A quick look at the IIS Manager tooling experience

A quick look at the IIS Manager tooling experience

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IIS Manager is the management tool for WAS, and in Dublin we're extending this tool. Here is a quick look at some of the extensions we have added to IIS Manager. These screen shots are from a pre-alpha build of Dublin. Design will change considerably before we release.

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This screen shows (top to bottom, left to right):

  • Application Export and Import: Dublin leverages MSDeploy functionality to package or unpack an application.
  • Database Configuration: Configure stores for persistence or monitoring data.
  • Diagnostics: Configure WCF tracing.
  • Persisted Instances: View a summary of the types and states of persisted service instances.
  • Services: View and configure the WCF services.
  • Tracking Configuration and Tracking Profiles: Define and configure the profiles used to extract monitoring data at runtime.

In the middle of the right column you see "Restore Protocols" and "Disable Protocols". This functionality starts/stops the flow of messages to the service. By preventing message flow you are essentially stopping the service, although running instances continue to run.

We've had some tension within the team about how we extend IIS Manager. We want to add exciting capabilities to this tool, but we have to be "good neighbors" and not disrupt the tooling experience for users who have worked with IIS Manager for years. This tension is most evident in the Restore/Disable Protocols feature. Some of us want to show this as "Disable message flow" and "Enable message flow" to give a more WCF flavor to the description. Other members of the team prefer the text that you see above because this explains exactly what is happening when those links are clicked.

Service configuration

When I click into Services I see one entry since this particular application ("PizzaOrderService") contains only one service. I right click on that service and see options for configuring the service and for seeing simple service statistics (number of completed instances, number of running instances, and number of suspended instances.)

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This screen shows (top to bottom):

  • Configure Persistence: Set the persistence store for this service.
  • Configure Tracking: Enable tracking profiles.
  • Configure Certificates: Select the security certificate that this service should use.
  • Configure Throttling: Configure WCF throttling settings.
  • Service Statistics: See the count of completed, suspended, or running instances.
  • View Persisted Service Instances: View the instances from the persistence database.
  • View End Points: View the endpoints for this service.

Right now we're providing tooling for a subset of the configuration settings that a WCF service might use. Before we release we're going to support a much wider array of settings. Configuring security on endpoints is really hard today, for example. We want to make this incredibly easy.

Service instance control

I chose the "View Persisted Service Instances" option to get to the following screen. Here you can see that I have one instance of my pizza service running, and you can see the control options and a choice to view the tracking data for this instance.

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