What is IIS (Internet Information Services) and How Does It Work?

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Nicole Laskowski: It’s safer than Apache but that’s not all. Internet Information Services or IIS is Microsoft’s flexible general purpose web server that runs on Windows systems. IIS accepts and responds to client computer requests, enabling web servers to share and deliver information across local area networks such as corporate intranet, as well as wide area networks like the internet. IIS hosts websites, web applications and services needed by users, and enables developers to create sites, applications, and virtual directories to share with users. Web servers deliver information to users in many formats, including HTML pages, file exchanges as downloads and uploads, text documents, and image files. Web servers are often used as portals for sophisticated, highly interactive applications that tie middleware and backend applications together to create enterprise-grade systems. For instance, Amazon Web Services enables public cloud resource administration. AWS also enables media services like Spotify and Netflix to deliver real time streaming content, all through web servers. IIS is often compared to Apache, an open source, freely available web server. But there are some key differences. IIS only runs on Windows, while Apache can run on almost any operating system. However, that means IIS integrates with other Microsoft offerings such as the.net framework and the ASPX scripting language. Additionally, IIS has a help desk to manage issues, while Apache support largely comes from the user community. And IIS has security features that make it a safer option that Apache.

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