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Looking for a creative solution - AcuToWeb?

We have what is probably a short term problem - but it's a BIG problem.

We have a graphical application coded in AcuCobol (oops - Extend - showing my age there!). It launches automatically when the Windows system starts. This is important.

And the second critical requirement is, we need to be able to sign into the system remotely and interact with the program. We currently do this with Remote Desktop.

This is easy under Windows desktop (10 & 11) and in the past it was doable on Windows Server. But it's getting harder and harder to accomplish in later Windows Server versions, and in WS2019 it seems impossible. We have not been able to find a way to make the program (1) launch automatically when the server boots, (2) with a graphical UI, and (3) allow us to access & interact with it remotely.

Of course we could refactor the application to separate the UI and the rest of the program, but that is more work than we are willing to take on right now. And really the perfect solution would be to allow remote access via web browser, not RDP.

It seems like AcuToWeb almost does this: it allows a GUI AcuCobol program to run on one system, and access it from any other system via browser. That would be a perfect solution except the program does not start until one connects via AcuToWeb.

If we could get the program to launch from eg Task Manager, and then run within the AcuToWeb architecture so we could access it remotely, that would be perfect. And WS would allow it because it's not interacting with the desktop/console. 

Is there a way?

(AFAIK it would not be possible to launch the web browser with the AcuToWeb URL on boot, because that accesses the Desktop, and thats the sort of thing WS2019 does not support)

Many thanks in advance for any answers, hints, or tips. Or even a definite "that cannot be done".

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  • I would think the right answer here is Xcentrisity Business Information Server, but that requires that your user interface be refactored. 

    While I'm sure you've seen this, but I'll ask anyway: does this procedure no longer work?

    https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/windows-server/user-profiles-and-logon/turn-on-automatic-logon

    This is what I used on my personal Windows 2016 server to run home automation software on my desktop.  I need that to start when the machine is rebooted, so I used this procedure to automatically log me in. 

    Then I set up a scheduled task for my user that launched the program a few seconds after login.

    This was with Windows Server 2016, not 2019, but the website states it should still work.

  • Thank you so much for responding!

    Yes I have seen that link, and I just re-read it. But maybe I have been misunderstanding it. I think it allows a user to login without entering their credentials, but it does not cause the login to occur automatically when the server boots. Am I wrong?

    Your home automation - does that have a user interface? Does the whole thing really start automatically when the server boots? And then are you able to interact with that UI when you actually login?

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  • Thank you so much for responding!

    Yes I have seen that link, and I just re-read it. But maybe I have been misunderstanding it. I think it allows a user to login without entering their credentials, but it does not cause the login to occur automatically when the server boots. Am I wrong?

    Your home automation - does that have a user interface? Does the whole thing really start automatically when the server boots? And then are you able to interact with that UI when you actually login?

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