Configuring a web server to host your project pages

As part of deploying your project over the Web, you must configure a web server to host your project screens.

You are not required to use a Windows PC or a Windows Embedded device to host your project pages. The pages are essentially static files waiting to be downloaded; all runtime processing is handled by the project viewer (i.e., Internet Explorer with ISSymbol installed, or Secure Viewer) on the Thin Client. As such, you can use any standards-compliant web server on any computer platform to host your pages.

For example, if you already have a Unix-based intranet server, then you can copy your project’s Web sub-folder (or whatever folder in which you’ve saved your project pages) to the server and have your Thin Clients point to that server’s address.

Please note, however, that the web server you choose may not be robust enough to serve your project in a production environment and/or it may not support all features of InduSoft Web Studio. If you want to use these features, then in most cases you should use Microsoft IIS as described below. Specifically:
  • To support Mobile Access, the server must be able to process Active Server Pages (ASP) and ASP.NET; and
  • To support Web Tunneling Gateway (WTG), the server must allow Internet Service API (ISAPI) extensions.

Before you install and configure any software, please review its documentation thoroughly.

Tip: A web server typically operates on, or “listens to,” a computer’s TCP/IP port 80. Only one running process can listen to a given port, so if another process on your computer — for example, some third-party SCADA software — is already listening to port 80, then it and the web server process may conflict with each other. You must either configure one of the processes to listen to a different port or use Task Manager to end the conflicting process. If you cannot identify the conflicting process, then in Windows, open Command Prompt and enter the following command to get a list of all networking processes:
  netstat -a -o  

NTWebServer and CEWebServer

NTWebServer and CEWebServer are lightweight, zero-configuration web servers included free with InduSoft Web Studio. You can use them to demonstrate your project and run basic tests without making the financial and technical investment in a full-featured web server. However, they are not robust and they do not support SMA or WTG. For real-world applications, we recommend that you use Microsoft IIS as described below.

NTWebServer can be run on any supported Windows PC, and it can be found in the IWS program directory at […]InduSoft Web Studio v7.1BinNTWebServer.exe. Copy it to your project’s Web sub-folder before you run it; it must be located in the same folder as the pages it will serve. After you run it, that folder becomes the top level (or “home” directory) of the website.

CEWebServer can be run on any supported Windows Embedded device, and it can be found in the IWS program directory at […]InduSoft Web Studio v7.1RedistCE_versionCE_processorCEWebServer.exe. Assuming you’ve already copied your project’s Web sub-folder to the device’s non-volatile memory, copy CEWebServer.exe to the same folder and then run it. Again, that folder becomes the top level of the website.

Note: Both NTWebServer and CEWebServer must run as normal programs; they cannot run as Windows services.

Microsoft IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS) is the full-featured server software that is bundled with Windows Server and “professional” versions of Windows:
Table 1. Versions of IIS
Version of Windows Version of IIS Notes
Windows XP Professional IIS 5.1 Maximum of 10 simultaneous connections.
Windows Server 2003

Windows XP Professional x64 Edition

IIS 6.0 No limit on connections.
Windows Server 2008

Windows Vista (most versions)

IIS 7.0 No limit on connections.
Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 7 (all versions)

IIS 7.5 No limit on connections.
Windows CE and Windows Mobile 5.0 and later IIS for CE .NET Must be included in Platform Builder. Default is maximum of 10 simultaneous connections.

IIS supports all features of InduSoft Web Studio and it is robust enough to serve almost any IWS project in a production environment. It’s the web server that we recommend for most users. However, to properly install and configure it, you should be experienced with administering Windows on a network.

For the sake of system security, IIS is turned off by default when the operating system is installed. To turn it on, use the Windows Features dialog (in Windows 7, Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off). If you want to use Mobile Access and/or WTG in your project, make sure ASP, ASP.NET, and ISAPI Extensions are also turned on.
Figure 1. Turning on IIS in the Windows Features dialog
Web Studio Help dialog windowsfeatures iis Configuring the web server

Once IIS is turned on, you can use Administrative Tools (in Windows 7, Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools) to configure it. For more information, please refer to Microsoft’s extensive documentation.

Apache for Windows

If IIS is not available to you or if you choose not to use it, then the second most popular web server for Windows is the open-source Apache. However, it requires even more expertise than IIS to properly install and configure, so please review the documentation thoroughly before you attempt it.

Configuring the web server