the server is shut down. If you want to be able to log off the server without stopping MARS scheduling, then you must install and use the Windows (NT) Service Scheduler.
To use the background application scheduler, perform the following:
The NT service is a Windows service. It installs into the Windows "Services" control panel. As this is a windows service, it will continue to run scheduled reports even when there is no user logged on to the PC.
The machine MUST be powered on in order for the NT Service to work. If the machine is not on, the NT Service cannot run and schedules will not kick off as scheduled.
Prior to selecting the NT Service option as your Scheduler, you must ensure that the following pre-requisites have been met:
These security requirements are required by Windows. If you are unsure how to set up Windows security settings, your system administrator will be able to help.
Installing the NT service, and other configuration activities in MARS, must NOT be done by remote control using Windows XP remote capabilities, or Terminal services. These applications do not save the settings on the PC, only in the virtual "session" you are using at the time. The correct security requirements are therefore not passed to the service or MARS, and this will cause sporadic results (e.g. Service not polling, or schedules executing at wrong times or on wrong dates). If you must use remote control, we recommend PC Anywhere or VNC.
Once you have ensured that the above pre-requisites have been met, perform the following:
If you have not completed the listed requirements and/or do not check all of the boxes, you will be unable to continue setting up the NT Service.
If any of the above credentials are changed (e.g. the password is changed or times out), the service will stop running. Under these circumstances, you will have to uninstall it and re-install it ensuring you enter the new credentials correctly. We recommend that your system administrator ensures that the NT user's credentials never change and never time out.
System resources will be shared, so this will not always mean that reports will take 1/8 the normal time.
EXAMPLE: You have 4 reports. Each one takes 15 minutes to export. Using a single thread, it would take 1 hour to complete the export. Using multiple threads, you would expect it to take 15 minutes for all 4. However, the sharing of your system resources by 4 reports may result in each report taking longer than 15 minutes and the total time for 4 reports may be more than 15 minutes, but it will be less than an hour.
Once you have successfully set up the scheduler you will be using, you will gain access to the MARS/Scheduler Agent, which gives you easy access to many scheduling options. The MARS/Scheduler Agent appears as a red and white bell icon that is visible in the system tray (next to the clock) when the Scheduler is running. It looks like this:
Double clicking this icon will bring up the full Scheduler Agent.
The full Scheduler Agent is also available within MARS on the right-hand side of the screen (after you click System).
You can turn off the automatic restart of the Scheduler using the instructions listed in the Miscellaneous section above.
You can also review other system information such as the polling interval, the number of schedules found during the last poll, and the type of Scheduler the system is using.
If you do not wish to open the MARS/Scheduler Agent, right-click the system tray icon to gain access to the following functions: