Is Rails on IIS dead?

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John Doe

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:16:50 PM12/13/11
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Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
Is Rails on IIS dead?

We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.

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Kevin Bedell

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:21:43 PM12/13/11
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What is IIS?

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:21:37 PM12/13/11
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On 13 December 2011 17:16, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
> Is Rails on IIS dead?

Was it ever alive?! :-/

> We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
> looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.

hmmm... maybe the situation looks dire for IIS? Are you somehow
constrained to IIS for your web application?

Walter Lee Davis

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:25:19 PM12/13/11
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On Dec 13, 2011, at 12:16 PM, John Doe wrote:

> Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
> Is Rails on IIS dead?
>
> We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
> looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.

Do any of those references refer to Rack? I think that's the issue any more. I'm pretty sure that if you can host a Rack application on IIS, then you can host Rails.

I've never tried, because I've never needed to. I last used IIS in the late 90s, and I'm pretty sure it's changed a lot since then, but at the time, it was in principle trying very hard to ape the Apache conventions so as to ease uptake. Things like .htaccess and CGI and address rewriting were designed to be fairly transferable from one environment to the other.

What is your use-case that is binding you to IIS?

Walter

DK

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:31:11 PM12/13/11
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I tried on IIS about 1.5 years ago.... hey, not sure but I hear the folks at Bloomberg.com develop rails on windows, not sure if they deploy to windows but maybe that is a lead. But really my experience was a nightmare trying to deploy on windows. 

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John Doe

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:31:43 PM12/13/11
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Kevin Bedell wrote in post #1036546:
> What is IIS?

Your are kidding, right?

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:40:55 PM12/13/11
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On 13 Dec 2011 17:31, "John Doe" <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
>
> Kevin Bedell wrote in post #1036546:
> > What is IIS?
>
> Your are kidding, right?

Why should he be?
This is a Rails list; if you asked on a .Net list whether C# apps could be deployed with Passenger, some people there might ask what 'Passenger' is :-/

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:46:20 PM12/13/11
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On 13 December 2011 17:40, Michael Pavling <pav...@gmail.com> wrote:
> This is a Rails list; if you asked on a .Net list whether C# apps could be
> deployed with Passenger, some people there might ask what 'Passenger' is :-/

/s/Passenger/Nginx

...would probably be a better equivalent ;-)

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:48:02 PM12/13/11
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On 13 December 2011 17:31, DK <structura...@gmail.com> wrote:
> not sure but I hear the folks at
> Bloomberg.com develop rails on windows, not sure if they deploy to windows
> but maybe that is a lead. But really my experience was a nightmare trying to
> deploy on windows.

"Windows" is not necessarily "IIS" - it's perfectly possible to deploy
on Windows (with Apache, Passenger, etc). Deploying with IIS as per
the OP... that's likely to be much harder.

John Doe

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Dec 13, 2011, 12:56:22 PM12/13/11
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I appreciate the answers, but, why is everyone asking about my business
case for IIS?

Suffice it to say that I am bound by corporate policy which is now
committed to Microsoft technology. I don't want to get into an argument
over merits of Apache versus IIS but corporate policy perceives Apache
as a quirky open source thing that poses a security risk. Having to
manually keep it up to date and the relatively large volume of security
bulletins appear to have contributed to this perception.

Walter, its not about Rack. There is a 10 steps document which doesn't
work and there are links to FastCGI and RubyForIIS which no longer
appear to be available. I guess I'm asking whethere there exists an
up-to-date and working Rails ISAPI module for IIS.

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:00:56 PM12/13/11
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On 13 December 2011 17:56, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> I appreciate the answers, but, why is everyone asking about my business
> case for IIS?

Because you're telling us about a problem you have, and we're asking
you to back-up a little...

> Suffice it to say that I am bound by corporate policy which is now
> committed to Microsoft technology.

Well, then you won't be using Rails, as it's not MS technology, and
you would be breaching your corporate policy if you did.
Alternatively, if you can meet your "policy" by using Windows servers,
but other software (like Apache, or even a *nix VM running on a
Windows-based hypervisor...) then Rails may be an option.

> over merits of Apache versus IIS but corporate policy perceives Apache
> as a quirky open source thing that poses a security risk.

As opposed to quirky closed source things that pose security risks?!
Sounds like you have a management-education problem ;-)

John Doe

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:09:56 PM12/13/11
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Michael Pavling wrote in post #1036557:

I am aware that you can install Apache on Windows and that may be an
option if I can persuade (using appropriate supportable arguments)
someone to approve it. Looking at some of the comments I Have come
across on other forums, they seem to concur with your last statement
that setting up on IIS is (or at least was at the time) rather complex.
However, I am bound by corporate policy to at least explore the
possibility of using the native web server using other options only as a
last resort (i.e. where this can be proven not to be possible or
practical).

Miquel Cubel

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:16:47 PM12/13/11
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Hi,

    You can have a look at
    http://www.helicontech.com/zoo/

    I used to work with .Net, now I'm developing with RoR (for a year) from windows platform, and my recommendation will be to stay with ubuntu + apache server for production, as much as I will recommend to stay with windows + IIS for .Net applications and not to use wine for production (same case the opposite). It's like having two cars one with gasoline and the other with diesel, they can both work well (not to say that one is better than the other one) and you can eventually consider only buying gasoline because it's the standard and certificated fuel of the company and it might work for a while, but is a bad long term decision.

    Greetings,

  

El 13/12/2011 18:16, John Doe escribió:
Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
Is Rails on IIS dead?

We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.


Craig White

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:19:34 PM12/13/11
to rubyonra...@googlegroups.com

----
seems that there is a language or perception issue too.

IIS is not any more 'native' than Apache...

IIS is a Microsoft supplied application/service and Apache is not.

But they both can and do run on Windows so they are both 'native'

There are few who develop RoR applications on Windows and thus there isn't a great amount of resources for Windows developers which has only been made worse by the fact that RoR has been a fast moving framework.

The same holds true for deployment - perhaps even more so because of the reliance upon things like passenger.

I seem to recall that various versions of mongrel were possible for Windows IIS and thus would permit you to deploy but I don't know that they have been updated for Windows recently.

At any rate, you could probably use IIS to proxy connections to Apache running on other ports and thus have IIS servicing all port 80 traffic.

Craig

Michael Pavling

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:19:40 PM12/13/11
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On 13 December 2011 18:09, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> However, I am bound by corporate policy to at least explore the
> possibility of using the native web server using other options only as a
> last resort (i.e. where this can be proven not to be possible or
> practical).

Well, that's understandable, and you have my sympathy (I left your
type of role for freelancing a few years ago, and was very glad to
leave the worst of the corporate politics behind ;-)

So; trying to be impartial [1], you have two choices. Stick to the
corporate policy. and develop in .Net MVC (I'm afraid I can't even
pass comment, because I've not been near it), or explain about the
increased RoI, opportunity costs, workforce happiness, and other
benefits of working with Rails.

Flipping the questions around: what's making you think that you would
like to commence your development with RoR? Do you have existing
skills in house?

PS I know of all sorts of large corporates that run Rails projects:
Virgin Media, the BBC, BaeSystems, among others... if it's good enough
for them, then maybe your bosses will reconsider whether it'll do for
you

[1] but not succeeding, I'm afraid :-)

John Doe

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:23:29 PM12/13/11
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Michael Pavling wrote in post #1036562:

> On 13 December 2011 17:56, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
>> Suffice it to say that I am bound by corporate policy which is now
>> committed to Microsoft technology.
>
> Well, then you won't be using Rails, as it's not MS technology, and
> you would be breaching your corporate policy if you did.

Well, let's just say that Ruby/Rails appears to be the natural way to
move on from Perl, but that's another argument....

> As opposed to quirky closed source things that pose security risks?!

But at least we have Windows Update Services which ticks the relevant
box niceley....

> Sounds like you have a management-education problem ;-)

Its an all eggs in one basket contract leading to a management-brainwash
problem ;-)

Frederick Cheung

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Dec 13, 2011, 1:25:38 PM12/13/11
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On Dec 13, 5:16 pm, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
> Is Rails on IIS dead?
>
> We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
> looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.
>

These guys were asking for feedback / testing on their rails on IIS
deployment solution a few months ago :
http://groups.google.com/group/rubyonrails-talk/browse_thread/thread/d5bce3a24648c991/f97652ab21d5ce28?lnk=gst&q=iis#f97652ab21d5ce28

Fred

Luis Lavena

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Dec 13, 2011, 4:27:13 PM12/13/11
to Ruby on Rails: Talk
On Dec 13, 2:16 pm, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> Internet references are years out of date and links to downloads broken.
> Is Rails on IIS dead?
>
> We need to make a development decision and right now the situation it
> looks dire for Ruby on Rails... We could do with a straight answer.
>

Please look into Helicon Zoo:

http://www.helicontech.com/zoo/

It contains a Rack-based IIS adapter. I believe requires Ruby 1.9.2
minimum and work with IIS and IIS Express

The previous versions of Ruby/Rails for IIS will not work mainly
because:

* Where compiled with an incompatible version of Visual Studio that do
not link to the same version of the CRT and thus, segfaults.
* Is no longer maintained
* FastCGI (which was used for those IIS plugins) do not compile under
MinGW/GCC, which is the one used by latest Ruby installers.

Hope that helps.
--
Luis Lavena

Pieter Hugo

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Dec 15, 2011, 2:41:18 AM12/15/11
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Dont know about IIS but running rails on Windows is dog slow. I develop
on a Windows box and deploy on Linux and the speed difference is marked.
Have heard the same from others.

Pieter Hugo

Michael Pavling

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Dec 15, 2011, 3:09:34 AM12/15/11
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On 15 December 2011 07:41, Pieter Hugo <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> Dont know about IIS but running rails on Windows is dog slow. I develop
> on a Windows box and deploy on Linux and the speed difference is marked.
> Have heard the same from others.

Is that difference as noticeable if you run your Windows development
machine in "production" mode?...

Luis Lavena

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Dec 15, 2011, 8:11:50 AM12/15/11
to Ruby on Rails: Talk

The performance difference is in startup, not execution. Code load and
reload (during dev) slower on Windows than Linux, and is due how Ruby
C code is implemented.

Once the application starts performance is very good.

I've blogged about my presentation at RubyConf Argentina:
http://blog.mmediasys.com/2011/11/26/rubyconf-argentina-and-fenix/
(Sorry, slides are in spanish)

And someone blogged about the work I mention there before:
http://itreallymatters.net/post/12897174267/speedup-ruby-1-9-3-on-windows

Cheers,
--
Luis Lavena

John Doe

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Dec 16, 2011, 9:24:14 AM12/16/11
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Pieter Hugo wrote in post #1036832:

> Dont know about IIS but running rails on Windows is dog slow. I develop
> on a Windows box and deploy on Linux and the speed difference is marked.
> Have heard the same from others.
>
> Pieter Hugo

I got a blank Rails project up and running and I noticed it takes at
least 30-60 secs to load up the hello page on an idle server, sometimes
much longer and this delay is highly variable. This is just crazy. From
my research via Google it does not appear to be just an IIS problem
either, although its apparently much worse on IIS. I have also
discovered that there are complaints about ruby being slower by orders
of magnitude compared to other scripting languages, rails performance
being generally poor and an apparent self-defeating reluctance by the
developpers to support rails properly on the worlds most popular
commercial platform. This is a great shame, since the potential for
development appears to be huge if the hype is to be believed but the
above problems appear to be an obstacle to takeup.

I still need to understand terms such as rack, passenger, mongrel,
webrick etc and where they fit in but I'm already thinking of abandoning
rails. However, before I do that, I am going to test it for comparison
on Apache for Windows.

Luis Lavena

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Dec 16, 2011, 10:13:59 AM12/16/11
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On Dec 16, 11:24 am, John Doe <li...@ruby-forum.com> wrote:
> Pieter Hugo wrote in post #1036832:
>
> > Dont know about IIS but running rails on Windows is dog slow. I develop
> > on a Windows box and deploy on Linux and the speed difference is marked.
> > Have heard the same from others.
>
> > Pieter Hugo
>
> I got a blank Rails project up and running and I noticed it takes at
> least 30-60 secs to load up the hello page on an idle server, sometimes
> much longer and this delay is highly variable. This is just crazy. From
> my research via Google it does not appear to be just an IIS problem
> either, although its apparently much worse on IIS. I have also
> discovered that there are complaints about ruby being slower by orders
> of magnitude compared to other scripting languages, rails performance
> being generally poor and an apparent self-defeating reluctance by the
> developpers to support rails properly on the worlds most popular
> commercial platform. This is a great shame, since the potential for
> development appears to be huge if the hype is to be believed but the
> above problems appear to be an obstacle to takeup.
>

Please see my previous response on this subject:

https://groups.google.com/group/rubyonrails-talk/msg/44eedbb72013d8d0

The first request, which loads the code in memory will be slow, even
slower in development mode due code reload and because loading code in
Windows is slow (again, see my previous response)

> I still need to understand terms such as rack, passenger, mongrel,
> webrick etc and where they fit in but I'm already thinking of abandoning
> rails. However, before I do that, I am going to test it for comparison
> on Apache for Windows.
>

Will not make a difference, please see my previous comment.

At this time, if you have the alternative to implement your
application in other than IIS or WIndows, go to Linux and use 1.9.3 +
Passenger and Nginx.

--
Luis Lavena

Craig White

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Dec 16, 2011, 4:14:36 PM12/16/11
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----
Probably should abandon RoR

If your metric is using Windows for deployment, you won't be happy with the results and that it performs poorly when deployed on Windows hardly comes as a surprise.

Your expression of Windows as critical to RoR ignores the reality that the majority of web servers are clearly not Microsoft. The developers of RoR don't worry about Windows deployment because they don't need to - as you said, there's enough hype/buzz and obviously deployment platforms for it not to be a concern. If there are users who have to go elsewhere because of their 'lockin' to Windows as the primary deployment platform, so be it.

You should file a bug report with Microsoft asking them to create ruby/rails cgi/gateway to deploy applications via IIS. Maybe the world's most popular commercial platform should learn to support middleware other than their own.

Craig

Frederick Cheung

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Dec 16, 2011, 4:57:10 PM12/16/11
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>
> You should file a bug report with Microsoft asking them to create ruby/rails cgi/gateway to deploy applications via IIS. Maybe the world's most popular commercial platform should learn to support middleware other than their own.
>
Is Microsoft still funding ironruby?

Fred

> Craig

Daniel Shimoyama

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Dec 16, 2011, 10:55:12 PM12/16/11
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No, its over.

2011/12/16 Frederick Cheung <frederic...@gmail.com>:

John Ivanoff

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Dec 17, 2011, 12:50:40 PM12/17/11
to Ruby on Rails: Talk
Where I work we are a MS shop but I got ROR in there. I did get my ap
running on a win 2k with apache. I actually had .asp and ROR apps
running on the same box. My ROR app was slow. I was able to spin up a
Ubuntu VM and it ran faster. When I showed that I was BBD they liked
that. Showing them my method of testing and building they got
comfortable with it. Now we are rewriting one of our enterprise apps
in ROR. Communication was the key and it didn't happen over night. I
feel lucky.

I never had to use the "but your iPad isn't a windows product."

Good luck. Keep pushing. Show the managers how it will help them. All
the gems you can use to save time to write apps. Saving time = spacing
money right?

Done rambling.

Cheers,
John

On Dec 16, 9:55 pm, Daniel Shimoyama <shimoyama.dan...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> No, its over.
>
> 2011/12/16 Frederick Cheung <frederick.che...@gmail.com>:


>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> >> You should file a bug report with Microsoft asking them to create ruby/rails cgi/gateway to deploy applications via IIS. Maybe the world's most popular commercial platform should learn to support middleware other than their own.
>
> > Is Microsoft still funding ironruby?
>
> > Fred
>
> >> Craig
>
> >> --
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> >> To post to this group, send email to rubyonra...@googlegroups.com.
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Paul D.

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Dec 20, 2011, 8:17:01 PM12/20/11
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John,

I am in the same boat. It looks like IIS is a poor choice.

If we replace IIS with Apache, would the speed problem persist?

Paul

John Ivanoff

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Dec 22, 2011, 12:00:04 AM12/22/11
to Ruby on Rails: Talk
It did sped it up. I actually had ISS and Apache serving pages on the
same box.
I also got nginx to run on it. Seemed flakey. This is also two years
ago.
My ISS app was used to check what is available to rent by our sales
team. Worked fine. I wouldn't try a heavy traffic site on it.

Like I said it's been a while but I might have some posts on what I
did
http://johnivanoff.blogspot.com
I sure have some files laying around too.
Any questions let me know.

Cheers,
John

John Maxwell

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Dec 22, 2011, 12:43:22 AM12/22/11
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This seems like a cruel joke to have to constrain RoR, or any modern web
framework to IIS. If your company are concerned about rails
implementations not being "enterprise" enough, then JRuby comes to the
rescue - coupling the ease of rails with the enterprise power of the JVM
- possibly worth a look.

Apache + Passenger will be much quicker than IIS for running Rails, as
Passenger was designed to do it, unlike IIS. If you're waiting 30sec+
for first page load though, something else is wrong - if I take a deep
breath go back to windows, it takes around 5sec here with a modern CPU
and MRI1.9.2.

Slava Shynkarenko

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Dec 27, 2011, 4:08:41 PM12/27/11
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John Maxwell wrote in post #1037800:

> This seems like a cruel joke to have to constrain RoR, or any modern web
> framework to IIS. If your company are concerned about rails
> implementations not being "enterprise" enough, then JRuby comes to the
> rescue - coupling the ease of rails with the enterprise power of the JVM
> - possibly worth a look.

Oh yes, because IIS is a piece of brachiosaurus bond, found by Microsoft
somewhere near Silicon Valley :-) Funny though, ASP.NET and Node.js on
IIS make Rails a sad joke, both being modern-shmodern all right.

>
> Apache + Passenger will be much quicker than IIS for running Rails, as
> Passenger was designed to do it, unlike IIS. If you're waiting 30sec+
> for first page load though, something else is wrong - if I take a deep
> breath go back to windows, it takes around 5sec here with a modern CPU
> and MRI1.9.2.

I’m not sure Apache was designed for Rails either. Passenger does all
the job. But it’s not the fastest solution! We did several performance
tests, comparing IIS (with Helicon Zoo), Apache and Nginx on both
Windows and Ubuntu. The first place took Nginx+Thin on Ubuntu. With
little difference there was IIS+Helicon Zoo. Apache+Passenger took 3rd
place. Other combinations were worse.

Well, 2—3 years ago there was a gap between Ruby developers on Windows
and Linux/Mac. But there isn’t any more. Windows actually gets much more
attention by both MRI and gems developers. I can assure you, IIS is
robust and mature web-server and the platform is ready to host Ruby
applications.

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