Run Visual FoxPro as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run any Visual FoxPro Application as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Launch your legacy VFP program as soon as your PC boots and keep it running 24x7 in the background. No need to log on!

Visual FoxPro (VFP) is database-centric programming language created by Microsoft. Even though VFP was was discontinued in 2007, applications created with VFP continue to operate well on modern versions of Windows.

To configure your Visual FoxPro application to run as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp:

  1. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  2. Start AlwaysUp.

  3. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  4. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to your VFP application's executable file. Since we are setting up Foxy Classes sample application in this tutorial, we'll specify:

      Of course your application will be different!

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We went with VFP App but feel free to specify something more meaningful to your situation.

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: General Tab

  5. Click over to the Logon tab and enter the user name and password of the account where you plan to run your application. This is not necessarily required for all applications (some will run fine in the default LocalSystem account) but specifying an account here is the safer option.

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: Logon Tab

  6. We're done configuring the VFP program, so click the Save >> button to record your settings. In a couple of seconds, an application called VFP App (or whatever you called yours) will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though.

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: Created

  7. To start your Visual FoxPro application, choose Application > Start "VFP App". The state should move to Running and clicking on the green circle will reveal details of the running process:

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: Running

    On Windows 8.1/8/7/Vista and Server 2012/2008, your VFP app will be running in the isolated Session 0. Select Tools > Switch to Session 0 to see it:

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: Running in Session 0

    You can also select Application > Restart "VFP App" in this session to temporarily stop the application and bring it onto your desktop where you can interact with it normally:

    Visual FoxPro Windows Service: Running in the current Session

  8. That's it! Next time your computer boots, your legacy Visual FoxPro application will start up immediately, before anyone logs on.

    We encourage you to edit the Visual FoxPro entry in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, you can hide your application's windows by checking the When a user logs on... box on the Login tab, boost your application's priority on the General tab, and much more.

Visual FoxPro not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • Consult the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and your application. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the more obscure messages.
  • Browse the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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