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IIS in XP Pro - for the love of god WHY?

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  • User profile image
    rhm

    WHY did Microsoft not back-port IIS6 to run on XP Pro?

    WHY did Microsoft cripple IIS5 in XP Pro so it can only handle 10 connections at once?

    OK, the answer to the first one could be that they just weren't that bothered about supporting ASP.NET development on XP Pro. I'm having trouble pursauding my bosses that we need to install Windows Server 2003 on all our workstations, but it seems obvious to me that if we're going to debug stuff we need to be running the same version of the web server that's on the production servers.

    As to the restrictions, that's just petty. Has Microsoft got so little confidence in it's server products that it has to cripple the workstation version incase people decide to serve actual sites from XP Pro machines? It's not like you can't run Apache on XP Pro and serve as many connections as you like. All that 10 connection restriction does is p1ss off ASP.NET developers.

    Now I bet a lot of you are wondering why that 10 connection restriction is a big deal - it probably seemed quite reasonable back in the days of NT4 Workstation when we were just talking about serving from 'classic' asp pages. But no, now we've got massive ASP.NET apps that use lots of web services. Some of those web services call other web services. If I have all these web services running on my workstation so I can debug them easily, I run into 403.9 errors pretty soon. We've got some scenarios we cannot debug at all on XP Pro machines because of this. All because some bean counter decided that Microsoft might lose 0.1% of server licence sales if IIS wasn't crippled on workstation versions of Windows. Well done Microsoft.

  • User profile image
    Minh

    IIS on XP Pro will also limit you to just ONE site.

  • User profile image
    jamie

    iis on xp pro is useless ,  i tried it and after 2 people connected it was broken

    thats why i bought server - been happy with that

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    rhm wrote:
    I'm having trouble pursauding my bosses that we need to install Windows Server 2003 on all our workstations, but it seems obvious to me that if we're going to debug stuff we need to be running the same version of the web server that's on the production servers.


    You don't need to.

    Get a workstation server with WS2003, keep your workstations on XP Pro. Use remote debugging to debug websites on the server, it also acts as a central repository too (but I've no experience with using IIS with source-control)


  • User profile image
    Quantux

    How about instead of buying, take advantage of the 180 day trials, right here:

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/evaluation/trial/viewtrialoptions.mspx

    6 months to use for development (or anything else), and since virtual pc is now free:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6D58729D-DFA8-40BF-AFAF-20BCB7F01CD1&displaylang=en

    You don't even have to burn a disc, much less come up with a deployment plan or go through backing up all your stuff.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    In order...

    I'm not so bothered about the one site restriction as we try and make all our stuff run from any URL. It would have been nice once or twice though.

    We do have a development server we can run stuff on, but lets face it, remote debugging is a PITA and it means we have to use file shares. And because we're not going to get a server each, we have to set up lots of parallel copies of the site and make sure we don't step on each other's work. All in all it's much easier to run the stuff from our own PCs. Or it is when it works.

    Evaluation versions == waste of time for me. If I'm going to spend time installing stuff, I want to do it once. Supposedly we have an MSDN licence each, so we can legally install WS2003 on our PCs. It's just such a massive waste of our time to re-install the OS. Even if we buy new PCs in they always come with XP Pro (even if WS2003 was an option when ordering a non-server from Dell, we don't want to pay the extra for it when we already have a licence in MSDN, we want to pay the minimum "Windows tax" at the point of order). So somebody (maybe I can pursaude our helpdesk people to do it) has to waste hours loading WS2003 and then re-installing VS2003 and VS2005, Office and all the other stuff we use. All because....

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    rhm wrote:


    Evaluation versions == waste of time for me. If I'm going to spend time installing stuff, I want to do it once. Supposedly we have an MSDN licence each, so we can legally install WS2003 on our PCs. It's just such a massive waste of our time to re-install the OS.


    Virtual PC + WS2K3 + Differencing disks + Undo disk = More Productive Developers.

  • User profile image
    Red5

    I must be missing something here so someone help me fill in the blanks.

    We have an XP Pro box with IIS, 5.0 I believe.
    We have multiple web applications (ASP.NET 1.1) running.
    We have mutiple users using the websites every day.
    It is used as a development box.
    We also have VS 2003 installed on it.

    I have never seen a problem with it for 4 years now.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    Red5 wrote:
    

    I must be missing something here so someone help me fill in the blanks.

    We have an XP Pro box with IIS, 5.0 I believe.
    We have multiple web applications (ASP.NET 1.1) running.
    We have mutiple users using the websites every day.
    It is used as a development box.
    We also have VS 2003 installed on it.

    I have never seen a problem with it for 4 years now.



    Multiple web applications, not multiple websites.
    Multiple users, but no more than 10 requests at a time (the worst thing about this limit is that it doesn't just queue excess requests and lower the performance, no, that's too sociable, no it returns 403 errors instead).
    You haven't seen a problem because you're not doing anything demanding. The application I'm working on runs a major UK travel website.

  • User profile image
    Red5

    rhm wrote:
    You haven't seen a problem because you're not doing anything demanding. The application I'm working on runs a major UK travel website.


    I see.  Web Apps vs. WebSites
    You're right, it has a very small user base, no more than 10-30 users total at any time.  Not demanding at all.

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    rhm wrote:
    no it returns 403 errors instead


    403 is 403 Forbidden, shouldn't it return 503 Service Unavailable instead?

  • User profile image
    Andrew Webber FX

    IIS on XP is fine for what i need.

    I host WCF webservices as hosting companies dont offer the beta yet.

    I get alot of hits a minute from http://www.originsinfo.com/Origins/Default.aspx which calls my home box.

    I find that IIS on the hosting company manages\pools the requests and in return so does the IIS locally on my XP machine. WCF also using object pooling to make sure only get one request timeout every day for the service which i think is down to IIS communicating via named pipes to my WCF Windows Service [WCF Issue].

    This only works for my mind as sometimes having more than 10 threads doesn't mean executing work gets done faster!

    In summary MSDN patterns & practices is your friend Smiley

  • User profile image
    Quantux

    "So somebody (maybe I can pursaude our helpdesk people to do it) has to waste hours loading WS2003 and then re-installing VS2003 and VS2005, Office and all the other stuff we use."

    You're using these as a test machine, yet you want office and visual studio installed? I can't imagine using my personal machine as the test environment... And as for those "wasted hours" w2k3 installs in less than an hour, and is good experiance for everyone to have, even developers. Oh, wait, I just read all of your comments...

    "We do have a development server we can run stuff on, but lets face it, remote debugging is a PITA and it means we have to use file shares. And because we're not going to get a server each, we have to set up lots of parallel copies of the site and make sure we don't step on each other's work."

    Now I understand, you're just a bunch of guys coding willy-nilly, not a dev team.

    Just kidding, but I can't imagine being that unstructured. But hey, whatever works best for you, more power to it.

  • User profile image
    rhm

    Quantux wrote:
    "So somebody (maybe I can pursaude our helpdesk people to do it) has to waste hours loading WS2003 and then re-installing VS2003 and VS2005, Office and all the other stuff we use."

    You're using these as a test machine, yet you want office and visual studio installed? I can't imagine using my personal machine as the test environment... And as for those "wasted hours" w2k3 installs in less than an hour, and is good experiance for everyone to have, even developers. Oh, wait, I just read all of your comments...

    "We do have a development server we can run stuff on, but lets face it, remote debugging is a PITA and it means we have to use file shares. And because we're not going to get a server each, we have to set up lots of parallel copies of the site and make sure we don't step on each other's work."

    Now I understand, you're just a bunch of guys coding willy-nilly, not a dev team.

    Just kidding, but I can't imagine being that unstructured. But hey, whatever works best for you, more power to it.


    Oh wow, aren't you the Billy Big Spuds of developers.

    Yes I can get around it several ways as many clever cloggs in this thread have pointed out. However none of that excuses Microsoft for crippling IIS  in XP Pro and not bothering to back-port IIS6.  I shouldn't have to get around the problem.  I shouldn't have to remote debug or install a Virtual Machine or any of that stuff. When you hit 'run' in visual studio it should just run like it does for Winforms apps.

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    rhm wrote:
     When you hit 'run' in visual studio it should just run like it does for Winforms apps.


    Which is why VS2005 includes a web server to do exactly this. Arguably the issue is not IIS5 in XP, it's the lack of an internal webserver in VS2003. Or were you expecting them to also back port IIS7 when Longhorn Server is released?

  • User profile image
    rhm

    AndyC wrote:
    
    rhm wrote:  When you hit 'run' in visual studio it should just run like it does for Winforms apps.


    Which is why VS2005 includes a web server to do exactly this. Arguably the issue is not IIS5 in XP, it's the lack of an internal webserver in VS2003. Or were you expecting them to also back port IIS7 when Longhorn Server is released?


    The test webserver that comes with VS2005 is a nice little toy for people stuck with XP Home. It doesn't solve any of my problems though.

    IIS6 should have been backported because WS2003 is based on the the XP Pro codebase. Not porting it was just lazy. The kind of lazy Microsoft were tempted to have with Avalon until they realised nobody would use it if it only ran on Longhorn.

    If you're asking, do I expect Microsoft to provide the same version of IIS on Vista as with the replacement for WS2005 (Windows Server 2009 maybe?), then the answer is yes, I expect them to, but then I live in hope.

    If you're implying that I should expect much from the IIS5 installation that comes with XP Pro, then I have to ask WHY THE HELL SHOULDN'T I? Microsoft clearly ships IIS for XP Pro because they want developers to develop apps that are locked into running on IIS - that is the only conceivable reason to ship IIS with the Workstation OS since they're clearly dead-set against anyone using it to actually serve a website. The trouble is they crippled IIS for XP Pro when it seemed a 10 connection limit wasn't a big deal. But now with web service development it is a big problem.

    I can hardly believe the responses I've had on this thread from Microsoft suck-ups who think that because they've got a different way of working that I'm wrong for expecting IIS on XP to work in a useful way. If it's not going to work, why ship it? The developer one-up-manship I can easily believe though, I've been on the net long enough.

  • User profile image
    n4cer

    The following are a few options that may help with ASP.NET using VS 2003:

    Change the maximum connections in IIS to 40 (this is the max limit for non-Server SKUs):

    1. Install IIS
    2. Form the Command Prompt, execute the following:

    cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/MaxConnections 40

    3. Run iisreset from the command prompt to reset IIS.

    Turning off HTTP Keep-Alives may also help (may cause problems for some scenarios like integrated authentication):

    cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\Inetpub\AdminScripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AllowKeepAlive 0


    Alternatively, you can install the Cassini web server. This is a server that only accepts local connections and can be used for development, even on XP Home (which lacks IIS). The server that ships with VS 2005 is based on this.
    http://www.asp.net/Projects/Cassini/Download/Default.aspx

    Cassini version 2 (works with .NET 2.0)
    http://dmitryrspace.members.winisp.net/files/cassini/cassiniv2.zip

    More info, ASP.NET Forum
    http://forums.asp.net/thread/1120171.aspx
    http://forums.asp.net/67/ShowForum.aspx

  • User profile image
    AndyC

    rhm wrote:
    

    If you're asking, do I expect Microsoft to provide the same version of IIS on Vista as with the replacement for WS2005 (Windows Server 2009 maybe?), then the answer is yes, I expect them to, but then I live in hope.


    No, I'm asking if you expect IIS7 to be backported to XP or will you consider it acceptable to be forced to upgrade clients to Vista just to develop for Longhorn server based sites? What happens if you need to maintain older IIS6 hosted sites and develop newer IIS7 sites too? Trying to tightly couple your development machines and the server version is just going to cause you endless pain with no real benefit.

    Personally I fail to see the point in bundling IIS into client machines at all. I think it was, and still is, a mistake - a throwback to PWS on 98 and a pointless bundled 'feature' to justify the difference between Pro and Home.

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