Microsoft Windows

Last update: Edit

1 Introduction

This document describes the installation and configuration of Mendix software on a system running Microsoft (MS) Windows. It covers:

  • Installing the Mendix Service Console

  • Deploying a Mendix app

  • Configuring the MS Internet Information Services (IIS) server

2 Prerequisites

To set up an environment to run Mendix applications, you will need to install the Mendix software. For each Mendix application that will be run, a separate user (service) account is required. This section presents an overview of the setup.

Before starting this how-to, make sure you have the following prerequisites:

  • MS Windows 2008 SP2 or higher

  • .NET Framework 4.5 or higher

  • IIS 7 or higher with the following service roles enabled:

    • IIS Management console

    • Default Document

    • Static content

  • MS Application Request Routing (ARR) installed (for more information, see Application Request Routing)

  • MS IIS URL Rewrite installed (for more information, see URL Rewrite)

  • Java Runtime, version depending on your Mendix Server Distribution. See System Requirements for more information.

  • The Mendix Deployment Archive (MDA) of your Mendix project

  • The Mendix server distribution corresponding with your Mendix Studio Pro version (see the Mendix Marketplace)

  • A database with sufficient security rights

    • Suitable database servers are IBM DB2, MariaDB, MS SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle Database and PostgreSQL. See System Requirements for more information
  • A local or domain user with the “log on as a service” local security policy set

3 Installing the Mendix Service Console

To download and install the Mendix Service Console, follow these steps:

  1. Download the latest version of the Mendix Service Console by following the Related downloads link from the Studio Pro Download Page of the Marketplace.

  2. Install the Mendix Service Console by following the installation wizard.

  3. Start the Mendix Service Console after completing the installation. The first time you launch the application, a popup will be shown (it will always be shown if no valid location is configured for the apps and server files):

  4. Click Yes. The Preferences dialog box will be shown:

  5. In the Preferences dialog box, enter a Location of apps and server files. This location is used for storing your app files and Mendix server files. Mendix recommends using a directory:

    • that is NOT on the system partition

    • where you can easily control the security rights

    The app directory consists of four sub-directories:

    • Backup – stores any database changes due to model upgrades

    • Log – stores all of the application log files

    • Project – contains all of your application files; within this directory you will find the directory data/files that contain all of your uploaded files

    • Service – contains files for configuring the Windows Services

    In addition, there will be a file called Settings.yaml that contains your application configuration.

4 Deploying a Mendix App

To deploy a Mendix app using the Mendix Service Console, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Mendix Service Console.

  2. Click Add app to add a new app. A wizard will appear for configuring the new app.

  3. Configure the Service Settings as follows:

    • Service name – this name must be unique within all existing Windows services

    • Display name – the description of the app which is visible as a tooltip for the app in the left bar of the Mendix Service Console or as a column in the list of Windows services

    • Description – a description of the application that will be visible in the Mendix Service Console

    • Startup type – select whether you want the app to be started automatically when the server starts, started with a delay, started manually, or disabled altogether

    • User name and Password – the app will always run under the user account given here, and the service will be installed with this user account configured (for more information, see Prerequisites)

  4. Click Next >.

  5. On the Project Files screen, click Select app….

  6. Now select the MDA file that was created in Studio Pro and contains your application logic. After the installation of your MDA file, you will see which Mendix server (Mendix Runtime) version is needed.

  7. Configure the Database Settings:

    • Type – the database server type

    • Host – the IP address or host name of the database server

    • Name – the database name

    • User name and Password – the database user name and password

  8. Click Next >.

  9. On the Common Configuration screen, keep the default settings. These settings should only be changed if this is needed for your application setup.

  10. Click Finish and start the application.

5 Configuring the Microsoft Internet Information Services Server

To configure the MS IIS server, follow the steps in the sections below.

5.1 Activating a Proxy in ARR

In order to use the proxy functionality within ARR, you need to enable this feature within IIS. To activate a proxy in ARR, follow these steps:

  1. Start the IIS Manager.

  2. Select the Server in the Connections pane.

  3. Open the Application Request Routing feature.

  4. Click Server Proxy Settings in the Actions pane on the right side of the screen.

  5. Select Enable proxy and click Apply in the Actions pane.

5.2 Creating a Website

To create a website, follow these steps:

  1. Open the IIS Manager.

  2. In the Connections pane, click the Sites node in the tree. If Default Website or any other website is present under Sites, please check if it is being used.

  3. Right-click Sites and select Add Web Site.

  4. In the Add Web Site dialog box, enter a friendly name for your web site in the Web site name field.

  5. In the Physical path field, enter the physical path of your application-project-web folder (for example, D:\Mendix\Apps\Application\Project\Web).

  6. Select the Protocol for the website from the Type list.

  7. The default value in the IP address box field is All Unassigned. If you need to specify a static IP address for the website, enter the address in the IP address box.

  8. Enter a port number in the Port field.

  9. If any other website is already running on this IIS server, enter the desired hostname for this website in the Host name field.

  10. Click OK.

5.3 Add HTTPS binding

  1. Make sure the certificate you want to use for the website has been added to the Windows Certificate Store.

  2. Right-click the website you have just created and select Edit Bindings….

  3. Click Add….

  4. In the Type field, select https.

  5. In the Host name field, enter the hostname you want to use for this website.

  6. If the certificate you are going to use is an SNI certificate, check the Require Server Name Indication box.

  7. Select the certificate for the website either in the dropdown box or through the Select… dialog.

  8. Click OK.

5.4 Configuring the MIME Types

To configure the MIME types, follow these steps:

  1. Open the IIS Manager and navigate to the website you want to manage.

  2. In the Features View, double-click MIME Types.

  3. In the Actions pane, click Add.

  4. In the Add MIME Type dialog box, add this file type:

    • File name extension: .mxf
    • MIME type: text/xml
  5. Depending on the IIS version, the MIME type for JSON can be present by default or not. Check if .json is already in the list and if not, add another MIME type:

    • File name extension: .json
    • MIME type: application/json
  6. Click OK.

5.5 Configuring the URL Rewrite

5.5.1 Reverse Proxy Inbound Rules

You need to add a number of rules to configure the following request handlers.

Rule Name Pattern Rewrite URL
1 xas ^(xas/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
2 ws ^(ws/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
3 ws-doc ^(ws-doc/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
4 file ^(file)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
5 link ^(link/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
6 rest ^(rest/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
7 rest-doc ^(rest-doc/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}
8 debugger ^(debugger/)(.*) http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}

Follow the instructions below and replace [Name] with the name of the rule in the table above, [Pattern] with the regular expression pattern, and [Rewrite URL] with the Rewrite URL. Note that some patterns contain a trailing slash, /, when they need to point to an exact path (for example, /ws-doc/mydoc/1234).

  1. Open the IIS Manager and navigate to the website you want to manage.

  2. In the Features View, double-click URL Rewrite.

  3. In the Actions pane on the right side of the screen, click Add rule(s)… to add a new rewrite rule.

  4. In the Inbound Rules section, double-click Blank rule.

  5. In the Name field, enter [Name] from the table above.

  6. In the Match URL section, set Requested URL to Matches the Pattern.

  7. Set Using to Regular Expressions.

  8. In the Pattern field, enter [Pattern].

  9. In the Action section, set Action type to Rewrite.

  10. In the Rewrite URL field, enter [Rewrite URL] (in the rules above this is always http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}).

  11. Ensure the Append query string checkbox is set to true (checked).

  12. Click Apply.

  13. Click Back to Rules.

  14. Repeat from step 3 to add all the required rules.

You can also add additional request handlers in the same way. However you must ensure that they come after the rule add x-forwarded-proto header, described below.

5.5.2 Rule add x-forwarded-proto header

This is required to ensure that you can access the Swagger documentation of your published REST services.

  1. Click View Server Variables.

  2. Check if server variable HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO is listed. If it is, skip to step 7.

  3. In the Action page, click Add to add the server variable.

  4. Enter the Server variable name HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO.

  5. Click OK.

  6. Click Back to Rules.

  7. Click Add rule(s)….

  8. Click Blank Rule.

  9. Set the Name to add x-forwarded-proto header.

  10. In the Match URL section, set Requested URL to Matches the Pattern.

  11. Set Using to Regular Expressions.

  12. Set the Pattern to .*.

  13. Set Ignore Case to true (checked).

  14. In the Server Variables section, click Add.

  15. Select Server variable name HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO.

  16. Set Value to https.

  17. Click OK.

  18. In the Action section, select None.

  19. Set Stop processing of subsequent rules to false (unchecked).

  20. Click Apply in the Action pane to save the rule.

  21. Click Back to Rules.

  22. Select the newly created add x-forwarded-proto header rule and use the Move Up button in the Action pane to move the rule to the top of the list.

5.5.3 Redirect HTTP to HTTPS (optional)

If HTTPS was configured at step 5.3 it is recommended to redirect all unencrypted HTTP traffic to HTTPS. To configure this, follow these steps:

  1. Click Add rule(s)….

  2. Click Blank Rule.

  3. Set the Name to Redirect to HTTPS.

  4. In the Match URL section, set Requested URL to Matches the Pattern.

  5. Set Using to Regular Expressions.

  6. Set the pattern to (.*).

  7. Set Ignore Case to true (checked).

  8. In the Conditions section, click Add….

    1. In the Condition input field, enter {HTTPS}.

    2. Set Check if input string to Matches the Pattern.

    3. In the Pattern field, enter: off.

    4. Set Ignore case to true (checked).

    5. Click OK.

  9. In the Action section, set Action type to Redirect.

  10. In the Redirect URL field, enter https://{HTTP_HOST}/{R:1}.

  11. Set Append query string to true (checked).

  12. Set Redirect type to Permanent (301).

  13. Click Apply in the Actions pane to save the rule.

  14. Click Back to Rules.

  15. Select the newly created Redirect to HTTPS rule and use the Move Up button in the Action pane to move the rule to the top of the list, even above the previously created add x-forwarded-proto header rule.

5.6 Disabling the Client Cache

  1. In the Features View, double-click HTTP Response Headers.

  2. In the Actions pane, click Set Common Headers….

  3. Set Expire Web content to true (checked).

  4. Make sure the Immediately radio button is selected.

  5. Click OK.

Afterwards, the contents of the web.config file will be similar to the following example:


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
                <rule name="add x-forwarded-proto header">
                    <match url=".*" />
                    <conditions logicalGrouping="MatchAll" trackAllCaptures="false" />  <serverVariables>
                        <set name="HTTP_X_FORWARDED_PROTO" value="https" />
                    <action type="None" />
                <rule name="xas" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(xas/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="ws" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(ws/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="ws-doc" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(ws-doc/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="file" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(file)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="link" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(link/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="rest" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(rest/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="rest-doc" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(rest-doc/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
                <rule name="debugger" stopProcessing="true">
                    <match url="^(debugger/)(.*)" />
                    <action type="Rewrite" url="http://localhost:8080/{R:1}{R:2}" />
            <mimeMap fileExtension=".mxf" mimeType="text/xml" />
            <clientCache cacheControlMode="DisableCache" />

6 Preserving the Host Header

To make sure the correct application root URL is used within your web services, you must make sure the host header contains the original host header from the client request. To make sure the host header is preserved, follow either of these steps.

  1. Via IIS Manager:

    1. Select the Server in the Connections pane.

    2. Double-click the Configuration editor feature.

    3. In the Section drop-down menu, select system.webServer/proxy.

    4. Set the preserveHostHeader option to True.

    5. In the Actions pane, click Apply.

  2. Via command prompt:

    1. Click Start, and then click All Programs.

    2. Click Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.

    3. Execute the following command from the command prompt:

      cd %windir%\system32\inetsrv
    4. Enter:

      appcmd.exe set config -section:system.webServer/proxy /preserveHostHeader:"True" /commit:apphost

7 Troubleshooting

When configuring IIS it can seem like you have done everything right but it just doesn’t seem to work. A guide to troubleshooting IIS is available here: Troubleshooting IIS.

8 Read More