Create, extend, or delete a Web application

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

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Topic Last Modified: 2008-01-08

Before you can begin creating sites and adding content, you must create at least one Web application. A Web application is composed of an Internet Information Services (IIS) Web site with a unique application pool. When you create a new Web application, you also create a new content database and define the authentication method used to connect to the database. You can use dedicated Web applications in the following ways:

  • To separate anonymous content from authenticated content.

  • To isolate users.

  • To enforce permissions.

  • To optimize performance and manageability.

For information on planning Web applications in a corporate environment, see Logical architecture model: Corporate deployment.

You can extend an existing Web application if you want to have separate IIS Web sites that expose the same content to users. This is typically used for extranet deployments in which different users access content by using different domains. This option reuses the content database from an existing Web application.

If you extend a Web application and then modify its bindings in IIS, SharePoint Products and Technologies does not automatically update the alternate access mapping URLs. To fix this issue, you must remove the Web application from the associated zone, and then re-extend the Web application with the updated IIS bindings. When you remove Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 from a Web application, you can choose to remove only the association between the Web application and the IIS Web site, or to delete both the Web application and the IIS Web site. You might choose to remove only the association between the Web application and the IIS Web site if you want to be able to use the Web application at a later time, but do not want it to be available on that particular IIS Web site. This allows you to preserve the content databases and Web application settings associated with the Web application for later reuse.

When you delete a Web application, you can optionally delete the content databases and the IIS Web sites. If you delete the content databases, all site content contained within them are deleted. If you delete the IIS Web sites, all IIS metabase entries that refer to those sites are also deleted.


At the minimum, you must be a member of the Farm Administrators SharePoint group to complete these procedures. In addition, some procedures require membership in the SQL Server fixed server roles dbcreator and sysadmin.

You can perform the following procedures with Web applications: