...not sure exactly how to approach this problem....
Basically, a user on our site will be presented with an option and they have a two-hour window to respond--a db record is tagged when the countdown starts. If they do respond, all is well. If they don't, a script should automatically run to perform MySQL db tasks.
As there is no way of knowing if the user will still be around, a session-based solution won't work.
Right now, we're looking at a cron job fired hourly to see if there are any suitably flagged db records whose 2-hour countdown has expired. To me, this seems like a waste of system resources, as the job will run 24 times a day, even when there are no updates to make (it has to check).
Ideally, when the two-hour countdown begins, a session-independent process would start -- almost like a user-defined cron job -- and at the end would check if any changes need to be done; better yet, if the user does respond, the process would be cancelled.
Can anyone point me in the right direction to implement such a thing? Is it even possible?
Many thnx for solutions, possible approaches, or insightful comments...