Wednesday, November 15, 2006

IIS not streaming PDF

Keywords:
IIS 6.0 not streaming PDF IE

Problem:
As is the theme for many of these posts. The setup is IIS -> ISAPI/JK -> Tomcat. The application running on Tomcat is generating PDF. If you access the application directly via Tomcat the PDF content is returned fine - ie. Opens via the Adobe Reader plugin in IE. If you access the application via IIS you get a blank page in IE. All other formats work fine.

Solution:
The problem in this case was a setting in IIS that zips the content it's serving up. This is fine for HTML as browsers recognise this and unzip. For the Adobe PDF reader, the content is not expected to be compressed - hence the blank page, it doesn't know what to do (but an error message would have helped).

In IIS Manager, right click on the folder "Web Sites" and choose Properties. Click the "Services" tab.

You need to make sure HTML Compression is turned off. I’m not sure about the IIS 5.0 isolation setting ...

Restart IIS – right click the server (above the Web Sites folder) and choose All Tasks > Restart IIS ...

Select the "Restart Internet Services on YOUR-SERVER" option. It will only take only a few seconds (rather than 300).

1 comment:

Daniel said...

So just to mention this anecdotally, we found that for some of users Adobe failed to open the PDF in the browser until we also enabled the WWW service to run in IIS 5.0 isolation mode.