InDesign Server Jobs are tasks in Enterprise Server that are assigned to one of the configured instances of InDesign Server.
Examples: Creating or refreshing a layout preview in the Multi-Channel Text Editor of Content Station, generating folio files, generating PDF files, and so on.
An InDesign Server Job can be one of two types:
- Foreground job. These have priority over Background jobs and (when sufficient InDesign Servers are available) will be processed first. The Multi-Channel Text Editor in Content Station for example uses this job to create previews.
- Background job.These have less priority and will only immediately be processed when an InDesign Server is available. If no Server is available or when all Servers are processing Foreground jobs, the job will be queued. Background jobs are usually jobs that are initiated by Enterprise Server plug-ins and external applications.
Controllers delegate each job between the available Servers. When a job — of either type — enters the system for processing, a Controller will check for available Servers. If a Server is available, the job will be processed straight away. If no Server is available, what happens next depends on the type of job that needs to be processed:
- Foreground job. The Controller will check for an available Server up to 5 times, with a sleep time of 1 second. If no Server is found, the job times out.
- Background job. Will be placed in a queue until a Server is available.
When a Server is available for background jobs, additional background Controllers are created, one for each job (up to the total number of available Servers). Pending jobs are processed by priority (see below).
This process is shown in the following figure, where 4 simultaneous jobs enter the system with 3 InDesign Servers available:
- Job 1 is a foreground job — and thereby treated with highest priority — and is sent immediately by its Controller to the first available Server for processing.
- Job 2 and Job 3 are background jobs and since 2 more InDesign Servers are available and free, are sent by their Controllers to the Server for immediate processing.
- Job 4 is a background job and is placed in a queue since no Server is available for processing.
When multiple Jobs enter the system, it makes sense to process some Jobs before others.
Example: To keep the waiting time for a Content Station user as low as possible, generating a layout preview should be treated as more important than processing a request for generating a PDF.
To achieve this, the following system is put into place:
- Jobs are assigned a priority, ranging from very high to very low.
- Jobs with a higher priority than others will be processed first.
- Instances of InDesign Server can be set up to only handle Jobs of a specific priority so that jobs with a matching priority will be routed to those server instances.
In essence, this system is a combination of a priority mechanism and a routing mechanism.
In the following setup, 3 InDesign Server instances exist. Each instance handles Jobs of different priorities.
When Jobs of a specific priority enter the system, they are routed to the InDesign Server instance that can handle Jobs with such priorities.