PHP on IIS: MonitorChangesTo setting in FastCGI

PHP on Windows loads its configuration file php.ini during the startup of the process php-cgi.exe. When PHP is run on IIS via FastCGI the php-cgi.exe processes are re-used to handle many requests. If configuration settings in php.ini file get updated, those changes will not be picked up by php-cgi.exe processes until the processes are recycled or restarted by IIS FastCGI module. This means that any time you change the PHP configuration you have to manually recycle IIS Application Pools that use PHP. This post explains how to configure FastCGI in IIS so that PHP configuration changes take effect right away without the need to manually recycle or restart the IIS Application Pools.

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IIS URL Rewrite 2.0 – Release to Web

The IIS URL Rewrite Module 2.0 – RTW is available for download. IIS URL Rewrite v2.0 is an incremental release that includes all the features from version 1.1, and adds extensibility support and outbound response rewriting. More specifically, v2.0 can be used to:

  • Express complex URL rewriting logic by using custom rewrite providers written in .NET.
  • Replace the URLs generated by a web application in the response HTML with a more user friendly and search engine friendly equivalent
  • Fix up the content of any HTTP response by using regular expression pattern matching.
  • Modify HTTP request and response headers and IIS server variables.

For the complete list of features available in this version, refer to Using URL Rewrite Module 2.0.

Install the URL Rewrite 2.0 – RTW

To install the URL Rewrite 2.0, use the download links at the module’s home page at Note that this is a final, production ready release that is officially supported by Microsoft.

Upgrade notes:

  • If a previous version of URL Rewrite Module, such as v1.0 and v1.1, is already installed then it will be upgraded to the v2.0;
  • If an RC version of the URL Rewrite Module 2.0 is already installed, then it will be upgraded to RTW version.

Install the URL Rewrite Extensibility Samples

An important new feature in this release is the support for custom rewrite providers that can be written in .NET. Custom rewrite providers can be used to implement complex rewrite logic which cannot be expressed by using built-in rewriting functionality.

The URL Rewrite Extensibility Samples include the .NET assemblies and the source code implementing the following providers:

  • DbProvider – this provider can be used to retrieve rewrite mappings from a SQL Server database table by executing a stored procedure;
  • FileMapProvider – this provider can be used to retrieve rewrite mappings stored in a text file;
  • FileContainsProvider – this provider can be used to check if any string in a text file is a substring of the provider’s input string.

Download the URL Rewrite Extensibility Samples from MSDN Code Gallery.

More Information

The following documentation about URL Rewrite 2.0 is available on

Also, visit the URL Rewrite Forum on IIS.NET if you have run into any problems when using the module or have questions or suggestions.

Important update for IIS 7.0 FastCGI module

FastCGI module in IIS 7.0 has been lacking some of the features and bug fixes that are available in IIS 7.5 FastCGI module and in FastCGI Extension 1.5 on IIS 5.1 and IIS 6.0. The reason why this happened are explained in the post about FastCGI Module: Differences across IIS versions. This week IIS team has released an update for FastCGI module in IIS 7.0 that closes this remaining feature gap and ensures that FastCGI functionality is consistent across all versions of IIS.

The update can be downloaded from the following locations:

The features that are enabled by this update:

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Make WordPress faster on IIS with WinCache 1.1

This post used to contain PHP code for object-cache.php file. This code has been removed because it is out of date and has bugs. Instead, the latest version of WinCache Object Cache plugin from should be used.

This post explains how to improve performance of WordPress on Windows by using the WinCache Extension 1.1 – Beta for PHP. You probably already know that just by enabling the WinCache extension and without any code changes it is possible to get a significant increase in WordPress performance – this is described in details in PHP on Windows: The WinCache 1.0 Benchmark. But this can be taken even further by using the user cache API’s available in WinCache 1.1 release.

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More Performance Improvements in WinCache 1.1

Since the WinCache Extension for PHP has been released last year it has been widely deployed by customers who run PHP on Windows OS and it has proven to provide a substantial performance boost for PHP applications hosted on Windows-based web servers.

Today IIS team has published a beta of WinCache 1.1, which provides more options for improving performance of PHP applications on Windows. Specifically, the new version includes :

  • User Cache API’s, that can be used by PHP scripts to store PHP objects and variables in shared memory. This way PHP scripts may improve the execution speed by storing processed data in the cache and then using it in subsequent requests instead of re-creating the data on every request. The addition of these API’s closes the remaining feature gap that WinCache had when compared with other similar caching solutions like APC and XCache.
  • WinCache Session Handler, that can be used to configure PHP to store the session data in shared memory cache. Using shared memory instead of the default file session storage helps improve performance of PHP applications that store large amount of data in session objects.

The beta builds of the extension can be downloaded and installed from the extension home page at: (look for the “WinCache 1.1 – Beta” section there). The source code can be obtained from The documentation for the extension can be found on PHP.NET WinCache documentation.

This is the beta release and the WinCache team is looking for your feedback on new features and functionality. Use the WinCache Community Forum to ask questions about the extension, report bugs and problems and to suggest features and improvements.