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Chapter 1 - Overview of Internet Information Services 5.0

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server's built-in Web server, Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0, makes it easy to share documents and information across a company intranet or the Internet. IIS 5.0, the fastest Web server for Windows 2000 Server, is completely integrated with Microsoft Active Directory® directory service. This combination of Web and operating system services makes it possible to deploy scalable and reliable Web­based applications. The new generation of networked business solutions brings legacy data and applications to the World Wide Web, and lets companies redefine internal and external business processes.

IIS 5.0 introduces several new features to help Web administrators and Internet service providers (ISPs) create scalable Web applications, Web sites, and Web clusters. Advancements in IIS 5.0 Web publishing, security, administration, and applications work together to increase performance and reliability, while lowering the cost of ownership and improving the Web application environment.

Along with IIS 5.0, Microsoft offers several other products that you can add to your installation for added power and flexibility. For example, by adding Microsoft® Site Server, you can easily manage large clusters, customize logging, and create detailed reports.

In addition to introducing new features, this chapter gives an overview of IIS 5.0 architecture. By understanding how IIS 5.0 is put together, you can effectively manage Web sites and virtual directories, and configure applications so that they perform efficiently in an IIS 5.0 installation.

On This Page

What's New in IIS 5.0
IIS 5.0 Architecture
Publishing on Web Sites
Additional Resources

What's New in IIS 5.0

In IIS 5.0, you will find the following new features and improvements. For a complete list of new features, with detailed descriptions and procedures, see the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

Security

This section briefly describes the new security features in IIS 5.0. For details about how security works, see "Security" in this book.

  • Digest Authentication Adds security and reliability to user authentication across proxy servers and firewalls. IIS 5.0 still offers previous means of authentication: Anonymous, HTTP Basic, Windows NT Challenge/Response, and NTLM authentication (now known as integrated Windows authentication).

  • Server-Gated Cryptography Allows financial institutions with export versions of IIS to use strong 128-bit encryption. Server-Gated Cryptography (SGC) is an extension of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Although SGC is built into IIS 5.0, a special SGC certificate is required.

    New Security Wizards Simplify server administration tasks.

    • Web Server Certificate Wizard Simplifies certificate administration tasks in IIS 5.0. These tasks include, for example, creating certificate requests and managing the certificate life cycle.

    • Permissions Wizard Simplifies editing and configuring Web site access, such as assigning access policies to virtual directories and files. The Permissions Wizard can also reflect these Web access policies to NTFS file system permissions.

    • CTL Wizard Configures certificate trust lists (CTLs). A CTL is a list of trusted certification authorities for a particular directory. CTLs are especially useful for ISPs who have several Web sites on their server and who need a different list of approved certification authorities for each site.

  • Kerberos v5 Authentication Passes authentication credentials among networked computers that are running Microsoft® Windows®. IIS 5.0 is fully integrated with the Kerberos v5 authentication model implemented in Windows 2000 Server.

  • Certificate Storage Stores, backs up, and configures server certificates through a single point of entry. IIS certificate storage is now integrated with Microsoft CryptoAPI (CAPI) storage, which is provided with Windows 2000.

  • Fortezza Supports Fortezza, the U.S. government security standard. This standard satisfies the Defense Messaging System security architecture, by supplying a cryptographic mechanism that features message confidentiality, integrity, authentication, and access control to messages, components, and systems.

Administration

This section introduces new administrative features to help you manage an IIS 5.0 installation more effectively. For details and examples, see "Administering an ISP Installation" in this book.

  • Restarting IIS Restarts your Internet services without requiring you to restart your computer.

  • Process Accounting Reports how Web sites use CPU resources on the server. This information helps determine which sites are using disproportionately high CPU resources and which sites have malfunctioning scripts or Common Gateway Interface (CGI) processes.

  • Process Throttling Limits the percentage of time the CPU spends processing out-­of-­process scripts in Active Server Pages (ASP), Internet Server Application Programming Interface (ISAPI), and CGI applications for individual Web sites. In addition, this feature can stop and restart malfunctioning processes.

  • Improved Custom Error Messages Allow you to send informative messages to clients when HTTP errors occur on their Web sites. This feature does detailed error processing of scripts in ASP pages through the 500-100.asp custom error message. You can use the custom errors that IIS 5.0 provides, or create your own.

  • Web-based Administration Tools Allow remote management of your server from almost any browser on any platform. With IIS 5.0, you can set up administration accounts (called Operators) with limited administration privileges on Web sites, in order to help distribute administrative tasks.

  • Terminal Services Lets you remotely administer Windows services (such as IIS) through Microsoft® Management Console (MMC). A feature of Windows 2000 Server, Terminal Services can connect to Windows servers by dialing-up or through Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP). Terminal Services client software must also be installed on client computers.

Programmability

This section acquaints you with the new features that improve IIS programmability. For more information, see "Administering an ISP Installation" in this book, and the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

  • Application Protection IIS 5.0 offers greater protection and increased reliability for your Web applications. By default, IIS 5.0 will run all of your applications in a common (or pooled) process that is separate from core IIS 5.0 processes. In addition, you can still isolate mission-critical applications that should be run outside of both core IIS 5.0 and pooled processes.

    New Features inASP Enhance performance and streamline your server-side scripts:

    • New flow control methods

    • Improved error handling

    • Scriptless ASP

    • Performance-enhanced objects

    • Extensible Markup Language (XML) integration

    • Microsoft® Windows® Script Components

    • A new way to determine browser capabilities

    • ASP self-tuning

    • Server-side include with SRC attribute

    • Encoded scripts in ASP pages

  • ADSI 2.0 Adds custom objects, properties, and methods to the existing Microsoft® Active Directory Service Interfaces" (ADSI) provider, giving you even more flexibility in configuring your sites.

For detailed descriptions of the new features, see the "Features" topic in the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

Internet Standards

This section discusses the new Internet standards that are shipping with IIS 5.0. For more information, see the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

  • Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) Lets remote authors edit, move, or delete files, file properties, directories, and directory properties on your server over an HTTP connection.

  • FTP Restart Resumes downloading a file through File Transfer Protocol (FTP) at the point where the data transfer was interrupted.

  • HTTP Compression Transmits pages faster between the Web server and compression-enabled clients. Compresses and caches static files, and compresses dynamically generated files on demand.

IIS 5.0 Architecture

The next sections describe how the components of IIS 5.0 work together. They begin with an overview of IIS 5.0 architecture as a whole, followed by discussions of its administrative and programmability architectures. They end with a discussion of how other services of Windows 2000 Server and other Microsoft products can be integrated into an installation to enhance IIS 5.0.

Architecture Overview

IIS 5.0 is a service of Windows 2000 Server, which means that it is designed to work closely with many other services that run on Windows 2000 Server. Figure 1.1 shows the relationship between IIS 5.0 and other services you can install on Windows 2000 Server.

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Figure 1.1 IIS 5.0 Architecture

The standard Internet services (Web and FTP servers) reside in a process called Inetinfo. In addition to these Internet services, this process contains the shared thread pool, cache, and logging services of IIS 5.0.

By sharing the same security model (user accounts) as Windows 2000 Server, IIS 5.0 eliminates the need for additional user-account administration. IIS 5.0 administration also borrows existing Windows 2000 Server tools such as System Monitor, Event Viewer, and MMC to conduct similar administrative procedures.

The following sections describe the Windows 2000 tools that are tightly integrated with IIS 5.0.

Microsoft Management Console

MMC hosts programs, called snap-ins, from which you can manage your servers. MMC offers a common framework in which various snap-ins can run, so that you can manage several services with a single interface. In addition to integrating and standardizing administrative tools, MMC also lets you customize the console. By picking and choosing specific snap-ins, you can create management consoles that include only the administrative tools you need.

For example, the IIS 5.0 MMC hosts Internet Services Manager as a snap-in from which you can administer Web sites on the computer where IIS 5.0 is installed. As another example, Microsoft® Component Services includes an MMC snap-in from which you can administer its transaction packages.

Active Server Pages and Microsoft Script Debugger

ASP is a server-side application environment that allows you to create dynamic Web sites and powerful Web applications. ASP pages can contain HTML tags, text, and script commands. The script commands execute on the server and return HTML pages to the requesting browser. ASP pages can call Microsoft® Component Object Model (COM) components to perform tasks, such as connecting to a database or performing a business calculation. With ASP, you can add interactive content to your Web pages or build entire Web applications that use HTML pages as the user interface.

Microsoft® Script Debugger is designed to help you quickly locate bugs and interactively test your server-side scripts in ASP pages. Script Debugger, which works with Microsoft® Internet Explorer version 3.0 or later, includes just-in-time (JIT) debugging. When a run ­time error interrupts execution of your script, the Script Debugger automatically starts, displays the .asp file with a statement pointer indicating the line that caused the error, and generates an error message. With this type of debugging, your computer suspends further execution of the program. You must correct the error with an editing program and save your changes before you can resume running the script. Figure 1.2 shows a code sample, in which Script Debugger has highlighted a line containing an error.

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Figure 1.2 Microsoft Script Debugger

Indexing Service

Indexing Service indexes files and file properties on your disks and stores the information in a catalog. It searches the complete text and properties of documents stored on an Internet or intranet Web site. Using samples installed with Indexing Service, a Web site administrator can quickly create Web query forms and make them available to users. Users can then generate queries by filling in the fields of the query form. The Web server forwards this query form to the query engine, which finds the pertinent documents and returns the results, in the form of a Web page, to the client.

In addition to indexing Web pages in HTML format, Indexing Service can search documents formatted by applications such as Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® Excel, so that you don't have to convert them to HTML.

Certificate Services

Microsoft® Certificate Services is a general-purpose, customizable server application that issues, revokes, and renews digital certificates. These certificates, which are generated in standard X.509 version 3 format, are used for public-key cryptography applications such as server and client authentication under the SSL or Private Communication Technology (PCT) protocols. With Certificate Services, organizations can perform authentication on a corporate intranet or across the Internet.

Message Queuing

Message Queuing makes it possible for application programs to send and receive messages quickly, reliably, and asynchronously. It features Microsoft® ActiveX® support, security controls, administration tools, and integration with other strategic Microsoft features such as IIS 5.0, Component Services, and Certificate Services. As a result, Message Queuing is the queuing product of choice for applications running on Microsoft® Windows® 95 and Windows® 98, as well as on Windows 2000 Server. Message Queuing is also interoperable with other important platforms and products through the Message Queuing connector.

Database Access Component

The Microsoft® Database Access component uses Microsoft® ActiveX® Data Objects (ADO) to access information stored in a database or other tabular data structure. Data ­driven client/server applications deployed over the Web or an intranet can use this component to integrate information from a variety of sources, including both relational (SQL) and non-relational database management systems (DBMSs). The Database Access component consists of the following, all of which are released, documented, and supported together:

  • ADO and Microsoft® Remote Data Service (RDS)

  • Open Database Connectivity (ODBC)

  • The Microsoft® OLE DB provider for ODBC

ADO can help you write applications that let you access and manipulate data in a database server through an OLE DB provider. The primary benefits of ADO are ease of use, high speed, low-memory overhead, and a small disk footprint. ADO supports key features for building client/server and Web applications.

ADO also features RDS, a high-performance client-side data caching technology that brings database connectivity to Web applications. You can use RDS to build intelligent Web applications that let you access and update data from any OLE DB provider, including ODBC-compliant DBMSs. Because you can implement RDS with familiar technologyoff-the-shelf visual controls, HTML, and Microsoft® Visual Basic® Scripting Edition (VBScript)— RDS integrates seamlessly with existing Microsoft® Visual Basic® applications, so that you can transport them to the Web.

The Database Access component also includes ODBC and the OLE DB provider for ODBC. Used in conjunction with an appropriate ODBC driver, these components provide access to several popular DBMSs, including Microsoft® SQL Server", Oracle databases, Microsoft® Access, and several other desktop databases.

Administrative Architecture

This section describes how IIS 5.0 is built to simplify administrative tasks and allow you the flexibility of administering a site in several ways. To do this, IIS 5.0 offers a comprehensive set of tools, which allow you to manage a Web server and its components, as well as an independent Web site. In addition to these tools, customers can create their own custom interfaces using IIS Administration Objects (described in the next section), which ship with IIS 5.0.

Figure 1.3 shows the administrative tools provided with IIS 5.0 and how they interact with IIS Administration Objects.

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Figure 1.3 Administrative Architecture of IIS 5.0

IIS Administration Objects

IIS Administration Objects (IIS Admin Objects) are fully distributable COM objects with methods that let an application manipulate IIS 5.0 configuration keys and data in the memory-resident metabase. You can use IIS Admin Objects to write applications, such as server administration or Web authoring tools, that check and update the server's configuration by manipulating keys and data in the metabase. You can also use IIS Admin Objects to store your IIS 5.0–related custom application configuration data in the metabase (for faster access) without filling up the Windows system registry.

IIS Admin Objects are also programmable COM objects that a script in an ASP page or custom application can call to change IIS 5.0 configuration values stored in the IIS 5.0 metabase. For example, file and directory access permissions used by IIS 5.0 are stored in the metabase. You can efficiently set these permissions for one or many files and directories with a simple script in an ASP page. The Internet Services Manager snap-in to MMC and the browser-based version of this snap-in (discussed in the next section), the Microsoft® Windows® Script Host (WSH), and custom administration applications all use IIS Admin Objects to manage IIS 5.0.

Internet Services Manager

With Internet Services Manager, a snap-in for MMC, you can manage many IIS 5.0 Web sites from a single location anywhere on the Internet. With this snap-in, you can create Web sites and virtual directories. You can also set levels of permission, fine-tune logging, and enable throttling.

IIS 5.0 also includes a browser-based version of the IIS 5.0 snap-in, Internet Services Manager (HTML), shown in Figure 1.4. With this browser-based tool, you can configure IIS 5.0 from almost any computer on the Internet or on a private intranet.

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Figure 1.4 Internet Services Manager (HTML)

Built-in and Customized Scripts

IIS Admin Objects make programmatic administration as straightforward as possible. They are based on ADSI, and together they let you automate many administrative tasks. IIS 5.0 comes with several built-in administration scripts installed by default in the Inetpub\AdminScripts directory. But you can also create your own customized scripts to handle more complex tasks. ADSI can be easily accessed and manipulated by any language that supports automation, such as VBScript or Microsoft® JScript®, Visual Basic®, Java, or C++. For examples and information about creating your own custom scripts, see "Administering an ISP Installation" in this book.

IIS Admin Objects and ADSI work in conjunction with WSH, a language-independent scripting environment for 32-bit Windows platforms. Microsoft supplies both VBScript and JScript scripting engines with WSH. For other languages such as Perl, you can buy ActiveX scripting engines through third-party companies.

Programmability Architecture

Programmability architecture is based on a hierarchy of how IIS 5.0 processes incoming requests. Once you understand how the hierarchy works, you can design efficient applications to capitalize on the features IIS 5.0 has to offer.

Web applications are maturing into mission-critical, line-of-business applications that demand reliability and availability for all customers. Before the Web, most applications were written and executed on stand-alone computers as single-user applications, and most shared server code was written and executed within databases. Web applications are deployed in a distributed, disconnected environment. They often run on many different servers and access information from many different data stores. IIS 5.0 adds the necessary technologies to the Windows 2000 Server platform, so that organizations can develop and deploy reliable and scalable Web applications for multiple users.

Figure 1.5 illustrates the programmability architecture of IIS 5.0 and the components described in this section. The figure starts with the most difficult way to develop Web applications (with CGI on the left) and moves to the easiest (on the right), which takes advantage of all the features in the IIS 5.0 hierarchy.

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Figure 1.5 Programmability Architecture

The first three hierarchies (from left to right) shown in Figure 1.5 are self-limiting. When setting up applications to run on a Web server, it is recommended that you choose the hierarchy farthest to the right, and use built-in applications whenever possible.

Programmability is configured around three options for Web applications. Each hierarchy in Figure 1.5 offers one or more of these options. You should choose them in the following order (depicted from right to left):

  1. Built-in First, try to find applications that come with IIS 5.0. For example, if you need to add compression to a site, install the built-in ISAPI filter or COM component.

  2. Third-Party Next, if you want an application that performs a specific task, but can't find one that comes with IIS 5.0, buy from a third-party vendor. For example, buy an ISAPI filter for authentication.

  3. Custom Finally, if you need a type of application not already built into IIS 5.0 or already created by a third party, you need to customize your own. This method (on the left) is obviously the most difficult and should be your last resort. In this category the least recommended method is to build CGI applications, for reasons explained later in this chapter.

Developing Web applications involves many of the same complexities as developing multiuser server applications. For instance, when creating a multiuser application, developers must invest time building complex routines for managing server process pools, thread pools, database connections, user context, and transactions usually associated with server applications. IIS 5.0 as well as features and products made to run with it on the Windows operating system eliminate much of this complexity, thanks to built-in server technologies. Along with Windows 2000 Server, these technologies give developers a platform for developing Web applications.

For more information about developing Web applications, see "Developing Web Applications" and "Data Access and Transactions" in this book.

Common Gateway Interface

IIS 5.0 fully supports both scripts and executable programs written for the CGI specification. When you or your customers create executable CGI programs on a Web server, remote users can start these programs by filling out an HTML form or by simply requesting a URL from the server. Arguments following the question mark in the URL are passed to the CGI application as an environment string, which is then parsed and acted upon. CGI applications run out of process on the server, which means each request creates its own process. This architecture makes CGI applications slower than other types, but because they run in their own process, any problems are less likely to affect the operation of the server.

ISAPI Filters

ISAPI is an Internet API for extending IIS 5.0 and other HTTP servers that support its interface. ISAPI filters are dynamic-link libraries (DLLs) that allow preprocessing of requests and postprocessing of responses, which in turn allows for site-specific handling of HTTP requests and responses. These filters can also be run out of process, in order to improve reliability and to consume fewer resources than CGI applications.

IIS 5.0 contains several built-in ISAPI filters, such as one for compression. You can also buy and install third-party filters, such as an authentication filter, to do tasks not covered by the built-in filters. For information about installing filters, see the "Installing ISAPI Filters" topic in the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

If you don't find a built-in filter or one that you can buy, you can build a custom filter. For example, you can write an ISAPI DLL to intercept specific server events and perform appropriate actions. This functionality is especially useful in implementing server security. For more information, see the "ISAPI Filters Overview" topic in the IIS 5.0 section of the SDK documentation on MSDN.

You will find several sample ISAPI filters on the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server Resource Kit companion CD.

ISAPI Extensions

ISAPI extensions are multithreaded DLLs that can be loaded into the same memory space (in-process) occupied by the Web service, and can perform server-side tasks as an interface between the user and IIS 5.0. ISAPI extensions have a strong performance advantage over CGI applications for several reasons:

  • ISAPI extensions can be configured so all of them run in a single process, or so they run in the same memory space as the Web service.

  • Instead of loading an executable for each request, ISAPI uses thread-safe DLLs that are loaded only once.

  • ISAPI uses Microsoft® Win32®-based APIs to communicate with the Web service, which are much faster than CGI methods.

IIS 5.0 does not have any built-in ISAPI extensions, so you either have to buy third-party extensions or customize your own. ISAPI extensions developed for other Web servers are generally easy to port to IIS 5.0. In addition, it is sometimes advantageous to rewrite existing CGI applications as ISAPI extensions to improve their performance. For more information, see "Migrating a Web Server to IIS 5.0" in this book. For information about designing ISAPI extensions, see the "Designing High-Performance ISAPI Applications" topic in the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

Active Server Pages

ASP offers an open, server-application environment in which you can combine HTML, server-side scripts, and reusable COM server components to create dynamic and powerful Web-based business solutions. After the server-side script on an ASP page runs, the results are returned to the client browser in the form of a standard HTML document.

IIS 5.0 natively supports scripts in ASP pages written in both VBScript and JScript. However, you can write ASP applications in any scripting language, as long as you install a scripting engine that conforms to the Active Scripting standard discussed later in this chapter. Scripts in ASP pages have access to objects that make development quick and easy, including Application, Session, Request, Response, and Server objects.

ASP also supports COM components, which allow you to reuse business logic in other applications. ASP is supported by a number of Web servers, and existing ASP applications can be easily ported to IIS 5.0. In addition, it is often a good idea to rewrite CGI applications as ASP pages, particularly those with functionality that you can quickly and easily reproduce by using ASP built-in objects. For more information, see "Migrating a Web Server to IIS 5.0" in this book.

COM Components

ActiveX is a technology built on COM that allows the developer to create objects or controls that "activate" content on the Web. With tools such as Microsoft® Visual C++®, Visual Basic, or Microsoft® Visual J++®, you can develop COM components and embed them in a Web page, adding a higher level of interactivity to the page. COM components can be run on a server, on a client, or on both. The IIS 5.0 online product documentation, for example, uses Microsoft® ActiveX® control called HTML Help, located in the left ­hand frame of the browser, for its table of contents. When interfacing with OLE DB, ADO, or other database-access methods to retrieve information stored in an Access or SQL Server database, you can write COM components in any COM-compliant language, such as Visual Basic, Visual C++, or Visual J++.

Active Scripting

Active Scripting is a technology created by Microsoft to help developers take advantage of existing scripting languages and to benefit from their use through a COM interface. Microsoft ships two languages that take advantage of Active Scripting–VBScript and JScript. However, the scripting interface is open, allowing third parties to supply their own languages–like Perl–to any application that implements scripting.

Component Services

Component Services is a transaction processing system for developing, deploying, and managing distributed server applications. Simply put, a transaction is any business operation in your daily life, such as exchanging money for goods or services.

In software, a transaction is an operation (initiated by an application) that succeeds or fails as a whole, even if the operation involves many steps (for example, ordering, checking inventory, and billing). Transaction processing is crucial for distributed business applications that require accuracy, data consistency, and security.

The following list shows examples of some of the built-in and installable Component Services applications:

  • Transaction Management

  • Queued Components

  • Object Pooling

  • Just-In-Time Activation

  • In-Memory Database

  • Thread Management

  • Role-Based Security

  • Ad Rotator

A transaction changes a set of data from one state to another. For example, if you withdraw money from your bank account, your balance changes to reflect the transaction. For a transaction to work correctly, it must have what are known as the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) properties:

  • Atomicity All changes from objects involved in the transaction are committed as one unit. All changes are either committed or rolled back to their original state.

  • Consistency Data must change to reflect the transaction, like a bank balance changing to reflect a withdrawal.

  • Isolation Concurrent transactions are unaware of each other's partial and uncommitted results. Work that is completed by concurrent transactions can be thought of as occurring in a serial manner, one after the other. Otherwise, the transactions might create inconsistencies.

  • Durability Committed updates to managed resources (such as database records) will survive communication, process, and server system failures. Transactional logging lets you recover the original state after failures.

All of these properties ensure that a transaction does not create problematic changes to data between the time the transaction begins and the time it must commit. Also, these properties simplify cleanup and error handling when updating databases and other resources.

With Component Services you can work with transactions effectively, and even package components within transactions. You can develop a transactional application for a single user, and then use simple scripting commands to scale it for use in a production environment. Component Services components are activated when needed and deactivated when not, thereby conserving server resources and increasing the number of users who can run your application concurrently. Component Services applications can also be run in separate memory spaces so that their operational status will not affect other applications, a function called process isolation.

Component Services is much more than a transaction-management server. It is also an object manager for distributed network objects and environments. In fact, it defines a programming model, and provides a run-time environment and a graphical administration tool for managing enterprise applications. Specifically, it can do the following:

  • Process distributed transactions

  • Automatically manage processes and threads

  • Manage object instances

  • Control object creation and use through a distributed security service

  • Handle system administration and manage components through a graphical interface

Figure 1.6 shows the graphical interface of the Component Services snap-in for MMC and displays installed packages. Through this interface, you can add or delete packages or configure Component Services as needed.

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Figure 1.6 Component Services Snap-in for MMC

Publishing on Web Sites

This section introduces the general publishing solution offered by Windows 2000 Server through legacy data and the following technologies:

  • WebDAV, a new extension to HTTP/1.1

  • Microsoft® FrontPage® Server Extensions

  • FTP

WebDAV

WebDAV is an extension of the HTTP 1.1 standard for exposing a hierarchical file storage media, such as a file system, over an HTTP connection. With WebDAV you can control how remote authors access resources on the file system by letting them edit, move, search, or delete files and directories, and their properties, on a Web server. You can configure a WebDAV virtual directory's permissions to:

  • Search for directories, files, and their properties.

  • Create, modify, and delete directories, files, and their properties.

  • Create, modify, delete, and browse directories and their properties.

  • Store and retrieve custom properties for files and directories.

  • Lock files so that multiple users can read a file concurrently, but only one individual can modify it.

For details about setting WebDAV permissions, see the "Setting Web Server Permissions" topic in the IIS 5.0 online product documentation.

The advantage of using WebDAV is its interoperability. For example, a client can connect to a WebDAV server from a Macintosh or UNIX client computer. Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) connections, on the other hand, do not offer this flexibility.

FrontPage Server Extensions

FrontPage Server Extensions are a set of programs that you can install with the Windows 2000 operating system on a Web server. You can add them on to the IIS 5.0 snap-in and thus simplify administration. FrontPage Server Extensions can do the following in terms of FrontPage webs (projects containing all the pages, images, and other files that make up a Web site):

  • Author FrontPage webs

    Example: When an author moves a page from one folder to another in a FrontPage web, the Server Extensions automatically update all hyperlinks to that page from every other page and from every Microsoft® Office document in the FrontPage web. These updated hyperlinks are then placed directly on the Web server.

    For a full description of FrontPage webs, see the Microsoft® FrontPage® 2000 Server Extensions Resource Kit at http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/frontpage/wpp/serk.

  • Administer FrontPage webs

    Example: A FrontPage web administrator can specify which users can administer, author, or browse a FrontPage web.

  • Maintain browse-time functionality

    Example: When users of a FrontPage web participate in a discussion group, the Server Extensions maintain an index of hyperlinks to articles in the discussion, separate discussion threads, tables of contents, and search forms to locate pages of interest.

The FrontPage client and Server Extensions work together to minimize costly file transfers over the Internet, a definite advantage in terms of publishing on a Web site. When the Microsoft® FrontPage® Explorer opens a FrontPage web from a Web server containing the Server Extensions, information about the FrontPage web (such as its hyperlink map) is downloaded to the client machine so that the FrontPage Explorer can display the information. However, the full set of pages and other files that make up the FrontPage web remain on the Web server. A page is only downloaded over the Internet when it is opened for editing in the Microsoft® FrontPage® Editor. This is a very efficient mechanism: An entire Web site can be changed directly on a Web server at the cost of downloading and editing a single file.

FTP

Finally, you can publish to Web servers with FTP. Integrated into the Windows operating system as an Internet service, FTP publishes information on a Web server through a standard FTP client. Depending on the client, you can operate FTP through the command ­line or through a graphical user interface (GUI)–based interface.

For more information about FTP, see "Administering an ISP Installation" in this book.

Additional Resources

The following Web sites and books provide additional information about IIS 5.0 and about other features of Windows 2000 Server.

http://www.microsoft.com/solutions/msi/

The intranet area of Microsoft® TechNet. You can download white papers, FAQs, case studies, and free intranet solutions written by Microsoft® Solution Providers.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/

Microsoft's MSDN Online Web Workshop home page is a useful resource for Webmasters and Web application developers.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/workshop/server/

The Server Technologies area of the MSDN Online Web Workshop, which includes links to information about ASP.

http://www.learnASP.com

A good resource for ASP. The site contains ASP-related articles, FAQs, tutorials, tools, and free ASP component downloads.

http://www.microsoft.com/mspress/

The Microsoft Press® Web site. Microsoft Press publishes a number of books and training materials about Microsoft's products and related technologies.

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