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Super Global Application that all Users see

Posted on 2004-11-28
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Last Modified: 2010-05-02

 Either this problem is so super easy I'm going to embarrass myself or it is totally impossible:

  I have a legacy Visual Basic application that is now "broke" due to the use of multiple users.  I have a scheduling application my clients install while logged in as Administrator.  It writes to the "c:\Program Files\" folder.   It runs all the time.  When an event comes up, it has a popup dialog box to remind the user of the upcoming event.

  PROBLEM:  When a user logs in under a different account login name, the application is no longer available to that user.  What's frustrating is that I know the original application is still running because I can't delete the exe file in the "c:\Program Files\" folder.

   I know one workaround is to install the scheduling routine under each user name - but this seems ludicrous.  I don't want to have to reinstall an application every time a new user adds a user name.

 QUESTION:  Is there a method of making a Visual Basic application "super global"?  In other words: when it is running, it can be "seen" by all of the users.

 PICTURESQUE EXAMPLE:

   * Log in as "Administrator".
   * Open a 'Notepad' session.  Let this 'Notepad' session represent the home-built scheduler application written Visual Basic.
   * Select 'Start' / 'Log off' / 'Switch User' /
   * Login as "Guest" (or some other user)
   * The 'Notepad' session should still be up, running, and visible  (if set to run as our hypothetical "super global application").

If what I am asking is impossible - is there a better method or workaround?
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Question by:EasyAim
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by:BrianGEFF719
ID: 12692299
What you are trying to do cannot be done, however, you can make a program start with each user, by adding a link to the program in:

c:\documents and settings\all users\start menu\programs\start up


that will force the program to start with every user.

-Brian
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by:syntaxmishap
ID: 12692683
EasyAim -

Unfortunately, there is no way to do specifically what you are looking to do, but there is a relatively straightforward workaround. From what I gather, these events you wish to notify the user of are system wide, and are not specific to the user. I am also asuming that you are using NT/2000/XP and not a 9x/ME platform.

The simplest way to do this is to use a two part system.

Your current app will need to be split into two parts. The first part will handle the functionality of knowing when the events are. The second part will handle the displaying of the alerts.

Example:

EventServer.EXE - Loaded in the startup section of the registry for all users. When it launches, check to make sure that an instance isn't already running, and only start if it is new. Each time there is an event, drop a text file in, say, "c:\program files\eventserver\events\".

EventAlerter.EXE - Loaded in the startup section of the registry for all users. Each user can have an instance of this running. In this program, you can have a time set to 1 or 2 seconds. Each time the time fires, look for any new file in "c:\program files\eventserver\events\". If you see a file, open it up and read the event data, and display the event to the end user.

You can also drop "event files" with a simple header, including a specific user, for instance, if you want events only for some users.

If you would like some more specific ideas on setting up the nitty gritty of this, let me know.

syntaxmishap
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by:syntaxmishap
ID: 12692691
EventAlerter.EXE - Loaded in the startup section of the registry for all users. Each user can have an instance of this running. In this program, you can have a timer* set to 1 or 2 seconds. Each time the timer* fires, look for any new file in "c:\program files\eventserver\events\". If you see a file, open it up and read the event data, and display the event to the end user.
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EDDYKT earned 200 total points
ID: 12695660
Make your program runs as service?

as long as your program runs under SYSTEM account, you should be able to pop-up message
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Author Comment

by:EasyAim
ID: 12698080
I have an installation package for this VB app.   Right now, when you look at the details for processes running in the Task Manager it says "Owner" for my application.

How do I have it install as a "Service"?
   
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Expert Comment

by:EDDYKT
ID: 12698440
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