Tech Tip: Redirect input and output/Add SSL capability to IIS

Windows 2000 Professional: Redirect input and output

As the computer industry continues to advance, and as users rely more on Windows applications, users will become less familiar with basic command line concepts. However, certain concepts, such as input and output redirection, are very useful.

Redirect output
For example, assume you want to display a directory listing with DIR, but you want to save the results to a text file that you can edit with Notepad to create a batch file or script. You can redirect the output of the DIR command to a text file with the greater than character [>]:

DIR > Myfile.txt

This command makes DIR redirect the output to Myfile.txt. If the file exists, its contents are overwritten.

To append the output to the end of the file, rather than overwrite it, use two greater than characters [>>]:

DIR >> Myfile.txt

Redirect input
Assume you want to sort the contents of a text file and display it to the screen; the SORT command can take keyboard input, or you can redirect the input from your text file:

SORT < Myfile.txt

You also can combine input and output redirection. This example directs input from Myfile.txt to the SORT command and directs the output to a new file named Sorted.txt:

SORT < Myfile.txt > Sorted.txt

Windows 2000 Server: Add SSL capability to IIS

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) provides a means for securing traffic between a Web client and a Web server such as IIS.

Obtaining a certificate is the first step to securing a Web server with SSL. You can obtain a certificate from a public certification authority (CA) such as VeriSign or Thawte, or you can use Certificate Services on a Windows 2000 Server CA.

Follow these steps to issue a certificate through Windows' Certificate Services:

  1. Log on to the server as administrator, and go to http://<server>/certsrv, where <server> is the server name.
  2. Log in to the CA as administrator, select the Request A Certificate option, and click Next.
  3. Select Advanced Request, and click Next.
  4. Select the Submit A Request Using A Form option, and click Next.
  5. In the Advanced Certificate Request page, select Web Server from the Certificate Template drop-down list.
  6. In the Name field, enter the host header name for the Web site that you want to secure with the certificate (e.g.,, complete the remaining fields, and click Submit.

After the certificate is installed, follow these steps to configure the Web site for SSL:

  1. Open the properties for the Web site in the IIS console, and select the Directory Security tab.
  2. Select Server Certificate to start the Web Server Certificate Wizard, and click Next.
  3. Select Assign An Existing Certificate, and click Next.
  4. Select the certificate you installed, click Next twice, and click Finish to complete the setup.

If you want to require SSL to access the site, go to the Directory Security tab on the Web site's Properties menu, click Edit in the Secure Communications area, enable the option Require Secure Channel, and click OK. Test SSL access to the site using https:// as the URL prefix, rather than http://, when you enter the site's URL into your Web browser.

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