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Running Node.js alongside IIS on Windows

Most of the time when you are looking for a way to run Node.js as a production server on Windows you will just run into IISNode , now IISNode is a great thing ,but I'm a fan of choice and most importantly , not a fan of XML web config files.

I wanted to run my node server on what ever port I wished,or maybe even a different server and just have IIS reroute the traffic from a particular URL to the node process(so a proxy), this allows you to still manage your own load balancing and possibly scale up from that point without having to bother with IIS again.

So first things first you will want to download and install the URL Rewrite and ARR modules for IIS

Once thats done lets crack open IIS and open up Application Request Routing, then navigate to Server Proxy Settings and Check Enable Proxy and Apply.

Now lets create an an application on our Default Website that will link our url to the node process, here im directing it to an empty directory wich will eventually contain the web.config file (don't worry , you wont have to write it out).

Now select the application and click on the URL Rewrite IIS module, Once here click Add Rules on the right hand pane and select Reverse Proxy

After that its simple , just enter the url of the node process, which in this case is on port 8080. a config will be placed in the blank directory and your traffic should be rerouted to your node process.

NOTE: Sometimes one needs to move the server to a new application pool due to permission problems. 

Im running a hello world node http server on port 8080 so lets see the result when we browse to localhost/nodeserver :


Running node as a service

Now that we have IIS rerouting traffic to our node process we need to think about running that node server as a service , we cant just leave an open terminal on our server , its bound to get closed , for this we use Winser which you can read all about here, its a simple way to run your node server as a windows service so that it will never let you down.

Issues: The only issue I've run into and that you may run into as well is based on the permissions of the empty folder ,this causes your browser to hang when browsing to the url. I played around a while with folder permission and eventually switching nodeserver to a different application pool worked , unfortunately I cannot pinpoint if it was moving pools or a combination of that and permission modification that solved the problem.


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