Light weight job scheduler for Node.js


Agenda is a light-weight job scheduling library for Node.js.

It offers:

  • Minimal overhead. Agenda aims to keep its code base small.
  • Mongo backed persistance layer.
  • Scheduling with configurable priority, concurrency, and repeating
  • Scheduling via cron or human readable syntax.
  • Event backed job queue that you can hook into.
  • Optional standalone web-interface (see agenda-ui)


Install via NPM

npm install agenda

You will also need a working mongo database (2.6+) to point it to.

Example Usage

var mongoConnectionString = "mongodb://";
var agenda = new Agenda({db: {address: mongoConnectionString}});
// or override the default collection name: 
// var agenda = new Agenda({db: {address: mongoConnectionString, collection: "jobCollectionName"}}); 
// or pass additional connection options: 
// var agenda = new Agenda({db: {address: mongoConnectionString, collection: "jobCollectionName", options: {server:{auto_reconnect:true}}}); 
// or pass in an existing mongodb-native MongoClient instance 
// var agenda = new Agenda({mongo: myMongoClient}); 
agenda.define('delete old users', function(jobdone) {
  User.remove({lastLogIn: { $lt: twoDaysAgo }}, done);
agenda.on('ready', function() {
  agenda.every('3 minutes', 'delete old users');
  // Alternatively, you could also do: 
  agenda.every('*/3 * * * *', 'delete old users');
agenda.define('send email report', {priority: 'high', concurrency: 10}, function(jobdone) {
  var data =;
    from: '',
    subject: 'Email Report',
    body: '...'
  }, done);
agenda.on('ready', function() {
  agenda.schedule('in 20 minutes', 'send email report', {to: ''});
agenda.on('ready', function() {
  var weeklyReport = agenda.create('send email report', {to: ''})
  weeklyReport.repeatEvery('1 week').save();

Full documentation

Agenda's basic control structure is an instance of an agenda. Agenda's are mapped to a database collection and load the jobs from within.

All configuration methods are chainable, meaning you can do something like:

var agenda = new Agenda();
  .processEvery('3 minutes')

Agenda uses Human Interval for specifying the intervals. It supports the following units:

seconds, minutes, hours, days,weeks, months -- assumes 30 days, years -- assumes 365 days

More sophisticated examples

agenda.processEvery('one minute');
agenda.processEvery('1.5 minutes');
agenda.processEvery('3 days and 4 hours');
agenda.processEvery('3 days, 4 hours and 36 seconds');

Specifies the database at the url specified. If no collection name is given, agendaJobs is used.

agenda.database('localhost:27017/agenda-test', 'agendaJobs');

You can also specify it during instantiation.

var agenda = new Agenda({db: { address: 'localhost:27017/agenda-test', collection: 'agendaJobs' }});

Agenda will emit a ready event (see Agenda Events) when properly connected to the database and it is safe to start using Agenda.

Use an existing mongodb-native MongoClient instance. This can help consolidate connections to a database. You can instead use .database to have agenda handle connecting for you.

Please note that this must be a collection. Also, you will want to run the following afterwards to ensure the database has the proper indexes:

function ignoreErrors() {}
agenda._db.ensureIndex("nextRunAt", ignoreErrors)
.ensureIndex("lockedAt", ignoreErrors)
.ensureIndex("name", ignoreErrors)
.ensureIndex("priority", ignoreErrors);
function ignoreErrors

You can also specify it during instantiation.

var agenda = new Agenda({mongo: mongoClientInstance});

Takes a string name and sets lastModifiedBy to it in the job database. Useful for if you have multiple job processors (agendas) and want to see which job queue last ran the job. + '-' +;

You can also specify it during instantiation

var agenda = new Agenda({name: 'test queue'});

Takes a string interval which can be either a traditional javascript number, or a string such as 3 minutes

Specifies the frequency at which agenda will query the database looking for jobs that need to be processed. Agenda internally uses setTimeout to guarantee that jobs run at (close to ~3ms) the right time.

Decreasing the frequency will result in fewer database queries, but more jobs being stored in memory.

Also worth noting is that if the job is queue is shutdown, any jobs stored in memory that haven't run will still be locked, meaning that you may have to wait for the lock to expire.

agenda.processEvery('1 minute');

You can also specify it during instantiation

var agenda = new Agenda({processEvery: '30 seconds'});

Takes a number which specifies the max number of jobs that can be running at any given moment. By default it is 20.


You can also specify it during instantiation

var agenda = new Agenda({maxConcurrency: 20});

Takes a number which specifies the default number of a specific that can be running at any given moment. By default it is 5.


You can also specify it during instantiation

var agenda = new Agenda({defaultConcurrency: 5});

Takes a number which specifies the default lock lifetime in milliseconds. By default it is 10 minutes. This can be overridden by specifying the lockLifetime option to a defined job.

A job will unlock if it is finished (ie. done is called) before the lockLifetime. The lock is useful if the job crashes or times out.


You can also specify it during instantiation

var agenda = new Agenda({defaultLockLifetime: 10000});

An instance of an agenda will emit the following events:

  • ready - called when Agenda mongo connection is successfully opened
  • error - called when Agenda mongo connection process has thrown an error
agenda.on('ready', function() {

Before you can use a job, you must define its processing behavior.

Defines a job with the name of jobName. When a job of job name gets run, it will be passed to fn(job, done). To maintain asynchronous behavior, you must call done() when you are processing the job. If your function is synchronous, you may omit done from the signature.

options is an optional argument which can overwrite the defaults. It can take the following:

  • concurrency: number maxinum number of that job that can be running at once (per instance of agenda)
  • lockLifetime: number interval in ms of how long the job stays locked for (see multiple job processors for more info). A job will automatically unlock if done() is called.
  • priority: (lowest|low|normal|high|highest|number) specifies the priority of the job. Higher priority jobs will run first. See the priority mapping below

Priority mapping:

  highest: 20,
  high: 10,
  default: 0,
  low: -10,
  lowest: -20

Async Job:

agenda.define('some long running job', function(jobdone) {
  doSomelengthyTask(function(data) {

Sync Job:

agenda.define('say hello', function(job) {

Runs job name at the given interval. Optionally, data and options can be passed in. Every creates a job of type single, which means that it will only create one job in the database, even if that line is run multiple times. This lets you put it in a file that may get run multiple times, such as webserver.js which may reboot from time to time.

interval can be a human-readable format String, a cron format String, or a Number.

data is an optional argument that will be passed to the processing function under

options is an optional argument that will be passed to job.repeatEvery. In order to use this argument, data must also be specified.

cb is an optional callback function which will be called when the job has been persisted in the database.

Returns the job.

agenda.define('printAnalyticsReport', function(jobdone) {
  User.doSomethingReallyIntensive(function(errusers) {
    console.log("I print a report!");
agenda.every('15 minutes', 'printAnalyticsReport');

Optionally, name could be array of job names, which is convenient for scheduling different jobs for same interval.

agenda.every('15 minutes', ['printAnalyticsReport', 'sendNotifications', 'updateUserRecords']);

In this case, every returns array of jobs.

Schedules a job to run name once at a given time. when can be a Date or a String such as tomorrow at 5pm.

data is an optional argument that will be passed to the processing function under

cb is an optional callback function which will be called when the job has been persisted in the database.

Returns the job.

agenda.schedule('tomorrow at noon', 'printAnalyticsReport', {userCount: 100});

Optionally, name could be array of job names, similar to every method.

agenda.schedule('tomorrow at noon', ['printAnalyticsReport', 'sendNotifications', 'updateUserRecords']);

In this case, schedule returns array of jobs.

Schedules a job to run name once immediately.

data is an optional argument that will be passed to the processing function under

cb is an optional callback function which will be called when the job has been persisted in the database.

Returns the job.'do the hokey pokey');

Returns an instance of a jobName with data. This does NOT save the job in the database. See below to learn how to manually work with jobs.

var job = agenda.create('printAnalyticsReport', {userCount: 100}); {
  console.log("Job successfully saved");

Lets you query all of the jobs in the agenda job's database. This is a full mongodb-native find query. See mongodb-native's documentation for details.{name: 'printAnalyticsReport'}, function(errjobs) {
  // Work with jobs (see below) 

Cancels any jobs matching the passed mongodb-native query, and removes them from the database.

agenda.cancel({name: 'printAnalyticsReport'}, function(errnumRemoved) {

This functionality can also be achieved by first retrieving all the jobs from the database using, looping through the resulting array and calling job.remove() on each. It is however preferable to use agenda.cancel() for this use case, as this ensures the operation is atomic.

Removes all jobs in the database without defined behaviors. Useful if you change a definition name and want to remove old jobs.

IMPORTANT: Do not run this before you finish defining all of your jobs. If you do, you will nuke your database of jobs.

agenda.purge(function(errnumRemoved) {

To get agenda to start processing jobs from the database you must start it. This will schedule an interval (based on processEvery) to check for new jobs and run them. You can also stop the queue.

Starts the job queue processing, checking processEvery time to see if there are new jobs.

Stops the job queue processing. Unlocks currently running jobs.

This can be very useful for graceful shutdowns so that currently running/grabbed jobs are abandoned so that other job queues can grab them / they are unlocked should the job queue start again. Here is an example of how to do a graceful shutdown.

function graceful() {
  agenda.stop(function() {
process.on('SIGTERM', graceful);
process.on('SIGINT' , graceful);

Sometimes you may want to have multiple node instances / machines process from the same queue. Agenda supports a locking mechanism to ensure that multiple queues don't process the same job.

You can configure the locking mechanism by specifying lockLifetime as an interval when defining the job.

agenda.define('someJob', {lockLifetime: 10000}, function(jobcb) {
  //Do something in 10 seconds or less... 

This will ensure that no other job processor (this one included) attempts to run the job again for the next 10 seconds. If you have a particularly long running job, you will want to specify a longer lockLifetime.

By default it is 10 minutes. Typically you shouldn't have a job that runs for 10 minutes, so this is really insurance should the job queue crash before the job is unlocked.

When a job is finished (ie. done is called), it will automatically unlock.

A job instance has many instance methods. All mutating methods must be followed with a call to in order to persist the changes to the database.

Specifies an interval on which the job should repeat.

interval can be a human-readable format String, a cron format String, or a Number.

options is an optional argument that can include a timezone field. The timezone should be a string as accepted by moment-timezone and is considered when using an interval in the cron string format.

job.repeatEvery('10 minutes');;
job.repeatEvery('0 6 * * *', {
  timezone: 'America/New_York'

Specifies a time when the job should repeat. Possible values


Specifies the next time at which the job should run.

job.schedule('tomorrow at 6pm');;

Specifies the priority weighting of the job. Can be a number or a string from the above priority table.


Ensure that only one instance of this job exists with the specified properties

options is an optional argument which can overwrite the defaults. It can take the following:

  • insertOnly: boolean will prevent any properties from persisting if job already exists. Defaults to false.
job.unique({'data.type': 'active', 'data.userId': '123', nextRunAt(date)});;

Sets job.attrs.failedAt to now, and sets job.attrs.failReason to reason.

Optionally, reason can be an error, in which case job.attrs.failReason will be set to error.message'insuficient disk space');
// or Error('insufficient disk space'));;

Runs the given job and calls callback(err, job) upon completion. Normally you never need to call this manually. {
  console.log("I don't know why you would need to do this...");

Saves the job.attrs into the database. {
    if(!err) console.log("Successfully saved job to collection");

Removes the job from the database.

job.remove(function(err) {
    if(!err) console.log("Successfully removed job from collection");

Resets the lock on the job. Useful to indicate that the job hasn't timed out when you have very long running jobs.

agenda.define('super long job', function(jobdone) {
  doSomeLongTask(function() {
    job.touch(function() {
      doAnotherLongTask(function() {
        job.touch(function() {

An instance of an agenda will emit the following events:

  • start - called just before a job starts
  • start:job name - called just before the specified job starts
agenda.on('start', function(job) {
  console.log("Job %s starting",;
  • complete - called when a job finishes, regardless of if it succeeds or fails
  • complete:job name - called when a job finishes, regardless of if it succeeds or fails
agenda.on('complete', function(job) {
  console.log("Job %s finished",;
  • success - called when a job finishes successfully
  • success:job name - called when a job finishes successfully
agenda.on('success:send email', function(job) {
  console.log("Sent Email Successfully to: %s",;
  • fail - called when a job throws an error
  • fail:job name - called when a job throws an error
agenda.on('fail:send email', function(errjob) {
  console.log("Job failed with error: %s", err.message);

Agenda doesn't have a preferred project structure and leaves it to the user to choose how they would like to use it. That being said, you can check out the example project structure below.

Thanks! I'm flattered, but it's really not necessary. If you really want to, you can find my gittip here.

Agenda itself does not have a web interface built in. That being said, there is a stand-alone web interface in the form of agenda-ui.


The decision to use Mongo instead of Redis is intentional. Redis is often used for non-essential data (such as sessions) and without configuration doesn't guarantee the same level of persistence as Mongo (should the server need to be restarted/crash).

Agenda decides to focus on persistence without requiring special configuration of Redis (thereby degrading the performance of the Redis server on non-critical data, such as sessions).

Ultimately if enough people want a Redis driver instead of Mongo, I will write one. (Please open an issue requesting it). For now, Agenda decided to focus on guaranteed persistence.

Ultimately Agenda can work from a single job queue across multiple machines, node processes, or forks. If you are interested in having more than one worker, Bars3s has written up a fantastic example of how one might do it:

var cluster = require('cluster'),
    cpuCount = require('os').cpus().length,
    jobWorkers = [],
    webWorkers = [];
if (cluster.isMaster) {
    // Create a worker for each CPU 
    for (var i = 0; i < cpuCount; i += 1) {
    cluster.on('exit', function (workercodesignal) {
        if (jobWorkers.indexOf( != -1) {
            console.log('job worker ' + + ' died. Trying to respawn...');
        if (webWorkers.indexOf( != -1) {
            console.log('http worker ' + + ' died. Trying to respawn...');
} else {
    if (process.env.web) {
        console.log('start http server: ' +;
        require('./app/web-http');//initialize the http server here 
    if (process.env.job) {
        console.log('start job server: ' +;
        require('./app/job-worker');//initialize the agenda here 
function addWebWorker() {
    webWorkers.push(cluster.fork({web: 1}).id);
function addJobWorker() {
    jobWorkers.push(cluster.fork({job: 1}).id);
function removeWebWorker(id) {
    webWorkers.splice(webWorkers.indexOf(id), 1);
function removeJobWorker(id) {
    jobWorkers.splice(jobWorkers.indexOf(id), 1);

Example Project Structure

Agenda will only process jobs that it has definitions for. This allows you to selectively choose which jobs a given agenda will process.

Consider the following project structure, which allows us to share models with the rest of our code base, and specify which jobs a worker processes, if any at all.

- server.js
- worker.js
  - agenda.js
    - user-controller.js
    - email.js
    - video-processing.js
    - image-processing.js
     - user-model.js
     - blog-post.model.js

Sample job processor (eg. jobs/email.js)

var email = require('some-email-lib'),
    User = require('../models/user-model.js');
module.exports = function(agenda) {
  agenda.define('registration email', function(jobdone) {
    User.get(, function(erruser) {
       if(err) return done(err);
       email(, 'Thanks for registering', 'Thanks for registering ' +, done);
  agenda.define('reset password', function(jobdone) {
    // etc etc 
  // More email related jobs 


var Agenda = require('agenda');
var agenda = new Agenda(connectionOpts);
var jobTypes = process.env.JOB_TYPES ? process.env.JOB_TYPES.split(',') : [];
jobTypes.forEach(function(type) {
  require('./lib/jobs/' + type)(agenda);
if(jobTypes.length) {
module.exports = agenda;


var app = express(),
    User = require('../models/user-model'),
    agenda = require('../worker.js');'/users', function(reqresnext) {
  var user = new User(req.body); {
    if(err) return next(err);'registration email', { userId: user.primary() });
    res.send(201, user.toJson());



Now you can do the following in your project:

node server.js

Fire up an instance with no JOB_TYPES, giving you the ability to process jobs, but not wasting resources processing jobs.

JOB_TYPES=email node server.js

Allow your http server to process email jobs.

JOB_TYPES=email node worker.js

Fire up an instance that processes email jobs.

JOB_TYPES=video-processing,image-processing node worker.js

Fire up an instance that processes video-processing/image-processing jobs. Good for a heavy hitting server.


Agenda has some great community members that help a great deal.


(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2013 Ryan Schmukler

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.