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Using System.DirectoryServices to Access ASDI provider for IIS in VB.NET (Part I)

Author: Aadil

Reading Properties of IIS Objects

The System.DirectoryServices namespace provides the programmer access to any directory services including the directory service for IIS. The ADSI provider for IIS is available in Windows XP and Windows 2003 Server.


Behind the scenes the System.DirectoryServices access the low level COM API for its operation. This namespace is just a wrapper (very flexible and object oriented one) on the COM objects.


Each object or entry in the IIS directory is represented as a DirectoryEntry object and to get the whole web server on a specific machine in the DirectoryEntry you need to specify the IP address or the computer name running IIS.


Dim webServer As New DirectoryEntry("IIS://localhost/W3SVC")


Note : (I’ve tried to open the DirectoryEntry for another machine by providing extra parameters in the DirectoryEntry object’s constructor overloads but they don’t work that easily especially the username and password parameters won’t work for ADSI provider for IIS)


Each directory entry is associated with two main properties. One is the Children property which represents all the child objects present under this specific DirectoryEntry and the other is the Properties property which is an object of type PropertyCollection and contains all the properties of this DirectoryEntry object. Also there is no sure of which properties are present for a DirectoryEntry object, you need to manually specify the name or index of a property which you need to access.


The webServer object created above can contain many types of children such as Websites, SMTP Servers or FTP Servers etc. In the following code we will enumerate through all the children of the webServer object which are of types Websites and get a reference to that website whose name (Sever Comment) is “MyWeb”.

Dim webServer As New DirectoryEntry("IIS://localhost/W3SVC")


    Dim webSite As DirectoryEntry

    For Each webSite In webServer.Children

      If webSite.SchemaClassName = "IIsWebServer" Then

        'Check to see if the current webSite is what you want

        If webSite.Properties("ServerComment")(0) = "MyWeb" Then

          Exit For

        End If

      End If



    'Now here the webSite DirectoryEntry object contains a reference to the desired website

    Dim StrInfo As New StringBuilder


    StrInfo.Append("WebSite Name : " & webSite.Properties("ServerComment")(0) & vbCrLf)

    StrInfo.Append("Default Documents : " & webSite.Properties("DefaultDoc")(0) & vbCrLf)



Virtual directories are also represented by objects of type DirectoryEntry and there is a special Virtual Directory that represents the root of a website. To get access to this object we will enumerate through the Children property of this website object.


StrInfo = New StringBuilder


    Dim vdRoot As DirectoryEntry

    For Each vdRoot In webSite.Children

      If vdRoot.SchemaClassName = "IIsWebVirtualDir" Then

        StrInfo.Append("Virtual Directory Name : " & vdRoot.Name & vbCrLf)

        StrInfo.Append("Website Root Path : " & vdRoot.Properties("Path")(0) & vbCrLf)

      End If





This will show information about the root virtual directory. The properties are coming from the properties of the IIS Metabase. For more information about the Metabase properties of IIsWebServer entry refer to the following URL

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