We are in the process of evaluating Drupal to replace our in-house .NET CMS. We run an IIS 7.5 web farm with a SQL Server 2008R2 on the back end. To make matters worse, we use sql server merge-replication between our primary and secondary collocation facility. Rebuilding the entire web farm structure would be cumbersome.

Can anyone provide thoughts/feedback/experiences on using Drupal with IIS/SQL server? Bonus points if you know it works sql server merge-replication.


5 Answers 5


Easiest way is to use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer to install Drupal 7 - http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx

The only option it currently provides is using SQL Server as the back-end database, so you should be golden. (The Drupal 6 WebPI installs do not target SQL Server)

I've been running Drupal 7 on a Hyper-V-based VM under Win2k8 R2 with SQL Server Express as the backend DB for a few weeks without incident.


I've had some limited experience with IIS+Drupal. My comments would be -

  1. It mostly works out of the box.
  2. You may need to do some IIS tweakery to get IIS to "behave", ie doing mod_rewrite and whatnot. This is all pretty well documented, Drupal is pretty standard PHP app in those regards so the answers don't need to be Drupal specific.
  3. There are some Drupal modules which make assumptions about nice URLs (mod_rewrite) Apache-style functionality and which you need to watch for. Not the general case in my experience.
  4. Maintainers are likely to be open to fixing any such issues if you are prepared to help (and focus on their love of cross-compatability rather than pushing the buttons marked "hatred of microsoft").

I've ran Drupal on IIS w/ before with no issues. I haven't specifically used SQL server for the backend though.

The one speedbump I did run into was clean URL rewriting, I was able to use http://www.isapirewrite.com/ to use the existing .htaccess files, rather than having to rewrite the .htaccess file as a IIS webconfig.


We just launched a site using MS SQL and IIS. We had to modify a couple of Contrib modules because they used some of MS SQL's reserved keywords. The biggest offender was the Workbench Moderation module but it was pretty easy to run the patch and make it work. Other than that we did not see too many limitations, as long as you use the API for creating tables and use their data access layer then you will have no problems. The database is very simple and their entity framework is very nice and makes getting things out of the database easy.

We also consumed 4 WCF services with no problem, there is a great module called wsclient which helps you manage all your web service descriptions and use them in your modules.

We looked at a bunch of .NET CMSes and they were all pretty weak compared to Drupal and most of them required the CMS company to do actual development work. We have two sites built in Community Server and one using Kentico and we have had a bad experience with both.

We did not have any issues with rewrites or redirects, we have over 15K aliases and about 3k redirects. On top of this there are about 3K pages which are using Web Services that are powered by wildcards we have created.

I was pretty skeptical at first but Drupal has really proven to me that it can run on IIS and use SQL Server with no problem.


The original question is quite old, and Drupal/Windows/Azure integration has gone great lengths since then.

As of 2016, Drupal is fully compatible with Wincache (the Windows alternative of APC/APCu), MS SQL Server and Azure SQL.

This is a very comprehensive step-by-step install guide:


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