scheduling scripts

April 23, 2017
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In most cases, you’ll write a R script that pulls data, manipulates it and dumps the output to a database or you’ll create a beautiful report in rmarkdown. Suppose you want to run this script or report every day, week, day, etc. Well, there are a few possibilities for automating these procedures on Windows machine.

Windows Task Scheduler:

You can use the default windows task scheduler. To do so, you can create a cmd file including the path to your Rscript.exe and the path to your R script: "yourpathto\...\R\bin\Rscript.exe" "yourpathto\...\myRscript.R". You can also add a log output "yourpathto\...\R\bin\Rscript.exe" "yourpathto\...\myRscript.R" >> "yourpathto\...\logfile.txt. Next, add this cmd file as a new task to your windows scheduler and define the trigger conditions. Or you can do this directly withing the windows scheduler.

There’s a nice tutorial on youtube if you want to learn more about the basics: Scheduling R Tasks via Windows Task Scheduler

TaskscheduleR

taskscheduleR is a recently released R package that will schedule your R scripts using SCHTASKS, a commandline front-end for windows’ task scheduler. This package includes most functions such as returning a list of scheduled tasks taskscheduler_ls(), removing a task taskscheduler_delete() and ofcourse adding a new task taskscheduler_create(). Take a look at the official blog-post from Jan Wijfels at: R package to schedule R scripts with the Windows task manager.

Rstudio addin TaskscheduleR

The source code of taskscheduleR is avaible on github and i just pushed a Rstudio Addin for this package. This will allow you to add/stop/remove your task with a clean and easy UI. It also keeps a central repository for your R tasks so that you can easily edit the original script. You only need to overwrite the existing task of the same name. I’ve included a task check which will indicate if the uploaded script already exists.

Addin a new task

ScheduleR

Lastly, scheduleR is a schedule framework created by Bart Smeets and has been tested under GNU/Linux and Windows. It’s designed to be an intuitive interface for scheduling R scripts and Rmarkdown files, but also for deploying shiny apps. Yes, shiny apps! It comes with a nice web interface using Node.js and mongodb as back-end. What makes this framework so special? It has a great interface, comes with user management, keeps track of detailed logging and status reports. These status reports and the Rmarkdown reports can be send directly via email to a list of recipients or to a file directory.

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