Time for a Change: Manage and Monitor Your Cron Jobs in the Cloud with SaaSGlue

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This article will demonstrate how to import your Cron jobs to SaaSGlue in five minutes or less. To see how it works in action, watch the 2 1/2 minute demo video at the end of this article.

Cron is great, until it's not

If you're using Cron to schedule recurring tasks like backups, updates, data processing and running reports you've likely experienced the limitations of Cron. Cron is free and fairly simple to use and works well for certain tasks. However, Cron based solutions for non-trivial scheduling tasks can result in solutions that are complex, brittle and expensive to maintain.

It's simple enough at first to schedule a task. But soon you'll want to have central logging to increase visibility. Then alerts for when something goes wrong. You might need to handle concurrency or dependencies between Cron jobs. Each new layer of scaffolding increases the complexity and cost of the solution. And eventually you may need functionality that is beyond the scope of what is practical with Cron, like event based triggers and multi-machine solutions to achieve scale and resilience.

A better solution: Software automation as a service

SaaSGlue is a software automation service that performs the same basic functions as Cron plus central management, logging/alerting, multi-task workflows, automatic failover and much more. In this article, we will demonstrate how to import your existing Cron jobs to SaaSGlue, allowing you to manage and monitor your automated tasks in one central location.

There are two main components to SaaSGlue — the SaaSGlue service and the SaaSGlue agent. After installing the agent on a machine, you can upload the Cron jobs on that machine to SaaSGlue. SaaSGlue will then execute the jobs according to the schedule via the SaaSGlue agent. You can view your running jobs, recent job history and upcoming jobs in the dashboard.

Cron jobs with SaaSGlue

Unlike many software automation solutions SaaSGlue does not require installing and configuring a server. To import your Cron jobs to SaaSGlue you simply sign up for a free account, download and install the secure, lightweight agent and then click the “Import” button next to the host machine name on the Agents tab of the cloud console. That's all there is to it. SaaSGlue will execute your Cron jobs just like before, only now you can monitor and manage them all in one place.

Import your Cron jobs in 3 steps

Step 1: Sign up for a free account

Sign up for a free account and log into the SaaSGlue web console. You can sign up with your Google or Github account or with your email address. There is no payment option required to sign up and your first 1,000 scripts are free.

Step 2: Download and install the SaaSGlue agent

SaaSGlue runs your Cron jobs via an agent which can be installed on Linux, Mac or Windows machines. Before installing the agent you'll need to generate a revokable, secure access key in the web console which is used to securely connect to the SaaSGlue service over https. There are no incoming connections to the agent, so no firewall configuration is required.

Access key creation

Now follow the instructions on the “Download Agent” tab of the web console to download and install the agent. After installing the agent you'll see your machine in the Agent tab of the console.

Active agents list

Step 3: Import your Cron jobs

After clicking the “Import” button next to your machine name, a dialog box will show the Cron jobs currently running on the host machine. Each Cron job will have an “Import” button next to it. As each Cron job is imported, a new tab will open with the imported job. You can then modify the schedule and other job parameters. Remember to delete or disable the Cron jobs on the host machine to avoid duplicate job executions.

Watch the video for a 2 1/2 minute demo and explanation of these steps.

Watch the 2 1/2 minute demo video

CronSoftware DevelopmentAutomation SoftwareSaaSSaaS Tools