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Application server role: Configuring an application server

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Application server role: Configuring an application server

An application server is a core technology that provides key infrastructure and services to applications hosted on a system. Typical application servers include the following services:

  • Resource pooling (for example, database connection pooling and object pooling)

  • Distributed transaction management

  • Asynchronous program communication, typically through message queuing

  • A just-in-time object activation model

  • Automatic XML Web Service interfaces to access business objects

  • Failover and application health detection services

  • Integrated security

The Windows Server 2003 family includes all this functionality, in addition to services for development, deployment, and runtime management of XML Web services, Web applications, and distributed applications.

This topic explains the basic steps that you must follow to configure an application server. This process involves using the Configure Your Server Wizard to configure the server as an application server. When you have finished setting up a basic application server, you can complete additional tasks by using Manage Your Server.

This topic covers:

Before you begin

Before you configure your computer as an application server, verify that:

  • All existing disk volumes use the NTFS file system. FAT32 volumes are not secure, and they do not support file and folder compression, disk quotas, file encryption, or individual file permissions. To find out the file system type, in My Computer right-click the disk volume, and then click Properties. For information about how to convert a FAT partition to an NTFS partition, see "To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt" in Windows Help and Support Center.

  • Your computer has network connectivity and a static or dynamic IP address.

  • Windows Firewall is enabled. For more information, see Enable Windows Firewall with no exceptions.

  • The Security Configuration Wizard is installed and enabled. For information about the Security Configuration wizard, see Security Configuration Wizard Overview.

The following table lists the information that you need to know before you add an application server role.

 

Before adding an application server role Comments

Understand the following technologies that are installed automatically while configuring your application server:

  • Internet Information Services (IIS)

  • Application Server console

  • COM+

  • Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC)

  • IIS 6.0 is a full-featured Web server that provides the infrastructure for .NET and existing Web applications and Web services.

  • COM + is an extension to the Component Object Model (COM). COM+ builds on COM's integrated services and features, making it easier for developers to create and use software components in any language, using any tool.

  • The Application Server console provides a central location from which you can administer your Web applications. To open the Application Server console, in Manage Your Server, click Manage this application server.

  • Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) coordinates COM+ transactions.

Determine whether you would like to install FrontPage Server Extensions.

FrontPage Server Extensions enable users on a client computer to publish and administer Web sites on a server remotely over a network.

Determine whether you would like to run ASP.NET applications on your server.

ASP.NET is a unified Web development platform that provides the services necessary for developers to build enterprise-class Web applications. You can enable ASP.NET for developing Web applications.

Configuring your application server

To configure an application server, start the Configure Your Server Wizard by doing either of the following:

  • From Manage Your Server, click Add or remove a role. By default, Manage Your Server starts automatically when you log on. To open Manage Your Server, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Manage Your Server.

  • To open the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Configure Your Server Wizard.

On the Server Role page, click Application server (IIS, ASP.NET), and then click Next.

This section covers:

Application Server Options

Summary of Selections

Completing the Configure Your Server Wizard

Removing the application server role

Application Server Options

On the Application Server Options page, you can choose to install the following optional components with your application server:

  • FrontPage Server Extensions - FrontPage Server Extensions enable multiple users to administer and publish a Web site from a client computer, remotely. Select this option if you want to enable multiple-users to simultaneously create Web sites, or enable users to create Web applications from their client computers, remotely, over the Internet.

  • Enable ASP.NET - ASP.NET is a unified Web application platform that provides the services necessary to build and deploy enterprise-class Web applications. ASP.NET offers a new programming model and infrastructure for more secure, scalable, and stable applications that can target any browser or device. If your Web site includes applications that have been developed by using ASP.NET, select this option. If you are not sure that you need to enable ASP.NET, you can enable it later by using IIS Manager. This feature is not available on the Itanium-based versions of the Windows operating systems. By enabling ASP.NET, you can use your application server to host ASP.NET applications. Some of the features of ASP.NET include the following:

    • ASP.NET can run side by side with Active Server Pages (ASP) code on Internet Information Services (IIS). If you are already running ASP code you do not need to upgrade your ASP pages, and you can add ASP.NET pages to your applications.

    • ASP.NET has enhanced performance.

    • ASP.NET supports many languages including Visual Basic .NET, C#, and JScript .NET.

After you finish, click Next.

Summary of Selections

On the Summary of Selections page, you can view and confirm the options that you have selected. If you selected Application server (IIS, ASP.NET) on the Server Role page, the following appears:

  • Install Internet Information Services (IIS)

  • Enable COM+ for remote transactions

  • Enable Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (DTC) for remote access

If you selected FrontPage Server Extensions or ASP.NET, the following items also appear:

  • Install FrontPage Server Extensions

  • Enable ASP.NET

To apply the selections shown on the Summary of Selections page, click Next. When you click Next, the Configuring Components page of the Windows Components Wizard appears, and then closes automatically. You cannot click Back or Next on this page.

Completing the Configure Your Server Wizard

After the components are configured, the Configure Your Server Wizard displays the This Server is Now an Application Server page. To review all of the changes made to your server by the Configure Your Server Wizard or to ensure that a new role was installed successfully, click Configure Your Server log. The Configure Your Server Wizard log is located at systemroot\Debug\Configure Your Server.log. To close the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Finish.

If the installation was not successful, the Cannot Complete page appears and IIS could not be installed. To troubleshoot the installation, click Configure Your Server log.

Run Windows Update. For more information, see Windows Update.

Run the Security Configuration Wizard. For more information, see Security Configuration Wizard Overview.

Removing the application server role

If you need to reconfigure your server for a different role, you can remove existing server roles. By removing the application server role, you will uninstall all application server components, such as the IIS. Your server will no longer support serving Web pages, Web applications, or distributed applications.

To remove the application server role, restart the Configure Your Server Wizard by doing either of the following:

  • From Manage Your Server, click Add or remove a role. By default, Manage Your Server starts automatically when you log on. To open Manage Your Server, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Manage Your Server.

  • To open the Configure Your Server Wizard, click Start, click Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Configure Your Server Wizard.

On the Server Role page, click Application server (IIS, ASP.NET), and then click Next. On the Role Removal Confirmation page, review the items listed under Summary, select the Remove the application server role check box, and then click Next. When you click Next, the Configuring Components page of the Windows Components Wizard appears, and then closes automatically. You cannot click Back or Next on this page. On the Application Server Role Removed page, click Finish.

Next steps: Completing additional tasks

After you complete the Configure Your Server Wizard and enable the features that you need to run your applications, the computer is ready for use as a basic application server. Up to this point, you have completed the following tasks:

  • Installed Internet Information Services (IIS), ASP.NET, and COM+.

  • If necessary, enabled FrontPage Server Extensions.

  • If necessary, enabled ASP.NET.

The following table lists some of the additional tasks that you might want to perform on your application server.

 

Task Purpose of task Reference

Secure your application server.

To ensure the security of this server, it is recommended that you implement security precautions, such as firewalls and Internet Protocol security (IPSec), before placing it in a production environment. An application server may be targeted by attackers because of its exposure to the Internet and other networks. You can secure your applications by using authentication protocols, access control, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and encryption.

Internet Protocol Security (IPSec); Basic Firewall; Security in Microsoft Internet Information Services

Secure your files with NTFS.

To secure your Web site, applications, databases, and files use NTFS permissions. This is essential for a secure site.

Set, view, change, or remove permissions on files and folders

Configure Web Interface for Remote Administration.

To manage your application server using a Web browser on a remote computer.

Using Web Interface for Remote Administration

Create a Web site.

To create a Web site to host your Web applications.

Web Site Setup in Microsoft Internet Information Services

Create applications with the latest development tools.

To learn about the latest development tools from Microsoft that can help you develop new applications more quickly and efficiently.

Microsoft Web site

Create ASP.NET Web Applications.

To create ASP.NET applications.

Creating ASP.NET Web Application at the Microsoft Web site

Secure your ASP.NET Web applications.

To ensure the security of your ASP.NET applications

ASP.NET Web Application Security at the Microsoft Web site

Configure ports to allow remote administration.

To manage the application server from other computers on the network.

Windows Firewall Settings

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