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Microsoft IIS
Microsoft IIS

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Microsoft IIS vs Unicorn: What are the differences?

Developers describe Microsoft IIS as "A web server for Microsoft Windows". Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows Server is a flexible, secure and manageable Web server for hosting anything on the Web. From media streaming to web applications, IIS's scalable and open architecture is ready to handle the most demanding tasks. On the other hand, Unicorn is detailed as "Rack HTTP server for fast clients and Unix". Unicorn is an HTTP server for Rack applications designed to only serve fast clients on low-latency, high-bandwidth connections and take advantage of features in Unix/Unix-like kernels. Slow clients should only be served by placing a reverse proxy capable of fully buffering both the the request and response in between Unicorn and slow clients.

Microsoft IIS and Unicorn belong to "Web Servers" category of the tech stack.

"Great with .net" is the top reason why over 77 developers like Microsoft IIS, while over 80 developers mention "Fast" as the leading cause for choosing Unicorn.

Unicorn is an open source tool with 1.35K GitHub stars and 248 GitHub forks. Here's a link to Unicorn's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Microsoft IIS has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1492 company stacks & 302 developers stacks; compared to Unicorn, which is listed in 176 company stacks and 55 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Microsoft IIS?

Internet Information Services (IIS) for Windows Server is a flexible, secure and manageable Web server for hosting anything on the Web. From media streaming to web applications, IIS's scalable and open architecture is ready to handle the most demanding tasks.

What is Unicorn?

Unicorn is an HTTP server for Rack applications designed to only serve fast clients on low-latency, high-bandwidth connections and take advantage of features in Unix/Unix-like kernels. Slow clients should only be served by placing a reverse proxy capable of fully buffering both the the request and response in between Unicorn and slow clients.
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      What are some alternatives to Microsoft IIS and Unicorn?
      Apache Tomcat
      Apache Tomcat powers numerous large-scale, mission-critical web applications across a diverse range of industries and organizations.
      nginx
      nginx [engine x] is an HTTP and reverse proxy server, as well as a mail proxy server, written by Igor Sysoev. According to Netcraft nginx served or proxied 30.46% of the top million busiest sites in Jan 2018.
      SharePoint
      It empowers teamwork with dynamic and productive team sites for every project team, department, and division. Share and manage content, knowledge, and applications to empower teamwork, quickly find information, and seamlessly collaborate across the organization.
      Apache HTTP Server
      The Apache HTTP Server is a powerful and flexible HTTP/1.1 compliant web server. Originally designed as a replacement for the NCSA HTTP Server, it has grown to be the most popular web server on the Internet.
      OpenResty
      OpenResty (aka. ngx_openresty) is a full-fledged web application server by bundling the standard Nginx core, lots of 3rd-party Nginx modules, as well as most of their external dependencies.
      See all alternatives
      Decisions about Microsoft IIS and Unicorn
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      How developers use Microsoft IIS and Unicorn
      Avatar of AngeloR
      AngeloR uses Microsoft IISMicrosoft IIS

      This is a legacy system requirement. We have some portions of our website written in PHP. Normally this wouldn't be an issue but at the time they decided to use PHP+Windows they were also trying to use MSSQL databases (All the microsoft influence was due to some azure credits the company received early on). The particular driver they ended up picking forced them into using the mssql_* functions instead of PDO. This meant that the majority of the site used these rather outdated calls and replacing them was a rather large endeavour. So while we migrate some of the PHP backend away to various node.js api systems we are simply sustaining the existing PHP portions.

      Avatar of SmartLogic
      SmartLogic uses UnicornUnicorn

      Rolling deploys are awesome! We use Unicorn to keep downtime to a minimum as we iterate quickly for our clients.

      Avatar of Performance Assessment Network (PAN)
      Performance Assessment Network (PAN) uses Microsoft IISMicrosoft IIS

      Web server for our 9 web applications and associated web services and external integrations

      Avatar of Avalanche Network
      Avalanche Network uses UnicornUnicorn

      Our super server that runs a web instance and a worker instance.

      Avatar of David Flynn
      David Flynn uses Microsoft IISMicrosoft IIS

      We host our ASP.NET Core APIs on Windows Server 2016 / IIS.

      Avatar of Yue Wang
      Yue Wang uses Microsoft IISMicrosoft IIS

      Web Server. Deployed on Windows 2012 r2.

      Avatar of douglasresende
      douglasresende uses UnicornUnicorn

      I use with my Ruby on Rails projects.

      Avatar of Proactima Solutions AS
      Proactima Solutions AS uses Microsoft IISMicrosoft IIS

      Our web frontends are running on IIS

      Avatar of Karma
      Karma uses UnicornUnicorn

      Our go-to Ruby application server.

      How much does Microsoft IIS cost?
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