« 25 Days of Ruby Gems - Ruby Advent Calendar 2020, December 1st - December 25th

Day 14 - que-scheduler Gem - Light-Weight (Time-Driven) Cron (Background) Job Scheduler for Que - a Job Queue Using the PostgreSQL Database with Advisory Locks for Speed and Reliability

Written by hlascelles Harry Lascelles

A performant web application should always make sure it does the heavy lifting outside of user requests where possible. Many asynchronous job systems have sprung up to solve this problem, such as Resque, Sidekiq, DelayedJob and Que.

However sometimes these workloads are not event driven - they are time driven. For that you need a reliable scheduler - you need que-scheduler.

The que-scheduler gem

The que-scheduler gem is a simple and dependable way to get up and running with job scheduler that doesn’t require any extra infrastructure. If you are already running the que job system, then you are good to go. No Redis is required, no external processes need to be installed or synchronised and nothing needs to run in high-availability (HA).

Install and apply the setup migration to get started:

gem 'que-scheduler'

# In a migration...
Que::Scheduler::Migrations.migrate!(version: 6)

Built on the que bedrock

The que-scheduler gem is for use with the high performance que job system. Unlike systems that use Redis as a backend, que keeps all of the job logic in the (PostgreSQL application) database. This has all the advantages you’d expect from an ACID DB. If you schedule job, then either the job row will get committed when the transaction completes, or it will be cleaned up if the transaction errors. To avoid worker conflict que uses advisory locks on rows to make sure jobs are run by one worker, once.

que-scheduler takes advantage of these facts by running itself as a que job. As long as you have workers running, then your scheduler is running. If you deploy to a new environment, then running your standard migrations automatically starts and configures the scheduler. If you back up the DB, then the schedule is backed up. There are other features too, such as job coalescing and audit tables.


The config is held in a yaml file, and is self explanatory:

# Simple example
  cron: "*/5 * * * *"                     # runs every 5 minutes

# Altogether now
  cron: "0 7 * * * America/Los_Angeles"   # runs every day at 7am
  class: QueueDocuments
  queue: reporting
  priority: 25
  args: ['open']

If you are using a Redis backed job system and don’t feel it is working out for you, or want to simplify your infrastructure whilst also improving job enqueueing semantics, que and que-scheduler could be the solution you are looking for.

If you’re already using que, give que-scheduler a go today.

Find Out More


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