IIS URL Rewrite and Application Request Routing

A couple of years ago, back in my home country, one of the main projects that I worked on (as a programmer btw) was a “reverse proxy” that we called “redirector”. Fundamentally it was an ISAPI filter for IIS 5/6 that reverse proxied internal HTTP sites and did some basic load balancing across web servers (the code was mostly built by others before my time).  The end result was that users requested http://server1/jsp/page.jsp (server1 was an IIS front end) but the page was actually processed on http://server2/page.jsp; and yes, I was a java developer back then 😉


I’ve never been a fan (from the IT/business developer perspective) of creating software that performs what should be “core” functionality provided by lower level components. I fundamentally believe that the majority of IT developers should focus on solving real business problems instead of having to deal with issues that companies like Microsoft (or other providers of “core” infrastructure software) should solve. So what did I do with our ISAPI reverse proxy?  I got rid of itJ.  On my quest to look for potential replacements I evaluated Apache mod-rewrite (pretty cool btw) but I ended up proposing and convincing management to buy a hardware level replacement (Cisco layer 7 switch) that worked amazingly well; for 30k+ back then...it better right?


Why is this relevant now? Well because the destiny has led me, once again, to look again at very similar topics.  The big difference?  Guess what, IIS now actually has some pretty cool modules that take care of all the heavy lifting for you. Both the IIS URL rewrite and the Application Request Routing are free add-on modules developed by Microsoft that you can take advantage of.


But the question is, how does all the above relate to CRM, or more specifically, to the next version of CRM? Mmmmm… Interesting isn’t it?  Stay tuned.

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