Message Schedules and Recurring Delivery

Message Schedules and Recurring Delivery allow an organization to schedule the delivery of periodic messages to a target audience. It also provides the ability to rotate among multiple pre-defined Message Templates so that the same message does not necessarily need to be transmitted each time a scheduled message run occurs. Message Scheduling leverages the same Aptify Scheduled Task infrastructure that is also used by features such as View Scheduling and delayed message delivery.

This section covers the following topics dealing with Message Schedules:


Configuring the Message Schedules Entity

To support the Message Schedule functionality, an administrator must configure the Message Scheduling default options in the Message Schedules entity. Follow these steps to enable support for message scheduling:

  1. Open the Message Schedules record from the Entities service.
  2. The Entities service is found under the Messaging Administration or Framework application.
  3. Click the Configuration > Attributes tab.
  4. Configure the following attributes, as necessary:
    • ScheduledViewProcessFlow: This is the name of the Process Flow that handles auto-execution of the message run for the schedule Messages. By default, this attribute is set to Execute Message Schedule, which is the Process Flow provided by Aptify. If you have created your own Process Flow to handle Message Scheduling, edit this attribute to use that Process Flow's name.
    • ScheduledViewScheduledTaskService: This is the name of the Scheduled Task Service that will be used to save Scheduled Tasks records generated by message scheduling. By default, this attribute is set to Remote Scheduler, which is the Scheduled Task Service that allows users without elevated permissions to save Scheduled Tasks records. After the initial save, the Remote Scheduler creates a Process Flow Runs record to use the Application Server to convert the Scheduled Task Service to the standard Windows Scheduler and consequently create the Windows Scheduled Task on the Application Server.
    • ScheduledViewScheduledTaskCategory: This is the name of the Scheduled Task Category that will be assigned to all Scheduled Tasks created by Message Scheduling. By default, this attribute is set to Scheduled Messages. If you have created your own Scheduled Task Categories record and want to use it as the default category for Message Scheduling, enter that category's name as the attribute value.
    • ScheduledViewApplicationServer: This is the name of the Application Server on your network that will execute the message schedules based on the information stored in the Scheduled Tasks record. You must enter the name of an installed Application Server in order to support Message Scheduling. This Application Server must have a default Job Account Username and Password.

When enabling Message Scheduling, you only need to specify an Application Server's name as the value for the ScheduleMessageApplicationServer attribute. You can leave the other attributes at their default setting.

Creating Message Schedule Categories

This service stores the set of categories that can be applied to Message Schedules records and is required in order for Message Schedules records to be saved. 

Note that by default, Aptify does not include a Message Schedule Categories record. 

Follow these steps to create a new category:

  1. Open a new record from the Message Schedule Categories service.
  2. Enter a Name and Description for the category.
  3. If the new category is a sub-category, enter the parent message schedule category in the Parent field.
  4. Enter any optional details about this category in the Comments tab.
  5. Save the record and close the record.

Modifying Message Schedules

Only an administrator can modify existing Message Schedules records and/or Scheduled Tasks records directly if changes are required to the message schedule. For example, to disable a Message Schedules record so it no longer sends out a recurring message, an administrator should disable the corresponding Scheduled Tasks record. Follow these steps to disable a message schedule:

  1. Open the Scheduled Task record for the Message Schedules record in which you want to modify.
  2. The Scheduled Tasks service is in the Process Pipeline Administration application.
  3. Go to the General tab.
  4. Remove the check mark from the Is Enabled field.
  5. Save and close the record.
    • The Scheduled Task record is no longer active and will no longer send out a recurring message.

About the Message Schedule Process

The following is an overview of the message scheduling process:

  1. A user runs the Schedule Message Wizard to create a Message Schedules record and the corresponding Scheduled Task that will execute the message schedule on a recurring basis. This wizard can be launched from either the Aptify Messaging dialog or from the Message Schedules service. Typically, the wizard will be launched from the Aptify Messaging dialog since users will generally not have access to the Message Schedules service directly.
  2. When the user saves the message schedule, Aptify creates a "Message Auto-Scheduler" Scheduled Tasks record that contains the information specified by the user.
    • This Scheduled Task uses the Remote Scheduler service (since not all users will have the appropriate permissions to create Windows Scheduled Tasks on the Application Server). 
  3. The Remote Scheduler service creates a Process Flow Runs record to change the Scheduled Task's service from Remote Scheduler to Windows Scheduler.
  4. The Application Server executes the Process Flow Run and updates the Scheduled Task's service to Windows Scheduler. This generates a Windows Scheduled Task on the Application Server that will execute the bulk message run.
    • Since the Application Server's user account modifies the Scheduled Tasks record, that user account, which should already have the necessary permissions, creates the Windows Scheduled Task in lieu of the user who originally saved the message schedule. 
  5. At the specified date and time, the Scheduled Task creates a Process Flow Runs record that fires the "Execute Message Schedule" process flow using the input values provided by the user.
  6. The assigned Application Server executes the Process Flow Runs record and sends the email message.
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