Knowledge Base

Using host header names to access Web Printing site

Problem

NiceLabel PowerForms Web relies on the component Web Printing site to accept the user login and provide the associated solution file to the authenticated user. The Web Printing site is the Web application running in the IIS on the Windows Server computer selected during the installation.

Web Printing site has two installation modes:

1. Install as virtual directory within the Default Web Site

In this case, Web Printing site is accessible as the subfolder within the existing Default Web Site. To access Web Printing site you would open the URL as:

http://server/WebPrinting

where: server is the name of your Windows Server and WebPrinting is the name of the virtual directory (if you didn’t change it during the installation then WebPrinting is the default name).

The Default Web Site usually runs on port 80, which is an IANA-assigned standard port for Web traffic (http protocol). By default the Web browsers connect to port 80, if you do not specify other port number.

2. Install as new Web site

In this case, the Web Printing site is installed as a totally separate entity, unrelated to a Default Web Site. You would use this option, if you already have some Web application running in the Default Web Site and it would not run well with the NiceLabel’s Web Printing Site. Or, you want to protect the Web Printing site with the SSL certificate-enabled encrypted communication.

After the installation, a new site will be defined in the IIS Manager.

Each new site that you define in the IIS must have a unique port number, not used by any other Web site or any other service on this computer. For example, your Web Printing site will be installed on the port 81 and will accept connection on the URL:

http://server:81

where: server is the name of your Windows Server.

Note: In this case the Web Printing site responds without using any subfolder name, like WebPrinting when you install Web Printing site as virtual directory.

Using the first option the Web Printing site re-uses the existing Default Web Site.

Using the second option the Web Printing site installs as a new site, but it listens on a separate non-default port (e.g. 81 as used in the example above). Using port numbers might be confusing and difficult to the printing user.

Solution

You can use an IIS feature Host Headers to allow multiple host names to share a single IP address and port number. You can make you Web Printing site accessible on port 80 even if the site runs on different port (e.g. 81).

Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) permits you to map multiple Web sites with the same port number to a single IP address by using a feature called Host Header Names. By assigning a unique host header name to each Web site, this feature permits you to map more than one Web site to an IP address.

For example, you want your Web Printing site to be easily accessible to your printing users.

Instead of remembering the URL http://server:81 you want your user to memorize the URL as http://MyWebPrinting.

To configure host header names in IIS 7.0, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  2. In IIS Manager, under Connections, expand your server name, and then expand Sites.
  3. Right-click on a website (e.g. Web Printing), and then click Edit Bindings.
  4. Expand server (where server name is the name of the Windows Server), and then expand Web Sites.
  5. In the Site Bindings window, click Add.
  6. In the Add Site Binding window, set the Host name option to the friendly name of the web site (e.g. MyWebPrinting).
  7. Set the Port to 80.
    In this case, the Web Printing site will respond to http://server:81 (port 81) and http://MyWebPrinting (port 80) at the same time.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Register the host header name MyWebPrinting with the appropriate name resolution system. For example, a Domain Name System (DNS) server or, in the case of a small network, a Hosts file.

The URL http://MyWebPrinting will only work in your internal network. If you want to open your Web Printing site to the internet users, make sure your host header name will resolve in the internet. This involves purchasing the domain name (e.g. MyWebPrinting.com), registering the name in a DNS server and then following the steps above.

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