View Full Version : Running as a Windows service


10-12-2009, 08:00 PM
Does the Alpha 5 Version 10 (v10) Application Server run as a Windows SERVICE under Windows Server 2003 on install or do you have to make it run as a Service as in Version 9 through the workaround???

Steve Wood
10-12-2009, 08:21 PM
You need 'the workaround' to run V10 as a service. I use AlwaysUp from www.coretechnologies.com.

10-12-2009, 09:09 PM
I just need to know if V10 Application Server runs as a service "out of the box?" The Application Server should have always been a service since it is a SERVER application not a USER application. The V9 Application server we have now has to be restarted everytime the server restarts or the user logs out which is really a pain! ...AND Yes, the check box to "start server automatically" is check but does not work. I have not converted it to a service yet using the Windows Toolkit and wanted to know if I could just save the time and upgrade to v10 and have it work as a service.

If the Application Server not a service in V10 then please make it one before you release it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve Wood
10-12-2009, 09:13 PM
Like I said, No it does not run as a service. The "start server automatically" checkbox means the app server will start if you reboot to the desktop and manually or automatically log in to the server.

V10 does not run as a service, and from conversations I've have had with Alpha, it isn't going to.

10-13-2009, 12:09 AM
I cannot remember exactly how the "work-around" was, but do remember thinking that the application service start was very similar looking to how any service is started...and with one (I think) exe file (srvman.exe) and a vbs script, Alpha can be made to run as a service.

If Alpha is not going to do this I have a feeling that I must have missed something, but......if I saw correctly when looking at the method shown for the application server, it sure looked similar and if so, not an issue even for runtime applications I am thinking.

I would have to check the work-around if this is something that would be of use--I just know it did not take that long to modify an existing vbs script found on Google to do this....and a vbs script can easily be run from many places, including Alpha (and once run, you're done!).

Am I thinking incorrectly about this?? Would it be a problem for an Alpha application that ran a server to use a one-time vbs file to create the service??

Later---now my curiousity is piqued! Need to find a small block of time to see what's what.

Steve Wood
10-13-2009, 02:03 AM
Making Alpha run as a service is a simple operation. Search for instructions using "Srvany.exe", there are even instructions on Alpha's Blog. But in my opinion, and I have dozens of apps running this way, you should use AlwaysUp from www.coretechnologies. I think there is a $5 off option from my own website because I referred so many users. Many, many developers here are using this utility.

Here's why - if all you do is "run the Alpha App Server as a service" then you are missing the big picture. All that means is Alpha will spring back to life if the server reboots. Since that hardly ever actually happens, it will rarely be of any use, but there in emergencies.

AlwaysUp does the following (I mean, this is what I use it for):

I can easily manage any program as a service, so I include my FTP Server, DirectoryWatch as well as Alpha Five App Server.
I can easily run the Exe as a particular user, Admin or other.
I can tell it when to restart the Alpha App Server - if it hogs the CPU, if it consumes more than XXX MB of memory, if it just 'hangs'.
I can tell it to reset the App Server if "at 3AM, nobody is logged in", and similar scenerios.
Or just to reboot the entire server at 3AM if I want.
It emails me every day to tell me how the service performed - % uptime, MB of memory and CPU consumption.
It emails me if it had to reset the server because of one of those performance measures.
It can run a batch file before it starts the App Server (I used to use this as a poor man's autoexec).
And finally it allows me to see the little App Server icon in the lower right which I don't think you get with Srvany and is worth the price of admission.

10-13-2009, 02:42 AM
Excellent points Steve. Should almost be a given considering the pros of using Always Up compared with just having it run as a service....

But if running as a service is all that is wanted then it is fairly simple either manually using Alpha's work-around or another product I found called "Service_srvman-1.0" http://tools.sysprogs.org/srvman/ This has a "manual" GUI, a command line mode (have not used yet), or you could use the following for automation where possible.

This small service manager could easily be part of any installation (freeware) as it is just an exe--no installation. Referencing this exe and your application exe via the attached vbs file easily creates the service (and registry entries)...I left in some extra code present but is commented out. You have to change any of the relevant paths and names for your specific application.

Vbs can run (can use the Alpha function-- A5_run_vbscript() from an Alpha application so may be a bit more difficult unless it is a hybrid maybe. So if a way is found to run this script either on installation or via an autoexec (or whatever), then your users/clients need not even have to know or do anything.


10-13-2009, 07:43 PM
I believe the current A5-Server is really just a customised RUN-TIME that, possibly uses a few undocumented features.
Thus to convert this in to a true service would require a bit of resource hacking of the PE, Portable Executable.
While this isn't too difficult to do, I'd hate to see this alter the stability of the current server, which is quite possible.
This is also so why I believe the mythological cluster server for a5 has never apparated onto the market.
And anyone of us here could create our own runtime version of the A5-Server, however to achieve respectable performance is an entirely different issue.
Having said that, I also, use and suggest others use ALWAYS-UP due to all the benefits it has. And actually further suggest that Alpha consider usage of the "AlwaysUp Command Line Tools (CLT) package" in the server.

10-14-2009, 05:34 AM
Having said that, I also, use and suggest others use ALWAYS-UP due to all the benefits it has. And actually further suggest that Alpha consider usage of the "AlwaysUp Command Line Tools (CLT) package" in the server.

I second that suggestion :)

12-06-2009, 09:30 PM
Just to chime in. The server I'm installing the WAS on has no other purpose than to run my Filemaker database. This server has power issues, even with a UPS, and restarts quite often. It's location is political, not logical, so I have no control over that. Filemaker Server automatically restarts of course, so without the "always up" that I will now look into, using the WAS on this server would mean many calls at all hours to me to let me know that the "program is down". It's a headless server that I administer with remote desktop. So I would vote for some simple restart system included with the WAS even if it costs a few extra bucks. What could it hurt?

Bill Belanger

Steve Wood
12-06-2009, 09:34 PM
simple restart system included with the WAS...
From what I hear directly, ain't going to happen.

12-08-2009, 12:10 PM
Bill for your usage with that particular server you could simply use task manager and assign the app to start upon reboot problem solved for you.


01-01-2013, 08:59 AM
Dear Steve,
As your suggestion I used AlwaysUp, but I have problem with print report, the error message is:

Report did not print. Error reported was:
'Alpha Five Printer' (for creating PDF, RTF and HTML output) is not installed. Re-install Alpha Five Application Server

Please Any Help ?!?!?!?