Intuiface users with Enterprise-level accounts have access to a variety of Player-related services and those services can be scheduled in advance. The services are
- Remote deployment to any one or more Player-supported platforms
- Restarting Player on Windows
- Rebooting Windows PCs running Player
- Changing the version of Player on Windows
There are a variety of reasons for not applying these changes immediately. Scenarios include
- Avoiding changes during work hours
- Repeating changes at regular intervals
- Knowing personnel will be unavailable at the required change hour
- Applying changes to devices currently offline
Any Player service either in progress or scheduled is referred to as a "job".
How to schedule a Player job (aka service)
To schedule a Player job, go to the My Players view and select the Players for which you wish to schedule a change. To select more than one Player
- Filter by name/tag/platform.
- Select the triangle in the lower-left corner of each Player you'll be targeting (or, to select all filtered Players, click the checkbox in the upper left named "0 selected device").
- Click the "All selected devices" button to open the Player information panel.
Locate the job you wish to schedule in the Player information panel. In all cases, the service is represented by a button with a calendar icon located on the right-hand side. You can see them in the image below. Note how the Deploy option is located at the bottom of the "Deploy" tab.
Click the calendar icon of the desired Player job to open the Scheduler dialog.
Currently, the scheduler will always update to a specific, manually selected version of Player instead of the latest version of Player. There is currently no option for automatically updating to the latest version of Player through the Management Console.
Defining a job schedule
The Scheduler dialog presents seven scheduling options via the "Schedule job" drop-down.
Specify the date and time. For the time, additionally indicate whether that time should be specific to each Player device's time zone ("Player local time") or if that time should be Player independent and thus universal ("UTC"). Using "UTC" (Coordinated Universal Time) means the job should start at the same time for all Players, regardless of time zone.
- Hourly / Daily / Weekly / Monthly / Yearly
Choose the appropriate interval and then specify the frequency and start date. End dates are optional; without them, jobs will repeat indefinitely. The minimum permitted interval length is one hour.
After defining your requirements, the bottom of the scheduler will list the dates/times for upcoming jobs. For example, the following image shows a weekly deployment on Sunday nights at 3am UTC, starting on 5-Jan-2020 and repeating indefinitely.
Create your own schedule using a cron expression. Cron expressions present great flexibility in expressing a date, time, and frequency. Intuiface uses quartz-formatted cron expressions and we have found this online service to be effective at building well-formatted expressions for use in Intuiface. (As noted above, the minimum permitted interval length is one hour.)
As a convenience, schedules created using any of the other scheduling options are automatically translated into a cron expression and displayed in the "Advanced" view. For example, the following image continues the example above, showing a weekly deployment on Sunday nights at 3am UTC, starting on 5-Jan-2020 and repeating indefinitely.
Regardless of which interval you choose, clicking the OK button will create a scheduled job.
NOTE: If more than one job is scheduled to occur at the same time, the lowest frequency job will be executed and the other jobs will be skipped. For example, if Job A is scheduled for once each week and Job B is scheduled for once a day, and they land on the same time and day, Job A will be executed and Job B will be skipped. If there are future scheduled instances of Job B, they will remain scheduled and will be performed if job conflicts don't exist.
Managing scheduled jobs
All scheduled jobs will be listed on the Jobs tab of the information panel for one or more selected Players. If multiple Players are selected then only jobs held in common will be listed.
For each scheduled job, on the Jobs tab, you can
- Duplicate the job for the select Player(s). You can paste the copy in place or return to the My Players view, apply filters, select Players, and then paste the copied job onto the resulting Jobs tab.
- Edit the job
- Delete the job
In the same list, you may see Queued Jobs. These are jobs that will be performed as soon as possible in the order of their creation. Scheduled jobs, on the other hand, may be listed for days/weeks/months or longer depending upon the associated schedule.
Completed jobs will be preceded with a double-flag icon.
Scheduled jobs are retained on all platforms but Chrome OS when the Player version is updated. In addition, exclusively on Windows, scheduled jobs are retained even if Player is uninstalled and then reinstalled.
Using the Event Log to monitor job progress
All Player jobs - not just those that can be scheduled - are comprised of multiple events. Job progress, status, and success can be monitored by following the list of events in the Event Log, one of the other tabs visible in the information panel for selected Players.
In the image below is the Event Log for three Players named SME-1, SME-2, and SME-3. Each Player began to play an experience named '2-SushiMenu' at around 17h20 on 8-October. Note how the event log indicates the Play job as well as how the job ended successfully.
Use the "Filter by type" drop-down to specify which event(s) you wish to focus on.
Working with offline Players
Offline Players can be assigned jobs. The rules for handling these jobs depend upon the job status.
- Jobs for immediate execution
Jobs requiring immediate execution are placed in a queue. If Player is offline, queued jobs will be saved and maintained until Player returns to online status. (You'll see them listed as "Queued Jobs" on the "Jobs" tab of the Player information panel.) When an online connection is reestablished, queued jobs will be performed in the order they were created.
- Scheduled jobs
Jobs scheduled for future dates and times are saved and maintained until Player returns to online status. (You'll see them listed as "Scheduled Jobs" on the "Jobs" tab of the Player information panel.) If a date and time are missed before an online connection is reestablished, that instance of the job will NOT be executed. Missed times will not be made up. Only future scheduled jobs will be executed.
NOTE: Offline Players will locally cache all event information and upload it to the Event Log when an Internet connection is re-established.
- The scheduler will not automatically perform a "daylight saving" conversion. For example, a 24h chron job will be executed after 24 hours even when changing from winter/summer time.