Introducing IIS Express

Posted by sumeethevans on June 30 2010, 6:01 AM. Posted in Internet Information Services (IIS).

IIS Express – The Best of Both Options

We have been working on a new flavor of IIS 7.x that is optimized for developer scenarios that we are calling “IIS Express”. We think it combines the ease of use of the ASP.NET Web Server with the full power of IIS.  Specifically:

  • It’s lightweight and easy to install (less than 10Mb download and a super quick install)
  • It does not require an administrator account to run/debug applications from Visual Studio
  • It enables a full web-server feature set – including SSL, URL Rewrite, Media Support, and all other IIS 7.x modules
  • It supports and enables the same extensibility model and web.config file settings that IIS 7.x support
  • It can be installed side-by-side with the full IIS web server as well as the ASP.NET Development Server (they do not conflict at all)
  • It works on Windows XP and higher operating systems – giving you a full IIS 7.x developer feature-set on all OS platforms

IIS Express (like the ASP.NET Development Server) can be quickly launched to run a site from a directory on disk.  It does not require any registration/configuration steps. This makes it really easy to launch and run for development scenarios.

VS 2010 Integration

We are enabling IIS Express so that it can be easily used with Visual Studio 2010. You’ll be able to configure VS 2010 to use it instead of the ASP.NET Web Server as the default web-server on ASP.NET Projects.  Like the ASP.NET Development Server today, you won’t need to register a site or virtual directory to use IIS Express. It will support the same usage-model as the ASP.NET Development Server today – just with more feature support.

When you press F5 to run an ASP.NET project, Visual Studio can automatically launch IIS Express and use it to run/debug the application (no extra configuration required).  Like the ASP.NET Web Server, IIS Express will show up in your task-bar tray when running:

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