Sunday, August 14, 2011

Allowing a Windows Service to Interact with Desktop without LocalSystem

One of the biggest roadblocks with getting automated browser tests (we use WatiN) running in a Windows Continuous Integration environment is figuring out how to let the build server interact with the desktop. Typically there have been two options:

    Don’t run your build server as a Windows Service. I don’t like this option as it’s harder to maintain.
    Run the build service as Local System with “Allow service to interact with desktop”. This limits your ability to manipulate the context in which builds run, for example it’s quite tricky (I believe it’s possible with PsExec) to configure Internet Explorer settings (turn off Auto-Complete, etc) for LocalSystem.


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