Host Headers, SSL and WCF Metadata

One of my web servers here has a pretty common setup – a Windows machine name and a (different) DNS name (in this case dynamic DNS – but doesn’t matter). IIS has a single web site with bindings for HTTP and HTTPS. The common name of the SSL certificate matches the public DNS name. Everything looks good.

The server also hosts some WCF services and I noticed that the imports and endpoint addresses in the WSDL point to the machine name and not to the DNS name. No big deal – simply set the host header for the site via the IIS GUI and I am done. That’s what I thought at least.

And sure enough, after the configuration change my WSDL was correct and used the name configured in the host header.

Some weeks later I added some more WCF endpoints to the machine, this time I was using SSL – including an SSL WSDL/MEX endpoint. After some weird error messages I re-inspected the WSDL and everything looked fine – until I hit the WSDL document in the browser using SSL. Again imports and endpoint addresses were pointing to the machine name. What’s going on here?

After some googling I found articles about something I totally forgot about: SSL host headers. Since IIS 6 you can also set host headers for SSL site bindings. Since this option is not available via the GUI I kind of “missed” it. These two articles show the necessary steps for IIS6 and IIS7.

My applicationHost.config now looks like this for my site:

binding protocol=http
bindingInformation=* />
binding protocol=https
bindingInformation=* />


(Rich: marked as answer)

This entry was posted in IdentityModel, WCF. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s