Using Ionics Isapi Rewrite for ASP.NET MVC in IIS 6

If you are running IIS6 and want to deploy an ASP.NET MVC app it is a royal pain in the behind. Pretty URLs ( instead of aren’t supported out of the box. There are several solutions to this problem. First, you can still use MVC with IIS6 out of the box and just append .mvc to all of your files. This approach works, but you lose the nice URLs. Second, you can add a wildcard mapping that processes EVERY resource in a website through the ASP.NET ISAPI dll (images, css files, javascript, everything!) There is a known performance hit with this method and I found it to be quite noticeable when I tried it. Third, you can configure a URL re-writing module that will enable pretty URLs and do so in a well performing manner.

I wanted to go with option 3, which is a bit more work but I feel the best overall solution. Unfortunately, most of the information and “How To” posts I found out on the internet didn’t work, were horribly outdated or just didn’t make sense. So with that in mind I download the latest version of Ionic’s open source Isapi Rewrite module, read through their documentation and then worked out a configuration in IIS 6 that got everything working. Here is a step by step process that you can follow to easily (and freely) get ASP.NET MVC pretty URLs running under IIS 6 using Ionic’s Isapi Rewrite module.

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