Hello, I am pretty new to IIS 7. I have just recently started working on IIS 7 test boxes at my office. I installed default IIS 7 and was very happy but I think I have missed something as I am not able to find the IIS Admin Service. However, my IIS box seems to be running fine. On my IIS 6 production box I can see the service and IIS 6 does not work at all without the IIS admin Service started. What am I missing?
It might sound a little new to you but IIS Admin Service in not required in IIS 7 for as long as you are not using IIS Metabase compatibility feature or FTP 6 publishing services.
The interesting fact is not that IIS can run without IIS admin service, but How ?:)
This is where you need to understand what is the role of IIS Admin Service and why that is not required in IIS 7. For the basics lets start with what are services in general. Services are basically programs that run in the background performing core operating system functions usually without any required input from the user. IIS Admin Service is one such service where in the user doesn't have to do anything.
Now coming to what IIS admin service does: IIS Admin service is responsible for managing the metabase (the configuration repository in IIS 5, 6). In IIS 6 metabase is in xml format and can be edited and read in plain text editors like Notepad. The service runs under inetinfo.exe and is governed by iisadmin.dll primarily. IIS admin service makes the metabase available to applications that are dependent on it including IIS core components as well.
Having said that the implementation of IIS admin service is pretty much the same in IIS 7 except that the configuration of IIS 7 is no more dependent on the Metabase. IIS 7 still stores its configuration in xml format, however, the schema and the depth of configuration and granularity is entirely different from what it was in IIS 6. Therefore IIS metabase is no more required in IIS 7 and exists only for compatibility reasons that is if you wish to install the IIS 6 compatibility components of IIS 7. The configuration is now stored in administration.config and applicationHost.config files which is at c:\windows\system32\inetsrv\config\. If you are familiar with .Net configuration then this will seem like a welcome change to you. IIS 7 configuration can also be governed via web.config files within your apps. For more info on the new architecture model check my previous post.
Hope this answers your question.