Windows Vista and Windows 7

Silk Performer is fully compliant with Microsoft User Account Control (UAC) guidelines. It has been designed such that it does not require administrative privileges at any point in its workflow, beginning with project definition and continuing through to test analysis. Even activities such as recording and the launching of remote agent processes can be done with standard user privileges.

The System Configuration Manager however, due to its system administration functions, does require elevation into administrator mode in accordance with UAC guidelines.

UAC Overview

With Windows Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft encourages use of standard user accounts for daily work rather than administrator accounts. Several changes have been made to Silk Performer privilege management to accommodate this change, though these changes are undetectable to users because they do not affect Silk Performer workflow.

Microsoft encourages users to follow their privilege-management paradigm with UAC. UAC informs users when an application leaves the standard user account privileges path and requires higher-level privileges, even when the user account already has the required privileges. For this reason, even administrators are prompted when performing tasks that require administrator privileges. Another consequence of UAC is that software developers are encouraged to write Windows applications that require as few privileges as possible for normal operation.

UAC on Agent Machines

Silk Performer agent processes can be run without administrative privileges. There are exceptions to this however (for example, if an executed script contains an action that requires administrative privileges). In some situations it may be useful or even necessary to launch an agent process under a particular administrator user account. By default however, agent processes are launched under the built-in SYSTEM account.

On machines running a Windows operating system that supports UAC, an administrator account does not automatically hold administrator privileges. Administrator accounts gain new privileges by prompting the user for elevation, which the user may then grant explicitly. By default there is one exception to this behavior: the built-in administrator account does not require manual elevation.

To start an agent process on a UAC-enabled machine, you have the following options:
  • Use the SYSTEM account (default)
  • Use the built-in administrator account and meet one of the following requirements:
    • Turn off UAC
    • Disable security policy User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode. This can be configured using the Windows Local Security Policy tool (secpol.msc).
  • Use a non-built-in administrator account and meet one of the following requirements:
    • Executed script does not require administrator privileges
    • Executed script does not perform administrative actions
Note: UAC functionality is relevant to the Advanced tab at System Settings > Agents. It is also relevant to SysConfManager > Applications > User Credentials.