Has anyone of you ever felt the need to debug a web application on Windows 2003 Server. Well some time back I had deployed an application on the test server which was Windows 2003 R2 Server, IIS 6 and ASP .Net 2.0. Normally we have Windows XP operating system in our development environment. When debugging with Visual Studio, developers tend to use the F5 key or attach to aspnet_wp.exe; which is the asp net worker process. However there is no aspnet_wp.exe running on Windows 2003. Instead the process is called w3wp.exe. It is a network process . So you must attach to this process in the visual studio and not looking for aspnet_wp.exe. But what is this w3wp.exe.
w3wp.exe is a process associated with application pool in IIS. If you have configured more than one application pool, you will have more than one instance of w3wp.exe running.
Application pools are a feature of IIS6, which is installed on Windows 2003 server by default. However IIS 5 is installed on XP. And I don’t think Microsoft allows intalling IIS 6 on windows XP. Application pools provides a great way of isolating web applications thereby increasing the overall realibility of web applications.