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Configuring IIS 6.0 Web Service Extensions

Updated: August 22, 2005

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

Many Web sites and applications that are hosted on IIS 6.0 have extended functionality beyond static Web pages, including the generation of dynamic content. Providing dynamic content and other enhanced capabilities requires executable code, such as ASP, ASP.NET, and ISAPI extensions. The handlers that extend IIS functionality beyond serving static pages are known as Web service extensions.

If you installed IIS 6.0 as described earlier in this section, all Web service extensions are disabled by default. If you used another method to install IIS 6.0, such as using Manage Your Server, the configuration of IIS might be different.

Enabling all of the Web service extensions ensures the highest possible compatibility with your Web sites. However, enabling all of the Web service extensions creates a security risk because it increases the attack surface of IIS by enabling functionality that might be unnecessary for your server.

Web service extensions allow you to enable and disable the serving of dynamic content. MIME typesallow you to enable and disable the serving of static content. For more information about enabling and disabling the serving of static content, see Configuring MIME Types later in this section.

If the appropriate Web service extension is not enabled, the Web server returns a 404 error to the client when attempting to serve the dynamic content. When the 404 error is returned as a result of a Web service extension not being enabled, a 404.2 error entry is placed in the IIS log. For more information about troubleshooting IIS 6.0, see Troubleshooting in IIS 6.0.

Configure the Web service extensions by completing the following steps:

  1. Enable the essential predefined Web service extensions based on the information in Table 6.3.

    Table 6.3   Predefined Web Service Extensions

    Web Service Extension Description

    Active Server Pages

    Enable this extension when one or more of the Web sites or applications contains ASP content.

    ASP.NET version 1.1.4322

    Enable this extension when one or more of the Web sites or applications contains ASP.NET content.

    FrontPage Server Extensions 2002

    Enable this extension when one or more of the Web sites are FrontPage extended.

    Internet Data Connector

    Enable this extension when one or more of the Web sites or applications uses the Internet Data Connector (IDC) to display database information (content includes .idc and .idx files).

    Server-Side Includes

    Enable this extension when one or more of the Web sites uses server-side include (SSI) directives to instruct the Web server to insert various types of content into a Web page.


    Enable this extension when you want to support Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) on the Web server, but it is not recommended for dedicated Web servers.

  2. For each Web service extension that is used by your applications and is not a one of the default Web service extensions, add a new entry to the Web service extensions list and configure the status of the new entry to Allowed.

    For example, one of your applications might use an ISAPI extension to provide access to a proprietary database. Set the ISAPI extension used by the application to Allowed to explicitly grant it permission to run. For information about how to add a Web service extension to the list, see Configure Web Service Extensions.

  3. Use a Web browser on a client computer to verify that the Web sites and applications run on the server.

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