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I'm a developer so please excuse my ignorance on how to do this: I have access to a Windows 2003 Server where I have some web applications deployed. Instead of users accessing the web applications via some long URLs, how can I shorted the root URL of the server that more human-readable and accessible?

For example, instead of this: http://tdw2.fmwe3.server123.tpd2dss.com/MyApplication, I would like users to type something like this: //FinanceWeb/MyApplication.

Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1

Your client computers will try to resolve "short names" (which are really "unqualified" domain names) in whatever DNS domain they have configured as their "primary DNS suffix" (assuming they are Windows clients). You'll need to create an "A" record for "FinanceWeb" (or a CNAME record that resolves to "tdw2.fmwe3.server123.tpd2dss.com") in the DNS zone that is configured as the client computer's "primary DNS suffix". (Strictly speaking, the clients will also search the parents of that zone, back to the root, as well.)

After the name "FinanceWeb" is configured (via a DNS record, as described above) to resolve to the IP address assigned to that web site, you may need to add a "host header" to the web server. If that web server is hosting multiple sites on that IP address, port 80, you'll need to add a host header for "FinanceWeb" on that web site.

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You should be wary of some issues with this short-name approach. If you have WINS active in your network, some clients could be configured to use WINS before DNS for name resolution. If the server shortname has been added to the WINS database (via a static entry, or using as an additional name configured on teh server), and the clients resolve it this way, you may default to NTLM auth instead of Kerberos auth for the client. For basic apps this might not be a problem, but if you are using delegation to pass user credentials to a backend server (e.g. SQL) your delegation will not work. –  Ryan Fisher Aug 3 '09 at 19:18

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