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Ruby on Rails in IIS 7.0 with URL Rewriter

This article is very out of date at this point and most probably the instructions given here do not work. Please refer to more up-to-date and supported solutions for running Ruby on Rails in IIS 7 provided by Helicon Zoo Web Framework Repository.

If you ever tried to set up Ruby on Rails (RoR) on IIS 7.0 with FastCGI you have probably noticed that the process is not very straightforward. There are a few workarounds that need to be applied in order for RoR to function correctly. In particular, handling of static files in your web application can be tricky on IIS 7.0. The problem is that RoR uses clean URL’s that look similar to this: http://mysite.com/home/about. In order for RoR to be invoked for this kind of URL’s  it is necessary to create a “catch all” handler mapping in IIS (that is a handler mapping with path attribute set to “*“). When you create such a handler mapping it will cause requests for static files to be routed to RoR, which will obviously fail to handle them.

For RoR to work correctly on IIS with FastCGI it needs to behave like a 404 handler, meaning that it should be invoked only if the requested URL does not exist as a file on a physical file system. The default IIS configuration does not allow this kind of configuration, so there are several workarounds available today – this article describes them in great details. However, these workarounds are either not recommended for production usage or are not easy to configure. In this post I will explain how URL Rewrite Module for IIS 7.0 can be used to configure IIS and RoR to work correctly with static files.

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ruslany on August 7th 2008 in FastCGI, URLRewrite

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