CFXSERVICE (FFEXTERN Document Converter)

Description

CFXSERVICE is a Windows Service application that runs the FFEXTERN document converter in service mode.  When FFEXTERN is run as a service, it requires a Document Converter node name to have been assigned for it: this requires an optional license feature.  Although the service is expected to operate on Windows XP and Server 2003, it has not been tested and is not supported on these operating systems or earlier.

The FFEXTERN program runs normally except that no user interaction is available and pop-up dialogs are suppressed.  For document conversions, CVSINGLE is run from FFEXTERN in the normal way but also in service mode.

While FFEXTERN is running as a service, you may modify the configuration parameters by logging in to the same user account and running FFEXTERN in management mode (with the /M command-line flag) and with the same required nodename on the command line.  This must be done on the same machine that is running the service. You can run FFEXTERN locally from CFCP to help ensure that the command-line parameters are correct.

It is very important that you run FFEXTERN in desktop mode and test all operations and settings, before running it as a service.  This must be done in the the same user account that you will be using for the service operations and with the correct nodename on the command line. If you omit this step the service will not work.  In addition, some of the applications to be run by CVSINGLE for document conversion may put up error dialogs which you will not see in service mode.
When running FFEXTERN as a Document Converter, do not run Office, Internet Explorer or Adobe applications on the same machine, if you expect to convert the documents they are used for.  If you ignore this rule, the service may fail and your applications may not run as expected.

Preparation

In order to run FFEXTERN as a service, you must adjust your configuration as follows:

You must install the CopiaFacts service components from the COPIASERVCES installer.

The CopiaFacts Message Center service (CFMSG) must be installed and running on the machine where the FAXFACTS\CALLBACK folder resides.  CFXSERVICE will not start if it cannot communicate with CFMSG.

You must run the CopiaFacts Control Panel (CFCP) to install CFXSERVICE for the selected node.  If you have been using STARTCOPIA to start FFEXTERN automatically, CFCP will offer to remove this setting.

You must remove options or batch files called from OMACHECK to restart FFEXTERN on unscheduled shutdown.  CFXSERVICE will do the restart automatically, and will generate a notification message if specified.  After repeated restarts, the restarts will be abandoned.

Starting

The Service, and thereby FFEXTERN, may be started and stopped using the standard NET verbs.  However we recommend that you use CFCP instead to control the FFEXTERN application.  Unless CFXSERVICE is left running, you will not currently be able to control and monitor FFEXTERN from a different machine. The CFCP actions allow FFEXTERN to be suspended and resumed, but the CFXSERVICE continues to run.

CFXSERVICE always uses FFEXTERN with a fixed node name on the command line.

On Windows Startup, the service is by default set to automatic, delayed start.  This allows the network to become available so that the service can access the CopiaFacts Application Data Area and the CFMSG service which runs on the same machine.

Stopping

If FFEXTERN terminates for any other reason than being intentionally closed, CFXSERVICE will attempt to restart it up to three times, with a warning message being written to the Windows event log.  This should happen quickly enough to prevent OMACHECK from detecting it.  After three attempts an error message is written to the Windows event log.

If the service is stopped manually using NET STOP CFXSERVICE, it will attempt to do a controlled shutdown of FFEXTERN, at the end of the current conversion operation. If the controlled shutdown takes longer than three minutes, one retry is done (effectively controlled and immediate shutdown are the same for FFEXTERN).

If a further 45 seconds elapses, FFEXTERN (and CVSINGLE, if running) is forcibly terminated.  Currently these timings are not adjustable.

On Windows Shutdown, the service is set to terminate FFEXTERN and CVSINGLE immediately.  To do a controlled shutdown, use CFCP or stop the service manually.  When stopping the service manually, use NET STOP CFXSERVICE, because if you kill the process it will not be able to update its status or shut down the FFEXTERN application it is controlling.