Apache compatible URL rewriting for IIS

There are two products offering Apache-like URL rewriting for IIS: ISAPI_Rewrite and Helicon Ape. While both products offer Apache compatible syntax and can read .htaccess files, you may notice some differences: ISAPI_Rewrite is based on legacy ISAPI technology and can run on older IIS 5 and 6 versions. Ape works on .NET and utilizes IIS integrated pipeline technology thus requires IIS 7 and above. However Ape is newer and offers much more features, among which password protecting folders and resources, rewriting URLs using database, rewriting output, SEO modules, advanced caching and compression modules to speed-up web site, DDOS protection, bot and hotlink protection, reverse and forward proxy feature, web site debugging, etc. On other hand ISAPI_Rewrite is cheaper and offer free Lite version.

To sum it up: if you only need Apache style URL rewriting and need to run on legacy IIS 5 and IIS 6 systems you need to install ISAPI_Rewrite. If you run more modern system and may benefit from one of tens additional features then install Helicon Ape. Here is side-by-side comparison ISAPI_Rewrite to Ape:

ISAPI_Rewrite 3

  • Apache mod_rewrite compatible URL rewriting syntax.
  • Can read .htaccess files inside folders.
  • Reverse proxy feature included.
  • Can run on IIS 5 and IIS 6 systems.
  • Works on legacy ISAPI technology.
  • Full version cost is $99 per server.
  • Free Lite version available.