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Configure the user interface in IIS

This article will take you through the steps required to configure the user interface in IIS. The Contensis UI is a .Net web application, editors will access the UI through a standard web browser therefore IIS needs to be configured to serve the user interface as a website. For the purposes of this article we are assuming that you are using the latest Microsoft Server OS. Before you start ensure:

  • You have successfully installed Contensis including the User Interface components using the Contensis set-up program, see Contensis Install Guide.
  • You have a hostname identified which resolves to the server that will host the CMS. This will be the instance name you entered in the second step of the installation process.
  • The server has the IIS role installed and the ASP.NET role service
  • You have full local administrative privileges
  • Your server meets the recommended hardware and software requirements.

We recommend your server is used to host Contensis only and no other 3rd party software.

Create website in IIS

  1. Click Start > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Expand the Server node, right click on the Sites node and select Add Web Site
  3. Enter the domain name you want to use for the UI (e.g. into theSite name and Host name settings
  4. Select the engine sub-folder for your installation directory as the Physical path
  5. Click OK

Check that ASP.NET v4.0.30319 is allowed to run on the server

Currently Contensis is supported with version 4.0.30319 of ASP.NET

  1. Click on the Server node in the IIS manager
  2. A list of features will be shown in the right pane
  3. Double click the ISAPI and CGI Restrictions feature
  4. Right click on the ASP.NET v4.0.30319 item that has a path of C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319 and click Allow

If you are running a 32bit OS such as Windows Server 2008 32Bit then you would need to select the other entry that has a path of C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319

Configure the application pool

The default application pool that is automatically created will not be configured correctly. To edit the application pool follow these steps.

  1. Click on the Application Pools node which can be found under the Server node in IIS Manager
  2. A list of application pools will be displayed in the right hand pane
  3. Find the Application Pool that has the same name as your site e.g.
  4. Right mouse click on the Application Pool and select Basic Settings...
  5. Make sure that the .NET Framework version is v4.0.30319 and that the Managed pipeline mode is set to Integrated
  6. Click OK

Set the permissions on the installation directory

The application pool runs the Contensis UI under a specific user account, this user is defined against the pool and is a default built-in account ApplicationPoolIdentity. 

To set the permissions on the CMS installation directory follow the steps below. For these steps we are assuming that the you have left the identity as the default ApplicationPoolIdentity.

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Select your installation directory e.g. d:\contensis
  3. Right click the directory and select Properties
  4. Select the Security tab
  5. Click the Edit and then Add button
  6. Click the Locations button and make sure you select your local machine
  7. Enter IIS AppPool\ in the Enter the object names to select: text box. Make sure you replace with your application pool name. This user is not a real user account and will not show up in the windows user management console, you must type it in manually.
  8. Click the Check Names button and click OK
  9. Tick the Full Control option listed below the groups and click OK

This should result in the user IIS AppPool\ having full control over all files and folders in the Contensis installation directory.

Access your CMS installation

You should now be able to access your CMS user interface using any web browser. You simply need to navigate to the URL you set-up in IIS, in this example . The default username and password are:

  • Username: admin
  • Password: password

You will be prompted to change the password when you first login.

Common Problems

If your site doesn't display or you are receiving a general server page, then you may not have set up your DNS (domain name servers) correctly. The simplest method of seeing if this is the case is to ping the server from command line to see if the IP address resolves to the IP of the CMS Server.

Any other errors or issues you face will be down to your specific settings and a look at the event log should help you identify the issue. Failing that feel free to Submit a Ticket to our helpdesk and we will endeavour to get you up and running.

Required IIS features 



Request Filtering

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Security\Request Filtering

ISAPI Filters

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Application Development\ISAPI Filters

ISAPI Extensions

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Application Development\ISAPI Extensions


Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Application Development\ASP.NET 4.5

Static Content Compression

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Performance\Static Content Compression

Dynamic Content Compression

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Performance\Dynamic Content Compression

Common HTTP Features

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Common HTTP Features

Static Content

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Common HTTP Features\Static Content

Default Document

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Common HTTP Features\Default Document

HTTP Errors

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Common HTTP Features\HTTP Errors

HTTP Redirection

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Common HTTP Features\HTTP Redirection

Application Development

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Application Development

.NET Extensibility 4.5

Web Server (IIS)\Web Server\Application Development\.NET Extensibility 4.5