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I've got a WCF component that I wrote in VS 2008 (using .NET framework 3.5) installed on a Windows 2003 Server. I've been having some problems using one of the methods, and in an effort to try and debug the problem I've been advised to add some diagnostics to the Web.Config file. Now, this WCF server doesn't get used much at all at this point, so can I just make the edits in the Web.Confilg file, and then run a test with my new client app? Or do I have to stop and restart IIS on the Windows 2003 Server?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Changes to the web.config will trigger the app to be reloaded by IIS as soon as there are 0 connections left to the app. You can also stop and restart the app pool that the app is assigned to in order to make this happen. You do not need to stop and restart IIS itself.

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It doesn't wait until there are zero connections. – TristanK Sep 8 '11 at 2:37
Will restarting an app pool on a live system cause user interruption? – spuder Jun 4 '15 at 23:53
@spuder yes, it can. While the app pool is down there is no worker process to execute your app so users will get a 503 Service Unavailable until the app pool has started back up. – squillman Jun 5 '15 at 12:53

It depends if your application reads the configuration file every time it needs the setting, or monitors the file for changes (like log4net does). If not, you need to restart the application.
Note that by default, any changes to any file in an IIS managed folder, will usually result in a restart of the application domain.

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Application domain, not application pool. – TristanK Sep 7 '11 at 21:38
Thank you, I have corrected the offending statements. – Greg Askew Sep 8 '11 at 2:11

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