The Application Server installation process provides an option for adding Web server support. This option installs Internet Information Services (IIS), the Web server that is built into Windows Server 2008.

We recommend installing Web server support if you plan to host distributed applications that are built on Microsoft ASP.NET, Enterprise Services, or Windows Communication Foundation (WCF):

Application Server installs Web server support that is preconfigured with a recommended set of defaults.

IIS 7.0 running on Windows Server 2008 uses Windows Process Activation Service (WAS) to enable activation and network communication over protocols other than Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). This environment is suitable for the development and hosting of WCF services that communicate over any network protocol that is supported by WCF, including HTTP, TCP, Named Pipes, and Message Queuing. For more information about WAS, see Hosting in WAS (

Hosting WCF services in IIS has the following benefits:

  • Familiar deployment and management: WCF services that are hosted in IIS are deployed and managed like any other type of IIS application, including ASP.NET applications and ASMX Web Services.

  • Reliability and health management: IIS provides process activation, health management, and recycling capabilities to increase the reliability of hosted applications.

  • A shared hosting model: WCF services that are hosted in ASP.NET can take advantage of the ASP.NET shared hosting model where multiple applications reside in a common worker process for improved server density and scalability.


WCF enables self-hosting of applications. Choose this hosting solution if it is a better fit for your application environment.