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We're currently using ISAPI rewrite. However, we're moving to servers with IIS7 on them. If we're going down the route of using IIS7's url rewriting tool (which, if I remember correctly changes the web.config, which in turn causes an application restart) is there a way to do without causing the application to restart?

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Yes, the issue isn't with URL Rewrite per se, it's with the new IIS7.x distributed configuration where some settings are delegated to the site's web.config. Any change to web.config will cause an appdomain recycle. Here's a recent video I did on AppDomains.

Your options are:

  • Create the rule at the global level. That won't cause the appdomain recycle
  • Create the rule manually in applicationHost.config and wrap it in a tag.
  • Edit your delegated configuration settings for your server so that the URL Rewrite isn't delegated. Then IIS Manager will automatically place it in applicationHost.config. Be very careful though because existing rules in web.config files will cause sites to fail, so you need to migrate them back to applicationHost.config first.
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