Monday, 25 February 2013

We need packaged services for Windows

There needs to be a concept on Windows of a fully-configured, standalone service that can be packaged up and easily distributed and installed alongside any number of other services performing similar jobs. Quite often it is necessary when developing a particular program to have certain services, such as a database and web service, in place for the build environment to work properly. Every client company will have a slightly different configuration of different services, and they do not play nicely together. Setting them up is always a pain and is always the subject of a lot of the developer documentation - how to find, install and configure the right services - and a constant source of frustration.

It would be far better if the services could simply be configured by the original developers and packaged up, then downloaded and installed painlessly. No more relying on third party projects to keep up to date, no more advising which versions to use and how to configure them for the default build, just a simple set of downloads and painless installs.

The best answer so far is to use virtual machines - entire copies of Windows that run as applications with their associated services pre-configured. The trouble for us at work is that you can't use really big virtual hard drives with virtual machines, so our huge databases don't fit there.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I think I might be thinking of something like Juju on Ubuntu.
PPS - But that's not for Windows and is geared towards cloud environments, if I understand it.

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