Set up SmarterMail as an IIS Site in IIS 8

This article applies to recent versions of SmarterMail. View articles for SmarterMail 15.x and earlier.

By default, SmarterMail installs a basic web server that allows administrators to start using the application immediately after installation. However, SmarterTools recommends moving to a more robust and secure Web server, such as Microsoft IIS.

NOTE: This topic assumes that you have IIS installed and are familiar with how it works. if you are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable using Microsoft IIS you can use the Web server included with SmarterMail . It is also recommended to be up to date with all software patches.

Applies to SmarterMail 8.x - 15.x

This article covers the following:

  • Disabling the SmarterMail Web server
  • Adding IIS ISAPI components
  • Adding a new application pool for SmarterMail
  • Adding SmarterMail to IIS
  • Verifying IIS Settings
  • Updating DNS
  • Testing the site

Disabling the SmarterMail Web Server
These steps will stop and disable the default web server that is included with SmarterMail. This will also have the side-effect of disabling any shortcut for SmarterMail that may be placed on your desktop until you update it with the new URL for the SmarterMail site created in IIS.

  1. Click on Start -> Programs -> SmarterTools -> SmarterMail -> Configure SmarterMail Web Server
  2. Click on the Stop button
  3. Change the Startup Mode to Disabled
  4. Click on the Apply button
  5. Click the Close button

NOTE: You can also stop and disable the SmarterMail Web server from within the Services administrative tool if you are more comfortable using the Windows Server admin tool set.

Add IIS ISAPI Components

Follow these sets to add the necessary IIS components.

  1. Open up IIS
  2. When prompted Launch Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  3. Click on Products tab
  4. Click on Servers
  5. Install required components of: IIS: ASP.NET, .NET Extensibility, ASP, CGI, ISAPI Extensions, ISAPI Filters
  6. Install any other options components
  7. Click Install

Add an Application Pool

Follow these steps to add an application pool specifically for SmarterMail:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Right click on Application Pools from the tree view and choose Add Application Pool
  3. Name the new application pool SmarterMail, or something similarly easy to identify
  4. Set the .Net Framework Version to v4.5.x (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework.)
  5. Set the Application Pools Managed Pipeline to 'Integrated'
  6. Make sure "Start application pool immediately" is checked
  7. Click OK

Add SmarterMail to IIS
Follow these steps to add SmarterMail to IIS:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
  2. Click on your Server Name, and on the right side, under IIS, double-click ISAPI and CGI Restrictions
  3. Verify that ASP.NET v4.5 is allowed. If not, right click on ASP.NET v4.5.x and select Allowed. (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework.)
  4. On the left side of the page, right click on Sites in the tree view and choose Add Website
  5. Name the site SmarterMail
  6. If you created an Application Pool name other than SmarterMail, click Select and choose the correct Application Pool
  7. For the physical path, browse to the SmarterMail -> MRS folder. The default location is C:\Program Files (x86)\SmarterTools\SmarterMail\MRS
  8. For Binding, choose an IP address to use for Webmail. If this IP address is shared with another Web site, you will need to use a different port or Host Headers. For more information about using Host headers, refer to the IIS documentation
  9. Make sure "Start Web site immediately" is checked
  10. Click OK

Verify IIS Settings
Follow these steps to verify the IIS settings. Please read each item carefully.

  1. In IIS Manager, click on your ServerName
  2. Under IIS, double click ISAPI and CGI Restrictions
  3. Verify that ASP .NET v4.5 is allowed. If it is not, right-click on ASP .NET v4.5 and select Allowed. (SmarterMail versions 13.x and older allow the .NET 4.0 framework.)
  4. In the tree view, click Sites
  5. Expand (or double click) the SmarterMail site
  6. Click on the App_Themes folder
  7. Under IIS, double click HTTP Response Headers
  8. Under the Action menus, click Set Common Headers
  9. Enable the Expire Web content setting
    • Click After
    • Add 7 for the number of days
  10. Click OK
  11. Click on Application Pools in the tree view
  12. Right click on the SmarterMail application pool and select Advanced Settings
  13. Under the Process Model heading, ensure the the Identity is set to the NetworkService account
  14. From the Start menu, open Administrative Tools and select Services, then verify that the World Wide Publishing Service is running
Learn more about SmarterMail's enterprise email features and benefits.


Add Feedback
After following this step by step when I browse to the SmarterMail site, I only get a blank page.
Brian Meissen (December 4, 2014 at 8:27 PM)
Hi Brian,

This is definitely not expected behavior. I would recommend opening a support ticket so our support team can troubleshoot this issue for you. If there's a bug that caused this issue your ticket would be refunded. To start a support ticket you can head over to the tickets section of the portal or contact our sales team for further assistance.

Thank you!

Andrea Rogers (December 5, 2014 at 7:57 AM)
I couldn't follow the steps for installing the isapi filters
you write, open iis .. prompted Launch Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
Well.. that is the same as saying, open IIS
Then you write..: Click on the products tab..
So... I looked for a products tap in IIS but that's not there.
So these are the steps to install ISAPI on windows 2012r2

On the taskbar, click Server Manager.
In Server Manager, click the Manage menu, and then click Add Roles and Features.
In the Add Roles and Features wizard, click Next. Select the installation type and click Next. Select the destination server and click Next.
On the Server Roles page, expand Web Server (IIS), expand Web Server, expand Application Development, and then select ISAPI Filters. Click Next.

On the Select features page, click Next.
On the Confirm installation selections page, click Install.
On the Results page, click Close.


Richard Frank (December 9, 2014 at 5:51 AM)
Alejandro Muñoz (January 12, 2015 at 5:27 PM)
Following the steps when I get to "expand Application Development, and then select ISAPI Filters." I only seen three options and none is select ISAPI Filters.

My problem is I cant set smartermail as the default webmail in Plesk

Roberto Parker (March 14, 2015 at 8:32 AM)
When prompted Launch Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
Click on Products tab
Click on Servers
What?? I've been running IIS since 1.0 (the beta release) prior to 2.0 and there is no Products Tab inside of the IIS Manager.

The only tabs in IIS 8 are File | View | Help

Michael Barber (May 4, 2016 at 9:16 AM)
By default on Windows 2012, only authentication that is allowed is that correct?...because it is not working.
Michael Barber (May 4, 2016 at 12:40 PM)

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