The MainBoss Service Module
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MainBoss Service is a piece of software which processes notifications sent to the assignees of requests, work orders, and purchase orders. It also processes requests submitted by authorized requestors via email.
In order to use the facilities of MainBoss Service for notifications and install as a Windows Service so processing is automatic, you must have a MainBoss Service license key. You do not need a license key to process requests submitted by email manually.
The following material provides basic information about using the MainBoss program to interact with MainBoss Service. The MainBoss Installation and Administration Guide provides more information, as well as troubleshooting tips. The web page from which you download MainBoss will have the most up-to-date information on using MainBoss Service.
Here's how MainBoss Service processes requests:
- Users send email requests to a designated mail address.
- If the Windows Service for MainBoss is installed, then on a regular basis (e.g. every half hour), a check is made for incoming mail at the configured email address. Otherwise, you may manually run the MainBoss Service to check for incoming email. If there are new messages, each one is turned into a request and added to the Requests table.
- If the MainBoss Service license is present, MainBoss Service sends email to the requestor saying that the message has been received and processed.
- If the MainBoss Service license is present, whenever the state of the request changes, MainBoss Service sends another acknowledgement message to the requestor. For example, when someone marks the request as In Progress, an appropriate email message is sent to the requestor.
If the MainBoss Service license is present, MainBoss Service follows a similar system for sending out notifications: on a regular basis, MainBoss Service checks to see if any notifications should be sent out.
You can configure how often the Windows Service for MainBoss checks for incoming requests and how often it checks if notifications should be sent. These can have different schedules; for example, you might check on incoming requests every half hour and on outgoing notifications every ten minutes.
MainBoss Service can be run manually or installed as a Windows service. When operating as a Windows Service it runs continuously as long as Windows itself is running (although it only "wakes up" to do its work once in a while).
Most organizations will only configure the Windows Service for MainBoss once, when they first start using MainBoss. After that, the Windows Service for MainBoss will start up automatically every time Windows itself starts up. When you install a new release of MainBoss, you may or may not need to adjust your configuration.
The general process for configuring MainBoss Service is described below. For some of these operations, you will need to be logged in under a login name with Windows Administration privileges.
Some of the steps listed below may take a significant length of time. While MainBoss is working on the step, all buttons in the MainBoss window will be disabled.
- In MainBoss, go to Administration | MainBoss Service | Configuration and click New MainBoss Service Configuration.
- Enter configuration information for MainBoss Service, as described in Configuring MainBoss Service. You will need the MainBoss Administration security role, but will not need other privileges.
- Once you have configured MainBoss Service, you are ready to test your configuration. On the computer where you intend to configure a Windows Service for MainBoss, login under a login name that has Windows Administrator privileges.
- Start MainBoss on that computer.
- To test your configuration, go to Administration | MainBoss Service and click Process Email on the second drop-down button at the bottom of the window. (This can be done on any computer, but only if MainBoss Service is not currently running.)
MainBoss will start MainBoss Service and check the configuration for valid information. If any requests have already been received by email, MainBoss Service attempts to process them. If licensed to do so, the MainBoss Service also attempts to send out any required acknowledgement messages. When this processing has finished, MainBoss Service quits. (Process Email does not install a Windows Service for MainBoss; it simply does a manual-run of the software.)
When you run MainBoss Service in this manner, the software runs under your own login name. When you configure the Windows Service for MainBoss, it will typically run under the login name Network Service. This may make a difference between manual runs and real operations.
- If MainBoss Service encountered any problems during the previous steps, they will be displayed on the error log in Administration | MainBoss Service. If any messages appear, they indicate problems with your MainBoss Service configuration. You can get additional problem diagnostics by clicking Process Email with Diagnostics on the second drop-down button at the bottom of the window. Correct the problems, then test them again as shown above.
Note: Depending on how your Windows system and MainBoss are set up, it's possible that Windows Service for MainBoss will not start correctly. If so, the MainBoss Service log files won't contain any messages since the Windows Service never starts running. In this case, it may be useful to check the Windows Event Viewer to see if there are any relevant event messages.
The fourth drop-down button in Administration | MainBoss Service provides a number of commands that let you control the diagnostic messages issued by MainBoss Service. It also lets you clean out old entries that are no longer relevant. By using these actions, you can simplify the configuration process by increasing or decreasing the quantity of messages that MainBoss Service produces.
- When you can manually-run MainBoss Service without configuration errors, you are ready to set up the windows service to run automatically. Go to Administration | MainBoss Service and click Configure Windows Service for MainBoss. (You will need Windows Administration privileges for this to work.) MainBoss will create a MainBoss Service configured with all the information you have set up.
- Click Start Service. This actually starts the service running. From this point on, the service will start automatically whenever the computer boots.
- After starting the service, check the message log in Administration | MainBoss Service one more time to make sure that everything is running correctly. Also check the "Status" line near the top of the window to make sure it says that the service is running.
If you ever want to change your MainBoss Service configuration, follow these steps:
- Edit the existing configuration record in Administration | MainBoss Service | Configuration and Save the changed record.
- Go to Administration | MainBoss Service and click Refresh Service on the third drop-down button at the bottom of the window. This sends a message to Windows and MainBoss Service to update the configuration. It may take some time for the process to actually happen; during this time, the buttons on the window will be disabled.
- When the appropriate processing has finally taken place, the buttons will be enabled again. Click Restart Service on the first drop-down button to shut down the existing service and to start a new one with the new configuration. (You will need Windows Administration privileges for this to work.)
In previous versions of MainBoss, you installed MainBoss Service as a separate piece of software. In this version, you create MainBoss Service from inside MainBoss itself, as described in Managing MainBoss Service.
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