In the world of custom web application development a critical component of our success is the hosting environment and services. We can choose to deploy our web applications using 3rd party hosting providers such as GoDaddy.com, Rackspace, DiscountASP.NET, or another provider, or we can choose to deploy to on premise servers either virtual or physical. In either case the web application must be serviced up to consumers by a web server software such as Internet Information Service (IIS), which is included with the Windows Server operating system. A lot of developers and architects tend to treat IIS as a black box and do not understand how it functions. IIS has evolved heavily over the past few years and has added a lot of native features that support and enhance ASP.NET application so it is important to understand at least the basics of how it works and what it has to offer in the way of options and additional features. The worst thing to have happen (and what generally happens) is that issues are occurring in the production environment that require a crash course in IIS and the inner workings of ASP.NET.
I challenge you to learn more about IIS, specifically IIS 7 and 7.5 and any other version that you have in your environment. You can start by going to the IIS Learning Center, http://learn.iis.net. For IIS 7 (7.5), which is included with Windows 2008 Server, you can read more about it by reading Introduction to IIS 7 Architecture, http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/101/introduction-to-iis-7-architecture. You can also download a developer optimized version of IIS 7.5 (included in Windows 2008 Server R2), http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=1038, to assist you in your learning, troubleshooting, and general development procedures. This IIS 7.5 Express tool even allows you to simulate HTTPS, which was very difficult in the past on developer workstations. Happy researching!
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