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?

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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.

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

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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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