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VisualCron raffles off three licenses of their central task scheduling software for Windows to 4sysops readers. The winner will receive a 5-Server license worth $717 USD. The two runners-up will each receive a 1-Server license worth $197 USD. The deadline of this contest is July 26, 2011. If you want to take part in this raffle, please send an email with the subject VisualCron to .
I reviewed an earlier version of VisualCron in 2009. Many new and interesting features were added since then, which is the main topic of this post. For an overview of the capabilities of this advanced task scheduler, I recommend reading my former posts about VisualCron. Most of the text is still valid.
VisualCron- Advanced Task Scheduler
Before I discuss the enhancements in the new version 5.7.5, let me summarize the main advantages of VisualCron over the Windows Task Scheduler.
Central management of scheduled tasks ^
VisualCron allows you to manage all scheduled tasks in your network on a central server. You can connect with VisualCron clients from any workstation and configure scheduled tasks for all servers and workstations in your network.
Powerful task scheduling features ^
VisualCron offers many more triggers and task types than does the Windows Task Scheduler. A sophisticated notification system informs admins about the status of scheduled tasks.
One task scheduler for all Windows versions ^
Different Windows versions have task schedulers with different user interfaces and capabilities. VisualCron provides a uniform task scheduling environment for older Windows versions (Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008) and, of course, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
User tasks with admin rights ^
VisualCron enables you to run Windows tasks with administrator rights in the context of a standard user.
VisualCron Job definition
These are the new features of VisualCron 5.7.5:
- Exchange tasks: Allows you to run tasks on an Exchange server
- SNMP tasks: Lets you perform queries against SNMP products
- WCF services: Provides extended support for executing Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services
- System start/shutdown: Triggers a task when a computer starts or a shutdown is initiated
- Performance counters: Monitors performance counters for changes (for example, if CPU utilization exceeds 50% for a configurable time period)
- Internal VisualCron trigger: Notifies you about VisualCron changes (for example, if a job has been added)
- RSS trigger: Allows you to monitor remote RSS feeds for specific content
- FTP explorer: Provides a built-in SSH and FTP client for testing FTP tasks
- Calendar: Lets you view your scheduled jobs in calendar mode
- New log: Increased log size enables you to access information about former tasks and jobs
VisualCron API ^
The VisualCron API is a DLL that allows you to use all VisualCron client features in your .NET programs. For instance, you can create your own GUI for VisualCron (perhaps a web interface) by leveraging the VisualCron API. You can also easily integrate VisualCron functionality in your own applications—for example, to receive output from tasks and to run jobs.
You can download a free trial of VisualCron.