Why the FotoWare process account needs local administrator access on the server
There are numerous technical reasons why the FotoWare Process account requires local administrator access on the server.
The process account needs access to start and stop services, open sockets for network communication, manage temporary storage areas on the server, and manage interprocess communications - all these require special privileges that members of the local administrator group get by default.
Some other software vendors choose to run more of this functionality in the context of the SYSTEM account, but as most FotoWare applications need to access files on other servers (for example when using separate servers for storage, indexing, and processing), using a local administrator account greatly simplifies setup and configuration for customers. From a security point of view there is no difference between the two approaches.
While it may be possible to configure the system to run without local administrator privileges, it will be quite an extensive exercise, and FotoWare does not provide documentation for doing this. As we do not test these conditions we cannot say whether this will be a difficult task, or if it is at all possible. We cannot prevent customers from trying to configure their system to work without granting the process account local administrator privileges, but as there is no documentation or routines for configuring it and the case is not covered by our internal testing, we cannot provide support on systems that do not follow our guidelines for installation and configuration.
As most customers now run applications on sandboxed, virtual servers and use the built-in firewall to control traffic and additional perimeter security measures, this should not pose any major challenges in real-world operation.