A simple, expressive, open-source, text-file-based Job Scheduler with console, HTTP, and RESTful API interfaces.
  1. Downloading TaskForest
  2. Installing TaskForest
  3. Configuring TaskForest
    1. Jobs & Families
    2. Calendars
    3. Automatic Retries
    4. Sending Emails
    5. Options
    6. Configuration File
  4. Running TaskForest
  5. Running the TaskForest Web Server
  6. Web Server Security
  7. Checking TaskForest Status
  8. Rerunning a Job
  9. Marking a Job
  10. Tokens
  11. Releasing all Dependencies from a Job
  12. Putting a Job on Hold
  13. Releasing a Hold Off a Job
  14. HOWTO
  15. The RESTful Web Service
  16. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  17. Bugs
  18. Change Log
  19. Author
  20. Acknowledgements
  21. Copyright


A token is a dependency. It is something that a job must 'possess' before it can run, if that job needs that token. You can create different types of tokens, giving each type a common name. You can also specify how many instances of tokens of each type are to exist. For example, if the configuration file contained the following lines:

01 | ...   
02 | <token T>
03 |   number = 1
04 | </token>
05 | <token U>
06 |   number = 2
07 | </token>
08 | ...

...it means that there are two types of tokens: 'T' and 'U'. There is only one instance of token type 'T', and two of type 'U'.

Given the above configuration, if your Family file looked as follows:

01 |start => '00:00', tz => 'GMT', days => 'Mon,Wed,Fri'
02 |
03 | J1( token => 'T')  J2 ( token => 'T' ) J3()
04 |
05 |-------------------------------------------------------
06 |
07 | J6(token => 'U') J5(token => 'U') J4(token => 'U')
08 | J8(token => 'T,U')
09 | 

...then that means that job J1 and J2 both need a token of type 'T' to run. But, there's only one instance of token T, so J1 and J2 cannot both run at the same time (even though they would, if they didn't rely on tokens). The system will sort jobs alphabetically by name and choose the first in the list. In other words, in this case, J1 will run first and J2 will only run after J1 completes (if no other job has taken the token first). To be more accurate, J1 and J3 will run simultaneously, since J3 does not need any tokens.

To be even more accurate, J1, J3, J4 and J5 will run simultaneously. This is because J4, J5 and J6 all rely on token U, but there are only 2 instances of token U. Even though J6 appears on the line before J5 and J4, the system will choose J4 and J5 first, because they appear first in alphabetical order, and J6 will run after one of the other two have completed.

Because the system always chooses the job with the smallest name (alphabetically), it is possible to experience 'resource starvation' - where a job with a 'larger' name could never get an opportunity to run, because there are too many other jobs with smaller names that get to run first by virtue of their names. Future versions of TaskForest will implement heuristics to prevent resource starvations.

Note that J8 relies on two tokens: T and U. It will only run when it can acquire one of both tokens. If it can acquire one, but not the other, it will release the first and try to acquire both at a later time.

Finally, tokens can also be used to control the load on the machine on which taskforest is running. If you've got several independent jobs that don't depend on each other, but which use a fair amount of resources, you can have all the jobs use the same token. Then you can tweak the maximum number of instances of that token to a value that maximizes the number of simultaneous jobs without putting too much strain on the server.