Monthly Archives: October 2009

Fun and Games with IIS7 and Tomcat Connector (Jakarta)

I needed to run Tomcat behind IIS and delegate html page requests as well as xml page requests from IIS 7 through to Tomcat.

As I had done this a number of times with IIS6 and Helicon’s rewrite tool, I thought this would be easy… Oh no.  I was wrong.

Therefore, here are a few things to be aware of:

  • Make sure you have installed the Tomcat Connector OK.  I found this site to be useful here for the Tomcat Connector install on IIS 7: http://www.iisadmin.co.uk/?p=72
  • Install the ‘URL Rewrite’ module within IIS 7.  I didn’t do this myself, not because it was difficult… I just simply didn’t do it and would guess there is enough info on how to do this.
  • Configure all rewrite rules at the server level and not at the individual site level.  This is because there is some issue around chaining an HTTP request through an ISAPI filter like the Tomcat Connector and then the URL rewrite module or vice versa.  I even tried another ISAPI based rewriter like the one from Helicon (http://www.helicontech.com) resulting in the same challenge that the rewrites and redirect (delegation – not to be confused with a 301 type redirect) worked independentlybut not together.
  • The syntax for the rewrite rules is different from Apaches mod_rewrite – e.g:
  1. ^/?.*/(.+.html?)$ would normally handle input urls like /index.htm or /level1/level2/index.htm but this was not liked by the URL Rewrite module in IIS 7.  What worked instead was ([^/]+.html?).
  2. Remember to use {R:1} syntax for getting the back references instead of $1 etc.
  3. Remember to use conditions if you have multiple sites in the same instance utilising the {HTTP_HOST} and {SERVER_PORT} strings.

Let me know if you found this useful or if there are other useful references to add into this.  I personally found it difficult to dig up something similar.