Deploying ASP.Net 3.5 apps to a new IIS Server

By | 2008-02-01

For a project at work, I have been developing an ASP.Net app using .Net version 3.5. I have been using the built in Cassini web server for development, but finally the moment of truth came to put it on IIS on our development server and I had a few hickups. I am using Windows Server 2003.

1. Don’t look for version 3.0 or 3.5 in your drop down list.
From what I can gather on the web (a Microsoft MSDN Online Support Lead at http://forums.iis.net/p/1133618/1860351.aspx, for instance) “As for ASP.NET 3.5, it is still based on the ASP.NET 2.0 core fundamental. Therefore, there is no new application type(for ASP.NET 3.5) in IIS, still use the 2.0 one.”

This seemed pretty strange and a little conerning to me, but so far things are working. If I find trouble because of this, then I’ll raise concerns.

2. Don’t forget to allow the ASP.Net web service extension.
This one is a little bit less obvious. If you just publish your web application to the IIS server, everthing looks right. The settings on your virtual directory / application show that it is using ASP.Net and all the properites seem correct. Yet when you make a request to any aspx page you get a simple 404 “Page cannot be found” error. That’s it, no clues as to what’s breaking.

Before an ASP.Net application will run for the first time, you have to go into the IIS manager utility, click “Web Service Extensions” find the ASP.Net process in the list and select “Allow.” This did the trick for me, and now everything is up and running.

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