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Scheduling cron tasks

The Deno.cron interface enables you to configure JavaScript or TypeScript code that executes on a configurable schedule using cron syntax. In the example below, we configure a block of JavaScript code that will execute every minute.

Deno.cron("Log a message", "* * * * *", () => {
  console.log("This will print once a minute.");

It's also possible to use JavaScript objects to define the cron schedule. In the example below, we configure a block of JavaScript code that will execute once an hour.

Deno.cron("Log a message", { hour: { every: 1 } }, () => {
  console.log("This will print once an hour.");

Deno.cron takes three arguments:

  • A human-readable name for the cron task
  • A cron schedule string or JavaScript object that defines a schedule on which the cron job will run
  • a function to be executed on the given schedule

If you are new to cron syntax, there are a number of third party modules like this one that will help you generate cron schedule strings.

Retrying failed runs Jump to heading

Failed cron invocations are automatically retried with a default retry policy. If you would like to specify a custom retry policy, you can use the backoffSchedule property to specify an array of wait times (in milliseconds) to wait before retrying the function call again. In the following example, we will attempt to retry failed callbacks three times - after one second, five seconds, and then ten seconds.

Deno.cron("Retry example", "* * * * *", () => {
  throw new Error("Deno.cron will retry this three times, to no avail!");
}, {
  backoffSchedule: [1000, 5000, 10000],

Design and limitations Jump to heading

Below are some design details and limitations to be aware of when using Deno.cron.

Tasks must be defined at the top level module scope Jump to heading

The Deno.cron interface is designed to support static definition of cron tasks based on pre-defined schedules. All Deno.cron tasks must be defined at the top-level of a module. Any nested Deno.cron definitions (e.g. inside Deno.serve handler) will result in an error or will be ignored.

If you need to schedule tasks dynamically during your Deno program execution, you can use the Deno Queues APIs.

Time zone Jump to heading

Deno.cron schedules are specified using UTC time zone. This helps avoid issues with time zones which observe daylight saving time.

Overlapping executions Jump to heading

It's possible for the next scheduled invocation of your cron task to overlap with the previous invocation. If this occurs, Deno.cron will skip the next scheduled invocation in order to avoid overlapping executions.

Day-of-week numeric representation Jump to heading

Deno.cron does not use 0-based day-of-week numeric representation. Instead, it uses 1-7 (or SUN-SAT) to represent Sunday through Saturday. This may be different compared to other cron engines which use 0-6 representation.

Usage on Deno Deploy Jump to heading

With Deno Deploy, you can run your background tasks on V8 isolates in the cloud. When doing so, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

Differences with Deno CLI Jump to heading

Like other Deno runtime built-ins (like queues and Deno KV), the Deno.cron implementation works slightly differently on Deno Deploy.

How cron works by default Jump to heading

The implementation of Deno.cron in the Deno runtime keeps execution state in-memory. If you run multiple Deno programs that use Deno.cron, each program will have its own independent set of cron tasks.

How cron works on Deno Deploy Jump to heading

Deno Deploy provides a serverless implementation of Deno.cron that is designed for high availability and scale. Deno Deploy automatically extracts your Deno.cron definitions at deployment time, and schedules them for execution using on-demand isolates. Your latest production deployment defines the set of active cron tasks that are scheduled for execution. To add, remove, or modify cron tasks, simply modify your code and create a new production deployment.

Deno Deploy guarantees that your cron tasks are executed at least once per each scheduled time interval. This generally means that your cron handler will be invoked once per scheduled time. In some failure scenarios, the handler may be invoked multiple times for the same scheduled time.

Cron dashboard Jump to heading

When you make a production deployment that includes a cron task, you can view a list of all your cron tasks in the Deploy dashboard under the Cron tab for your project.

a listing of cron tasks in the Deno dashboard

Pricing Jump to heading

Deno.cron invocations are charged at the same rate as inbound HTTP requests to your deployments. Learn more about pricing here.

Deploy-specific limitations Jump to heading

  • Deno.cron is only available for production deployments (not preview deployments)
  • The exact invocation time of your Deno.cron handler may vary by up to a minute from the scheduled time

Cron configuration examples Jump to heading

Here are a few common cron configurations, provided for your convenience.

Run once a minute
Deno.cron("Run once a minute", "* * * * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run every fifteen minutes
Deno.cron("Run every fifteen minutes", "*/15 * * * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run once an hour, on the hour
Deno.cron("Run once an hour, on the hour", "0 * * * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run every three hours
Deno.cron("Run every three hours", "0 */3 * * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run every day at 1am
Deno.cron("Run every day at 1am", "0 1 * * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run every Wednesday at midnight
Deno.cron("Run every Wednesday at midnight", "0 0 * * WED", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");
Run on the first of the month at midnight
Deno.cron("Run on the first of the month at midnight", "0 0 1 * *", () => {
  console.log("Hello, cron!");