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Windows Server 2008: The Definitive Guide by Jonathan Hassell

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Chapter 8. Internet Information Services 7

One of the major bundled applications with any version of Windows on the server is Internet Information Services (IIS). And what a long road it’s been since IIS 4, in Windows NT Server 4.0. The product has been redesigned with security in mind, made capable of running server-side applications with the help of Microsoft’s .NET programming languages, and turned from a boutique-style Internet server into a world-class set of code capable of running the most intense Internet-facing applications.

So, what improvements will IIS 7, included in the upcoming Longhorn Server, bring to the table? Let’s take a look at five major enhancements to IIS and what they mean for you.

Major Improvements

First off, and perhaps most importantly, IIS is completely modular. If you’re familiar with the popular Apache web server software, you know that perhaps its biggest strength is that Apache can run on a bare-bones installation. You can configure it to serve just static HTML and nothing else, or you can dynamically load modules that enable different types of content to be processed and served. You can compile a custom Apache installation that does only what you want it to. IIS has never really had the ability to pick and choose from its features and abilities, which had two significant drawbacks: for one, its performance somewhat suffered because the code was busy hosting features and supporting content that you may have never intended to use, and two, security ...

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