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What a Windows Service is

  • Enables you to create long-running executable applications that run in their own windows session.
  • Can be automatically started when the computer boots, can be paused and restarted without any user interaction.
  • Easily installable by running the command line utility InstallUtil.exe and passing the path to the service's executable file.

Why a Windows Service?

One of the most common requirements of some businesses is long-running scheduled jobs based on some time interval. For example: sending a newsletter everyday afternoon or send an email alert to the customer for every one hour.

So building a Windows Service could be one of the reliable solutions to do the goal that can do the required job in the behind the scenes without interfering others users on the same computer.

Introduction

This article explains a step-by-step process of developing and installing a Windows Service to do a scheduled job based on a time interval.

Open Visual Studio and from the menus select "File" -> "New" -> "Project...".

A New Project window will open. Choose "Visual C#" >> "Windows" project type and select "Windows Service" from the right hand side and name the project "TestWindowsService" as shown in the following screenshot.



After you click "OK", the project will be created and you will see the design view of the service as shown in the following screen. Right-click the "Service1.cs" file in Solution Explorer and rename it "to" Scheduler or any other name that you want to give it. Then click "click here to switch to code view".



In the code view, you can see two methods called OnStart() and OnStop(). The OnStart() triggers when the Windows Service starts and the OnStop() triggers when the service stops.


Right-click the TestWindowService project, add a new class and name it "Library.cs". This class will be useful to create the methods that we require in the project. If your TestWindowService is a big project, you can create a ClassLibrary project and reference it to your TestWindowService.



Library.cs

Make the class public and declare it as a Static class.



Create a log method (WriteErrorLog) to log the exceptions.



Create one more log method (WriteErrorLog) to log the custom messages.



Scheduler.cs

Now return to our Scheduler.cs file and declare a Timer.



Write the following code in the OnStart() method and timer1_Tick():



Write the following code in the OnStop() method:


Scheduler.cs [Design]

디자인 모드 화면에서 마우스 우클릭하면 "인스톨 추가" 라는 서브 메뉴를 선택합니다.

Now return to the Scheduler.cs [Design] and right-click on the editor window then click "Add Installer".



Then you can see that there will be a new file called "ProjectInstaller.cs" as shown in the following.




 

만든 인스톨러를 우클릭 한 다음, 속성을 선택합니다. 


Right-click on the "serviceInstaller1" and click "Properties".

   


 

서비스명과 StartType "Automatic" 자동으로 설정합니다. 대신 서비스 올렸다고 시작이 되는것은 아닙니다.

Change the ServiceName to "Test Windows Service" (or your own name) and StartType to "Manual" (or you can choose "Automatic" if you need this service to be automatic).




 

serviceProcessInstaller1 에서 우클릭 한다음 속성에서 인증 권한을 로컬 시스템으로 해서 아이디, 패스워드 입력 없이 추가 가능하도록 합니다.


Right-click the serviceProcessInstaller1, go to the properties window and change "Account" to "LocalSystem".

   



Build the project to see the .exe file at the location where you created the solution.



That's all. Your Windows Service is all ready to install in your machine.

Installing the Windows Service

Go to "Start" >> "All Programs" >> "Microsoft Visual Studio 2012" >> "Visual Studio Tools" then click "Developer Command Prompt for VS2012".

Type the following command:

cd <physical location of your TestWindowService.exe file>

in my case it is :

cd C:\Sandbox\WindowServices\TestWindowService\TestWindowService\bin\Debug

   

 

   

Next type the following command:

서비스를 추가하기 위해서는 installUtil 함수를 통해 실행이 가능합니다.

InstallUtil.exe "TestWindowService.exe"


and press Enter.



Here you go, the TestWindowService is installed successfully.



How to start the Windows Service

Since we chose StartType = Manual, we must start the Windows Service manually by visiting the "Services and Applications" window in the computer.

서비스 들어가서 추가한 서비스가 등록되어 있는지 확인합니다. 실행해 보고 싶으면 서비스를 선택하여 클릭한 다음, "시작" 누르면 작동합니다.





Select the Test Windows Service and click "Start" to start the service. Go to the "TestWindowService.exe" location to see the logs.

LogFile.txt

Since we are tracking our Windows Service by writing some logs to a .txt file called LogFile.txt, we can test the working condition of our Windows Service by looking at this log file.



As you can see in the preceding screen, you can find the LogFile.txt file at the physical location that your TestWindowService solution exists.

Click the LogFile.txt to see the logs, whether our service is doing the job that we set it to do for every 30 seconds.

   



If you look at the preceding log file, we can prove that our Windows Service is running and doing the job that we wanted on a 30 seconds interval.

Stop the Windows Service

To stop the Windows Service, just click "Stop" link in the Services window by selecting our TestWindowService.

Logfile after stopping our service:

   

Type the following two commands in the "Developer Command Prompt for VS2012" to uninstall the TestWindowService.exe.

  1. cd <physical location of your TestWindowService.exe file>
    and press Enter. In my case it is:
    cd C:\Sandbox\WindowServices\TestWindowService\TestWindowService\bin\Debug
  2. InstallUtil.exe /u "TestWindowService.exe"
    And press enter.
    After executing the preceding commands, the TestWindowService will be uninstalled from your computer.

Summary

In this article, I explained how to develop a Windows Service and install it using InstallUtil.exe from a command prompt.

I believe that I have explained each step clearly that can be easily understandable for a beginner to develop and install a Windows Service.

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