wrapping quartz in a service in jboss is one way to do it, indeed (I don't know about the progress indicator you need, though...Probably you need to wrap your job objects in MBeans so you can monitor a status/progress attribute via JMX - or quartz already has something of this nature).
The other solution is to check out jboss HEAD from CVS and look in the varia/ module: there is a new scheduler implementation with pluggable providers.
A DB-backed provider is there as an example (JDBCScheduleProvider or something like that).
It might do what you need. I don't know if it works with jboss3.0.1, though I don't see why not (just drop the scheduler-plugin.jar in deploy and remove the old one ?).
I don't know if it's better to fully decouple a scheduler from jboss or somehow implement it as a service which I'm kinda clueless about right now. I know mbeans at their simplest level.
I beleive I need an instance of a scheduler in quartz to hang around the lifespan of the server since I'm doing chronological jobs.
Are there any benefits of doing one over the other? Any more suggestions/thoughts about how to do this?
theoretically quartz shoulde be perfect but i do not get it working...