CronTriggers are often more useful than SimpleTrigger, if you need a
job-firing schedule that recurs based on calendar-like notions, rather
than on the exactly specified intervals of SimpleTrigger.
With CronTrigger, you can specify firing-schedules such as "every
Friday at noon", or "every weekday and 9:30 am", or even "every 5
minutes between 9:00 am and 10:00 am on every Monday, Wednesday and
Even so, like SimpleTrigger, CronTrigger has a startTime which specifies when the schedule is in force, and an (optional) endTime that specifies when the schedule should be discontinued.
Cron-Expressions are used to configure instances of
CronTrigger. Cron-Expressions are strings that are actually made up of
seven sub-expressions, that describe individual details of the
schedule. These sub-expression are separated with white-space, and
- Year (optional field)
An example of a complete cron-expression is the string "0 0 12 ? * WED" – which means "every Wednesday at 12:00 pm".
Individual sub-expressions can contain ranges and/or lists. For
example, the day of week field in the previous (which reads "WED")
example could be replaces with "MON-FRI", "MON, WED, FRI", or even
Wild-cards (the ‘*’ character) can be used to say "every" possible
value of this field. Therefore the ‘*’ character in the "Month" field
of the previous example simply means "every month". A ‘*’ in the
Day-Of-Week field would obviously mean "every day of the week".
All of the fields have a set of valid values that can be specified.
These values should be fairly obvious – such as the numbers 0 to 59 for
seconds and minutes, and the values 0 to 23 for hours. Day-of-Month can
be any value 0-31, but you need to be careful about how many days are
in a given month! Months can be specified as values between 0 and 11,
or by using the strings JAN, FEB, MAR, APR, MAY, JUN, JUL, AUG, SEP,
OCT, NOV and DEC. Days-of-Week can be specified as vaules between 1 and
7 (1 = Sunday) or by using the strings SUN, MON, TUE, WED, THU, FRI and
The ‘/’ character can be used to specify increments to values. For
example, if you put ‘0/15’ in the Minutes field, it means ‘every 15
minutes, starting at minute zero’. If you used ‘3/20’ in the Minutes
field, it would mean ‘every 20 minutes during the hour, starting at
minute three’ – or in other words it is the same as specifying
‘3,23,43’ in the Minutes field.
The ‘?’ character is allowed for the day-of-month and day-of-week
fields. It is used to specify "no specific value". This is useful when
you need to specify something in one of the two fields, but not the
other. See the examples below (and CronTrigger JavaDoc) for
The ‘L’ character is allowed for the day-of-month and day-of-week
fields. This character is short-hand for "last", but it has different
meaning in each of the two fields. For example, the value "L" in the
day-of-month field means "the last day of the month" – day 31 for
January, day 28 for February on non-leap years. If used in the
day-of-week field by itself, it simply means "7" or "SAT". But if used
in the day-of-week field after another value, it means "the last xxx
day of the month" – for example "6L" or "FRIL" both mean "the last
friday of the month". When using the ‘L’ option, it is important not to
specify lists, or ranges of values, as you’ll get confusing results.
The ‘W’ is used to specify the weekday (Monday-Friday) nearest the
given day. As an example, if you were to specify "15W" as the value for
the day-of-month field, the meaning is: "the nearest weekday to the
15th of the month".
The ‘#’ is used to specify "the nth" XXX weekday of the month. For
example, the value of "6#3" or "FRI#3" in the day-of-week field means
"the third Friday of the month".
Here are a few more examples of expressions and their meanings – you can find even more in the JavaDoc for CronTrigger
CronTrigger Example 1 – an expression to create a trigger that simply fires every 5 minutes
"0 0/5 * * * ?"
CronTrigger Example 2 – an expression to create a trigger that fires
every 5 minutes, at 10 seconds after the minute (i.e. 10:00:10 am,
10:05:10 am, etc.).
"10 0/5 * * * ?"
CronTrigger Example 3 – an expression to create a trigger that fires at
10:30, 11:30, 12:30, and 13:30, on every Wednesday and Friday.
"0 30 10-13 ? * WED,FRI"
CronTrigger Example 4 – an expression to create a trigger that fires
every half hour between the hours of 8 am and 10 am on the 5th and 20th
of every month. Note that the trigger will NOT fire at 10:00 am, just
at 8:00, 8:30, 9:00 and 9:30
"0 0/30 8-9 5,20 * ?"
Note that some scheduling requirements are too complicated to express
with a single trigger – such as "every 5 minutes between 9:00 am and
10:00 am, and every 20 minutes between 1:00 pm and 10:00 pm". The
solution in this scenario is to simply create two triggers, and
register both of them to run the same job.
The following instructions can be used to inform Quartz what it
should do when a misfire occurs for CronTrigger. (Misfire situations
were introduced in the More About Triggers section of this tutorial).
These instructions are defined as constants on CronTrigger itself
(including JavaDoc describing their behavior). The instructions include:
All triggers have the Trigger.MISFIRE_INSTRUCTION_SMART_POLICY
instruction available for use, and this instruction is also the default
for all trigger types. The ‘smart policy’ instruction is interpreted by
CronTrigger as MISFIRE_INSTRUCTION_FIRE_NOW. The JavaDoc for the CronTrigger.updateAfterMisfire() method explains the exact details of this behavior.