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Configuring Virtual Directories

You may want to include content on a web server that is not contained in a local folder. You can create a website that takes advantage of a virtual directory. A virtual directory is a pointer to an actual physical directory. This physical directory can be local but it can also be a remote directory, meaning you can point to the remote content rather than actually copying it to a physical folder on the local server.

To create a virtual directory, follow these steps:

1. With a site selected in the Connections tree, click View Virtual Directories in the Actions pane. The Virtual Directories page appears.

2. In the Actions pane, click the Add Virtual Directory link. The Add Virtual Directory dialog box appears (see Figure 23.16).

Figure 23.16. The Add Virtual Directory dialog box.

3. Type an alias for the virtual directory in the Alias box.

4. Type the physical path for the virtual directory in the Physical Path box. You can use the Browse button to locate the folder (locally or remotely) that will serve as the physical path for the virtual directory.

5. The default authentication is pass-through. You can (if you wish, but anonymous authentication works just fine) specify to connect as a specific user in the Connect As dialog box—click Connect As.

6. When you have finished configuring the virtual directory, click OK.

The new virtual directory appears in the virtual directory list (see Figure 23.17). You can edit the virtual directory by selecting it and then clicking Basic Settings.

Figure 23.17. Virtual directories can be edited or removed.

[View full size image]

You have access to the virtual directory items as if they were saved locally. To view the virtual directory (in Internet Explorer), click the Browse link in the Actions pane. To explore the content of the virtual directory, click Explore. You can also edit the permissions for a virtual directory by clicking the directory to select it and then click Edit Permissions. (Permissions are discussed in Hour 13, “Using Share and NTFS Permissions.”)

Bottom line: The use of virtual directories makes it easier to keep track of content and configure content access. This is true whether the virtual directory points to a local folder or a remote folder.

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