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In this section we show an alternative to time-based attributes, using time triggers.

The following suite based generated variables are available for time-based triggers.

(In ecflow_ui, select a suite, then look at the variables tab)

  • DD              day of the month
  • DOW           day of the week, 0-6, where 0 is Sunday
  • DOY            day of the year
  • ECF_DATE  YYYYMMDD   year, month, day format. This has the same format as repeat date. 
  • MM             month 01-12
  • TIME           HHMM
  • YYYY          year

These time-based variables on the suite, use the suites calendar. The suites calendar can be configured with the clock attribute.

Here are examples of time attributes and the corresponding trigger examples

time 23:00                  # trigger :TIME == 2300
date 1.*.*                  # trigger :DD == 1
day monday                  # trigger :DOW == 1

The ':' means a search for the variable up the node tree.

Triggers can also use AND/OR logic and the full range of operators <,>,<=,>=

Time attributes
task t1
    day monday
    time 13:00
time based trigger
 task t1
    trigger :DOW == 1 and :TIME >= 1300
task t1
  day monday
  trigger :TIME >= 1300

It should be noted that relative time( time +00:01) are not possible with time-based triggers, and time series are more problematic.


Let us modify the previous definition file for family f2.
For brevity, we have omitted the previous family f1

# Definition of the suite test
suite test
 edit ECF_INCLUDE "$HOME/course"  # replace '$HOME' with the path to your home directory
 edit ECF_HOME    "$HOME/course"

 family f2
     edit SLEEP 20
     task t1
        trigger :ECF_DATE ==20200720 and :TIME >= 1000
     task t2
         trigger :DOW == 4 and :TIME >= 1300  
     task t3
         trigger :DD == 1 and :TIME >= 1200
     task t4
         trigger (:DOW == 1 and :TIME >= 1300) or (:DOW == 5 and :TIME >= 1000) 
     task t5
         trigger :TIME == 0002              # 2 minutes past midnight


For brevity, we have left out family f1. In python this would be:

import os
from ecflow import Defs,Suite,Family,Task,Edit,Trigger,Complete,Event,Meter,Time,Day,Date,Edit

def create_family_f2():
    return Family("f2",
            Task("t1", Trigger(":ECF_DATE ==20200720 and :TIME >= 1000")),     
            Task("t2", Trigger(":DOW == 4 and :TIME >= 1300")),
            Task("t3", Trigger(":DD == 1 and :TIME >= 1200")),   
            Task("t4", Trigger("(:DOW == 1 and :TIME >= 1300) or (:DOW == 5 and :TIME >= 1000)")),                 
            Task("t5", Trigger(":TIME == 0002")))                  
print("Creating suite definition")  
home = os.path.join(os.getenv("HOME"), "course")
defs = Defs( 

print("Checking job creation: .ecf -> .job0")  

print("Checking trigger expressions")
errors = defs.check()
assert len(errors) == 0,errors

print("Saving definition to file 'test.def'")

What to do

  1. Make the changes to the suite definition file
  2. Replace the suite
    python:  python3; python3
    text:       ecflow_client --suspend=/test  ;  ecflow_client --replace=/test  test.def
  3. ecflow_ui  has a special window to explain why a task is queued. Select a queued task and click on the 'Why tab'
  4. Vary the time triggers so that all task runs