How to install and activate IIS on Windows 7

After installing Windows 7 Ultimate on my development workstation, it was time to install my development tools like SQL Server, Visual Studio, Fiddler and all that good stuff. If you are doing web development, you have to make sure that you have IIS and ASP.Net installed and activated on your machine. If you are moving to Windows 7 from Windows XP, you will notice that somethings and wizards to install IIS have changed in Windows 7.


Following step by step procedure will explain how to install IIS.

Like Windows XP, IIS installation is still part of Windows feature turning on or off.
In my previous post Add/Remove Programs in Windows 7 I described how you can add or remove programs. In the section Turn Windows features on or off, I mentioned that this was the place where you will toggle windows features. IIS is part of windows features. So this is the place where you will be turning on some switches.

Bring up Turn Windows features on or off dialog box. And you will notice an item in the list named Internet Information Services. This is what you will need to turn on.

Expand this item in the tree and you will see three nodes for this item in the tree, FTP Serer, Web Management Tools and World Wide Web Services. You can expand these three nodes to see what all features are available and what you need to turn on.

FTP Server

If you are doing any development related to FTP service or want to turn your machine into a FTP server, then you will need to check FTP Service option on. You can turn on FTP Extensibility if you want to do some custom FTP publishing using custom extension. Otherwise you can leave it off.

Web Management Tools

By default Windows 7 does not install IIS management console or any other tools to manage web applications. This is the node where you will turn on components and features to manage web applications.

World Wide Web Services

This is important part of IIS installation. By default ASP.Net and ASP is not enabled in IIS. It will only serve static content. You will need to turn them on under Application Development Features. When you expand this node, you will notice options for ASP,ASP.Net,CGI etc. Depending on your development and deployment needs you can turn them on or off accordingly. If you do not turn on these features, you will get server run time errors or the dynamic content will not be served.

Other important feature under World Wide Web Services is Performance Features.

To optimize and reduce download time of your pages on client browsers, it is important that you compress as much content as possible. You can turn that feature on or off from this Performance Features option. You will notice that Static Content Compression is turned on by default.

Last node under World Wide Web Services is Security and the most important part of your web application to ensure security of your content and data.

From this node you can control what security features are turned on off for your applications. You will need to use this section depending on needs of your individual applications.

Need to restart?

In the previous build of Windows 7, i did not have to restart my machine to turn on IIS after making the changes. But when i tried this with latest RTM release on my laptop, the configuration change did not take into affect immediately. And the wizard did not prompt me to restart my machine either. but after I restarted my machine, IIS was enabled and I was able to serve ASP.Net applications from the machine. So, if you run into similar situation, try restarting your machine.

Prasad R.Suvarna