Azure Data Factory trigger tip

This tip comes from my DBA days working with SQL Agent Job schedules. If you’ve ever worked on a server where many people created job schedules you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say the schedule names can be really annoying.

This is because the names are not meaningful at all. They are either a GUID thanks to SSRS or something useless like “Schedule 1” or you have 6 different versions of “Every 5 min” when the schedule actually only runs every 15 min on Mondays.

Many years back I came up with a simple naming convention that isn’t perfect but helps me keep track of things at a glance. I use this same convention when naming triggers in ADF (Azure Data Factory).

When you’re working in ADF, you can schedule the pipeline to run on demand, on a schedule, on on an event. If you want the pipeline to run on a schedule you have the option to create a new trigger or select an existing one.

This is the annoying experience I’m referring to. How can you tell which to pick?


Let’s edit a couple of the schedules to make the names more meaningful.

What’s my secret but not perfect sauce? I name my schedules with day and time. It’s that simple.

SMTWTFS_000000 would run at midnight every day.

SMTxTFS_000000 would run at midnight every day except Wednesday.

xMxWxFx_030000 would run at 3 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

If the job runs every 5 min then I use “SMTWTFS_Every 5 Min”.

So let’s change the name for two of the 4 and see how this can help. This trigger runs at 9:45 PM UTC every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Since my brain doesn’t work in UTC, I chose to name the trigger xMxWxFx_1645 which represents when the trigger runs in my timezone.


Now that we’ve changed this and another, let’s look at the choose trigger dialog.


Can you tell when the triggers run without any extra work? That’s the goal. I hope this post helps make your life easier.

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