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Need programmable timer from php

Hi, I have a web-based php/mysql booking system.  I need to include alarms/timers that can handle intervals of between one to two hours between being set, and firing. For example, an appointment is initiated, and I need a notifcation to pop up 70mins later regardless of what else the user does with the application in the meantime.  

Can I use the chron daemon on the server, somehow?

The server is linux, and users are  on windows laptops running firefox.

Looking for either third party solutions or coding suggestions
Thanks.
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febone
Asked:
febone
2 Solutions
 
ellandrdCommented:
>>coding suggestions

i would add a field called TimeBooked to the table where you insert bookings. when inserting new records, give this field a timestamp value - say for example, the current time of insertion into the database.  then based on the system clock of the server or client machine, check this timestamp and if it has overlapped 70 mins, show the popup window notification to your user.

you would need some script to be running in the background to trigger this, but im not sure if this is good for the server processor to have a constant scripting 24/7 using resources...

haveyou heard of cron jobs?  these might be useful to what you wan to do also...

For help on cron jobs, see http://www.superscripts.com/tutorial/crontab.html.

and since your on a linux server, should be able to use cron jobs so i think this is a good choice/option too.

can you not set scheduled task?  im not sure if this can be done on a linux server though...

thats my advise!

good luck

ellandrd
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ellandrdCommented:
sorry just noticed that the link i provided didnt work so try these instead:

http://www.unixgeeks.org/security/newbie/unix/cron-1.html
http://www.adminschoice.com/docs/crontab.htm

you will find more on google if you search...

ellandrd
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Mark GilbertSenior Performance EngineerCommented:
I'm sure that in each of your pages you are looking for a require, or an include which calls for the same page.  In that page, insert a query into it which checks whether a variable in your database equals or is greater than x (the time you wish the popup to appear).  If so, use a php echo of a javascript popup which notifies the user that they have to take action on the x item.  If they close the window, and the closed time is not within a certain amount of time (each action should be audited by the system, with an action date or time which is updated if something is successful -- i.e step 2 of 4 has been completed, but step 3 hasn't on the saturday) then it is queued in the system with the query script running each time header.php is run.

Other than that, what could be possible is that every queued item that the user performs (which is within your internal network), if the next job item checks for an outstanding or equals to situation then to move on to the next item.  This sort of system could work within a 24 hour CRM basis, or an ad-hoc basis of CRM.  Either way you have some basis on setting the programatic rules.

Hope this helps.
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Mark GilbertSenior Performance EngineerCommented:
"if the next job item checks for an outstanding or equals to situation then to move on to the next item." should read "if the next job item checks for an outstanding or equals to situation then open that work item or if not either of the above, move on to the next item."
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CSecurityCommented:
YOu can use cron jobs or AJAX
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feboneAuthor Commented:
Hi folks...thanks for the tips and guides; definately pointed me in the right direction. I ended up going with an ajax soln using bits and pieces of all the answers.
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Mark GilbertSenior Performance EngineerCommented:
Thanks for the points and the grade febone, pleased I was able to help you a bit.
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ellandrdCommented:
thank you
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