IIS stands for Internet Information Services (IIS). It is a set of Internet based services for servers created by Microsoft for use with Microsoft Windows. IIS is used on windows plate form. We can define it as a group of Internet servers with additional capabilities for Microsoft's Windows NT and Windows 2000 Server operating systems. IIS is consider as the world's second most popular web server in terms of overall websites behind the industry leader Apache HTTP Server. IIS is Microsoft's entry to compete in the Internet server market that is also addressed by Apache. Normally Internet Information Services is used to make the computer a web server.
IIS takes request from user and executes the required files and sends result back to the user. It also provides the services of SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol). So it allows to send emails using SMTP. Not only that, FrontPage server extensions are also the part of IIS. Using FrontPage server extension we can use the dynamic features of IIS like form handler, Hit counter and etc. With IIS Microsoft includes a set of programs for building and administering Web sites, a search engine and support for writing Web based applications that access databases.
- IIS 1.0, Windows NT 3.51 available as a free add on
- IIS 2.0, Windows NT 4.0
- IIS 3.0, Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3
- IIS 4.0, Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack
- IIS 5.0, Windows 2000
- IIS 5.1, Windows XP Professional, Windows XP Media Center Edition
- IIS 6.0, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
- IIS 7.0, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista (Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate Editions)
- IIS 7.5, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7
Here are few benefits of IIS,
- Faster sites without the need for high spec hardware for Web sites, intranets, and Web based applications.
- HTTP compression reduces the size of files sent from the Web server to the Web browser
- Granular compression allows turning compression on/off at the global, site, folder, and file levels
- Can check site's potential speed improvement with real time Compression Check tool
- Reduces total response time per page request.