AutoMate Task Service

Overview

The AutoMate Task Service (AMTS.exe) is a system service used for the purpose of monitoring and regulating the execution of the AutoMate Event Monitor (AMEM.exe) and running tasks that are automatically started by a trigger or manually started from Task Administrator (i.e. when a user clicks the Run button). The Task Service communicates with the Event Monitor and other components of AutoMate via TCP/IP (whether remotely or on the local system). The path to the Task Service executable file varies depending on the operating system AutoMate is installed on, however, the path is typically one of the following:

The AutoMate Task Administrator (AMTA.exe) and Task Service are two of several individual components within AutoMate. The Task Administrator contains a user-friendly graphical interface through which users interact with the software in an intuitive manner. On the other hand, the Task Service is a background application that has no direct user interface. It maintains the task database and global application preferences. It also  monitors for trigger events and launches, maintains, and monitors running tasks. In short, the Task Administrator is used to send the proper information to the Task Service. The Task Service is the actual component that performs all the work.  

Task Service Responsibilities

The Task Service runs as a true Win32 service. It is configured to start automatically and logs onto the system under the LocalSystem account. Its properties can be viewed by navigating to Services and double-clicking the AutoMate 10 service. The Task Service is responsible for the following:

Task Service Properties & Behavior

The Task Service, on a regular basis, executes the control flow of a task to determine if active sessions are present and, if so, which active session (if any) the Event Monitor should be started in. The Task Service is configured by default to logon as "LocalSystem". Because services start before users actually log onto the system, they don't run under the same user-context as programs or applications that are started after logon. Rather, most services run under the context of a special system account called LocalSystem. Since LocalSystem is a built-in account that retains a high level of access, programs that run under this account have full access permissions to the entire system. It's essential that AutoMate runs under this account so that important system-related operations, such as the act of pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL, can be performed when needed.

Accessing & TROUBLESHOOTING the Task Service

The Task Service is configured by default to start automatically. This allows proper execution of tasks even when the workstation is locked or when the user is logged out. It is important that the Task Service is always set to start automatically, otherwise, tasks that are configured to run in the background when a workstation is locked or logged off will fail. Also, since the Task Service is responsible for detecting trigger events that kick off task execution, if the service is stopped, paused or disabled, scheduled or event driven tasks will fail to start. AutoMate Task Service properties can be viewed or modified via Services -> AutoMate 10 service. A dialog titled AutoMate 10 Properties displays the properties by which the service is set  (as shown above).

Ordinarily, when Task Administrator starts, it automatically establishes communication with the Task Service that resides on the local computer. However, if Remote Administration is enabled, the (local) Task Administrator is capable of communicating with the Task Service installed remotely as well. This functionality enables deployment and execution of tasks remotely (requires installation of Runtime or compatible AutoMate license - sold separately).

To Access the AutoMate Task Service (AMTS.exe):

  1. Perform one of the following actions based on your operating system:

  1. Double-click the service titled AutoMate 10 to view its properties.

  2. On the General tab, verify that the Startup type is set to Automatic and the Path to executable is a valid path to AMTS.exe.

  3. Make sure that Service status is set to Running. If not, press Start.

  4. On the Log On tab, under the Log on as parameter, verify that Local System account is selected.

  5. Make sure that the Allow services to interact with desktop check-box is unchecked.

  6. Click OK to save changes and close the properties dialog.