The redesigned Task Scheduler is now based on Management Console and can be used to automate management and configuration tasks. It already has a number of preconfigured system-level tasks scheduled to run at various times. In addition to time-based triggers, Task Scheduler also supports calendar and event-based triggers, such as starting a task when a particular event is logged to the event log, or even only when multiple events have occurred. Also, several tasks that are triggered by the same event can be configured to run either simultaneously or in a pre-determined chained sequence of a series of actions, instead of having to create multiple scheduled tasks. Tasks can also be configured to run based on system status such as being idle for a pre-configured amount of time, on startup, logoff, or only during or for a specified time. Tasks can be triggered by an XPath expression for filtering events from the Windows Event Log. Tasks can also be delayed for a specified time after the triggering event has occurred, or repeat until some other event occurs. Actions that need to be done if a task fails can also be configured. There are several actions defined across various categories of applications and components. Task Scheduler keeps a history log of all execution details of all the tasks. Other features of Task Scheduler include:
- Several new actions: A task can be scheduled to send an e-mail, show a message box, start an executable, or fire a COM handler when it is triggered.
- Task Scheduler schema: Task Scheduler allows creating and managing tasks through XML-formatted documents.
- New security features, including using Credential Manager to store passwords for tasks on workgroup computers and using Active Directory for task credentials on domain-joined computers so that they cannot be retrieved easily. Also, scheduled tasks are executed in their own session, instead of the same session as system services or the current user.
- Ability to wake up a machine remotely or using BIOS timer from sleep or hibernation to execute a scheduled task or run a previously scheduled task after a machine gets turned on.
- Ability to attach tasks to events directly from the Event Viewer.
- The Task Scheduler 2.0 API is now fully available to VBScript, JScript, PowerShell and other scripting languages.
Read more about this topic: Management Features New To Windows Vista
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