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As far as I understand, IIS-hosted applications can stop or restart for a variety of reasons, including:

When this happens, does it do so gracefully or forcefully?

By gracefully, I mean without stopping the application in the middle of processing a request; it should finish what it's doing and then follow its normal shut down procedures for the application.

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IIS will attempt to allow workers to finish, but will forcefully terminate them if they take too long to stop (usually a few seconds). To get around this, you can use iisreset /noforce to make IIS wait until everything is done.

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Thanks; that option looks useful. However, I was wondering more about restarting/stopping individual applications rather than IIS as a whole. Also, what do you think about the second dot-point? –  Sam Jun 15 '13 at 0:12

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