mojoPortal Tips: Using IIS 7.5 Express to Test mojoPortal Locally

There are times when testing custom features or skins on a mojoPortal implementation that the Cassini web server built into Visual Studio 2010 isn’t quite up to the task, or doesn’t reveal a problem that only manifests in a hosting environment. One great (and free!) way to even the odds is to utilize IIS Express 7.5 as your testing web server.

By default, whenever you run your mojoPortal instance in Visual Studio 2010, it will use the internal web server (Cassini). It’s actually amazingly simple to switch over to using IIS Server Express 7.5 as your development web server – just follow these steps.

1) Download IIS 7.5 Express here.

Keep in mind that the download is 32-bit, so a 64-bit OS isn’t required. The supported operating systems are: Windows 7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows XP – the only other system requirement is the installation of .Net Framework 4.0, which you’ll presumably already have in place to run your mojoPortal dev environment.

2) Install your download, and configure it as you consider needful for your development environment.

3) Don’t worry about making sure the IIS Express service is started; we can control it from inside Visual Studio.

4) Open your Visual Studio project containing your mojoPortal instance.

5) Right-click on your “mojoPortal.Web” folder, and in the menu, select “Use IIS Express”

6) A confirmation pop-up will appear – select “Yes”

7) You’ll see an additional pop-up, giving you the localhost:port at which IIS Express will host your new mojoPortal web instance.

And with that, you’re ready to leverage IIS Express – have fun!

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Carole Bennett

Carole Bennett is the founder and principal of IndigoTea. As a professional IT consultant, Carole has provided solutions for companies as diverse as Verizon, Frito-Lay, Capital One Auto Finance, and Zales Jewelers, parlaying a unique talent for acting as a translator between the worlds of business challenges and technology solutions. She considers multi-tasking skills gained from simultaneously 1) managing a fire performance troupe, 2) raising a family, and 3) working as a full-time IT consultant excellent preparation for her current career incarnation as the driving force behind IndigoTea. "Fire-breathing redhead on a mission" is not just a metaphorical description!

2 Comments on mojoPortal Tips: Using IIS 7.5 Express to Test mojoPortal Locally

  1. Ted Lilley says:

    Thanks for another great tip. I also use IIS Express via Microsoft WebMatrix. In fact, using Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer, when I tell it to install WebMatrix, it installs IIS Express as well as a required dependency.

    Since most of the time I’m designing with CSS or trying out a content module locally that I haven’t used before, I don’t need to fire up Visual Studio. VS is pretty heavyweight if I’m looking to do some light work on the site, and not only is WebMatrix fast, it’s also easy to start. I just find my mojoPortal folder in explorer, right-click it and select “Open as website with WebMatrix” from the context menu.


  2. That’s an excellent piece of information – thanks for sharing! I’m usually up to my elbows in customization, so VS is better for my workflow; you’ve mentioned a great alternative for those who aren’t using VS – again, thanks!

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