Solution / Hotfix: Developing web applications using Visual Studio 2005 and IIS7

Bradley Millington on our team posted a while back on required configuration steps for developing web applications using Visual Studio 2005 & IIS7 on Vista.

This is an update to that post with information to address issues that you may still encounter resulting in the following errors when doing F5 debugging with web applications on IIS7:

  • “An authentication error occurred while communicating with the web server. Please see Help for assistance.”
  • “Debugging failed because integrated Windows authentication is not enabled. Please see Help for assistance.”

  • “Authentication error occurred while communicating with the web server. Try disabling ‘Digest authentication’. Please see Help for further assistance.”

The Visual Studio team has just released a downloadable hotfix, which fixes problems resulting in such errors, and also enables the ability for Visual Studio 2005 to F5 debug web applications on IIS7 in Vista Home versions.

To recap, the following steps should be done to properly configure your IIS7/Vista environment for building ASP.NET web applications using Visual Studio 2005:

  1. Install Visual Studio 2005 SP1
  2. Install Visual Studio 2005 Update for Vista
  3. Install Visual Studio 2005 hotfix for F5 authentication errors
  4. Configure required IIS7 components
  5. Run Visual Studio using the “Run As Administrator” option on the right-click menu

Mike Volodarsky from the IIS team also has a great blog post discussing this topic.

Looking forward to your feedback!

Omar Khan
Group Program Manager
Visual Studio Web Tools