JavaService - Source Code

The JavaService source files may be downloaded from the ObjectWeb Forge project repository, according to the terms of the Open Source LGPL license that covers this software.

Updates to the code can only be checked-in to the repository by development members of the project. However, any bug-fixes or enhancements may be sent to the team members so that they can be included into the next development release of the software, according to compatibility.

In most cases, the JavaService software will be usable for all standard Java applications, so the build instructions here are mostly for the benefit of ObjectWeb team members. As the code is provided under an Open Source license, these instructions may also prove useful for the wider development community in providing self-support or customised developments based on this software.

Development Background

Version 1.x of the JavaService utility was developed by Alexandria Software Consulting to meet the needs of running Java application software as a Windows system service. This initial implementation was made available as both binary and source distribution downloads. A number of updates were made to this software over time, both by Alexandria and Multiplan Consultants. This code base is still available for download from the ObjectWeb site, but is not expected to be enhanced or maintained further following release of the Version 2 software.

JavaService Version 2 software has been substantially refactored and enhanced over the earlier V1.x releases, so that it now uses some recognised Design Patterns in the C++ source code. In particular, the design now makes use of the Command pattern for handling the user interface parsing and processing functionality. There are many more source files now, with class definitions and implementations in associated .h header and .cpp source files that encapsulate some measure of object oriented programming. Tbis has allowed new features to be incorporated through re-use of common code classes, and has reduced the amount of code duplication seen in the source.

As well as the JavaService program itself, a build process is also defined to create the distribution files that are made available from the ObjectWeb download pages. These files include the executable program, the license file, the html documentation set, plus some sample scripts and test code for use with the JavaService utility.

Program Build Instructions

The software can only be built in the Microsoft Windows environment, using the Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0 product (Visual Studio). This is a reasonable limitation for this software, as it is developed in C++ and intended only for use on the Microsoft Windows platform.

In addition to the Visual Studio product, you must have the library and header files for a JNI 1.2 compliant Java Virtual Machine, such as that included as part of the Java 2 SDK Version 1.4 available from Sun. The build process is configured to reference the required files from a 'j2sdk' directory at a similar level to the 'javaservice' source directory. You may change these settings to refer to your own development environment if required, although it is recommended that you use a similar build structure to avoid potential problems in generating the software.

The output of the Visual Studio build process is a Win32 executable program, called JavaService.exe.
For test purposes, a debug-enabled copy of the program is also created (called JavaServiceDebug.exe).

Visual Studio Configuration

An initial step is required to configure your Visual C++ environment so that it is able to locate the library and header files of the Java Native Interface (JNI); these are required for the JavaService build.

The following steps indicate how this configuration may be specified, where you should substitute the relevant directory location (such as '..\j2sdk\') for the value of JDK_HOME shown here.

  1. Select the 'Tools->Options' on the menu.
  2. Select the 'Directories' tab on the dialog.
  3. Choose 'Show directories for: Include Files'.
  4. Add the directory '{JDK_HOME}\include' to the list.
  5. Add the directory '{JDK_HOME}\include\win32' to the list.
  6. Choose 'Show directories for: Library Files'.
  7. Add the directory '{JDK_HOME}\include\lib' to the list.

This configuration setting should then allow successful compilation and build of any programs that make use of the JNI interface between C and Java program code (as used by JavaService).

Project Build

From Visual Studio, you should open the project file JavaService.dsp (or the associated workspace file JavaService.dsw) from the JavaService/src directory. This should then display a list of source, header and resource files within that project.

There are two build targets available, for Release and Debug executables. Although normal use requires the Release build, both versions should always be be built and made available within the JavaService distribution.

To build the executable program, Visual Studio allows you to select a 'current target' which will be built when using main menu options or buttons from the IDE. To build both targets, and to ensure that all latest versions of files are incorporated, you should follow these steps:

  1. Select the 'Build->Batch Build' on the menu.
  2. Ensure that both 'Release' and 'Debug' build targets are selected in the dialog
  3. Select the 'Rebuild All' button on the dialog

Verify that the compile and build steps complete successfully for both build targets.
The JavaService software is then available for use...

Important Files

Of course, all the files in the project are 'important', as the software will not build if they aren't all there. However, there are some files that are more likely to require changes for individual builds. These are highlighted here to explain how they may be modified for certain requirements.


This source file contains constant definitions of the application version number, which are used to generate the built-in VERSIONINFO resources for the program, as well as for output from the -version command.

There are four entries in this file, which each contain a comma-delimited version number (i.e. 2,0,4,0) in either numeric or string format. The version numbers may be modified as applicable, although the string/number format should not be changed as that can break the build of the application.

This file defines the message resource text that will be incorporated within the JavaService program image. These entries are used by the Windows Event Viewer to display formatted application messages, using the message id value and parameter text recorded by the program.

The structure of the entries in the message resource file are formatted as shown below:

Example message %1 with two parameters %2.

The contents of this file are processed by part of the project to generate the resource file section of the program binary.

Distribution File Creation

A build process is included to generate the distribution files that are made available for download from the JavaService project forge. This distribution consists of a single ZIP archive file, plus an associated 'MD5' hash for that file. The hash code is stored in a plain text file and can be used to verify that the content of the downloaded ZIP file is complete and correct.

The files created by the build process incorporate the software version number in the filenames as follows:

An Ant build script (build.xml) is used to generate the distribution files, for which a suitable Java run-time environment and the Ant utility must be installed for the build. The Ant script first verifies that the Visual Studio build has been executed and that the required program files are available for use. It also checks that the Sample Service application has been built in the associated project directory. An additional step within the build process is to invoke some simple 'smoke tests', which verifies that the program can be executed with version and help command parameters.

Given that the pre-requisites are met, files are copied to a temporary distribution directory and then used to created the ZIP archive file and the corresponding MD5 hash code file. It is this pair of files that are made available from the ObjectWeb project forge. These files include the following components:

Sample Service Application

The SampleService Java application is included for test purposes, and as a reference for developers that wish to understand the interface supported by JavaService.

This is available from the ObjectWeb forge as a simple Java project and can be built using Ant or Eclipse. The output of the build process is a JAR file containing the Java classes that form the sample application, plus a JavaDoc set of HTML files that describe the application code.

The SampleService.jar file is included within the distribution file of the main JavaService utility, as well as being provided as a standalone distribution for use by developers or when testing other JavaService versions.