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Is it possible to create a silent redirect to an external IP in IIS6?

So, in our site we create a virtual directory:

www.oursite.com/virtual/

We have an external app located at app.partnersite.com

We want www.oursite.com/virtual/ to point to (I guess, the IP address of) app.partnersite.com/ but we want the url to remain www.oursite.com/virtual/

Hope that's clear.

Any advice much appreciated.

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3 Answers 3

No, or at least not without some extra stuff.

What you're describing is a reverse proxy i.e. your web site proxies some other web site but for external rather than internal users. I have an idea there are third party ISAPI filters to do this, though I know nothing beyond that. You could probably use the free web proxy SQUID and persuade it to do this, though there may be some pain involved. Alternative use ISA Server, though obviously there's a cost involved.

Could you upgrade to W2k8 and IIS7? If so MS have released software called Application Resource Routing that can be used to this.

JR

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We use Helicon ISAPI Rewrite but as far as I can tell it won't let us retain the Url. SQUID sounds interesting but I don't think we have time to fiddle about with anything for too long and I don't think we have the budget or time for ISA Server (although we use it internally). We are planning to upgrade to W2K8 & IIS7 but unfortunately not in time for this. Thanks for your suggestions. –  Anonymous Jul 21 '09 at 9:45

Ok I found out how to do this.

As I mentioned in one of the comments we already use the Helicon ISAPI Rewrite component

I realised that the free version of ISAPI Rewrite that we were using does not include the proxy module: www.helicontech.com/isapi_rewrite/doc/litever.htm

So you have to pay for the full version (@ $99 per server): www.helicontech.com/order/#isapi_rewrite3

Once you have this installed follow the example to map content of an external site to a directory on your site: http://www.helicontech.com/isapi_rewrite/doc/examples.htm#proxy

It's pretty straightforward actually.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

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What might be more elegant would be to use a sub-domain with a CNAME (with masking or sometimes called cloaking) for the external app (someapp.oursite.com); this is my preferred method as it "looks" like it's still part of the organization, while not having to fuss around with redirects, etc.

If you must retain the URL and can't follow John's suggestions, you could use a full-screen iframe (this should work in all current browsers):

Create default.htm in www.example.com/virtual/ which would contain the following HTML as described in this article: http://www.dev-explorer.com/articles/full-page-iframe

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Yes, that is in fact our backup plan. However if we do that the Search Engines will regard app.oursite.com as a completely separate website rather than a part of www.oursite.com –  Anonymous Jul 21 '09 at 9:53

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