On my current project the client has been dabbling with BizTalk 2006 R2 in a very unsupported configuration with Windows Server 2008, and SQL 2008. In previous posts I talked about Windows Server 2008 and some challenges installing BizTalk on this OS. Generally, Windows Server 2008 behaves well for BizTalk. SQL 2008 has behaved well and has not presented any problems for BizTalk other than the fact that it does not include Notification Services so you must install this optional component from the installer included with SQL 2005. This post describes some new difficulties I have identified when using BizTalk Server 2006 R2 with IIS 7.
Working in the unsupported environment has been very interesting because it has identified that there are issues with BizTalk’s WCF integration on Windows Server 2008. Windows Server 2008 includes IIS 7 which has been overhauled extensively. Several issues have been identified with IIS 7 and BizTalk Server 2006 R2:
– It is possible to run the BizTalk WCF Publishing Wizard through completely to create a .svc WCF endpoint and a virtual directory to host the WCF service but by default IIS 7 is not configured to support the .svc extension. In order to setup the .svc extension, use the IIS 7 directions at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms752252.aspx.
– When running the BizTalk WCF Publishing Wizard sometimes IIS 7 will get dumped out completely. From time to time running the wizard the web.config at c:\Inetpub\wwwroot and all of the virtual directories in this folder get removed during the time that the WCF Publishing wizard is running. For this reason, I strongly recommend you backup the web.config in the web root and all virtual directories stored under the web root before running the WCF Publishing wizard on a box that includes IIS 7. If you just registered the .svc handler and IIS 7 gets dumped out you will need to create it again. Due to this issue, I also strongly recommend that if you need to work with HTTP or IIS related adapters, use Windows Server 2003 R2 with IIS 6 rather than Windows Server 2008 with IIS 7.
– The BizTalk WCF Publishing Wizard may require additional permissions when run on Windows Server 2008 than on Windows Server 2003 due to the secure by default nature of IIS 7. I identified issues with the NetMSMQ binding and MEX-only endpoints created with the BizTalk WCF Publishing Wizard in which permissions must be loosened while the wizard is running although they may be tightened afterwards.
The latest released install documentation – provided with the BizTalk 2009 beta mentions that you must enable IIS 6 backwards compatibility if you install on Windows Server 2008. So Microsoft is aware of this issue.