Windows Service Applications - An Overview

Microsoft Windows services enable you to create long-running executable applications that run in their own Windows sessions. These services can be automatically started when the computer boots, can be paused and restarted, and do not show any user interface. These features make services ideal for use on a server or whenever you need long-running functionality that does not interfere with other users who are working on the same computer. You can also run services in the security context of a specific user account that is different from the logged-on user or the default computer account.

These are some of the reasons why many environments choose to install and run their business-critical .NET and .NET Core applications as Windows services. Because of the business-critical nature of these applications, frequent failures of or slowness in user interactions with these applications will adversely impact user productivity and increase user frustration with application performance. As a result, help desk will be inundated with user complaints of poor application performance! If these complaints are not resolved quickly, it can significantly dent an organization's reputation and revenue.

To avoid this, administrators should continuously monitor the health of business transactions to .NET and .NET Core applications that run as Windows services, promptly detect performance aberrations, accurately isolate the root-cause of the bottleneck, and clear the bottleneck well before users notice and complain. This is where eG Enterprise helps!

eG Enterprise provides an exclusive Business Transaction Monitor (BTM) for capturing transactional failures/errors/slowness with NET and .NET Core applications that are run as Windows services.

Typically, these Windows service applications can be of the following types:

  • Web-based Windows Service Application: This is an Windows service application that listens on a port and responds to HTTP/S requests received via that port from users or other applications.

  • Standalone Windows Service Application: This is a Windows service application that does not listen on any port for HTTP/S requests from clients. Instead, this standalone service applicaiton automatically runs at defined intervals and performs business-critical tasks - e.g., log status in log files, take backups of data etc.

eG Enterprise provides monitoring support to both these types by offering a specialized monitoring model for each - the Microsoft .NET Client model for monitoring the standalone service applications and the Microsoft .NET Application model for monitoring the web-based ones.