Using Srvany to run an application as a Windows Service?

AlwaysUp is much better than Srvany and fully supports Windows 11/10 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016. Try it risk-free for 30 days!

 Table comparing AlwaysUp and Srvany (Printable PDF)

So what's missing from Srvany?

The Windows NT Resource Kit introduced the Srvany.exe command-line utility, which can be used to start any Windows NT/2000/2003 application as a service. Srvany is basic and functional, and its price tag (free) makes it a fine choice for many environments. However, most computer professionals will find that it is missing some important benefits when compared to AlwaysUp:

  1. No Windows 11/10 or Windows Server 2022/2019/2016 support: Srvany.exe was developed for Windows NT back in the 1990's and hasn't really changed since then. Srvany will run on later versions of Windows, but it doesn't know about Remote Desktop, UAC, Session 0 isolation, or anything else that has happened with Windows Services in the past decade.

  2. No easy installation: As described in Microsoft's Srvany documentation, "How To Create a User-Defined Service", installing your application with Srvany involves running the companion Instsrv utility from the MS-DOS command prompt and manually editing the registry (at your own risk!). On the other hand, AlwaysUp is simply point-and-click. (See the 1-minute demo showing how to setup an application with AlwaysUp.)

  3. No restarting / 100% uptime: If your application terminates unexpectedly, Srvany will not revive it. In fact, Srvany may continue to run, giving the false impression that your application is alive and well!

  4. May not stop your application: Stopping your Srvany service from the services control panel will terminate the srvany.exe process but Srvany may leave your application running! This can lead to great confusion as starting the service again will launch a second copy of your application. AlwaysUp will stop your application (and all its sub-processes) as expected.

  5. No application monitoring: Srvany does not monitor your application at all — it simply starts it, once. AlwaysUp can restart your application if it hogs the CPU, uses too much memory, or hangs.

  6. No logging / Can fail silently: If Srvany fails to start your application, it doesn't write anything to the Windows Event Logs, a log file, or anywhere else. These scenarios can be very difficult to debug! AlwaysUp writes all its activities to the Event Logs.

  7. May not show your application's windows / taskbar-icon / GUI: Srvany may not be able to show your application's windows or task-tray icons. Several restrictions and caveats apply (for example, you must run in the system account, on the console session, no RDP, etc.). AlwaysUp can often get around those restrictions.

  8. No email alerts: Srvany can not email you when your program fails and has to be restarted. AlwaysUp will do that, and send you daily/weekly reports summarizing your application's activities.

  9. No scheduled restarts: For example, you can instruct AlwaysUp to restart your application (or reboot your computer) at 3 AM every day to cure memory leaks, etc. Not available with Srvany.exe.

  10. No network drive support: Network drives mapped by your service account are not available when using Srvany. AlwaysUp can automatically restore your network drives.

  11. No extensibility: With AlwaysUp, you can plug in your own failure-detection batch file/program to let AlwaysUp know that your application has failed and needs to be restarted. Similarly, AlwaysUp allows you to plug in your own automation program, to auto-fill dialogs and close popups coming from your application. Srvany is not extensible.

  12. No reports: Srvany doesn't feature reporting of any kind, but AlwaysUp can show you how your application has been performing (CPU, memory, uptime).

  13. No web service: With AlwaysUp, you can control and interrogate your service using our free add-on, AlwaysUp Web Service.

But perhaps most important of all, Srvany is not supported under any Microsoft standard support program or service. It was last released in 2003.

Overview: Run as a Service

Srvany is OK, but AlwaysUp...

  • Starts your Windows 11/10 and Windows Server 2022/2019/2016 applications automatically when your PC boots
  • Will do everything in its power to keep your app running 24/7/365 — even if it is unstable and crashes, hangs or terminates unexpectedly
  • Is trusted and used every day by many of the world's best known companies
  • Is fully supported by our experienced technical team, who are on hand to answer your most detailed questions and help you get set up, free of charge
  • Comes with a free, unrestricted 30-day trial, to guarantee your complete satisfaction before making a purchase

Easy to use. Reliable. Supported. Guaranteed.
Peace of mind, for less than $50!

Click here to find out more about AlwaysUp, download the free 30-day trial, and much more!

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