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  • At the "bottom of the stack", the are files in C:\Windows\System32\inetsrv\config\ with the most notable being applicationHost.config which define global settings and defaults.
  • For each website or virtual folder there is a file {{web.config}} which over rides and settings below it in the stack.

There are various mechanisms available for configuring IIS;

  • Just editing the files directly.  Searching for appropriate terms on the Microsoft website (and its companion site will yield some documentation for the schema, but an understanding of how IIS is put together is assumed.
  • Using the command line tool c:\Windows\System32\insetsrv\appcmd.exe.  This too has documentation if you search for it.  It is slightly less of a handful than editing the xml directly.  My undestanding thus far is that it only affects the applicationHost.config file.
  • The iis manager (inetmgr.exe) allow graphical setting of the various options.  It appears that depending on what is selected in the left hand side pain the change is made to the appropriate file.  This is the easiest mechanism to "just use", and armed with an understanding of how the configuration files cascade it does much of what is needed.  On the other hand in at least Server2016/IIS10 it does not appear to allow the addition of ISAPI filters.
  • There are various WMI APIs available, depending on the exact installation these may or may not work.

Shibboleth ans ISAPI and IIS