Zoom - Scheduling Automatic Indexing

Windows

You can setup Zoom to automatically index your site, upload the files, or generate statistical reports on a regular basis with the built-in Zoom Scheduler feature.

First, you will need a saved .zcfg file with your indexing configuration saved (output directory, etc.). Make sure the saved configuration is correct and will index your site successfully.

If you have checked that your saved configuration is suitable for scheduling to run unsupervised, you can then click on the scheduler button on the toolbar, or from the "Tools" menu, and select "Schedule automatic indexing".

Note for Vista and Windows 7 users: The scheduler requires the ZoomIndexer to be started with the "Run as administrator" command in Vista/Win7. Please refer to this section below for more information.

The Zoom Scheduler window

Click on "Add", and select the task option of either running in Spider mode, Offline mode, or to generate reports. You should schedule separate tasks to index and generate report, they can not be achieved with one single scheduled task.

Adding new schedule task to index the site in spider mode. Note that you must specify a username and password .

Note: You MUST specify a username and password for the user account that will be running the scheduled task (some older versions of XP allow this to be empty if you have no other accounts setup on the machine, but many recent SPs and updates have eliminated this behaviour). On most versions of Windows, you will require both Username and Password to be filled in - and you must use an account that has a password specified. Otherwise, Windows will refuse to run the scheduled task.

You can then click on the "Set schedule" button and create a schedule for the task (by clicking on "New"). A large variety of schedule combinations can be configured here, with options for Daily, Weekly, Monthly, etc. You can also click on the Advanced button for even more flexible scheduling options.

Example schedule - setting the task schedule to  run on a weekly basis, every monday, wednesday, sunday at 9 AM

Click OK when you have finished. You should now see your new schedule in the list on the first window. You can change the schedule, or remove it at any time.

If you have specified your FTP settings, and enabled "Automatically upload files at end of indexing" (under the "FTP" tab of the Configuration window), then Zoom will also automatically upload your files at the end of each scheduled indexing task.

Troubleshooting

If you are having difficulty with getting your scheduled tasks to run properly, you can check the status of the task from Windows, by selecting "Control Panel" -> "Scheduled Tasks". Here you can locate the task you scheduled using Zoom, right click on it, and select "Properties", or force it to run immediately by clicking on "Run" and examining its "Status" column.

Please also check any Permissions or Policies which may be in place that would prevent your scheduled task from running.

Some Windows XP SP2 users who initially had problems with getting their scheduled task to run, have since reported success after checking the option to "Run only if logged on" for that specific task, via the Properties window. This should normally not be required if you have a username and password correctly specified, but give this a try if you are having a similar issue. Note that with this option enabled, a scheduled task will not run when you are logged off from the computer.

Known Vista/Win7 issues

There has been significant (and somewhat confusing) changes with user accounts and access permission in Vista and Windows 7 which are very different from previous versions of Windows. These changes affect Zoom's scheduling functionality because these features utilize the Windows Scheduler.

In Vista/Win7, accessing the Windows Scheduler functionality requires Administrator privileges. However, you may find that you are still being denied access to Zoom's scheduling features despite already being logged in as an Administrator. This is because one of the significant differences in Vista's user account system is that an "Administrator" user, does not in fact have ultimate access privileges. In fact, the "Administrator" user is just another limited user in Vista.

Instead, there is an obscure, unnamed user status (sometimes known as "Elevated Administrator" in documentation) which must be confirmed each time you run an application requiring admininstrative rights. This is why you may be seeing many more pop-up windows prompting you to Confirm for administrative tasks - this happens whenever you run an application which is marked as requiring "elevated" administrative permission to run. By confirming this, Vista gives you actual administrative access for that specific instance of the application.

Vista requires launching Zoom with the "Run as administrator" command

To run Zoom with "elevated administrator" privileges, you will need to right-click on the Zoom program icon (instead of double-clicking the icon to launch the application), and select the "Run as administrator" option (yes, even if you are already logged in as an Administrator). This option will launch the application with the "elevated administrator" privilege mentioned above. When Zoom is started with this command, you will be able to access the scheduling features.

An alternative to doing this is to manually schedule the tasks with Windows Scheduler (click "Start"->"Control Panel"->"Administrative Tools"->"Scheduled Tasks").

Note: Zoom does not prompt you for a request to automatically promote you to elevated administrator rights because, as far as we know, it is not currently possible to make this change on demand in Vista (i.e.: when a user clicks on the Scheduler button). Instead, it can only be applied to the whole application, and the ZoomIndexer does not require administrator privileges for any other functionality besides the Scheduler. We wanted to retain the ability for Zoom to be used by non-Administrator user accounts, so unfortunately, this manual step was made necessary in Vista.

Q. How do I schedule Zoom to automatically create reports?

First, you must set up a config file with the necessary report generating options. This can be the same config file you are using for indexing.

To save your report settings, you will have to first manually generate a report successfully. This means you will have to open up the Search Reports window in the Indexer, specify a valid log file, and select the reporting options you require. Click on "OK" and make sure that a successful report was generated (a window will tell you if something went wrong). If successful, the report should load up in a browser window.

After doing this, save your configuration from the File menu. All your reporting settings will now be saved to this .zcfg file.

You can now schedule Zoom to generate the report as described above for scheduling indexing. Follow the same instructions, but click on "Report statistics" in the "Add task" window.

Note: You must schedule two seperate tasks if you wish to schedule both an indexing session, and a report generation session.

Linux

To setup Zoom to automatically index your site under Linux you can setup a cron job using the "crontab" command and a text editor. You will first need to make sure that your current indexing configurations are correct, and that you have these settings saved in a (.zcfg) configuration file. Make sure that the saved settings in this file will successfully index your site to your liking and will successfully run unsupervised.

You can list the current scheduled tasks for the current user by running the command "crontab -l".

Add task
To add a task you can use the command "crontab -e", which will launch a text editor where each line represents a scheduled task. The syntax for each line is

1 2 3 4 5 /path/to/command arg1 arg2 Where;
1: Minute (0-59)
2: Hours (0-23)
3: Day (0-31)
4: Month (0-12 [12 == December])
5: Day of the week(0-7 [7 or 0 == sunday])
/path/to/command - Script or command name to schedule

To run the Zoom Indexer engine you need to use  the "-c" and "-autostart" command line parameters and specify a config file. For example, assuming Zoom was installed in the user's home folder in a "zoom" directory, to run Zoom every day at 3am use the command;

0 3 * * * ~/zoom/ZoomEngine -autorun -c "~/zoom/savedconfig.zcfg"

If you are using a 64bit install of Linux you should use the ZoomEngine64 executable.

Remove task

To stop or remove a scheduled task, use the "crontab -e" command and delete the ZoomEngine line.

Troubleshooting scheduled tasks

If your scheduled task does not appear to be running correctly, check the system log for CRON or ZoomEngine references;
grep CRON /var/log/syslog (to display all cron related log messages)
grep ZoomEngine /var/log/syslog (to display all ZoomEngine specific log messages)
If Zoom did run, but the configuration is causing issues with indexing, you should analyse a log of what happened in its last scheduled execution. To do so, you must make sure you have enabled logging to file from the "Index log" tab of the Configuration window, for the ZCFG file scheduled (see "Index log" for more information).

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