Mergent offers two main constructs to manage your background jobs: tasks and schedules. Although they are used to accomplish similar goals, their usage and functionality are quite different.

In a hurry and want a quick comparison? Jump to the comparison table.


Think of a task as a single unit of work. You can create tasks when certain events occur in your application - a user making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, and so on. Once such a task is created, Mergent adds it to a queue and ensures it’s reliably processed by your application.

Tasks are ideal for one-off, asynchronous jobs that need to be done outside the main application flow.


Schedules represent recurring work that needs to be done at regular intervals. These intervals can be defined by a cron expression or an rrule, giving you the flexibility to schedule tasks as often as needed - be it every minute, daily, or even every third Tuesday of the month.

When a schedule is triggered, it creates a task, just like any other task you’d manually create. Mergent then sends this task to your application for processing.

Schedules are perfect for tasks that occur regularly, like sending out weekly newsletters, generating monthly reports, or performing daily data clean-up.

Tasks vs. Schedules

FrequencyIndividual, one-off jobs.Recurring jobs, as often as needed (minute, daily, specific weekdays, etc.).
FunctionalityOnce created, the task is added to a queue and Mergent ensures it’s reliably processed by your application.When triggered, the schedule creates a task which is then processed by your application.
Time Options1. Immediately when queued
2. After a delay
3. At a specific scheduled_for time & date
Recurring based on the provided cron or rrule.
Failures & RetriesAutomatically handles failures and retries.Schedules themselves don’t handle failures, but the tasks they create do.