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The addJob API exists in many places in graphile-worker, but all the instances have exactly the same call signature. The API is used to add a job to the queue for immediate or delayed execution. With jobKey and jobKeyMode it can also be used to replace existing jobs.


quickAddJob is similar to addJob, but accepts an additional initial parameter describing how to connect to the database.

The addJob arguments are as follows:

  • identifier: the name of the task to be executed
  • payload: an optional JSON-compatible object to give the task more context on what it is doing, or a list of these objects in batch job mode
  • options: an optional object specifying:
    • queueName: the queue to run this task under
    • runAt: a Date to schedule this task to run in the future
    • maxAttempts: the maximum number of attempts we'll give the job (Default: 25)
    • jobKey: unique identifier for the job, used to replace, update or remove it later if needed (see Replacing and updating jobs and removing jobs); can be used for de-duplication (i.e. throttling or debouncing)
    • jobKeyMode: controls the behavior of jobKey when a matching job is found (see Replacing and updating jobs and removing jobs)


await addJob("send_email", { to: "[email protected]" });


export type AddJobFunction = (
* The name of the task that will be executed for this job.
identifier: string,

* The payload (typically a JSON object) that will be passed to the task executor.
* By default, for safety, payloads are typed as unknown since they may have been
* populated by out of date code, or even from other sources.
payload: unknown,

* Additional details about how the job should be handled.
spec?: TaskSpec,
) => Promise<Job>;

export interface TaskSpec {
* The queue to run this task under (only specify if you want jobs in this
* queue to run serially). (Default: null)
queueName?: string;

* A Date to schedule this task to run in the future. (Default: now)
runAt?: Date;

* Jobs are executed in numerically ascending order of priority (jobs with a
* numerically smaller priority are run first). (Default: 0)
priority?: number;

* How many attempts should this task get? The minimum is 1, in which case the
* task will only be attempted once and won't be retried. (Default: 25)
maxAttempts?: number;

* Unique identifier for the job, can be used to update or remove it later if
* needed. (Default: null)
jobKey?: string;

* Modifies the behavior of `jobKey`; when 'replace' all attributes will be
* updated, when 'preserve_run_at' all attributes except 'run_at' will be
* updated, when 'unsafe_dedupe' a new job will only be added if no existing
* job (including locked jobs and permanently failed jobs) with matching job
* key exists. (Default: 'replace')
jobKeyMode?: "replace" | "preserve_run_at" | "unsafe_dedupe";

* Flags for the job, can be used to dynamically filter which jobs can and
* cannot run at runtime. (Default: null)
flags?: string[];

Batch jobs

Normally a job's payload is an object; however we also allow for jobs to have a payload that is an array of objects. When payload is an array of objects, we call this a batch job and it has a few special behaviors:

  1. when you use job_key in replace or preserve_run_at mode, when a job is replaced/updated, instead of overwriting the payload, the existing and new payloads will be merged into a larger array (this only occurs when the existing and new payloads are both arrays, otherwise the payload is simply replaced).
  2. when a task executes a batch job, it may return a list of promises that is the same length as the payload array. If any of these promises reject, then the job is said to have partial success, the result of which is it being sent back to the queue for a retry, but with the successful objects removed from the payload so only the failed objects will be retried.

Batch jobs can be useful where you need to aggregate multiple tasks together over time for efficiency; for example if you have a notification system you might schedule a notification to be sent to a user in 2 minutes time that they received a DM. Over the next 2 minutes if any other DMs are received, these can be appended to the job payload such that when the job executes it can inform the user of all of these DMs, not just the latest one.

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