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Professional Microsoft IIS 8 by Benjamin Perkins, Dennis Glendenning, Scott Forsyth, Jeff Cochran, Kenneth Schaefer

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Configuration Settings

IIS 6.0 and ASP.NET provided the ability to control certain functions of the website through the web.config file, but all IIS-specific settings were housed in the metabase. Starting with IIS 7.0, Microsoft has changed the configuration storage from the metabase to a series of cleartext XML files. These files provide for a distributed hierarchy in which the configuration is shared among the machine-level configuration files and may optionally be set at the directory level along with the web content. This allows the system administrator to delegate control to the site or application administrators. By default, IIS 8.0 is locked down to allow only the system administrator access to modify the server, site, or application settings. The configuration settings are fully backward-compatible at both the API and XML levels with previous versions of IIS and the .NET Framework.

Configuration File Hierarchy

As with most systems, the configuration files in IIS 8.0 are read and applied in a hierarchical order. The following three files are at the heart of the system:

  • The applicationHost.config file
  • The administration.config file
  • The redirection.config file
  • The machine.config file
  • The root web.config file

The applicationHost.config, administration.config, and redirection.config files are located at %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\config. The machine.config and root web.config files are both currently located in the %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\CONFIG ...

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