Limitations of IIS Developer Express compared to full version of IIS and differences


In this article, I will explain the limiations of IIS Developer Express compared to full version of IIS. Als, I have covered some of the key differences of IIS Express from full version of IIS.

IIS Developer Express is a new offer from Microsoft, which is expected to be free (if I can go by the assumption that Express edition means free and light weight edition for Microsoft!

Compare IIS Developer Express with IIS full version


If you get something free, don't expect to be same features and options as a paid version. This is true with any other products including SQL Server Express, Visual Studio Express edition etc.

The express editions from Microsoft are meant to provide a light weight product for light usage. The express editions do not offer same features as the full version, but will provide the most common features required for the basic expected work from the product.

IIS Developer Express is no different. It offers limited features of full edition IIS web server. However, the features offered are good enough for most developers to successfully develop and deploy websites on their computer.

Limitations of IIS Developer Express


Some of the limitations of IIS Express are explained below:

  • IIS Express is only for development purposes and for internal deployment only. IIS full version is required for product servers.


  • IIS full version has a worker process model which can be activated and shut down on demand. However, on the IIS Express, the process is launched from command line or directly from Visual Studio. The worker process cannot be shutdown independently.


  • IIS Developer Express does not support Sharepoint services. You will have to use full version of IIS to run Sharepoint. However, since side by side deployment of IIS Express with full version of IIS is supported, you can have Sharepoint on the same server, if you have regular version of IIS as well.


  • By default, IIS Express supports only local requests. You won't be able to connect to your hosted web sites from other computers. However, there will be some option to enable remote requests which will make it behave like full version of IIS.


  • Another limitation of IIS Developer Express compared to the built-in Visual Studio webserver is, the IIS Express cannot be used as an embedded web server in your software. IIS Developer Express runs as a separate process like full version of IIS web server. You may be able to bypass this by using some extensions.


  • IIS Developer Express works with only Windows XP or higher, including Windows 2003 Server.


  • As of now, it is a separate download and installer and is not part of automatic windows updates or Visual Studio


  • Built in support is available only on Visual Studio 2010 or higher. A separate patch is required at this time for VS 2010 to add built-in support for IIS Developer Express


  • I am not sure about the number of concurrent websites that can run on a IIS Express. I will post more updates on this as soon as I get access to IIS Express.

    This article is composed based on limited details available from ScottGu's blog. I will update this article once I am able to put my hands on the IIS Developer Express.


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