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IIS Fundamentals

Updated: August 22, 2005

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

IIS is an HTTP protocol server, which means that it accepts and replies to HTTP requests. IIS processes three types of HTTP requests:

  • Static content (like HTM document) requests

  • CGI requests

  • ISAPI requests

By understanding the fundamentals of IIS architecture and the related functionality, you can discover and isolate problems much more quickly. You will also be better equipped to differentiate between real problems and expected behavior.

This section explores the following functionality, which any IIS troubleshooter must understand:

  • HTTP Protocol Basics: Explains the way Internet browsers and servers running IIS communicate with each other.

  • IIS Service Startup: Sometimes problems arise even before IIS starts servicing requests. This section describes the startup process and typical startup behavior, which can help you determine the causes of problems.

  • HTTP Request Walkthrough: Explains the various phases that a typical request passes through as it moves through the service.

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