Routing with NodeJS express applications running on Plesk/Windows/iisnode

Today I’ve tackled a really hard to find issue. I wanted to deploy a simple NodeJS Express application on a client’s Windows Server with Plesk.

Following the documentation at Plesk it is easy to configure and start NodeJS. The pain comes, when you want to use the built in routing of your Express application. When you configure a NodeJS application in Plesk, you have to select your startup script. This configures the URL rewriting for IIS so that the iisnode handler is applied to your startup script. Usually you want to use different files in routing, so you have to reconfigure URL rewriting.

The solution was posted on the Plesk forums. You have to edit the URL rewriting configuration in IIS so that the URL match is set to /* instead of ^$. So all requests are then forwarded to your startup script.

    <rule name="myapp">
       <match url="/*" />
       <action type="Rewrite" url="server.js" />