In this article we try creating a custom Timer Job in SharePoint. The tools we are going to use are the following:
- Visual Studio 2010
- SharePoint DevTools from CodePlex
We can start with analysing what is a Timer Job.
What is a Timer Job?
A Timer Job is a periodically executed task inside the SharePoint Server. It allows us to provide a task execution environment.
For example we can execute tasks like: sending emails every hour, updating data every day, creation of reports every week etc.
Default Timer Jobs inside SharePoint
There are many Timer Jobs inside SharePoint which do the internal tasks like:
- Sending emails
- Validating sites
- Delete unused sites
- Health analysis
- Product versioning
These tasks will have execution periods like:
Manage Timer Jobs
You can see the Timer Jobs from Central Administration > Monitoring > Manager Timer Jobs:
The following is the list of some Timer Job Definitions:
You can select each Job Definition and change the schedule or disable it.
Creating a Custom Timer Job Definition
Now we are ready with the basics to proceed with creating a Custom Timer Job.
We have a list named Products which is a custom template. Any new product arriving has to be posted to an SQL Server database so that the company website can show it to potential customers.
So the activities involved are the following:
- Create Products List inside SharePoint
- Create Product Table inside Database
- Create the Timer Job Definition
- Create Event Receiver
- Create the Database Insert Method
- Deploy the Timer Job
- View the Results
Step 1: Create Products List inside SharePoint
Here is the List Definition (the list template with data is attached with the article):
You will see that the core columns of the list are:
The name of the Product
About the Product
The price of the Product
The HasPosted column determines whether the item is copied to the Products database.
After installing the list from the template you will will see it has 2 items:
Step 2: Create Product Table inside Database
Now we need to create the destination database and table. The following is the table definition (the table SQL is attached with the article):
Step 3: Create the Timer Job
In this step we can go ahead and create the Timer Job. For this you require Visual Studio 2010 and the SharePoint templates installed.
Open Visual Studio and create a new Empty SharePoint Project as shown below:
In the next page select your server and use the Deploy as Farm solution option:
Click the Finish button after entering the options.
Now add a new class and derive it from SPJobDefinition as shown below:
public class ProductsJobDefinition : SPJobDefinition
Now replace the above file with the following content.
public class ProductsTimerJob : SPJobDefinition
public ProductsTimerJob(string jobName, SPService service, SPServer server, SPJobLockType lockType)
: base(jobName, service, server, lockType)
this.Title = "Products Timer Job";
public ProductsTimerJob(string jobName, SPWebApplication webapp)
: base(jobName, webapp, null, SPJobLockType.ContentDatabase)
this.Title = "Products Timer Job";
public override void Execute(Guid targetInstanceId)
SPWebApplication webapp = this.Parent as SPWebApplication;
SPContentDatabase contentDb = webapp.ContentDatabases[targetInstanceId];
SPList list = contentDb.Sites.RootWeb.Lists["Products"];
private void CopyItems(SPList list)
foreach (SPListItem item in list.Items)
bool hasPosted = (bool)item["HasPosted"];
item["HasPosted"] = true;
The above code perform the following activities:
Get the list of items from Products where HasPosted is false
Insert the Product into the Database
Mark the item HasPosted to true
We need to include the DbManager class file which will be done in the upcoming step.
Step 4: Create Event Receiver
Now we have to create an event receiver which performs the installation or uninstallation of the Job Definiton.
In the Solution Explorer right-click on Feature and use the Add Feature item:
In the dialog that appears, change the title to Products Job Definition and the Scope to Site:
Now right-click on the Solution Explorer > Feature 1 and click Add Event Receiver:
Inside the class content of Feature1.EventReceiver.cs place the following code:
const string JobName = "Products Timer Job";
public override void FeatureActivated(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
SPSite site = properties.Feature.Parent as SPSite;
DeleteJob(site); // Delete Job if already Exists
CreateJob(site); // Create new Job
private static void DeleteJob(SPSite site)
foreach (SPJobDefinition job in site.WebApplication.JobDefinitions)
if (job.Name == JobName)
private static void CreateJob(SPSite site)
ProductsTimerJob job = new ProductsTimerJob(JobName, site.WebApplication);
SPMinuteSchedule schedule = new SPMinuteSchedule();
schedule.BeginSecond = 0;
schedule.EndSecond = 5;
schedule.Interval = 5;
job.Schedule = schedule;
public override void FeatureDeactivating(SPFeatureReceiverProperties properties)
DeleteJob(properties.Feature.Parent as SPSite); // Delete the Job
You need to add the using as well:
Step 5: Create the Database Insert Method
In this step we can complete the DbManager class file. Here we are using the Entity Framework associated with the .Net 3.5 version.
For this add a new Entity Data Model into the project and map to the Product table which we have created in a previous step; see:
Now create a class file named DbManage.cs and replace it with the following content:
public class DbManager
public void Insert(Microsoft.SharePoint.SPListItem item)
using (ProductionModel context = new ProductionModel(GetConnectionString()))
Product product = new Product();
product.Title = item["Title"].ToString();
product.Description = item["Description"].ToString();
product.Url = item["Url"].ToString();
product.Price = (double)item["Price"];
product.PostedOn = DateTime.Today;
public string GetConnectionString()
string connectionString = new System.Data.EntityClient.EntityConnectionStringBuilder
Metadata = "res://*",
Provider = "System.Data.SqlClient",
ProviderConnectionString = new System.Data.SqlClient.SqlConnectionStringBuilder
InitialCatalog = "YOUR-DB-NAME-HERE",
DataSource = @"YOUR-SERVER-NAME-HERE",
IntegratedSecurity = false,
UserID = "YOUR-USER-ID-HERE",
Password = "YOUR-PASSWORD-HERE",
The above code contains the Insert() method to insert a new record into the Product table.
For the time being I am hard-coding the connection string. You need to specify the correct user credentials in the GetConnectionString() method.
Note: Please note that the connection string is loaded from the executing application's configuration file. In the case of Timer Jobs the configuration file will be OWSTIMER.exe.config residing in the 14hive folder.
Step 6: Deploy the Timer Job
Now we are ready to deploy the Timer Job into the SharePoint Site. For this right-click on the solution and click the Deploy option.
If you get the Deploy Succeeded message we are good.
Step 7: View the Results
Now we can go to the Central Administration to see our Timer Job. For this open Central Administration web site and go to Monitoring > Review Job Definitions:
On clicking the Review Job Definitions link you will see our item as shown below:
Click on the item and in the appearing page click the button Run Now:
You will see that the Timer Job is set for 5 Minutes according to our code.
Now we can go back to the Products list and see that the HasPosted is set to True.
Going to the SQL Server Table we can see both the records are inserted there.
While developing timer jobs, you might need to delete the assembly and feature as well. Please note the following points for troubleshooting guidance:
Features are deployed to the 14hive folder
The assembly gets deployed to GAC folder
You can use RETRACT option from Visual Studio
You can use GACUTIL to uninstall the assembly
You can remove the Feature from 14hive folder
For troubleshooting the Farm Solutions or User Solutions you can use:
You can Retract or undo the last Retract schedule there.
For checking the Job Status or History you can use:
These screens will show the Success / Failure status of the jobs and any errors associated. For example an invalid connection string problem is identified as shown below:
In some cases the Timer Service holds the old version of an assembly. So the new changes you do through Visual Studio may not be reflected immediately. You can change the assembly version and view the GAC to ensure the correct version was deployed.
Plus you can restart the SharePoint 2010 Timer Service from services.msc:
Note: In the case of Integrated Security as True in connection strings, the authenticated user would be the Service Account user assigned in the service.
Technet on Timer Jobs
Code on Timer Jobs
Solution Removal using PowerShell
In this article we have explored the Timer Job feature of SharePoint and creation of a custom timer job. The following are the key points to be remembered:
Timer Jobs can be scheduled for automating jobs inside SharePoint 2010
SPJobDefinition is the base class for Timer Job
Create Event Receiver Feature to create or delete the timer job
SPFeatureReceiver is the base class for event receiver
The feature gets deployed in the 14hive folder
OWSTIMER.EXE is the process executing Timer Jobs
The associated source code along with the list template with data is attached. You can download and try running it.