Configuring IIS for Silverlight Applications

by Walter Oliver


Microsoft SilverlightTM is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET-based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. Silverlight offers a flexible programming model that supports AJAX, VB, C#, Python, and Ruby, and integrates with existing Web applications. Silverlight supports fast, cost-effective delivery of high-quality video to all major browsers running on the Mac OS or Windows.

In most cases, hosters do not need to perform particular deployments to support Silverlight. However, check for the following basic items that could prevent Silverlight from functioning correctly.

MIME Types

IIS in Windows Server 2008

All MIME types needed to support Silverlight are implemented by default in IIS 7 and above in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista SP1. Windows Vista customers can add MIME types by running IIS Manager, clicking MIME Types, then clicking Add, and then adding the following MIME types:

  • .xap application/x-silverlight-app
  • .xaml application/xaml+xml
  • .xbap application/x-ms-xbap

Screenshot of the Edit MIME Type dialog box, showing application/x-silverlight-app in the M I M E Type field.

Alternatively, you can add the following MIME types to your %windir%\system32\inetsrv\config\applicationHost.config file in the <staticContent> section.

<mimeMap fileExtension=".xaml" mimeType="application/xaml+xml" />
<mimeMap fileExtension=".xap" mimeType="application/x-silverlight-app" />
<mimeMap fileExtension=".xbap" mimeType="application/x-ms-xbap" />

In Windows Server 2003 IIS 6.0

To enable IIS 6.0 in Windows Server 2003 or IIS 7 in Windows Vista with the appropriate MIME Types, add:

  • .xap application/x-silverlight-app
  • .xaml application/xaml+xml
  • .xbap application/x-ms-xbap

Here is a VBS script you could run to enable each of these types:

if WScript.Arguments.Count < 2 then
 WScript.Echo "Usage: " + WScript.ScriptName + " extension mimetype"
end if 
'Get the mimemap object.  
Set MimeMapObj = GetObject("IIS://LocalHost/MimeMap")  
'Get the mappings from the MimeMap property.  
aMimeMap = MimeMapObj.GetEx("MimeMap")  
' Add a new mapping.  
i = UBound(aMimeMap) + 1  
Redim Preserve aMimeMap(i)  
Set aMimeMap(i) = CreateObject("MimeMap")  
aMimeMap(i).Extension = WScript.Arguments(0)  
aMimeMap(i).MimeType = WScript.Arguments(1)  
MimeMapObj.PutEx ADS_PROPERTY_UPDATE, "MimeMap", aMimeMap  
WScript.Echo "MimeMap successfully added: "
WScript.Echo "    Extension: " + WScript.Arguments(0)
WScript.Echo "    Type:      " + WScript.Arguments(1)

If you copy and paste the code above into a VBS file and save it as ADDMIMETYPE.VBS, the syntax to add each type would be:

ADDMIMETYPE.VBS  .xap  application/x-silverlight-app
ADDMIMETYPE.VBS  .xaml application/xaml+xml
ADDMIMETYPE.VBS  .xbap application/x-ms-xbap

Using the IIS Manager User Interface in IIS 6.0 in Windows Server 2003

  1. Go to Start\Administrative Tools and run IIS Manager. See the figure below:
    Screenshot of the Windows Start menu's All Programs option leading to the Administrative Tools folder, then to the Internet Information Services (I I S) Manager application.

  2. Right click on the server name and select Properties. See the figure below:
    Screenshot of the right-click menu's Properties option being highlighted over the selected server's name.

  3. In the Properties dialog box, click MIME Types. See the figure below:
    Screenshot of the Properties dialog box, showing the M I M E types field.

  4. In the MIME Types dialog box, click New. See the figure below:
    Screenshot of the MIME Types dialog box, with a focus on the New option.

  5. In the MIME Types dialog box, enter one of these MIME types:

    • .xap application/x-silverlight-app

    • .xaml application/xaml+xml

    • .xbap application/x-ms-xbap

      See the figure below:

      Screenshot of the MIME Types dialog box, showing the Extension and M I M E type fields.

For detailed information on Silverlight, visit