Using IIS configuration tools to manage HWC configuration

I have seen many people built some innovative solutions on top of hostable web core (HWC) functionality which was added in IIS7. One of the questions which HWC users frequently ask is how to make IIS configuration tools (like appcmd, UI etc.) work against configuration file which their HWC instance is using. So far they have been either doing manual modifications to HWC configuration file or making changes to IIS configuration and then porting over to HWC configuration. There is an easier way to do this but caveat is that this requires your HWC configuration file name to be applicationHost.config. If that is the case, you can use IIS shared configuration feature to setup a redirection to your HWC configuration file. Below are the steps to get this working.
 
          Open %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config\redirection.config.
          Change <configurationRedirection /> to <configurationRedirection enabled=”true” path=”c:\HWCInstance\” />
          Save and exit.
 
With this change, configuration system will map MACHINE/CONFIG/APPHOST to c:\HWCInstance\applicationHost.config and assume this as the main configuration file containing applicationPools and sites information. Now appcmd, UI etc. will work against HWC configuration file. Please note that setting up this redirection will affect your main instance of IIS as well. So if you are using IIS and HWC in parallel, this won’t be a safe thing to do. But if you are not using IIS main instance and only running your own HWC instance, this can be used to make IIS configuration tools work against your HWC configuration.
 
Hope this helps.
Kanwal

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