Andrew Connell

Interesting little tidbit on Visual Studio .NET 2003 & web applications

File this one under the “interesting… this will come in handy again some day” like my other VS debugging issue. Others may know this, but I didn’t… and it’s likely someone else didn’t as well. This is for you (well, and documentation for me). All the sudden I started having an issue with my build server when I tried to obtain a new or updated VS.NET 2003 solution from VSS that had a new web project or web service or when I tried to create a new web application. Basically, VS.NET would try to bind the web project under (what seemed to be) any virtual server except the Default Web Site (quite frustrating). No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get it to work! Ends up, VS.NET iterates through the IIS metabase via WMI for the last instance of a virtual server on port 80 regardless of any host headers. So, if you created other virtual servers on that same physical server, it won’t be looking for the Default Web Site, or other sites you created if they aren’t the most recently created. This is an issue when you are doing MCMS development and you’ve marked a specific virtual...

File this one under the “interesting… this will come in handy again some day” like my other VS debugging issue. Others may know this, but I didn’t… and it’s likely someone else didn’t as well. This is for you (well, and documentation for me).

All the sudden I started having an issue with my build server when I tried to obtain a new or updated VS.NET 2003 solution from VSS that had a new web project or web service or when I tried to create a new web application. Basically, VS.NET would try to bind the web project under (what seemed to be) any virtual server except the Default Web Site (quite frustrating). No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get it to work!

Ends up, VS.NET iterates through the IIS metabase via WMI for the last instance of a virtual server on port 80 regardless of any host headers. So, if you created other virtual servers on that same physical server, it won’t be looking for the Default Web Site, or other sites you created if they aren’t the most recently created.

This is an issue when you are doing MCMS 2002 development and you’ve marked a specific virtual server as a MCMS Web Entry Point. So how to fix it? WORKAROUND: Create another virtual server and move your MCMS site to it, mark it as a MCMS Web Entry Point, and then get the web projects from VSS/create the projects. Then you can delete the old MCMS Web Entry Point under the Default Web Site.

Also confirmed that there is nothing special about the Default Web Site. In other words, I can blow it away and recreate it with the name “Default Web Site” and the only REAL difference may be the auto-generated log file path.

Andrew Connell
Developer & Chief Course Artisan, Voitanos LLC. | Microsoft MVP
Written by Andrew Connell

Andrew Connell is a web developer with a focus on Microsoft Azure & Microsoft 365. He’s received Microsoft’s MVP award every year since 2005 and has helped thousands of developers through the various courses he’s authored & taught. Andrew’s the founder of Voitanos and is dedicated to delivering industry-leading on-demand video training to professional developers. He lives with his wife & two kids in Florida.