Create a Web application (SharePoint Server 2010)
Applies to: SharePoint Server 2010
A Web application is composed of an Internet Information Services (IIS) Web site that acts as a logical unit for the site collections that you create. Before you can create a site collection, you must first create a Web application.
Each Web application is represented by a different IIS Web site with a unique or shared application pool. You can assign each Web application a unique domain name, which helps to prevent cross-site scripting attacks.
You use Web applications to isolate content. 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. In addition, you define an authentication method to be used by the IIS Web site in SharePoint Server 2010.
SharePoint Server 2010 offers two ways of authenticating users, as follows:
Classic mode authentication, through which users log on to a Web application by using Windows authentication. For more information, see Create a Web application that uses Windows-classic authentication (SharePoint Server 2010).
Claims-based authentication, through which users log on to a Web application by using Windows authentication, forms-based authentication (FBA), or Trusted Identity provider (SAML). If you use FBA or SAML, you must perform additional configuration steps. For more information about claims-based authentication, see Create claims-based web applications in SharePoint 2010.
Although digest authentication provides the same functionality as basic authentication, digest authentication encrypts user credentials to increase security. User credentials are sent as an MD5 message digest in which the original user name and password cannot be deciphered. For more information about Digest authentication, see Configure Digest authentication for a classic-mode Web application (SharePoint Server 2010)
Zones represent different logical paths for gaining access to the network services that are available within the same Web application. In some instances, you might want to configure Basic authentication for one or more zones within a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 classic-mode Web application. For more information, see Configure Basic authentication for a classic-mode Web application (SharePoint Server 2010).
For more information about both types of authentication, see Plan authentication methods (SharePoint Server 2010).
SharePoint Server 2010 provides a set of services applications that are available for each Web application. You can select which service applications you want to use for each Web application that you create. For more information, see Technical diagrams (SharePoint Server 2010), Define managed paths (SharePoint Server 2010), and Service application and service management (SharePoint Server 2010).
In this section: