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Workload Automation Agent Future Considerations

Future Considerations

CA Technologies is committed to maintain support for released features in subsequent releases of our products where possible. Unfortunately, sometimes operating system and application vendors change their products in ways that can have a negative impact on CA products.

For example, changes Microsoft made to Session 0 in Windows impact support for interactive applications. In the document at, Microsoft stated the following regarding Session 0:

In Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and earlier versions of Windows, all services run in Session 0 along with applications. This situation poses a security risk. In Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and later versions of Windows, the operating system isolates services in Session 0 and runs applications in other sessions, so services are protected from attacks that originate in application code.

In addition, starting with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, Microsoft disabled the Interactive Services Detection Service. The Interactive Services Detection Service is required for applications running in Session 0 to interact with users on the system. To enable this service, the administrator must edit the registry. If Microsoft removes this service from a future version of Windows, support for interactive jobs running in Session 0 will no longer be possible.

Many customers run interactive applications as part of workloads on Windows. Customers using an older Windows system can interact with these applications because both the applications and the logged-in user run in Session 0. Jobs can also run in user sessions, but there are some limitations. To share the session, the interactive applications must run as the user. Also, to direct the application to the proper session, the agent requires a single active session per user. System resources also have specific limits in Session 0 that could be a problem if too many jobs are running simultaneously.

Many customers using the CA AutoSys Remote Agent or the CA Unicenter Universal Job Management Agent rely on Session 0 support to run interactive jobs. To assist these customers migrating to CA Workload Automation Agent for Windows, CA has added this support in r11.3 SP1 Cumulative fix 3.

CA will continue to support interactive applications in Session 0 on Windows operating systems that support the behavior. However, since Microsoft no longer actively supports this behavior as of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, CA can only offer best-effort support on those and later versions of Windows. By continuing to run interactive jobs in session 0 on those platforms, customers may incur security and stability risks.

Because CA knows that interactive Windows jobs are important to many customers, CA is working closely with Microsoft to determine an appropriate long-term solution. While CA strives to avoid or minimize any required changes to job definitions or business processes, some changes may be necessary. CA hopes to include the long-term solution in an upcoming service pack.

If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to work with CA and Microsoft to develop the appropriate long-term solution, please contact your CA support representative.