What is ASP.NET Development Server?

In VS 2005, file system websites are hosted on the new local web server called” ASP.NET Development Server” by default instead of IIS. This server dynamically chooses the port and hosts the website for local requests only. As a part of Framework 2.0 WebDev.WebServer.exe program runs as development server and host the website whenever website is run in the VS.
Now IIS does not installed along with WinXP or Win2003 like previous versions of Windows, you needs to install it separately therefore if you are developing websites using VS 2005, you don’t have to worry about the web server to host your website as asp.net development server will take care of it.
This program is found at (%WINDIR%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.XXXXX) location.
You can also host website manually using this program.

Syntax: WebDev.WebServer.exe [/port:] /path: [/vpath:]

Like: webdev.webserver.exe /port:4955 /path:"c:\RnD\WebSite1" /vpath:”/WebSite1”

Here you can assign any port no you want.

Difference between ASP.NET Development Server and IIS Server
Below are some notable differences:

•Development server only accepts authenticated requests on the local computer as it runs under the security context of currently authenticated user account. It means it doesn’t run under less privileged ASPNET account. Where as IIS by default runs under ASPNET account.
•Unlike IIS, Development server can only serve local requests. It will not serve pages to another computer.
•Unlike IIS, Development server can only serve resources like files that are within the application scope.
•IIS provides other services like SMTP, FTP etc. that development server does not provides so if your application has e-mail sending functionality or file download functionality, you would have to use IIS server.

Reference: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/58wxa9w5(VS.80).aspx


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