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How to Debug or Test your Windows Service Without Installing it...

, 22 Nov 2012
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Debug or test your Windows Service without installing it...

Introduction

When you develop a Windows Service and want to run or debug it, you get a message box with this message:

Cannot start service from the command line or a debugger.
A Windows Service must first be installed (using installutil.exe)
and then started with the ServerExplorer, Windows Services 
Administrative tool or the NET START command.

So for testing you have to first install it on your computer, but it is a long process and also boring because every time you make changes, you have to reinstall your service and test it again.

Solution

For debugging or testing your service without installing it, make changes in Program.cs like this.

static class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        ServiceBase[] ServicesToRun;
        ServicesToRun = new ServiceBase[] 
	{ 
	     new MyService() 
	};
        ServiceBase.Run(ServicesToRun);
    }
}

Change it to:

static class Program
{
    static void Main()
    {
        #if(!DEBUG)
           ServiceBase[] ServicesToRun;
           ServicesToRun = new ServiceBase[] 
	   { 
	        new MyService() 
	   };
           ServiceBase.Run(ServicesToRun);
         #else
           MyService myServ = new MyService();
           myServ.Process();
           // here Process is my Service function
           // that will run when my service onstart is call
           // you need to call your own method or function name here instead of Process();
         #endif
    }
}

After adding #if and #else to your main fuction, now when you press F5 or run your service, it will not show you the previous message and simply run, so attach a break point to your method which will be called by the service when it will start. With the use of this code, you can simply debug your service without installing it.

For this no need to add any extra using directive (like using System.Data or using System.IO) to your class file. It will simply as it is.

Enjoy!!!

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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About the Author

Tejas Vaishnav
Software Developer
India India
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralMy vote of 4 Pinmemberwvd_vegt22-Nov-12 3:02 
QuestionEnvironment.UserInteractive Pinmembersergio_ykz22-Nov-12 2:39 
QuestionOhh Really ...!!!! It Works, Life Saver PinmemberStrange_Pirate27-Sep-12 1:26 
AnswerRe: Ohh Really ...!!!! It Works, Life Saver PinmemberTejas Vaishnav23-Nov-12 17:20 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pingroupdeeps3365-Sep-12 0:21 
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberTejas_Vaishnav5-Sep-12 20:57 
QuestionBetter / prettier solution PinmemberRob_III17-Aug-12 5:55 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmembersamthec17-Jul-12 4:14 
Thanks a lot, very useful. I have been struggling with someone else's webservice.
It would be nice if this article could get some better google ranking.
GeneralRe: My vote of 5 PinmemberTejas_Vaishnav17-Jul-12 18:32 
GeneralMy vote of 1 PinmemberMahalingam2510-Jul-12 1:53 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberTejas_Vaishnav10-Jul-12 18:40 
QuestionRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberChlorine Addict4-Oct-12 6:57 
AnswerRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberTejas Vaishnav4-Oct-12 18:55 
AnswerRe: My vote of 1 PinmemberTejas Vaishnav4-Oct-12 18:58 
GeneralReason for my vote of 5 Thanks Tejas for the tip. This is in... PinmemberRavinder Singh, PMP10-Oct-11 18:56 
GeneralRe: thanks PinmemberTejas_Vaishnav11-Oct-11 0:20 
GeneralThanks Tejas for the tip. This is indeed very helpful for so... PinmemberRavinder Singh, PMP10-Oct-11 18:55 
GeneralRe: Thanks Tejas for the tip. This is indeed very helpful for so... PinmemberTejas_Vaishnav11-Jul-12 3:04 

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