HowTo: Enable RDS.Dataspace Objects in IIS 7 RRS feed

  • Question

  • User1848877749 posted

    I posted this as a response to another thread on the General Forum, but thought I'd copy it here in hopes it might generate a little more search engine love for those folks that have been as frustrated as I have trying to find guidance on how to enable RDS.Dataspace objects on IIS 7 web servers.

    Disclaimer - I know that the use of RDS.Dataspace business objects is likely to generate some mild cardiac events in network admin types, but when you are faced with legacy applications that still rely on it, and cannot be modified to apply modern web services techniques, little choice remains if you are wanting to upgrade your server platforms. What follows are the steps I used to enable RDS on IIS 7 (both x86 and x64 versions). My own interest was for providing remote RDS-based desktop clients with access to the middle-tier business objects they require, but the same steps should also work for classic ASP apps that need to invoke COM+ objects in a similar fashion. 


    I will attempt to list the steps I followed to get it enabled on my servers in hopes that it might reduce the amount of frustration folks have been having trying to find information on how to get this working (based on my own futile efforts to find similar content on the interweb thing).

    Note: I think the biggest tip I can suggest is to attempt this on a fresh W2K8 server install with the Application Server and Web Server roles enabled (get RDS working first prior to attempting to add websites or applications that rely on it). Hopefully you all have access to a snapshot of a baseline virtual server image that you can easily revert to in the event something goes haywire (I have to say that Hyper-v has saved my butt a number of times in my efforts to get this working – it simply ROCKS!). There are a couple of tricks involved here – this is especially true in 64-bit land. If you do not have this luxury, I’m afraid that YMMV with regard to the steps outlined in this guide.

    Steps to provide MSADC /RDS Dataspace support in IIS 7:

    1.       Login with credentials that provide local admin permissions

    2.       Open IIS Manager and connect to the local computer

    3.       Double-click the “ISAPI and CGI Restrictions” icon in the IIS section of the “Home” pane

    4.       Select “Add” from the Actions pane

    5.       Set the “ISAPI or CGI path” by navigating to the location of msadcs.dll

    a.       On 32-bit machines the default location is found at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\msadc\msadcs.dll”

    b.      On 64-bit machines, you will also want to be using the 32-bit version of msadcs.dll (this is the only version I could get to work at any rate), so make sure you direct the path to point at the proper bits found in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\msadc\msadcs.dll”

    6.       Provide any description you like – I chose “RDS ISAPI Library”

    7.       Check “Allow extension path to execute” and click the OK button to dismiss the dialog

    8.       Highlight the newly created entry in the ISAPI and CGI Restrictions pane and click “Edit Feature Settings…” link in the Actions pane. Check the “Allow unspecified ISAPI modules” checkbox. Click the OK button to dismiss the dialog

    9.       Click on the local computer name in the “Connections” pane again and then double click the “Handler Mappings” icon found in the “Home” pane

    10.   Double-click “ISAPI-Dll” in the Features View pane (don’t worry that it appears grayed out, you will enable it in a later step)

    11.   Accept the defaults for the “Request Path” and “Module.”  Use the “…” button to browse to the  msadcs.dll (don’t forget that you want the 32-bit version if you are configuring a 64-bit server)and set the “Executable” value. Click the “Request Restrictions” button.

    12.   On the “Mapping” tab, check that “Invoke handler only if request is mapped to: File” is selected

    13.   On the “Access” tab, check that “Execute” is selected, then click the OK button to dismiss the dialog

    14.   You will then receive a prompt asking if you want to allow this ISAPI extension – well duh, click the Yes button.

    15.   Highlight the “ISAPI-dll” entry from the “Handler Mappings” pane and click the “Edit Feature Permissions” link in the “Action” pane. Enable all 3 permissions (Read, Script, and Execute). Click the OK button – the ISAPI-dll handler should now move to the “Enabled” category.

    16.   64-bit users only – Since RDS is now configured to run in 32-bit address space, you will need to either create a new 32-bit enabled application pool or modify the existing default app pool (I’d recommend creating a new one unless you don’t mind forcing all of your default web apps to run in the 32-bit mode).

    a.       Click on Application Pools in the Connections pane and click the Add Application Pool link in the Actions pane.

    b.      Give your new App pool  a descriptive name (i.e. “32 bit App Pool”), set it to use the .NET 2.0 Framework, and run in Integrated managed Pipeline Mode. Click OK.

    c.       Highlight the new 32 bit App Pool and click the Advanced Settings link from the Actions pane

    d.      Set the General->Enable 32-bit Applications value to True. Click OK

    17.   So far so good – about all we need to do in order to complete the IIS 7 RDS configuration tasks is add an MSADC application to the default web site. Expand the “Sites” under the local computer name in the “Connections” pane and select the “Default Web Site” Icon. Click the “View Applications” link in the “Actions” pane

    18.   Click the “Add Application…” link in the “Actions” pane. Enter “MSADC” as the “Alias”, select an appropriate Application pool (the Default App Pool for x86 machines or the new 32 bit App Pool created for x64 servers), and navigate to the appropriate 32-bit version of the “msadc” folder to set the “Physical path” value.

    19.   In order for RDS to be used to invoke COM+ Business Objects, the MSADC Application needs to impersonate the same identity used by the COM+ applications servicing the targeted business objects. Before dismissing the “Add Application” dialog, click on the “Connect as…” button

    20.   Under “Path Credentials” select the “Specific user” and click the “Set” button

    21.   Supply the appropriate service account credentials that match the COM+ Application Identity in the spaces provided. Note: The “User name” field needs to be entered in the  domain_name\user_name format (i.e. “MyDomain\MyCOMServiceAccount”). Click the OK buttons until you’ve dismissed all dialogs.

    22.   Restart IIS by clicking on the local computer name in the “Connections” pane and clicking on the “Restart” link in the “Actions” pane

    23.   If all went according to plan, IIS 7 is now configured to support RDS.Dataspace object creation from remote clients or ASP pages. But you are not quite ready to use it yet – you still need to create the appropriate ADCLaunch registry entries to expose your COM+ business objects for consumption by RDS clients.

    a.       Open regedit.exe

    b.      Navigate to: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\W3SVC\Parameters\ADCLaunch


    c.       Right click on the ADCLaunch key and select New + Key

    d.      Enter the Prog ID for the COM+ object you are wishing to expose (i.e. “MyServer.TestObject”)

    e.      Lather, rinse, and repeat for each additional COM+ object you wish to serve from RDS (each object gets its own key).

    24.   Congratulations! You have just stepped back in time about 10 years and have enabled RDS to provide IIS 7 web access to COM+ business objects hosted on a Windows Server 2008 machine.

    25.   [Optional] - While you have the registry editor open you might want to make some additional changes in the interest of better securing your server from the known vulnerabilities that exist in the RDSServer.DataFactory components of the MDAC stack (if you are not using them, that is). The simplest way to prevent malicious users from hijacking these components is to delete the “AdvancedDataFactory” and “RDSServer.DataFactory” keys from the registry. You will probably encounter errors when you try this because for some unknown reason, Microsoft has not granted full control permissions to these keys to the local administrators group. The fix is pretty simple though.

    a.       Right click on the AdvancedDataFactory key and select Permissions

    b.      Click the Advanced button and select the Owner tab

    c.       Highlight the Administrators group and click the OK button

    d.      Assign full control permissions to the Administrators group and Click OK

    e.      Delete the key

    f.        Repeat for the RDSServer.DataFactory key   

    g.       Inform your network Gestapo that you have sealed this security hole so they can sleep better at night despite the knowledge that RDS is now enabled on their web farm

    That’s really all there is to it…  ;-P

    If everything worked as anticipated you should be good to go – if not, well, I hope you followed my advice to have some manner of backup baseline image handy that you can revert to and retry (some of these changes can be difficult to undo). Although my efforts have been limited to Windows 2008 Server, these same instructions should work for developers using Vista workstations with IIS 7 installed.

     Hope this helps.  

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:01 PM

All replies

  • User1073881637 posted

    Although hopefully people move past using RDS, these types of instructions are valuable to the IIS community for devs supporting RDS

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:42 PM
  • User1848877749 posted

    Although hopefully people move past using RDS, these types of instructions are valuable to the IIS community for devs supporting RDS

    I couldn't agree more, but when you have some 6 million lines of RDS-based legacy code to deal with, it sure is nice to know that work-arounds exist that will allow our customers to upgrade their server platforms (while we continue plugging away at refactoring the code-base to employ a WCF-based architecture).

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 7:04 PM
  • User1073881637 posted

    6 million lines, that's all.  :) Wow I can understand.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009 8:28 PM
  • User1848877749 posted

    Yup, it's a doozy all right.



    Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:37 PM
  • User1608042028 posted

    Hello mkprilliman

    I followed the instructions you provided step by step.

    We are running Win2008R2 SP1/64-bit/IIS7.5

    However, we encountered errors saying "Access to RDS handler was denied or Interface is not supported when running classic ASP.

    I checked the file version of the msadcs.dll.

    The dll running on Win2003 was 2.8

    On the other hand, the one running on Win2008 was 6.17

    If you have further information, could it be possible to provide the information?



    Friday, November 9, 2012 12:54 AM
  • User-1978875578 posted

    mkprilliman: WOW ... I follow the guide.. And i can configured the RDS COM+ on W2k8 64bits.. I reallly appreciate your guide... Thanks !!

    Friday, December 6, 2013 8:47 PM
  • User-1783573054 posted

    Hi Guys, hi Mkprilliman (did I spell that right ?  I lost count of the number of l's and i's in your name ;-))  ?),

    I too had a challenge a couple of years back to re-enable RDS in IIS7.x.

    Could not thank you enough because it prevented major rework in business application logic that was built over the course of 10 years time and works perfectly for all of our customers using the integration. 

    I got challenged today by Windows Server 2012 R2 (x64) / IIS 8 in which Microsoft took additional steps to (try and) get rid of RDS in IIS.

    I seem to have resolved that issue now, so it's time to give something back to all of you...

    What Microsoft removed in Windows Server 2012 R2 (and Windows 8) / IIS8 in the sense of RDS is described here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/jj584987(v=vs.85).aspx

    I now successfully also re-enabled RDS in W2K12R2/IIS8 as follows (Also thanks to Microsoft for clearly indicating what was removed, this made my job much easier. Thanks guys.):


    -          Copy missing components (see Microsoft URL) to MSADC folder on Windows Server 2012 R2 machine from a Windows Server 2008 R2 machine  (In my specific case, the MSDFMAP.DLL proved to be present already under W2K12R2, so did not overwrite that one, but simply added what was missing)

    -          Register (Using the 32 bit REGSVR32.EXE) MSADCF.DLL and MSDFMAP.DLL

    -          Doubleclick Handler.REG and HANDSAFE.REG files

    -          Execute procedure to enable RDS for Windows Server 2008 R2 (see above described procedure) and later.


    (I'm sure the procedure for Windows 8 must be similar due to the shared kernel / shared IIS8 environment, but did not try that out)

    Let's enjoy this while we still can....

    Wednesday, April 9, 2014 10:37 AM
  • User-2112995357 posted

    Hi guys, add some basic information , but important.
    Check the version of the Msadcs.dll files in:
    C : \ Program Files ( x86 ) \ Common Files \ System \ MSADC
    The correct file version is 6.1.7601.17912 or more.
    If you have a previus version of this DLL in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008R2

    take a Look to the KB Article Number(s): 2734642
    You need to update 3 dll installing the Windows6.1-KB2734642-v2-x64.msu

    Hope this helps.  

    Thursday, March 10, 2016 1:41 PM