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Thursday, 22 May 2008

IIS 7.0 with SharePoint Server

IIS 7.0 represents a significant evolution from earlier versions of IIS. While maintaining compatibility with IIS 6.0, several fundamental changes to the underlying architecture of the Web server allow for better functionality and deliver superior management functionality and extensibility.
Some of the most relevant changes for deployments of SharePoint Products and Technologies include:
Request Tracing: IIS 7.0 lets administrators create custom logging of requests to the Web server. This is especially useful in diagnosing error conditions such as memory leaks or frequent worker process cycling. The enabling of this feature can be done quickly and easily, and can greatly improve the ability of administrators to troubleshoot problems with Web applications. Request tracing rules can be configured for any combination of HTTP error codes, time delays, or system events. A log is created that has detailed information on each event that the administrator can review to diagnose the source of the problem.
In deployments of SharePoint Products and Technologies, one area where this can be especially useful is when an object on a page is causing an error. However, the message displayed on the page is not specific enough to determine the type or source of the error (for example, “An unexpected error has occurred”). More detailed analysis can be performed by reviewing the logs created by failed request access rules.
Dynamic configuration and improved availability: In earlier versions of IIS, many changes to Web application settings required full IIS resets to take effect. For 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week operations, this has always presented challenges as the Web sites must be stopped and restarted to make these changes. With IIS 7.0, most of the configuration changes can occur dynamically, and will take effect as soon as the changes are implemented. Additionally, the recycling of application pools is now fully enabled as a task in both the management console and command-line interfaces for IIS 7.0. This new flexibility guarantees that changes to SharePoint Web applications can be implemented quickly with minimal effect on application availability.
New Task-Based Management Console: The IIS 7.0 management console has been completely rebuilt to feature a task-based interface in order to simplify the most frequently required tasks in the configuration and ongoing management of Web sites and applications. The new management console also allows for the management of remote IIS servers, reducing the need to start terminal sessions with those servers. The ultimate result of these improvements is increased productivity for administrators, as they can perform site configuration changes more quickly and intuitively than before. This eliminates the need to traverse through multiple tabs to find the individual items that have to be changed. In most cases, icons exist to perform the most commonly-required tasks in fewer steps than were previously necessary.
IIS 7.0 Command-Line Interface (CLI): IIS 7.0 has a comprehensive set of functions that can be invoked at a command prompt to perform common configuration tasks. This enables a new level of flexibility in creating configuration scripts that can automate Web site and application configuration. The CLI is accessed through AppCmd.exe, which can be accessed at a command prompt or in a batch command file. All key aspects of managing a server that runs IIS are available through this interface, such as the following:
· IIS sites and application pools can be created and configured
· List current applications, requests and worker pools
· Sites can be started and stopped, application pools can be recycled
· Backup and restore IIS configurations
· Export and import configurations
Access to the CLI can also be made through the Windows PowerShell, which contains several cmdlets (pronounced “command-lets”) that can access and manage the operating system.
IIS 7.0 Windows Management Interface (WMI): This consists of .NET namespaces that are used to access and manage IIS 7.0 configurations through a comprehensive set of classes and methods in the .NET Framework. This opens up new integration opportunities with other .NET-connected applications (for example, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, Office SharePoint Server 2007, other .NET Framework applications). These namespaces can be accessed from inside custom .NET Framework applications or through the Windows PowerShell.
Worker Process Isolation: Worker processes, by default, are isolated in IIS 7.0, eliminating the need to modify IIS 6.0 configurations to enable process isolation (a best practice for environments that have fewer than five SharePoint Web applications).
Modules: In IIS 7.0, functional capabilities are managed through the inclusion of modules that are installed and referenced in configuration files. They give better control over features that are present within the Web Server role. For example, the various alternatives for authentication (that is, Windows integrated, digest, or forms authentication) are individually enabled as modules. Therefore, only those methods that are required for a given deployment of SharePoint Products and Technologies actually have to be installed and configured. This improves the manageability of SharePoint applications in addition to improving their security by reducing attack surface.

See Also: Getting All the Web Objects URL in a SharePoint farm using PowerShell Scripting

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