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How can I use a timer to schedule exe to run at a specific time

Posted on 2012-04-05
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a windows service that retrieves date and time from the database and then needs to schedule exe to run at that time. Can someone help?
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Question by:YZlat
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Expert Comment

by:jacobstewart
ID: 37812311
Have you tried to create a scheduled task for the exe?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37812461
You could do something like this:
        private Dictionary<System.Timers.Timer, string> Schedule = new Dictionary<System.Timers.Timer, string>();

        private void ScheduleExe(DateTime LaunchAt, string FullPathToExe)
        {
            TimeSpan ts = LaunchAt.Subtract(DateTime.Now);
            if (ts.TotalMilliseconds > 0)
            {
                System.Timers.Timer timer = new System.Timers.Timer(ts.TotalMilliseconds);
                timer.AutoReset = false;
                timer.Elapsed += new System.Timers.ElapsedEventHandler(timer_Elapsed);
                Schedule.Add(timer, FullPathToExe);
                timer.Start();
            }
        }

        void timer_Elapsed(object sender, System.Timers.ElapsedEventArgs e)
        {
            System.Timers.Timer timer = (System.Timers.Timer)sender;
            string FullPathToExe = Schedule[timer];
            Schedule.Remove(timer);
            timer.Dispose();
            System.Diagnostics.Process.Start(FullPathToExe);
        }

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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37812556
idle_mind, what is Schedule in this case?
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 37812567
It's at line #1, and is a Dictionary to associate the string path to the EXE with each Timer instance so you can look it up when the Elapsed() event fires.
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37812732
I tried your code and it seemed to do nothing. So I che4cked the Task manager and saw that the process for the exe was running but the user form didn't show up. My exe is a Windows application
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37812820
Services run in their own "desktop" so you won't see the other exe if it has an interface.  =\

This is not a trivial task:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms683502(VS.85).aspx
http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/36581/Interaction-between-services-and-applications-at-u
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37812832
Can I add a windows form to my windows service and run that form instead of an exe?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37812839
Again, it won't be seen since services run in a different desktop than the user does.  You have to jump thru the hoops to get the GUI visible to the user.  No other way around it...
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37812867
Thanks.
One more thing, if I replace my Windows service with exe, how can make it run every hour programmatically? I want to schedule it either via code or via setup project i use to install it. Is there a way to do that?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37812901
You either:
(1) Run constantly, albeit invisibly, and act accordingly at your desired times.
(2) Use the Windows Scheduler to make it run every hour.

See the answer here:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1774764/vista-schedule-task-from-setup
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37813186
I tried to schedule the task using Windows scheduler but there is no option for hourly, just daily
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Accepted Solution

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Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37813266
Hmmm...set it up as "One Time".  Then, in advanced settings, there's an opetion to "Repeat task" where you can set  "Every Hour" and "Indefinitely".
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37824428
Can this be done programmatically?
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Assisted Solution

by:Mike Tomlinson
Mike Tomlinson earned 500 total points
ID: 37824694
I've never tried creating a scheduler task via code before...not sure!

There are lots of libraries (free) available that wrap the scheduler API:
http://taskscheduler.codeplex.com/documentation
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Author Comment

by:YZlat
ID: 37827443
Thank you, I will check it out
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