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I am helping design a workflow scenario for SDL Tridion 2011 where an activity or decision should change based on time, similar to this question: Tridion 2011 Workflow thread life

Rather than suspending activities, I've seen and may recommend a manual activity assigned to a (non-authoring) group. This gives us a way for some external process or application to "resume" workflow by finishing that activity.

Questions:

  1. I can recommend an upgrade to SDL Tridion 2013, but is there another approach to time-dependent activities with Tridion 2011?
  2. In the Content Manager Explorer we can schedule publishing. Is that a CM-side process and is there any open API or way to possibly use it in workflow? I haven't seen anything to suggest this is available.
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To answer your #2 question, Scheduled Publishing is two fold, a CM and CD process. In the Publish Dialog under Publish Settings, you can select "Schedule Publish Phases Separately". This will allow you to schedule the CM side (Generate Publishable Content, which means render it at a specified time), and the CD side (Place Content Online, which will deploy at the specified time).

To use that from workflow, just use the ICoreService2012.Publish() method and in the PublishInstructionData you can specify StartAt and DeployAt properties.

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  • Thanks Bart, that helps confirming how the publish settings translate to the API. Is the "timing" service, or process that determines when to run a scheduled publish something we can listen to or program against? Reviewing your Event System post I'm thinking we should only use the Event System to listen for publishing. Otherwise we need an external application to "do something" at a specified time. – Alvin Reyes May 13 '14 at 17:30
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    The Publisher service (or services, since there can be multiple on different servers) is polling the queue for work, I believe when it sees one with the scheduled time it leaves it alone till that time has reached. So the event system would still kick in on normal activities, like when it enters the queue and when rendering starts/finishes etc. But I wouldn't use the event system itself to try and schedule something (other than firing of a scheduled publish task perhaps). – Bart Koopman May 14 '14 at 7:20
  • Okay I should have looked for something as obvious as the publisher service. :-) I agree with not using the event system to schedule (definitely not comparing for dates as events happen). I was thinking more like having workflow publish or possibly schedule publishing. Then if needed, we can listen for publishing and do "other stuff" as needed (e.g. notify the business outside Tridion). – Alvin Reyes May 14 '14 at 15:40

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