San Francisco, California
We get the simplicity of using CRON and the benefits of a full-blown task queue, but none of the headaches. So far, Cron To Go has been 100% reliable, too!
In the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, Tyler took aim to make lemonade out of lemons (Vitamin C included!). As an experienced marketer, he knows how important it is to advertise in the right places — yet so many businesses get it wrong. With many now relying on curbside pickup or an entirely remote team, he knew it was time to strike while the iron is hot. His vision was to create a product which helps small businesses measure and track their inbound phone calls to provide much-needed attribution and feedback on their marketing efforts. In an era where you need to maximize every dollar spent, this data can make the difference between the very survival or failure of an entire company.
The result was Callshark: a beautiful, simple and powerful call tracking software perfect for local businesses and the marketing agencies that support them. Callshark helps its customers with phone call attribution so they can track conversions, measure success, and fine tune their marketing efforts.With a robust set of features, Callshark is an up-and-coming product, with ambitions to make a strong impact in the world.
Use Case: Gluing everything together
Callshark’s magic combines the simplicity of its user interface with heavy-lifting in the background to allow users to integrate Callshark without the hassle of writing any code. The work behind the scenes involves setting up phone numbers almost anywhere on the planet, assigning these numbers to different marketing channels , and matching inbound calls with web sessions to track and analyze the performance of campaigns.
Before Cron To Go, Tyler and his team set out to check the various options on Heroku to schedule background tasks. Their requirement list included:
- Production grade scheduling system they can rely on
- Advanced scheduling options (e.g. every 1 minute, every 1st day of the month, etc.)
- Notifications and alerts when things go wrong
- Simple user interface that allows non-developers to run, enable or disable, or change the schedule of jobs
Heroku Scheduler is a popular choice due to its inexpensive and trivial nature. However, it is not an adequate choice to use when dealing with critical environments, as jobs may be skipped or run twice. The scheduling options are limited and there is an innate lack of visibility into task status.
The next alternative that was explored by the team is the use of a clock process. The main benefits of utilizing this method are greater reliability than Heroku Scheduler and easy maintenance for developers. On the other hand, there are downfalls such as the need to write code to ensure tasks aren’t skipped or executed multiple times, building and maintaining queuing mechanisms and background workers to run l tasks, and handling notifications or alerts. While this might have worked the team decided that it was too expensive and error-prone to build or maintain. After all, they want to focus on running their platform — not the intricacies of task execution.
Cron To Go checked all the boxes on Callshark’s list and the helpful API and webhook notifications allowed the team to automate and integrate it deeply into Callshark’s platform.
The critical puzzle piece that was needed was a component to link the following processes (and various other tasks) together:
- Manage trial accounts (send intro messages, trigger expiry reminders, clean up data)
- Expire phone numbers which are allocated to web visitors
- Provision and release phone numbers in tracking pools to lower expenses
- Send out account notifications and invoices
- Expire data from inactive and deleted accounts
The team searched for a platform that offers:
- Quick and easy background task implementation with the existing platform
- Reliable background scheduling for mission critical tasks
- Familiar CRON-style syntax for minimal learning curve and instant familiarity
- Complete visibility with regard to task scheduling and status across the organization
Cron To Go was the perfect fit and didn’t take more than a minute to provision! The Callshark team was thrilled with the outcome and Cron To Go’s unique qualities:
- Friendly interface for quick and efficient set up
- Reliable and flexible job scheduling using CRON expressions
- Email notifications let you monitor background tasks from the convenience of your inbox
- Webhook notifications and APIs for tighter app integration
Cron To Go allows us to run scheduled tasks through an elegant interface and monitor them comfortably. It’s as simple as filling out a form and we don’t need to worry about what happens behind the scenes.
By using Cron To Go as their central scheduling platform, Callshark went to market quickly and confidently with a reliable cloud scheduler to run all of their background tasks.