PVF Launcher

Windows services at your fingertips !

 

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PVFLauncher Tutorial

      PVF Launcher allows you to run any normal application as a Windows NT / 2000 / XP / 2003 service. This is very useful especially for Java programmers. It's very easy to write a server in Java, but if you want to make it run like a service you'll see it's very hard (especially if you want to keep the platform independence). With PVFLauncher you can transform your Java program into a Windows service in just a few minutes.

 

      It's obvious that you must first download and install the PVFLauncher. From the download section of this website, you can obtain the latest release. After downloading, you must install it. For this, extract the contents of the archive to a folder on your harddisk and run the following command: pvflauncher -install

      After you have executed the above command, the PVFLauncher service is installed and ready to be used. You can check this by going to "Control Panel/ Administrative Tools/ Services". Here you should see the PVFLauncher service.

 

      To register your application with PVFLauncher, you must add a few entries in the registry. Below you can see an example .reg file for starting the PVFServer (a server written in Java):
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\PVF\PVF Launcher\PVFServer]
"run"="E:\\Program Files\\pvf\\jre\\bin\\java.exe"
"dir"="E:\\Program Files\\pvf\\server\\"
"arg4"="-c"
"arg3"="Server"
"arg1"="-cp"
"arg2"="."
Note
: In the example above, you must replace the paths with your own paths (for example, you should replace "E:\\Program Files\\pvf\\jre\\bin\\java.exe" with the path to your java executable).

      In case you haven't figured out what those keys represent, here is an explanation:

Key

Description

run

This is the full name (path+filename+extension) of the program to be started. In some cases you can skip the path, but it's generally a good idea to use it.

dir

The directory where the application will be started. This may be the program directory or any other directory. This is also called the working directory.

arg1 ... argn

These are the arguments that will be passed to the application. You can use as many arguments as you like. The first argument is called arg1. These keys are optional. If your application don't need any arguments you will not create these keys.

      Warning: Your program should not stop working after some time. PVFLauncher is designed to run applications like servers that must be running all the time. That's way it will detect when an application terminates and will restart it. If you need to run a program only for a certain amount of time, you must implement a thread (or something) that will keep your application running. If not, your program will be restarted.

 

      To launch a new application, PVFLauncher must be restarted. The easiest way to do this is by restarting your computer. You may also restart the PVFLauncher service, but keep in mind that the applications started by PVFLauncher are not terminated when the service is stopped (so you will end up with the same applications running two times).

 

      You must always think that you may not be the only one using PVFLauncher on a certain computer (possibly your computer). There may be other applications that rely on PVFLauncher to be started. That's why you should not do anything that could disturb those programs.

  • DO NOT uninstall PVFLauncher when you remove your application. Instead, remove only the registry entries used to start your program.
  • DO NOT rely on information acquired at installation time about PVFLauncher. There may be another program using PVFLauncher that was installed after your application.