Job Administration Concepts
Jobs are set up in a hierarchy consisting of a Job Owner and an optional Job Type.
Typically the Job Owner is a service bureau client, but may also be an 'internal' user of CopiaFacts such as a marketing department or an individual network user. The Job Type may be a class of job (e.g. 'Urgent Jobs' and 'Overnight Jobs') or a project type ('Press Releases' and 'Monthly Reports').
Job Owners and Job Types are implemented as a system folders (directories) under the FAXFACTS\USERJOBS directory. Each job owner and job type can have job properties defined to implement various processing features. Properties specify the broadcast lists to be used, the documents to be transmitted, and all transmission parameters.
The Job Type may optionally be absent. For example the system administrator can specify that owners may only have a single default job type. A special NO_JOBTYPE job type is used when no specific category is specified.
When the job owner and job type are to be selected by standard IVR, numeric references must be given. Otherwise the job owner and job type references can be any legal Windows folder name. When numeric references are used, they are extended with leading zeros to eight digits following normal CopiaFacts conventions. The leading zeros never need be entered by a caller.
To process a broadcast job, a Job Instance must be created. The job instance is the unit of control, and allows the individual items in each broadcast to be identified. For example the same owner and job type might be used to send a press release to the same list on Monday and on Tuesday. Monday's broadcast and Tuesday's broadcast are separate instances of the same job. In the case of two press releases sent on the same day, the instances could even be being transmitted concurrently.
Job Instances comprise a unique set of job properties (formed by combining owner and job type properties with any special properties for the job instance) together with a job control file which is a list of the individual items in the job (FS files). The Job Properties file is referenced from each FS file, replacing the normal user profile on the $fax_user command.
Job Instances are identified by a number which defaults to five digits. Job Instance numbers are unique in a system.
When a new Job Instance has been created, the next step is to 'launch' it by writing FS files, one for each entry in the job list. A job may be started up in one of five ways:
•The job can be launched in a single operation, using JOBADMIN or the launch facility provided with the IVR job administration system. In this case a Job Control File is created containing all the generated FS filenames and is never subsequently modified.
•JOBCL can be used to (create and/or) launch the job using list and template files compatible with those prepared for FFBC.
•Your custom application can call the CF8JOBADM dynamic link library using the interfaces described in Appendix J. Please contact Copia for documentation if you wish to do this.
•Job Instance 0 is a job that is left 'open' and items may be added to it at any time. Items are added to the Job Control File by FFCLIENT, allowing an individual's outbound faxes to be monitored and controlled efficiently.
A job instance can also be created and launched in a single operation using the JOBCL program, which can be either run from the command line or called by a custom program written by you. JOBCL takes a job owner and job type parameter, and can also be given job document and/or job list filenames if these items are not included in the job properties.
All active Job Instances (other than 'open' instances) are monitored for completion by the JOBMON program, which runs continuously. A job instance is considered complete when some of its items have either been sent or failed, and none of its items remain to be sent. On completion, a variety of actions may be performed automatically, such as preparing a report, extracting statistics, archiving all the job files, etc.
It is necessary to be aware that the launch of a job (writing all the FS files) may take place on different machines, depending on how it is originated:
•If you launch a job requiring a PreConvert of the job document, it is launched by FFEXTERN on successful completion of the pre-conversion.
•If you launch a job with DELAY_LAUNCH, a post-dated FS file is written which launches the job on whatever machine picks it up. If one machine has a clock-time a little ahead of the others, it is more likely to be selected for such tasks.
•If you are launching a job from a worker-box FS generated by the gateway, then it depends on how the worker-box is coded. Generally, it may be picked up on any engine node.
You need Word (and REMOVEDS) on a machine processing launches only if you launch Word Merge jobs. You need Excel on a machine processing launches only if you define a USE_EXCEL variable for the job. To avoid the need to install these Office components on multiple machines, you can use the NO_JOB_LAUNCH environment variable to prevent job launch worker-box FS files from being processed, or use a special queue for such FS files which is only enabled on certain machines.