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    Interactive service for Vista or Windows 7  

There are many requests regarding ability to show something from the service. Common requests are:

  • Service tray icon. The icon should be placed into the tray area and indicate service state, receive user commands and so on.
  • Service message box. Service should be able to show message for logged on used and receive his response.
  • Service with forms. Service should be able to display an advanced GUI for logged on user.

It was possible to solve some of these task directly using "Allow to interact with desktop" service flag. It worked in spite of it was partial solution with many problems such as:

  • Service window or tray icon was visible to first logged on user only. Read more why...
  • Terminal users were unable to see service forms as well as tray icons. Why?
  • Interactive service creates a serious security breach.
  • TService + TForm behavior is unstable during logon/logoff due to VCL design. More...

Starting from Vista the direct solution does not work anymore. The service still can be marked as interactive but it's forms will not be visible to the logged on user.

SvCom helps to avoid all these problems. This example shows how to implement service application that...

  • ... shows forms and tray icon too
  • ... shows forms and tray icon for any user, both interactive and terminal, regardless of logon order
  • ... impersonates user instead of working in local security context
  • ... has no VCL logon/logoff instability

Follow the step-by-step description below:

  1. Introduction: desktop, window and process interaction
  2. Introduction: interactive services before Vista
  3. Solution: service application and GUI  
  4. Solution: the code

Example's binaries as well as source code can be found in the SvCom's folder. Install SvCom and browse for folders:

Examples\<DelphiVersion>\010-GuiServer
Examples\<DelphiVersion>\011-GuiClient

Or you can download it separately with links below.

Essential note: it is important to unpack these files in correct folders. The GuiServer.exe expects to find GuiClient at relative path "../011-GuiClient/GuiClient.exe". The correct folders structure is created by SvCom setup utility or you can create it manually.

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