IIS 7.0 Roles

You can deploy IIS on both desktop and server platforms. On desktop platforms, you can use IIS 7.0 for designing, building, and testing dynamic Web sites and Web applications. On server platforms, IIS 7.0 can have several different roles:

  • Application server Application servers host distributed applications built using ASP.NET, Enterprise Services Network Support, and Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0. You can deploy application servers with or without Web Server (IIS) support. When you deploy an application server without Web Server (IIS) support, you configure application services through the application server core APIs and by adding or removing role services. Because the server lacks IIS configuration and administration components, you won’t have any of the common IIS features and won’t be able to configure the server by using IIS 7.0 modules, and you can’t manage the server by using IIS 7.0 administration tools. To avoid these limitations, you should install the application server with Web Server (IIS) support. You’ll then be able to use IIS features to better manage the application server installation.
  • Web server Web servers use the services bundled in IIS 7.0 to host Web sites and Web applications. Web sites hosted on a Web server can have both static content and dynamic content. You can build Web applications hosted on a Web server by using ASP.NET and .NET Framework 3.0. When you deploy a Web Server, you can manage the server configuration by using IIS 7.0 modules and administration tools.
  • Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services server Computers running Windows SharePoint Services enable team collaboration by connecting people and information. A SharePoint Services server is essentially a Web server running a full installation of IIS and using managed applications that provide the necessary collaboration functionality. When you deploy SharePoint Services, you can manage the server by using IIS 7.0 modules and administration tools in addition to several SharePoint-specific tools, including SharePoint Central Administration and the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard.

Table 2-1 organizes the 75 configuration features available for the three server roles into 14 general categories. Each entry for a particular configuration feature has one of the following values:

  • Available Indicates a feature that is available for selection during installation. You can add available features as necessary to optimize the configuration of your server.
  • Default Indicates a feature that is selected for installation by default. Although you may be able to deselect default features during setup, you should not do this in most cases because it could adversely affect the server performance or necessary core functionality.
  • Included Indicates an included but unlisted feature that is part of the IIS server core. With application servers, these features are included only when you choose to install Web Server (IIS) support. With Web Server and SharePoint Services Server, these features are included automatically.
  • Not Installed Indicates an available feature that is not installed as part of the standard setup. With Web and SharePoint Services servers, you can configure these features after installation by enabling the related modules. With application servers, these features are configurable after installation only when you choose to install Web Server (IIS) support or modify the role services associated with an installed Web server role.
  • Required Indicates a feature that is required in order to install the server role. Setup selects required features automatically during installation.
  • N/A Indicates a feature that is not applicable or available for a particular server role.
  • Web Common Indicates a feature installed by default as part of the common Web Server (IIS) features of an application server.
  • WPASS Required Indicates an application server feature required for Windows Process Activation Service Support.


When configuring application servers, Web servers, and SharePoint Services, it is important to understand exactly what comprises the .NET Framework 3.0. The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is a managed code programming model for Windows. It combines the power of the .NET Framework 2.0 with four new technologies:

  • Windows CardSpace (WCS) A suite of .NET technologies for managing digital identities. Windows CardSpace supports any digital identity system and gives users consistent control of their digital identities. A digital identity can be as simple as an e-mail address and password used to log on to a Web site, or it can include a user’s full contact and logon information. Client applications display each digital identity as an information card. Each card contains information about a particular digital identity, including what provider to contact to acquire a security token for the identity. By selecting a card and sending it to a provider such as Amazon or Yahoo!, users can validate their identity and log on to the service offered by the site.
  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) A suite of .NET technologies for building and running connected systems. WCF supports a broad array of distributed systems capabilities to provide secure, reliable, and transacted messaging along with interoperability. Servers establish distributed communications through service endpoints. Service endpoints have an endpoint address, a binding that specifies how the endpoint can communicate, and a contract description that details what an endpoint communicates.
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) A suite of .NET technologies for building applications with attractive and effective user interfaces. WPF supports tight integration of application user interfaces, documents, and media content, allowing developers to create a unified interface for all types of documents and media. This means that applications can use the same interface for displaying forms, controls, fixed-format documents, on-screen documents, 2D images, 3D images, video, and audio.
  • Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) A suite of .NET technologies for building workflow-enabled applications on Windows. WF provides a rules engine that allows for the declarative modeling of units of application logic within the scope of an overall business process. What this means is that developers can use WF to model and implement the necessary programming logic for a business process from start to finish.

To support applications written for IIS 6, you can deploy IIS 7.0 with IIS 6 compatibility enabled. If you have existing IIS 6 server installations, you can also install the IIS 6 Management Compatibility tools to support remote administration of these server installations. You also can deploy IIS 7.0 to support remote administration. You can use both desktop and server platforms for remote administration of other IIS servers in addition to the sites and applications configured on these servers. For remote administration of an IIS server, you must enable the Web Management Service (WMSVC) on the server you want to manage remotely. Then install the Web management tools on the machine you want to use for remote administration.

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