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Monday, July 26, 2004
IIS and ASP.net Application Extensions
By Brett Hill (brett) @ 12:46 PM :: Custom Articles :: 1 Comments :: 18987 Views

When you look at the application mappings on an IIS server, it is not obvious what functions the extensions server. Nevertheless, it is a “best practice” to remove the extensions that you do not require.

In particular when ASP.net is installed, the .net application mappings are added to IIS presuming the web server is being used for application development. The function of ASP.net file extensions are not obvious and it is quite a task to figure out what each of them do. You will want to remove most of the extensions on a productions server.

Use this list to guide your selection. If you aren't sure if an application mapping is in use on your server, I would suggest you use the Log Parser tool to parse your live IIS logs looking for the extension.

IIS Page Extensions 

Extension     Description

.asa                 Active Server Application
                        Note: This extension is cannot be accessed via a browser. It is
                        prohibited by ASP for security reasons.

.asp                 Active Scripting Page, ASP code embedded in a HTML page.

.cer                  Certificate file. Useful when certificate services is installed.

.cdx                 Active Channel Definition File

.htm, .html       Standard Hyper Text Markup Language pages

.htr                   WebBased Password Reset.
                        Note: If used, be sure this is mapped to .asp. This is automatically
                        done in Windows 2004 SP4.

.htw                 Index Server: Outdated technology for querying index server
                        Use ASP.

.ida                  Index Server: See .htw

.idc                  Internet database connector (very old, do not use)

.idq                  Index Server: See .htr and .htw

.printer            Internet Printing: Does anybody use this?

.stm                 Server-Side Includes embedded in HTML page:
                        Most of these functions can be done with .asp

.shtm, .shtml   Server-Side Includes embedded in HTML page: See .stm


ASP.net File Extensions

By default ASP.NET associates 18 extension mappings with the %SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\%VersionNumber%\Aspnet_isapi.dll file.

Extension     Description

.asax               ASP.NET version of the older .asa file

.ascx               User Control, can be a full page or component.

.ashx               ASP.NET Custom ASP.NET HTTP handler

.asmx              ASP.NET Web Service

.aspx               ASP.NET Web Pages

.axd                 Custom HTTP Handler – can be physical file
or dynamically generated file.

.config             ASP.NET Configuration File

.cs                   C#.NET Source File

.csprorj           C#.NET Project File

.licx                  Licensing file used by some assemblies

.rem                ASP.NET Remoting Resource

.resources      Resource file created by ResourceWriter class
or Resource Generator (Resgen.exe).

.resx                Resource file, used for globalization.
Pairs to a similarly named .aspx file.

.soap              Schema file for a Web Service.

.vb                   Visual Basic.NET Source File

.vbproj Visual Basic.NET Project File

.vsdisco          Discovery file for Web Services.

.webinfo          Contains path to project on development servers for Web Application or XML Web Services Projects.


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