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NB as service

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NB as service

Postby dpayer » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:54 am

I mostly use NB to create utilities for personal/company use. I am considering an application for distribution but it would be a logfile analyzer that would run on servers. I want this to run as service.

Would it be possible for NB to use a product like this:

http://www.application-as-service.com/activex/

in the compilation process?

Or could a version of the runtime that would read from an INI the file(s) to be loaded, be created with this kind of app? (Example:

Image

at the arrow have an option:
Compile as service (requires NTBSPlayer.exe and NTBS.ini file)

Such a NTBSPlayer.exe (special version of the NBPlayer.exe that was compiled with the ActiveX mentioned above or the ApptoService program mentioned below) would require the NTBS.ini file - telling it what to run - to be in the same folder that the executable was found. This may require a separate install process as well.

Does anyone else see the value of this? I work in the environment of 2003 servers and XP Pro boxes running services plus a few old NT4 server boxes. I would like to create server utilites with NB and be sure they would actually run if the server were to be restarted.

I am also looking at the ApptoService from Basta.com as something I could do on my own. I wonder if NBPlay5.exe could be run as a service or does it need to be launched from a compiled runtime package?


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Postby edunaway » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:47 am

Have you tried putting your app in the startup folder? After the server is restarted the admin would need to log in and lock the computer but this should be an acceptable way to make sure your app is running at all times.
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Postby dpayer » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:19 am

edunaway wrote:Have you tried putting your app in the startup folder? After the server is restarted the admin would need to log in and lock the computer but this should be an acceptable way to make sure your app is running at all times.


You are right about this but the issue is having things run without anyone logging on. There are times where I won't log on to a server for days. I want to be sure the program is running.

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Postby edunaway » Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:37 am

I've had this desire to be able to compile NB apps to run as a service for a long time as well.

But, if you restart the server couldn't you make it a habit to log into it immediately so your app would run?

There are several apps out there that will do this but they can get expensive since they are licensed on a per machine basis. If this is for your internal purposes only you might want to consider this.

http://www.coretechnologies.com/products/AlwaysUp/?gclid=CLyzoYi544sCFQ9eUAod-2NhOw
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Postby Neosoft Support » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:12 am

I'm not an expert on this type of thing, but I understand that service applications generally don't have a user interface. I'm not sure how NeoBook, which is inherently visual, would work in this capacity. Can you elaborate on how you see NeoBook functioning as a service?
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Postby dpayer » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:43 pm

Neosoft Support wrote:I'm not an expert on this type of thing, but I understand that service applications generally don't have a user interface. I'm not sure how NeoBook, which is inherently visual, would work in this capacity. Can you elaborate on how you see NeoBook functioning as a service?


I actually use FireDaemon (see http://www.firedaemon.com/) for several applications (a proxy and a port redirector by analogX) and I can still have interaction with the config portion of the program.

Here are a couple examples of how I envision using this (particularly when you get data functions working):

a NB app monitors changes in a database and acts on it to change a config in a separate application.

A NB app monitors accessibility of another application, if it does not respond/function as expected the NB app contacts a mail server or a SMS server to forewarn an administrator (meaning: ME!)

a NB app analyzes log files and when a pattern is revealed, it contacts the administrator to act on the circumstance.

A NB app checks constantly for disk space on a machine and the number of files in a folder. If boundaries are exceeded, an administrator is warned via smtp / sms

You see, I don't take advantage of the multimedia aspects of NB nearly as much as others do. I use it as a general purpose programming tool for someone who had decided not to focus on using VB.

It is entirely possible that I may be better served with PowerBasic for such things. Its just that it seems that every year causes more brain cells to evaporate and taking on new technical challenges (syntax of a language) is less thrilling than before. :)

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Postby edunaway » Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:44 pm

Dave, service applications can have an interface, but this interface is generally only used to configure settings because usually a service is monitoring something, such as a log or antivirus, or used for automation. A service is similar to a system tray type application in that the interface remains hidden unless the user specifically needs to interact with it, though it is entirely acceptable for a service to not have an interface and not have a system tray icon.

The main benefit of a service is that it runs under the SYSTEM account regardless of which user is logged in and has administrator level privileges at all times, even if the current user is logged in as a guest. However, for security purposes, only an administrator can install a service (or another group that has been given service install privileges)

Services also run from the moment a computer starts even if no user is logged into the computer, which is why dplayer is interested in these capabilities.

If NB were able to create services it would definitely open up the market for NB based utilities big time. I have a few projects that are permanently tabled since they simply could not work reliably enough without service capabilities and licensing an EXE to service tool would make it prohibitively expensive due to the per computer licensing of those conversion products.

-eric
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Postby dpayer » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:12 pm

edunaway wrote:If NB were able to create services it would definitely open up the market for NB based utilities big time. I have a few projects that are permanently tabled since they simply could not work reliably enough without service capabilities and licensing an EXE to service tool would make it prohibitively expensive due to the per computer licensing of those conversion products.

-eric


I think this is true. NB is less expensive than VB or Delphi. Its power (with the help of plugins and ability to interact with other programs) is quite significant. For me the multimedia aspect is the ability to make a nice interface for an underlying service. I find NB helpful for utilities.

I think NB could be positioned much more along those lines. The current website advocates the multimedia aspects of the program but it is an entry level multi purpose programming environment.

I bet it would not be terribly expensive to make some sort of variation of the runtime that would be universal and would choose the NB files to run via config file. This would work around the licensing of most components which are for a single developer. Since we are all developers that distribute, a single unchanged 'service runtime' could be written to and we wouldn't all have to buy ApptoService type of program tools. We could simply compile to use the service runtime and the compilation process would also create a ini file that would tell the runtime which files to use.

I *think* this would work. Further, I believe it could be self funding as a Neosoftware Plugin for those who want/need it. Others would not have to buy in.

Do others think this would be a valuable tool?

D

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Postby edunaway » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:10 pm

I think the reason Dave showcases Neobook as a multimedia/ebook tool is because if he pushed it as a development/programming language it might intimidate any newcomers.

Personally, I think the concepts of multimedia and ebooks are very passe, early 90's terminology since most of that stuff has migrated to the web in the form of Flash, Blogs, Youtube, etc. There's another thread that discusses the future for Neobook: http://neosoftware.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15049

But, as many of us have noted on this forum, Neobook has matured between versions 4 and 5 into a truly unique programming language. Without dismissing its multimedia roots, it would be to Dave's benefit to showcase its more advanced capabilities beyond creating "slideshows" and screensavers because it can do so much more.

Now, the idea of a plugin or special runtime for services is an interesting idea. I suppose it's possible to do this with a plugin, after all Robert had a plugin that could create its own EXEs.

Gaev, do you have any input on this? Could your outsourced plugin model fulfill this need as well? Dave -- any thoughts?

-eric
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Postby Gaev » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:53 pm

Eric:
Gaev, do you have any input on this?
Right now I am fighting a weeklong virus that has left me fatigued, groggy, feverish, with throbbing headache etc. ... so while I am reading these posts, I am in no position to provide any thoughtful contributions right now ... I can barely stay upright for more than an hour.

Perhaps, next week I will revisit this thread ... sorry.
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Postby Wrangler » Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:43 am

That Gaev is something else. :D Even when deathly ill, he visits us here at the forum. A stampede of buffalos couldn't keep him away.

Take a lot of vitamin C and E Gaev, and get well soon! :wink:
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Postby Horst Helfen » Mon Apr 30, 2007 1:00 am

There are some tools to let a program run as a service. On a German website (http://www.pirmasoft.de/runassvc.php) I found the freeware RunAsSvc.

The description reads:

RunAsSvc runs normal programs as services so that they are running in the background, even when no user is logged on.
RunAsSvc has been tested on Windows 2000 and Windows XP, but it should also run on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2003 Server.
You can use this program free of charge on as many computers as you want, but I don't take any responsibility for it. You use it on your own risk!
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Postby dpayer » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:26 am

Horst Helfen wrote:There are some tools to let a program run as a service. On a German website (http://www.pirmasoft.de/runassvc.php) I found the freeware RunAsSvc.


Thank you. This looks promising. I will try it out and give some feedback. It allows a command line install so it can be run at installation time and the "service" gets listed in the Add/Remove programs section of the Control Panel. Very clear.

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Postby edunaway » Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:55 am

That is interesting and will definitely look at it. However, I would still like to see this functionality either natively supported by NB or via a plugin so there is some support and it is kept current, especially with Vista (which probably handles services differently)

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