Executing CakePHP script using Windows Scheduled Task

In Windows adding a scheduled task is just not as straight forward as adding a CRON job using Linux. (Don’t get me started on troubleshooting a Windows Schedule Task that did not run for some reason.) However, it is not so difficult once you get it figured out. Here is what I did:

In this case I wanted to run a CakePHP script as a CRON job, or more accurately, as a Windows Scheduled Task since this customer insisted I create the application and use a Windows server. (I used XAMPP, so it wasn’t too bad.)

In order to run the script and take full advantage of the models in CakePHP it required that I use the CakePHP shell. Luckily the CakePHP developers created a ‘cake.bat’ script that enables this to happen on a Windows machine.  Normally on a Windows or Linux server you can navigate, via command line, to the ‘app’ folder and execute the ‘cake  name_of_script’ command, but using Windows Scheduled Tasks you need to execute the bat file.

Windows Scheduled Task Settings:
Run: C:\path\to\cake.bat  script_name {without the extension .php}
Start in: C:\path\to\app\folder
Run As: type in the appropriate users

Then of course you will need to go to the Schedule tab and set in the schedule you desire for your script.

Here is a screenshot: (you can see the default folders for xampp were used)

IMPORTANT: This entire process assumes that you have already created your script and placed it in the appropriate directory “/app/vendors/shells/{name_of_script.php}”.  It also assumes you understand how to create a cronjob for CakePHP to use.  (see below for a sample)

Sample content of ‘script_name.php’:

class ScriptNameShell extends Shell {
	var $uses = array('model1','model2');
	 * the main function is kicked off like a contructor
	function main() {
		echo 'Doing something.';
		$callingSomething = $this->otherFunction();
		echo $callingSomething;
	function otherFunction() {
		$content = 'This is content from otherFunction.';
		return $content;

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About Me

Adam Culp (GeekyBoy)
Adam Culp (GeekyBoy) is a Zend PHP 5.3 certified engineer and member of the Zend Certification Advisory Board working as a Senior Professional Services Consultant at Zend Technologies. He enjoys technology and posts things he finds interesting to this blog, mostly so he remembers, but also to help others. As organizer of the South Florida PHP Users Group (SoFloPHP), as well as the SunshinePHP Developer Conference in Miami, he is passionate about the PHP community. He also created ReqHarbor.com to help others gather and manage application requirements, and set up OutsourceHarbor.com to help companies find great developers. Read More >>
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