This section describes Windows service related concepts and programs. A diagram is provided to illustrate how installed services, service programs, service configuration programs, and service control programs work together.
What is a Windows Service?
A "Windows Service" is an thread of an execution process running continuously in the background
without any user intervention. A "Windows Service" is similar in concept to a "Unix Daemon",
or a "Background Job" in other operating systems.
There are several elements involved in creating, starting, and managing a "Windows Service":
The SCM (Service Control Manager) - A Windows system program, that manages
installed services and running processes of started services. The SCM, services.exe,
is automatically started at system boot time and running in the background.
A Service Program - An executable program that is be configured to run as a service.
A service program needs to be specially coded to interact with the SCM.
An Installed Service - A registry entry defined to represent a service with several attributes
like name, description, startup type, path of the service program, etc.
A Service Process - A running process resulted from starting an installed service.
A Registry Editing Program - A user application that allows you to edit registry entries,
including installed services. An example of registry editors is "regedit.exe".
A Service Configuration Program - A user application that allows you to add, modify or delete
installed services through SCM. An example of service configuration programs is "sc.exe".
A Service Control Program - A user application that allows you to start, pause, or stop
installed services through SCM. Examples of service control programs are "msconfig.exe" and "services.msc".
A Process Control Program - A user application that allows you to view or end running processes.
Examples of process control programs are "Task Manager" and "tasklist.exe".
To help you manage services on your Windows system, I made this diagram to illustrate how various
elements work together: