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Thread: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

  1. #1
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    Post Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Greetings Alpha gurus,

    Several of you use our run-as-a-service product AlwaysUp to start the Alpha Five Application Server at boot and keep it running 24/7. Thank you - we appreciate your support!

    I just wanted to inform others looking to use AlwaysUp that we have recently prepared a tutorial / guide showing how to properly configure Alpha Five with AlwaysUp:
    http://www.coretechnologies.com/prod...sAService.html

    The key step is to have the service run in a Windows account that can run Alpha normally (probably the account in which you installed A5). Without this, the server may fail to find the settings it needs for printing, email, etc.

    Note that multiple instances of the application server are fully supported.

    And special thanks go to Steve Wood for reviewing the guide and as usual, providing insightful feedback.
    Last edited by CoreTech; 10-07-2011 at 03:37 AM.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Clipper87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    I am using AlwaysUp without a specific user account. I cannot edit the server parameters unless I stop the service & then launch the appserver from the start menu (not as a service).
    If I enter a user account to run the service AlwaysUp warns that the user must have specific rights to allow the application to interact with the desktop. That is exactly what I want but I don't get the system tray icon visible although the account I use is a member of the administrators group. 2011-10-12_1808.png

    Is there anything I can do ?
    Frank

    Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand

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    Member leetv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    I'd like to know how to do this too... it's very annoying that i have to stop the whole website to load it individually.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Clipper87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Turns out that when you run on a 2008 server you cannot let the was interact with the desktop but when logged on you can restart the was "in the current session" from the application
    menu (restart in this session) in AlwaysUp and then it will show it's systray icon (until you log off) This works far better/smoother compared to stopping the was in Alwaysup then starting the was from the start menu. Note however that you are restarting the was so users currently logged on may get interrupted.
    Thanks to the people from Coretech for pointing me to their FAQ at http://www.coretechnologies.com/prod...FAQ.html#NoGUI
    Last edited by Clipper87; 10-14-2011 at 05:02 AM. Reason: forgot detailed instruction
    Frank

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    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    If you use a single instance of the WAS, then simply start another instance from the start menu. It will not start completely because the port is already in use by the instance in AlwaysUP, but you can right click on the red orb and access the configuration form. Since you are probably using the default configfile, this will change it. Then restart the WAS in AlwaysUP to apply the changes. Personally, I only use the rignt click to set the email profile (and that's usually a one time thing ). For all other changes, I just do them directly in the configfile, then restart the WAS in AlwaysUP. If you are using multiple instances either through different ports or ip binding, then you are already familiar with creating and modifying the configfiles.

    I usually copy the configfile(s) into a shallower directory, like C:\A5\a5configs and work on it from there...Alpha by default burys it pretty deep.

    If you do use multiple instances, I've found it's best to space the startups by about 30 seconds. In some cases starting several at once will cause them to lock up, so do the first at 30, the next at 60 and so on. I've found that spacing to be fine for the slowest machines. Then you can watch them start up in task manager and adjust if yours are loading faster. This setting is on the AlwaysUP startup tab.

    One more tip, when applying a new Alpha patch, I just go to AlwaysUp, do a stop all, apply the patch, then start all. Otherwise, Alpha will issue a message to restart the server, which most people will read as restart the physical server.

    Great product. I use it on every site.
    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Clipper87's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Pat,

    That is very usefull information you give here about starting multiple instances with a delay!

    Thx
    Frank

    Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Tip: How to access the Alpha Server's Tray Icon when it is running in Session 0 with AlwaysUp

    As many of you using Windows Server 2008 have learned, AlwaysUp is sometimes unable to automatically start A5 and show the task tray icon on your desktop. This is usually because of "Session 0 Isolation", introduced in Windows Vista and present in Windows 7 and Server 2008 as well. We have recommended using AlwaysUp's "Restart in the Current Session" functionality to make your tray icon visible, but this is less than ideal because it briefly stops the server (and kicks off any users logged on).

    Fortunately, with the help of forum member leetv, we have developed a more appealing option! By running the Windows Explorer in Session 0 with AlwaysUp, your A5 tray icons are readily available when you switch to Session 0. This tutorial shows you how to set things up:
    How to Show your Application's Tray Icons when Running in Session 0 with AlwaysUp

    I am happy to report that leetv is now running multiple instances of Alpha with AlwaysUp and all his tray icons are accessible without having to restart the servers!

    As always, please PM me (or send an email to "support@CoreTechnologies.com") if you have any questions or run into trouble with the tutorial. Any and all feedback is welcome.

  8. #8
    VAR Pat Bremkamp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    One more thing I just discovered. If you want to specify your own config file, then in AlwaysUp, you cannot have spaces around the equals sign. So, for example, in one of my applicaitons, I set (on the General tab), the Application to

    C:\Program Files (x86)\a5V11 ApplicationServer\A5ApplicationServer.exe

    and the Arguments to

    -ConfigFile = c:\a5\a5configs\4000_EGW_V11_Config.xml

    but, it did not work. I had to change to

    -ConfigFile=c:\a5\a5configs\4000_EGW_V11_Config.xml

    Notice there are no spaces around the =
    Pat Bremkamp
    MindKicks Consulting

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper87 View Post
    ... you can restart the was "in the current session" from the application
    menu (restart in this session) in AlwaysUp and then it will show it's systray icon ....
    Oh marvelous - thank you so much for that! I was combing over their instructions for getting those little critters to show. This is quick, clean and simple.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clipper87 View Post
    Note however that you are restarting the was so users currently logged on may get interrupted.
    And that too - don't care during setup (I'm setting up some staging/testing instances now) - but a good reminder for my live web site. I'll do that in the wee hours.
    Wendy Welton
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    We use Task Scheduler to run the app server whenever the computer starts (regardless if a user is logged in or not). Free and simple. Just choose "On Computer Start" as the trigger for the Task and there you go.
    Last edited by mvaughn; 11-06-2012 at 10:37 AM.

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Hi Everyone,
    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 ?!?!?!?

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Quote Originally Posted by mvaughn View Post
    We use Task Scheduler to run the app server whenever the computer starts (regardless if a user is logged in or not). Free and simple. Just choose "On Computer Start" as the trigger for the Task and there you go.
    Brilliant & simple! (This tip/hint should display on the settings page of the applications server!)
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    It's all about the "framework." (I suppose an "a5-induced" hard drive crash is now in order?)
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  13. #13
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Kamal, just go to Devices and Printers and make the your AlphaFivePrinter the default printer.

    See the first post in this conversation for links to other help.

    --> AlwaysUp is signifcantly more than just 'restarting the WAS when the server restarts'.
    Steve Wood
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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Thank you Steve it's working now...

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Quote Originally Posted by SNusa View Post
    Brilliant & simple! (This tip/hint should display on the settings page of the applications server!)
    Works fine.

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Is this the current and best solution to running the web server as a service?

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    Default Re: Guide: How to run Alpha Five as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

    Always Up and Task Scheduler are the best choices that I've come across to date for version 11.
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