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Cassini Webserver vs. IIS Express


Sometime back I had the opportunity to explore the possibility of using Webservers other than IIS (Internet Information Services) for an ASP.NET based website.

It was at this time I came across the other possible web servers like IISExpress and Cassini.

Both were quite new to me when I started reading about them but eventually, I got well rounded experience in deploying the application on these web servers.

Below are some observations which I made when trying out Cassini Webserver and IIS Express.

  • Cassini is a Microsoft Visual Studio’s built in ASP.NET Development Server which is light weight and easy and quick to run.
  • Cassini does not support HTTPS and doesn’t listen on remote ports.
  • Cassini doesn’t require an Administrator account to run.
  • IIS Express allows you to run IIS on the machine even if you are not running Windows 7 Professional and integrated well with Visual Studio 2010.
  • IIS Express works similar to the Cassini but provides almost full feature of IIS.
  • IIS Express doesn’t require a virtual directory. It can use the configuration the web.config for most purpose and supports HTTPS.

There is also Cassini Web Server called UltiDev Cassini Web Server for ASP.NET Applications which is a free, light-weight and redistributable web server to host your ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET 3.0, ASP.NET 2.0 and ASP.NET 1.1 web applications.

You can know more about UltiDev Cassini Web Server for ASP.NET Applications and IIS Express from the below links

Senthil Kumar B
Senthil Kumar is a former Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional). He is a Co-Author of the book "Windows 10 Development Recipes using JavaScript and CSS" for Apress Publication. He is a technical presenter, blogger, mentor and a Geek.  Senthil is a regular speaker is various local user groups. He has presented at conferences like Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) & Microsoft DevCamps. You can reach out to him via his Twitter handle @isenthil.