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Administrative Tools and Features

Updated: August 22, 2005

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

To meet the needs of a diverse set of customers, IIS provides a variety of manageability and administrative tools. Administrators can configure a server running IIS 6.0 with IIS Manager, administration scripts, or by directly editing the IIS plaintext configuration file. Administrators can also remotely administer IIS servers and sites.

Plaintext Metabase — New

The metabase is a repository for most IIS configuration values. Metabase reengineering has lead to dramatic improvements in server startup and shutdown times, in addition to enhancing overall metabase performance and usability. This version of IIS includes an XML metabase configuration file, which can be edited manually or programmatically. The metabase is stored in two plaintext XML files:

  • MetaBase.xml contains the configuration values for IIS.

  • MBSchema.xml stores the XML metabase schema and enforces correct metabase configuration.

Because both the MetaBase.xml and MBSchema.xml files are stored as plain text, they can be read using any plaintext editor.

Storing Metabase History — New

You can quickly revert to a previous version of the metabase, thereby preventing long service interruptions. Automatic tracking of changes to the metabase are written to disk by copying each version of the metabase file into a history folder. Each history file is identified with a unique version number, which is then available for the metabase restore processes. A new set of Admin Base Object (ABO), WMI, and ADSI methods are exposed, which allows users to enumerate and restore the metabase configuration programmatically.

Edit Metabase File While IIS Is Running — New

You can edit the metabase file directly while IIS is running and the changes are immediately applied to the in-memory metabase. This capability, known as edit-while-running, is possible because MetaBase.xml is a text file. Direct editing can be accomplished using common text tools, like Microsoft Notepad, when the edit-while-running feature is enabled.

Import and Export Site and Application Configuration — New

In order to propagate site and application configuration settings across multiple servers for any node level, IIS supports two Admin Base Object (ABO) methods, Import() and Export(). Using these methods, you can export one node, or an entire tree, to an XML file from any level of the metabase, along with the inherited configuration, and then import one node, or an entire tree, from an XML file, as well as the inherited configurations. In addition you can password-protect secure data with these ABO methods.

Create Server-Independent Metabase Backups — New

Using the BackupWithPassword() and RestoreWithPassword() methods of the ADSI IIsComputer object, you can programmatically back up or restore the metabase with a password. The session key is encrypted with an optional user-supplied password during backup and is not based on the machine key.

Metabase Reliability — New

Using the configuration backup/restore feature, you can create a secure or unsecured backup of your metabase. Administrators can also restore copies of the metabase to other computers through IIS Manager. These backup methods provide a way to restore only your metabase settings, not your content files.

IIS WMI Provider — New

The Windows Server 2003 family of products features Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), a scalable management infrastructure, as a means to improve management of Windows servers in your environment. The IIS WMI provider provides a level of manageability that is functionally equivalent to the IIS ADSI provider, while supporting an extensible schema. Furthermore, schema extensions developed using ADSI are imported into the IIS WMI provider, making the benefits of WMI even greater. For more information about WMI, see "IIS Administration Technologies" in the IIS Software Development Kit (SDK) on MSDN.

FTP User Isolation — New

FTP user isolation is a solution for Internet service providers (ISP) and application service providers that need to offer their customers individual FTP directories to upload files and Web content. FTP user isolation prevents users from viewing or overwriting other users' Web content by restricting users to their own directory. A user cannot navigate higher up the directory tree because the user's top-level directory appears as the root of the FTP service. Within the user's specific site, the user still has the ability to create, modify, or delete files and folders.

FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions — New

FrontPage Server Extensions provide Web-based and command-line administration for extending virtual servers. Extending virtual servers with FrontPage Server Extensions enables the site owner to author the site in FrontPage and delegate site ownership and administration credentials.

FrontPage® 2002 Server Extensions from Microsoft is an update of FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions, and includes new security features, such as roles and rights, and new features for monitoring server health and Web site usage.

Command-Line Administration Scripts — New

Command-line administration makes it easier to perform management tasks efficiently. IIS provides scripts for the following tasks:

  • Create, delete, start, stop, and list Web sites

  • Create, delete, start, stop, and list FTP sites

  • Create or delete Web virtual directories

  • Create or delete applications

  • Export or import IIS configuration

  • Back up or restore IIS configuration

UTF-8 Logging Support — New

IIS supports log file recording in UTF-8 that allows administrators to log their URL hits in their native language instead of English. This setting, configurable on the Web-service level, instructs the HTTP protocol stack (HTTP.sys) in which format to write the log files: UTF-8 or the local code page.

Remote Administration

IIS includes a variety of tools to help you remotely administer your IIS Web servers. These tools include the Remote Administration (HTML) tool, Terminal Services, and programmatic features like ADSI, WMI, and a new set of command-line administration scripts.

The IIS Remote Administration (HTML) tool allows you to remotely administer IIS across the Internet or your intranet through your Web browser.

Terminal Services is a feature of the Windows Server 2003 family of products that allows you to run 32-bit Windows applications on terminals and terminal emulators running on personal computers and other computer desktops. This enables you to remotely administer Windows services, such as IIS, as if you were at the server console. You can administrate from older legacy PCs, or even from devices such as UNIX workstations with compatible client software. However, non-Windows-based client devices require third-party add-on software.

Centralized Administration

Administration tools for IIS use Microsoft Management Console (MMC). MMC hosts programs, such as IIS Manager, that administrators can use to manage their servers. You can use IIS Manager from a computer running a member of the Windows Server 2003 family to administer a computer on your intranet running IIS on a Windows server product.

Remotable Certification Object —New

Using scripts, you can process Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates on your local or a remote computer. A Component Object Model (COM) object allows you to perform the add, remove, back up, and restore functions, which circumnavigates the constraints imposed by MMC.

For more information, see Managing Server Certificates Programmatically in IIS 6.0.

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