In some applications it may be undesirable to have the printer's users interact with Producer's graphical interface. Or, you may have many users who need to print tags, but each one logs into the PC with their own user account. Since Producer stores its configuration settings on a per-user basis, keeping the settings updated for the various users is problematic. In these situations, it would be nice if Producer could somehow run "in the background" and be available to any user regardless of how they are logged in (or even if nobody is logged into the PC.) To satisfy this need, there is a separate version of Producer that has been designed to run as a Windows Service.
LabeLase® Service is a program that runs as a Windows NT/2000/XP service that can control the InfoSight LabeLase® 1000 metal tag printer. This program executes as a background service and provides an interface between your computer (the host) and the tag printer. It performs the basic tasks of the LabeLase® Producer software without the graphical user interface.
Note that the service version of LabeLase® Producer will not run on Windows 95, 98 or Me. You must be running Windows NT, 2000 or XP in order to use the LabeLase® service. All examples in this tutorial are from Windows 2000 Professional; other versions of Windows my differ slightly.
If you are not familiar with what a Windows Service is, or with how to install and configure one, you may want to contact your system administrator for help.
Install the LabeLase® Service program in the following manner:
The program file LabeLaseSvc.exe is located in the Producer installation folder. Along with this executable program is a batch file called Install_LabeLase_Service.bat. Using a command prompt window, change to the folder that contains the .exe and .bat files. The default installation folder is
"C:\PROGRAM FILES\INFOSIGHT\LABELASE PRODUCER"
From the command prompt type: Install_LabeLase_Service and press Enter. The program will install itself with the Service Control Manager.
If the service is installed correctly, you will see a confirmation window.
At this point, the service has been registered with the Windows Service Control Manager. This means that the manager knows about the service and where it is located, but at this point the service is not yet running. To run the service, you must first use the Service Control Manager to configure and launch the service.
The service installs itself with a Start Type = Manual, so it will not begin executing until you manually start it. Before doing that, however, you must run the graphical version LabeLase® Producer and configure its operation. Specifically, you must configure the printer, create and edit your tag layouts, configure host communications, etc. You basically must get Producer running exactly as you want it using the graphical version before running the service version. The background service will use the settings from the graphical Producer when performing its operations.
Once Producer has been configured, exit Producer.
NOTE: You must not attempt to run the graphical Producer and the Service at the same time.
The operation of the service is controlled and configured by the Service Manager. The Service Manager is started from the Services entry in the control panel, or via the Administrative Tools part of the Programs menu depending on the version of Windows you are running. You must be a user that has administrator privileges to run the Service Manager.
Using the Service Manager you must configure the properties of the LabeLase service. Highlight the LabeLaseService item in the list and select Properties from the menu as shown below.
On the General tab of the property sheet, you will probably want to set the Startup type as shown in the figure above. This will cause the service to be started whenever Windows starts, even before anyone logs into the PC.
In order for the service to use the settings from Producer, it must be configured to log on as the same user that ran and configured the graphical Producer. The default "Log On As" when the service is installed is LocalSystem. This must be changed before running the service for the first time. Failure to do this will result in the service using a default configuration rather than the one configured by the graphical Producer. Set the log on properties as shown below:
In the above example figure, the service is being configured to "log on" behind the scenes using the Administrator account. Note that you MUST specify the account that you used to log into the PC when you configured the graphical Producer. This is to ensure that the service uses the same configuration settings. Don't forget to enter the password for the selected user account so the service can log in properly.
From the Service Control Manager, start the service. Right click on the LabeLaseService entry in the list of services and select Start from the menu as shown below.
When the service begins operation, it will establish communication with the tag printer, and open the communications link with the host computer. It will then process messages from the host, and print tags as commanded.
If you need to change the configuration of Producer, you must first stop the service using the Service Control Manager. The graphical version of Producer may then be used to change the configuration. You may then restart the service after closing the graphical Producer.
If the service encounters errors during operation, it will log them to a text file in the folder where the service executable is located (usually the Producer installation folder.) By default, only critical errors are logged in this file, named LabeLaseSvc_error_log.txt. You can control the level of detail in this log file.
If you have version 1.50 or higher of Producer, you can set the log level from the Preferences dialog:
For versions of Producer prior to V1.50, you have to set the error logging level by changing a registry setting.
This registry entry is an integer value that specifies the amount of detail to be put into the log. The lower the number, the less detail. A value of -1 will disable all logging. Higher values provide more detail as follows:
0 - Critical
Turning the level up may be helpful in diagnoising any problems that you may be having with the service. We recommend that the level be placed at 0 (Critical) for normal operation to prevent the log file from getting too large and affecting the service's performance.
Note that you need to stop and restart the service for the new logging level to be recognized.
Note also that this key will not be created until the service tries to log its first error. If the service is executing properly, it will never create this key. You can manually create the key yourself if you wish. We strongly recommend backing up your registry before modifying it.
The service may be uninstalled in a manner similar to the way it was installed. Using a command prompt, navigate to the installation folder. Run the batch file Uninstall_LabeLase_Service.bat. Be sure to stop the service using the Service Control Manager before attempting the uninstall.
If you encounter difficulties installing or operating the LabeLase® Service, please contact the factory at 740-642-3600.
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