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Application Server Overview

Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012

Application Server provides an integrated environment for deploying and running custom business applications that are built with Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0. When you install the Application Server role, you can choose services that support applications that are built to use COM+, Message Queuing, Web services, and Distributed Transactions.

Application Server provides information technology (IT) professionals and developers with the following benefits:

  • A core runtime that supports effective deployment and management of high-performance business applications.

  • The .NET Framework development environment that delivers a simplified programming model and a high-performance execution model for server-based applications. The .NET Framework enables Web services and integrates new applications with existing applications and infrastructure.

  • A user-friendly installation wizard that provides choices for the various role services and features that you need to run applications in your organization.

  • Installation functionality that automatically installs the features that are required for a given role service.

Installation options

When you install the Application Server role on a server, you can add support for the following options:

  • Web Server

  • COM+ Network Access

  • Windows Process Activation Service

  • TCP Port Sharing

  • Distributed Transactions

Web Server

You can add Web Server support during Application Server installation. This option installs Internet Information Services (IIS), the Web server that is built into Windows Server 2008. IIS provides the following benefits:

  • IIS enables Application Server to host internal or external Web sites or services with static or dynamic content.

  • IIS supports ASP.NET applications that are accessed from a Web browser.

  • IIS supports Web services that are built with ASP.NET or Windows Communication Foundation (WCF).

COM+ Network Access

You can add COM+ Network Access during Application Server installation for remote invocation of applications that are built on and hosted within COM+ and Enterprise Services components. COM+ Network Access is one of the remote invocation capabilities of Windows Server 2008. Newer applications may use WCF to support remote invocation.

Windows Process Activation Service

You can add Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) support during Application Server installation. WAS can start and stop applications dynamically based on messages that are received over the network using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Message Queuing, TCP, and Named Pipes.

TCP Port Sharing

You can add the TCP Port Sharing role service during Application Server installation if you want multiple HTTP applications to use a single TCP port. When this feature is enabled, multiple WCF applications can share a single port for receiving incoming messages from the network. The Net.Tcp Port Sharing service accepts connections using the net.tcp protocol and automatically forwards incoming messages to the various WCF services based on the content of the messages. This simplifies the management of application servers where many instances of an application are running.

Distributed Transactions

You can add Distributed Transactions during Application Server installation to provide services that help ensure complete and successful transactions over multiple databases that are hosted on multiple computers on a network.

Additional references

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