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I learned something new over the last week which I not exactly sure of the benefit of.  Probably because I still not entirely sure on how it is implemented.

It seems that in IIS7 that the default functionality is that the web.config in the root website is inherited to the child webs.

Of course I found this the hard way.  I changed to a new web host and while setting up my base sites I wanted to try out a few new applications.  I setup Umbraco under a sub-domain and played around with that for a while and remembered Orchard from MVConf.  I setup a virtual directory, /orchard, and loaded up the site.

I kept receiving 500 errors when going to the site.  There was a whole round of support emails around figuring out where the errors where steaming from.  Once I found out I learned about the IIS7 inheritance.

For starters I want to list the ways I found to disable the inheritance and then move on to how this could be useful.  (Man it’s always something)

First was the instructions from the Arvixe staff (which I think they found on SO)

<location path="." inheritInChildApplications="false">     <system.web>      ...     </system.web> </location> 

There is also three examples in the IIS.NET bog: http://blogs.iis.net/steveschofield/archive/2009/09/19/control-web-config-inheritance-with-iis-7-asp-net-options.aspx

  1. You can set the enableConfigurationOverride attribute to false for an application pool
  2. allowSubDirConfig=false (as above)
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms689469.aspx
  3. inhertInChildApplications property

I haven’t tried all of these yet.  If you have leave a comment on how it well worked. It seems this functionality is enabled when the AppPool is set Integrated mode.

I just read one suggestion to use <clear /> what was inherited in certain sections.

Now for some reasoning on why this functionality was added

For now I just have this link from ASP.NET MSDN library.  It starts out with:

“You can distribute ASP.NET configuration files throughout your application directories to configure ASP.NET applications in an inheritance hierarchy. This structure allows you to achieve the level of configuration detail that your applications require at the appropriate directory levels without affecting configuration settings at higher directory levels.”

I have some reading to do…

Update (8/14/2011):
Reading an informative article on iis.net, Understanding Sites, Applications, and Virtual Directories on IIS 7

The only problem I have with the article is that there absolutely no details on any of the information provided.  Yet it’s a good overview of what they have done in the new version.

Now here are the details I have been looking for: http://learn.iis.net/page.aspx/243/aspnet-integration-with-iis-7/

 

IIS7 Configuration Reference on IIS.NET

 

Reading on…

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I ran in to an interesting issue yesterday.  In an IIS 6 web server we have a website set to run ASP.NET 4.0.  I was configuring a virtual directory to run under ASP.NET 2.0 to run ScrewTurn Wiki. Our standard config has the DefaultAppPool configured with ASP.NET 2.0 applications which don’t require their own pool.  The wiki was running without issue.  I decided to put the wiki in it’s own pool for various other reasons.

So I proceeded to configure a new application pool templated from DefaultAppPool.  Once the new application pool was assigned to the virtual web I started noticing some strange behavior.  Anytime I requested a URL which didn’t include  a page name my get request would include the file eurl.axd.  For ScrewTurn this means everytime you request the main url, it says it cant find the page named eurl, very annoying.

I wrestled for a while trying to figure out why this was happening.  At first I didn’t realize it had to do with the new app pool.  After a some googling time I cam across a Microsoft article of .NET 4 breaking changes which contained the issue I ran into.  (Very strange, http://www.asp.net is down right now with an error screen…). To test this further I changed another running web application to this app pool (which was running under DefaultAppPool) and it did the same thing, looked for eurl.axd on the request.

The article can be found here: http://www.asp.net/learn/whitepapers/aspnet4/breaking-changes#0.1__Toc256770153 and explains why this is happening.  In a nutshell it has to do with the website running ASP.NET 4.0 and virtual webs running ASP.NET 2.0.

What I find very strange about this bug is that as long as I use the DefaultAppPool I don’t have this issue (and yes, the website itself has it’s own app pool).  I only experience the bug when a new app pool is created for the virtual web which is running ASP.NET 2.0.

keys: eurl, eurl.axd,

Comcast Domain helper service, a DNS breaking service which shows you search results when you try to access a site which doesn’t exist on the Internet (e.g. http://blah.blah).

Ever since I noticed this “service” on my Comcast account I have disabled it.  I don’t like it, I don’t want it, and basically it breaks the basic workings of DNS on the internet.  If a site doesn’t exist, I want a cannot be found error, not search page which is cached in my browser and forever holds the bad domain as real in my history.

So this evening I jump on the internet and mistype mail.yahoo.com, as I so often do for some reason, and notice that the Domain helper service is enabled, AGAIN.  This has to be the fourth time the service has reactivated itself on my account.  So I go out to my Comcast account to shut it down and notice that the option to do so no longer exists!  What!?

I call Comcast and the person on the phone is as befuddled as I am, plus not so happy that the option is missing from his home account also.

I have been on the phone for 33 minutes now while a resolution is trying to find a solution to this.  The end result at this point is that an “IT” ticked has been opened and this support person is to call me back with a status.

I wonder if I will ever actually receive that call?

UPDATE:

It is now Friday, August 6th, basically one week since I called Comcast and I have not heard back from them at all.  Not like I really expected to, though it would have been a nice change.

I am not looking forward to it, but I must fight my way through Comcast option-hold hell/support once more…

Update again:

Well the support joker never did call me. What did I expect, really support from Comast? No chance of that.  The good news is that the place on the Comcast customer site again has the place to disable the service.   YEAH

This is pretty nasty and will surly have a wide impact on home Internet users.  I just read about an exploit which has the potential of affecting millions of home internet users.  The exploit affects home routers and will be explained in detail next month at the Black Hat conference in Vegas.

http://blogs.forbes.com/firewall/2010/07/13/millions-of-home-routers-vulnerable-to-web-hack/

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/07/19/home_router_hack/

I shouldn’t have to say this, but IF YOU HAVE NOT CHANGED THE DEFAULT PASSWORD ON YOUR HOME ROUTER, DO IT NOW!!!

Don’t think it really matters?  Well here is how easy it is to get a list of default passwords.

If you don’t know what to do, call someone who does know what to do.  If you don’t know who to call, call me (i.e. leave me a comment) I will be more than happy to help anyone secure their home network.

I have been using Planet SMB hosting for a year or more now, and find them to be an adequate host who give a lot of stuff for the dollar.  I wouldn’t run a high availability application on them, but than again, I am not doing that, so it all works out.  I highly recommend them for any developer who needs a place to showcase stuff and use as a staging site or fee-based hosting site for their clients.  To clarify, when I say high availability, I don’t complain about them having downtime, because I really don’t experience much at all.  The issue I do have is wait times.  For applications to spin up, and the Plesk Panel which seems to always be painfully slow and times out. No phone support, though emails are usually answered in a decent amount of time.

The issue I had with Plesk is that when I setup my domains (I get 5!) an expiration date was set on them.  So today at some time they just stopped working!  WTF!  I know I never set this date, is this some strange default which was set?

I set in a critical ticket to PlanetSMB and it’s been 15 minutes and no reply.  In this case I figured out what happened, but I still want to see how long it takes to reply to my critical ticket.

UPDATE: So this is cool, I heard from PlanetSMB Support (Mike Eldredge actually, the owner) in 16 minutes with a good answer to my issue.  So he was right on it with the critical ticket, Yeah Mike!

I have spent much of my professional career among the windows of MS Access.  No matter where I am working or what type of work I am doing, it just seems to follow me.  MS Access is surly one of the most important business application to ever hit the market.  I really don’t think too many people would argue that point.  Well, it’s great until you get big, but its a wonderful way to get there.

So tonight I spent a good 4 hours trying to export an MS Access report to RTF.  It wasn’t a complicated report by any means and it’s driving data source is pretty basic too.  Though for the life of me I could not print a clean report.  Either the lines would wrap in strange ways, or I would get blank pages, or the worst one, footer text landing on the next page.

I tried every grouping, ungrouping I could imagine, moved objects around and I just couldn’t get a clean report where footer text didn’t land on the next page.

What finally fixed my report is to leave some footer after the footer text objects.  About the same amount of space as the text objects themselves.  Once I did this, I did not experience footer text on the next page again.

It’s always something like this when working in MS Access.  You get real far in an app, and then hit some crazy snag that lays you up for some time.

Truly a love/hate relationship

My trip through ruby has been an interesting one.  It’s a pretty straight forward language.  I need some ideas to build so I can get more practice.

I have starting into rails to try that out, and it’s amazing how much of ASP.NET MVC seems to modeled off of it.  I really do love the MVC pattern.  What I am not loving is the total pain in the ass it is to work with rails configurations.  It’s like everything Linux, config, config, config.  Granted I really don’t know what I am doing when it comes to Apache, but things should not be this cumbersome, and not have a straight answer on setting up things like .htaccess files.

I am using my Dreamhost account to run my rails apps and I took a break from trying to get the static stuff to show on the site and not be sent through rails.  Items like css files, image file, etc.

I am assuming it’s something I need to do in an .htaccess file or something, but I am no positive, and there are direct configuration instructions on what to do.  So its trial and error, and there are a lot of it.  Shit, I can’t build anything because I am too busy configuring my server.  So sure Ruby on Rails may be great for rapid development, but if I can’t get it running, I am not getting anywhere.

Well, enough ranting, back to it….

Had another thought.  This really is where Microsoft shines and why they are used over other options, their stuff works.

I can remember back in July of 2008 or so when ASP.NET MVC was in beta one or three and I was tyring it out, I made it a hell of a lot further in a couple of days then I did with rails.  One thing to note is that I know IIS pretty darn well, and don’t know Apache that well at all, and perhaps that is the difference here.  Working with IIS for so many years much of is just natural, you don’t think about it.

Ah but wait, that is not it, because when I was writing ASP.NET MVC I was in VS2008 and the browser being used was  cassini web server (built into Visual Studio).  In this note, I guess that is the same as using WEBRick which I have not had issues using.  So perhaps all of this is due to my lack of knowledge of Apache?

Chomping at the bit to get ASP.NET MVC up and running on my regular hosting environment, iHostasp.net, I sent their support a ticket today asking if they plan IIS7 installations in their shared hosting environment.

Brett Slaski
Posted On: 29 Apr 2009 10:50 AM

Greetings,

I just wanted to check to see if there is an ETA on any IIS7 installations for shared hosting?

Thank you,

Brett

Their response, unfortunately:

Clint Schleeper
Posted On: 29 Apr 2009 02:06 PM

Hi Brett,

At this time we have no plans for incorporating IIS7 into our shared hosting environment.

IHOST, LLC
Customer Support
https://support.ihostllc.net
support@ihostllc.net
Local/International: 1.440.793.0323 x2
Toll-free: 1.800.593.0238 x2

So now I have work to do, find a host with a like offering as iHostasp.net running IIS7, is there such an animal?  I have tried in the past and haven’t come up with anything so any suggestions is highly appreciated.

I find it ironic that I needed to send iHostasp the support ticket today, from work, out of the blue.  When I got home today, my copy of Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0 arrived on the door step from Amazon.  A book I pre-ordered shortly after the release of Scott Gu’s free first chapter, now available in HTML.

Please post comments if you know of a good hosting company providing shared hosting of IIS7.

Thank you.

My current plan, which runs around $16/mo, $88.83 every 6 months.  I have to say the two things I like the best is dedicated memory pool for each domain and 3 MS SQL databases.  Three databases was the major reason I went with them in the first place.

  • Dedicated application pool for each domain!
  • Customer accessible database backups!
  • Storage – 2400MB
  • Bandwidth – 20GB
  • DNN Installations – 3
  • Parent portals – 60
  • Child portalsUnlimited
  • MSSQL 2005– 3 x 250MB each
  • MySQL 4/5 – 6 x 250MB each
  • MailUnlimited POP3/SMTP/IMAP/WEB MAIL Accounts. Accounts. MailFoundry spam & virus filtering included.
  • FTPUnlimited FTP accounts with ability to set user permissions.
  • Sub domains – Create & manage your own 3rd level domains.
  • Statistics – Detailed real-time statistics to track your visitors.
  • ASP.NET 1.1/2.0/3.0/3.5, ASP 3.0, PHP5 supported
  • Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX extensions
  • Can run wide array of other ASP, PHP, .NET based web applications without any limits

This is a bit silly, but I couldn’t resist.  I replied to their support email and simply said

Please?!

And their reply:

Hi Brett,

We do not have IIS7 available within our shared hosting environment and do not have any plans to incorporate it in the near future. However, we do offer virtual dedicated server hosting environments and we could set you up with IIS7 on a virtual dedicated server. Our virtual dedicated server packages can be viewed at the link below.

iHost Virtual Dedicated Server Hosting Packages:
http://www.ihostasp.net/HostedAppliance/Default.asp

IHOST, LLC
Customer Support
https://support.ihostllc.net
support@ihostllc.net
Local/International: 1.440.793.0323 x2
Toll-free: 1.800.593.0238 x2

UPDATE: (4/17/2010)

It was really interesting to me that the owner of iHostasp.net left a message on this blog post about their service and how it was incorrect for their technician to say what they did.  But the truth holds; it is now April 17th of 2010 and still they have no known installations of II7 in their shared hosting environment.  What if I would of took him for his word and stayed with iHost?  I would be stuck and still without the environment I need.

Trying to make good of your company is one thing, making up stories is something completely different.

** To save you time of reading through this, you can’t cleanly use MVC on iHost**

I have been playing around with ASP.NET MVC for at least six months now and was estatic when the version 1.0 released during MIX09.  

Some time around preview 3 I wanted to put one of my MVC sites out at iHostasp.net where I host all my Microsoft technology-based stuff.  I first hit a roadblock because the .NET 3.5 Framework wasn’t available for my domain.  I looked at iHost’s website and found it listed and asked, wtf?

It was a simple enough request, they just moved my domains over to one of their servers with the 3.5 framework installed.  The only issue this caused is that I lost all of my site statistics.  The moved forced me to reconfigure SmarterStats (a decent free offering from them) for the new server.  

Figured I was all set now, but no, MVC required IIS7 to work with regular routing.  Well it failed and I went over to godaddy and ran it on a free (came with domain purchase) server instance (which is horrible) for some testing, etc.  

Now I am back and documenting my findings for whatever.
First to note is that in the ASP.NET 1.0 Release Notes.doc file a reference is made to Phil Haack’s website for Bin Deploying ASP.NET MVC.  Searching for this on Phil’s site yeilds nothing, so I have linked it above.  

It’s really simple to do, just set the following references to “Copy Local”.

System.Web.Mvc
System.Web.Routing
System.Web.Abstractions 

From VS2008, locate the references section in the Solution Explorer.  Locate each of the three references (dll’s) above, right click on them, and choose properties.  From the Properies view, change Copy Local: False to Copy Local: True.

That’s it.  When you compile or publish your solution the DLL’s for those three references will be added to the bin folder.  

After all of that, it still will not work as the routing will not work correctly without hacking iis settings a bit.  Forgot about this and I had actually tried all of this already about 45 days ago.  

As stated in Using ASP.NET MVC with Different Versions of IIS there are two options available for IIS6 and below:

  1. Modify your route table to use filenames (ewe)
  2. Create a wildcard script map (requires access to IIS) 

So the [my] only option is to wait for an unknown amount of time until iHostasp.net decides to start ii7 installations.   Their support told me that they plan to, but have no schedule set. This is a real bummer about ASP.NET MVC, but I’ll get over it.  🙂

OK John I couldn’t wait, so I tried it out now, this is what I did.  It installed for me, no problem, only took a couple of minutes.

Here are the basic steps I took:

  1. Created a new sub-domain, wp (wp.brettski.com)
  2. Downloaded wordpress and unzipped the files (version 2.7.1 right from home page)
  3. Uploaded my wordpress file to the server
  4. Created a version 4 MySql database
    1. Create a user for the database
  5. Followed the “Famous 5-minute install” instructions located on this page.
    1. Edited the wp-config.php file as instructed in 5-minute install and the file itself.
  6. Once I did that ran, Http://wp.brettski.com/wp-admin/install.php
    1. -That opened to a page, I entered the blog name and my email address, and clicked install.
  7. A few moments later I was greeted with a success page and my admin username and password.

If you like you can look at it here: http://wp.brettski.com

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