Creating and Configuring an Internet Information Services (IIS) Directory

To use Watson™ Explorer Engine on Windows for production using a Microsoft Internet Information System (IIS) 8.5 or higher web server, you must create a virtual directory and configure it. A Powershell script, createVDir.ps1, is included to create an IIS virtual directory. You can also create an IIS virtual directory manually.

About this task

Note: Before running the Powershell script, confirm that the following IIS components are installed and activated in your IIS configuration on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2:
  • CGI
  • ISAPI Extensions
  • ISAPI Filters
  • IIS Management Scripts and Tools
To do so, open the Server Manager window and verify that the following role services are installed: CGI, IIS Management Scripts and Tools, ISAPI Extensions, and ISAPI Filters. If you need to install any role services, restart IIS before running the Powershell script.
Note: Using Watson Explorer Engine with IIS also requires that execute rights be enabled for CGI applications so that your IIS web server can run executable files that are in the www\cgi-bin subdirectory of the directory in which you installed Watson Explorer Engine. To do so, open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, and for the vivisimo virtual directory, verify that the state of CGI-exe is Enabled. If it is not, edit the feature permissions to enable applications with the .exe extension to execute in response to CGI requests.
Note: Installing and configuring IIS is not required on systems that include only Results Module or Application Builder installations, because these Watson Explorer modules include their own WebSphere web servers.

To run the createVDir.ps1 Powershell script:

  • From the command line, enter Powershell C:\Program Files\IBM\WEX\Engine\bin> .\createVDir.ps1 "C:\Program Files\IBM\WEX\Engine\www" 
  • If successful, the following message will display: Created virtual directory 'vivisimo' at 'C:\Program Files\IBM\WEX\Engine\www' for site 'Default Web Site'

If you prefer to create your IIS virtual directory manually in IIS 8.5 or higher (or have already done so), see the steps below.


  1. Open the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. Create a new virtual directory by choosing New from the Action menu, and then clicking Virtual Directory.
  2. A wizard will then guide you through creating a Virtual Directory. Enter the following information when prompted:
    • Alias: enter the new virtual directory name. The recommended alias for a manually-created virtual directory is vivisimo.
    • Path: enter the full path name of the www folder of the Watson Explorer Engine installation directory (by default C:\Program Files\IBM\WEX\Engine\www).
    • Permissions: Select Read, Run Scripts, and Execute.
  3. Click Finish to save the definition for the new virtual directory.

    After manually creating a virtual directory, you will need to integrate it into your Watson Explorer Engine installation if the name of the virtual directory that you created (its Alias) is not vivisimo, which is the default value for a Watson Explorer Engine virtual directory. To tell your Watson Explorer Engine installation to use a custom virtual directory:

  4. Edit the file vivisimo.conf, which is located in the directory in which you installed Watson Explorer Engine.
  5. Add a statement like the following inside the <options> element:
    <option name="base-url">VIRTUAL-DIRECTORY</option>

    Replace VIRTUAL-DIRECTORY with the name of the virtual directory that you created for Watson Explorer Engine, preceded and followed by a forward slash (/).

    For example, if you set the name of the virtual directory for your Watson Explorer Engine installation to search, you would add the following entry to your vivisimo.conf file:

    <option name="base-url">/search/</option>
  6. Save the updated file and restart your Watson Explorer Engine installation to ensure that it uses the new base-url setting when constructing internal URLs. See Command-Line Watson Explorer Engine Administration Commands for information on using the engine-shutdown and engine-start commands to restart your Watson Explorer Engine installation.