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Scheduling Jobs with DBMS_SCHEDULER

DBAs, for years, are writing OS level scripts to execute different database related tasks and schedule it via cront tab in Linux. The cron jobs work perfectly well until Oracle released DBMS_SCHEDULER in 10g version.

Note: DBMS_SCHEDULER has introduced many benefits yet, many DBAs still stick to OS level scripting.

Before you learn how to schedule jobs via DBMS_SCHEDULER, let us compare it with cron jobs (OS level scripts)

  • DBMS_SCHEDULER syntax works same regardless of OS

  • Can run jobs based on database events

  • If DB is down during a job schedule, it will be executed again once DB starts up

  • You can run jobs on remote machines (11gR1 and above)

  • Schedule chain of jobs one after another

All in all, it's time for you to migrate most of your OS-level scripts to DBMS_SCHEDULER!


Let us first get familiar with different components inside DBMS_SCHEDULER. There many components but we will be looking at the most important ones.

scheduling jobs with dbms scheduler steps

As you can see from the above diagram, we need to

  • First define a program that is capable of executing PL/SQL script, shell script or stored procedures

  • Next, we need to define a schedule for the above program. The schedule contains execution frequency

  • Finally, we need to create a job with program name (created in first step) and schedule (created in second step) to DBMS_SCHEDULER

Note: you can directly write a job which includes a program and a schedule. In that case you need not specifically create a program or schedule. But, it is always good to follow standards. Always create a program, followed by schedule and finally job!

Ultimately you will be working with three most important procedures under DBMS_SCHEDULER

  • DBMS_SCHEDULER.create_program

  • DBMS_SCHEDULER.create_schedule

  • DBMS_SCHEDULER.create_job

STEP 1 – Create program

A program tells DBMS_SCHEDULER as to what to execute. It is capable of executing

  • PL/SQL Block

  • Stored Procedure

  • OS level executable file

Sample program to execute a PL/SQL program:

  program_name => 'plsql_program',
  program_type => 'PLSQL_BLOCK',
  program_action => 'BEGIN DBMS_STATS.gather_schema_stats(''HR''); END;',
  enabled => TRUE,
  comments => 'Program to gather HR user statistics');
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.enable (name=>'plsql_program');

Sample program to execute a stored procedure

Note: you must define number_of_arguments even before you can enable a program. Notice arguments in the below code must be defined before enabling the program

  program_name => 'stored_procedure_program',
  program_type => 'STORED_PROCEDURE',
  program_action => 'DBMS_STATS.gather_schema_stats',
  number_of_arguments => 1,
  enabled => FALSE,
  comments => 'Program to gather HR stats using stored procedure');

   program_name => 'stored_procedure_program',
   argument_name => 'ownname',
   argument_position => 1,
   argument_type => 'VARCHAR2',
   default_value => 'SYS');

  DBMS_SCHEDULER.enable (name=>'stored_procedure_program');

Sample program to execute an OS level executable script file:

  program_name => 'executable_program',
  program_type => 'EXECUTABLE',
  program_action => '/u02/rman/scripts/',
  enabled => TRUE,
  comments => 'Program to trigger rman full backup');
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.enable (name=>'executable_program');

Drop, enable, disable program

To drop a program


To enable / disable a program

-- to disable a program
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.disable (name=>'plsql_program');

-- to enable a program
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.enable (name=>'plsql_program');

View program details

You must query DBA_SCHEDULER_PROGRAMS to view details about scheduled programs

set lines 999;
col owner for a20;
col program_name for a30;
SELECT owner, program_name, enabled FROM dba_scheduler_programs where program_name like '&enter_program_name';

STEP 2 – Create schedule

Schedules is what defines DBMS_SCHEDULER when to run a program and at what frequency / interval.

Below is a sample schedule that repeats every hour, exactly at 00 minutes and has no end date

DBMS_SCHEDULER.create_schedule (
  schedule_name => 'hourly_sched',
  start_date => SYSTIMESTAMP,
  repeat_interval => 'freq=hourly; byminute=0',
  end_date => NULL,
  comments => 'Run every hour at 00 minutes everyday');

Drop a schedule

Use below code to drop an existing schedule

  DBMS_SCHEDULER.drop_schedule (schedule_name => 'hourly_sched');

View schedule details

To see schedule details, you must query DBA_SCHEDULER_SCHEDULES view

set lines 999;
col schedule_name for a30;
SELECT owner, schedule_name from DBA_SCHEDULER_SCHEDULES;

More schedule examples

run everyday at midnight

'freq=daily; byhour=0; byminute=0; bysecond=0;'

run everyday at 4 pm

'freq=daily; byhour=16; byminute=0; bysecond=0;'

run every hour at 10 minutes. 1:10, 2:10 …..

'freq=hourly; byminute=10; bysecond=0;'

run every 5 minutes

'freq=minutely; interval=5; bysecond=0;'

run every monday and thursday at 9 pm

'freq=weekly, byday=mon,thu; byhour=21; byminute=0; bysecond=0;'

run friday of each quarter

'freq=monthly; bymonth=1,4,7,10; byday=fri;'

STEP 3 – Create job

As mentioned earlier, you need not create program and schedule separately. You can define both program and schedule inside a job. But, it is always good to follow a standard.

DBMS_SCHEDULER is all about jobs. A job consists of a program and a schedule.

DBMS_SCHEDULER cannot execute a program or schedule independently. You must create a job and submit to the scheduler.

DBMS_SCHEDULER.create_job (
  job_name => 'test_sched_job',
  program_name => 'plsql_program',
  schedule_name => 'hourly_sched',
  enabled => TRUE,
  comments => 'My test scheduler job');

Drop, enable, disable job

To drop a job

  DBMS_SCHEDULER.drop_job (job_name=>'test_sched_job');

To enable / disable a job

-- to disable a job
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.disable (name=>'test_sched_job');

-- to enable a job
  DBMS_SCHEDULER.enable (name=>'test_sched_job');

View job details

To see job details, you must query DBA_SCHEDULER_JOBS view

set lines 999;
col job_name for a30;
select owner, job_name, enabled from dba_scheduler_jobs;

Run jobs manually

Even though you have scheduled jobs inside DBMS_SCHEDULER on a set schedule, you can manually execute jobs too

  DBMS_SCHEDULER.run_job (job_name => 'test_sched_job', use_current_session => TRUE);

View job status

To see status of the scheduler job executed previously, you must query DBA_SCHEDULER_JOB_RUN_DETAILS view

select job_name, status, run_duration
from dba_scheduler_job_run_details
where job_name='&enter_job_name';

Important Queries

Find the details of the program attached to a job

SELECT job_name, enabled, program_name
FROM dba_scheduler_jobs
WHERE job_name LIKE 'TEST%';

Find schedule details attached to a job

SELECT job_name, schedule_name, start_date
FROM dba_scheduler_jobs
WHERE job_name like 'TEST%';

Find job current status if it is running or not


Below are different job states

  • Disabled – Job is disabled

  • Scheduled – Job is scheduled to be executed

  • Running – Job is currently running

  • Completed – Job completed, not scheduled to run again

  • Stopped – Job scheduled to run once and was stopped during its run

  • Broken – Job is broken and has issues

  • Failed – Job scheduled to run once and failed

  • Succeeded – Job scheduled to run once and completed successfully

scheduling jobs with dbms -job-state

Check progress of all running jobs


Find the log details of job runs

SELECT to_char(log_date, 'DD-MON-YY HH24:MM:SS') TIMESTAMP, job_name, status,
SUBSTR(additional_info, 1, 40) ADDITIONAL_INFO
FROM user_scheduler_job_run_details
WHERE job_name like 'TEST%'
ORDER BY log_date ;
 scheduling jobs with dbms-job-log

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