AutoMate Task Service

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 and executing tasks which are manually started from the Task Administrator or automatically started by a trigger. The Task Service communicates with other parts of AutoMate via TCP/IP (whether remotely or on the local system). The path to the Task Service executable file is "C:\Program Files\AutoMate 9\AMTS.exe" (assuming AutoMate was installed in the same directory).

The Task Administrator and Task Service are two of several individual components within AutoMate. The Task Administrator contains an interface in which a user can interact with. 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 basically send the proper information to the Task Service. The Task Service is the main AutoMate component that performs all the work.  

Task Service Responsibilities


The Task Service runs as a true Win32 Service, is set to start automatically and logs on as “LocalSystem”. Its properties can be viewed by navigating to Services and double-clicking the AutoMate 9 service (as shown above). The Task Service is responsible for the following:

Ordinarily the Task Administrator is used to access the Task Service on the local machine. With Remote Administration set, the Task Administrator can access the Task Service installed on other machines as well, allowing deployment and execution of tasks remotely (requires installation of Runtime or compatible AutoMate license - sold separately).

The Task Service, on a regular interval, executes the control flow outlined in the image below to determine  if any active sessions are present and, if so, which active session (if any) the Event Monitor should be started in.  

Task Service Properties


The Task Service is configured by default to logon as "LocalSystem". Because services start before user logon, they do not run under the same user-context as applications that are started after logon. Rather, most services run under a special system account called LocalSystem. Since LocalSystem is a built-in account that has a high level of access, programs that run under this account have full access permissions to the entire system. It is important that AutoMate runs under this account so that important system-related tasks such as pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL when needed can be performed.

The Task Service is also configured by default to start automatically. This allows proper execution of tasks while a machine is locked or when the user is logged out. It is important that the Task Service is always set to start automatically, otherwise, such tasks will fail. Also, since the Task Service is needed to monitor for triggers to occur in order to run their associated tasks, if this service has been stopped or disabled, tasks will fail to run at their scheduled times.

Accessing Task Service


The AutoMate Task Service enables tasks created  using AutoMate  to trigger automatically on the local computer. If the service is stopped for any reason, AutoMate tasks will not be able to run at their scheduled time.  

To Access Task Service Settings:

  1. Go to Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Services (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003).

or

Go to Start -> Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Services (Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008).

  1. Look for the service named AutoMate 9.

  2. Check the Status column to verify that the service is "Running". If it does not, right-click on AutoMate 9 and select Start.

  3. Double-click on AutoMate 9 to view the service's properties.

  4. On the General tab, verify that the Startup type is set to "Automatic" and the Path to executable is a valid path to AM7TS.exe.

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

  6. In the option labeled Allow services to interact with desktop confirm that the check-box is unchecked.

See Also

Task Administrator Quick Tour

How AutoMate logs on or unlocks a workstation

Connecting to Remote Machines