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DS Task run order can't be set! Change it!

Created: 23 Nov 2011 | 3 comments
richardx's picture
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1 Disagree
+4 6 Votes
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Bit astonished when I found out about this one but to summarise, you can't be sure, if you schedule multiple independent jobs, that their tasks will run in the order that they were scheduled!

What do I mean exactly?

Let's say you have two jobs:

JOB_A - Uninstall Oracle Client which consists of 4 tasks

Task1 - Delete ODBC Entries
Task2 - Delete registry entries
Task3 - Delete Environment variables
Task4 - Delete Oracle folder

JOB_B - Install Oracle Client which also consists of 4 tasks

Task5 - Copy Oracle folder
Task6 - Write ODBC Entries

Task7 - Write registry entries
Task8 - Write Environment variables

If I schedule these two jobs one after the other (A then B), then the order the tasks will run in is :

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8  isn't it?

WRONG!

It is impossible to set this currently. Altiris development have said this is to make use of Windows' multitasking capabilites but who doesn't want stuff to run in the order it is scheduled?! Madness! There is now NO JOB INTEGRITY in DS! Tasks can effectively push inside other jobs....

It's already led to a major rollout issue (as per the example above where, thanks to a run order of, 1,2,3,5,4,6,7,8 the folder was copied (task 5) and then immediately deleted (task 4) ! ).

In fairness, you can nest jobs to create super jobs to get round this but do you want to have to create superjobs, necessitating hundreds of permutations every time you have a certain stack of jobs to run?!

So,

Idea to fix is: Place a tickbox in DS jobs saying "Do not allow this job sequence to be interrupted by other tasks"

That way you can ensure jobs maintain their coherence.

Thanks

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mortenleth's picture

Hallo Richardx

I must admit while i agree that if you schedule 2 tasks to run they should be in the exact same way as the old DS, that it takes the first job, completes that, and then moves forward to the other, I have to ask, why do you need this to be in 2 seperate jobs? - if you had these 2 jobs in one job i would think that you would get what you need?

Up until now i have not seen one job which does anything else than taking all of the subtasks in the order i have placed them in.

/Morten

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richardx's picture

Hi Morten,

The point is that it doesn't complete the first job! The second job pushes in and starts running before the first job is finished!

if you think about it, you may not always want to (in my example above) totally reinstall the Client. You may just want to uninstall it...or install it..or whatever.

The superjob approach forces one to create hundreds of permutations (and because there's no tickbox allowing you to add multiple existing tasks/jobs to the list in the JOB window, this is very slow) of all the possible jobs.

To see this happening, you need to "stack" two or more jobs against one client. I've been able to reproduce this.

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fabian.szalatnay's picture

I agree!
Symantec, please fix it.

Fabian Szalatnay | FYRE Consulting AG | http://www.fyre-consulting.ch

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