Click here to Skip to main content
14,882,311 members
Articles / Containers / Docker
Posted 31 Aug 2018


9 bookmarked

Deploy Node.js Application Running on Microsoft IIS 10 To Docker's Windows Server Core 2016 Containers

Rate me:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
5.00/5 (7 votes)
1 Sep 2018CPOL4 min read
In this brief article, we will demonstrate how to deploy a Node.js application and run it on Docker's Windows Server Core 2016 Containers

Note: You can evaluate the ready-to-use web-application being discussed in this article by visiting the following link

Editorial Note

In this brief article, we will discuss how to deploy Node.js web-application running on Microsoft IIS 10 to Docker's Windows Server Core 2016 containers. The audience of this article's readers will find out how to install and configure Docker on Windows, as well as how to deploy a Node.js web-application by creating and using a Dockerfile, thoroughly discussed in this article.


Installing And Configuring Docker On Windows

Before deploying and running the web-application introduced in this article, we first must install Docker on Windows Server. To do this, we must download the installation file from Docker web-site by visiting the following link: Before downloading the specific file, we must create a Docker account.

Since we've downloaded the Docker installation file, now we can run Docker installation:

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Creating Dockerfile

In this paragraph, we will demonstrate how to create a Dockerfile used to perform an automatic build of Windows Server Core 2016 instance, pre-configured to run Node.js web-applications under Microsoft IIS 10. During this step, all that we have to do is:

  • Pull Microsoft/windowsservercore image from Docker's repository
  • Copy all web-application's files into our own nodejs-core image being created
  • Add Microsoft IIS 10 web-server role to Windows Server Core 2016 image
  • Download and pre-install all IIS 10 components required to run Node.js applications
  • Install all Node.js modules required to run the web-application
  • Set the environment variables required to run Node.js web-application
  • Expose a TCP-port listened by the web-application
  • Provide a specific entry point for the web-application to run

To accomplish all these steps, we need to add the following lines to our Dockerfile.

By adding the FROM clause at the top of this file, we’re actually specifying an image, downloaded from Docker’s repository, that we’re about to use for building our own nodejs-core image:

FROM microsoft/windowsservercore:latest

In this particular case, we’ve selected Microsoft/windowsservercore image, based on which we will create our own nodejs-core image containing Windows Server Core 2016.

After that, we must specify the working directory path of our web-application, to which all application’s files will be copied. To do this, we must add the following line to the Dockerfile being created:

WORKDIR /inetpub/wwwroot

Since we’ve provided the application's working directory path, now we can use COPY directive to transfer all web-application’s files required to the image being constructed, as follows:

COPY sources/ .

COPY sources/node_modules/webworker-threads 

COPY /sources/package*.json ./

Finally, we have to add Microsoft IIS 10 web-server role to Windows Server Core 2016 image being created:

RUN powershell Add-WindowsFeature Web-Asp-Net45,Web-Http-Tracing,Web-Scripting-Tools,Web-WebSockets;

The next import step is to provide the instruction required to perform an automated install of software components required for the web-application to run:

ADD node-v8.11.4-x64.msi
RUN powershell Start-Process msiexec -ArgumentList '/i node-v8.11.4-x64.msi /qn /l*v nodejs.log' -Wait ;

ADD rewrite_amd64.msi
RUN powershell Start-Process msiexec -ArgumentList '/i rewrite_amd64.msi /qn /l*v rewrite.log' -Wait ;

RUN powershell Start-Process msiexec -ArgumentList '/i iisnode-full-v0.2.21-x64.msi /qn /l*v 
iisnode.log' -Wait ;

Specifically, what we have to install Node.js v8.11.4, URL Rewrite and IISNode components for Microsoft IIS 10 web-server. To download these components, we must use ADD directive clause that uses wget-functionality to download required installation files and save them into the image being created.

After we've successfully downloaded and installed Node.js, we need to install the number of Node.js modules required for our web-application to run. To do this, we add the following lines to our Dockerfile:

RUN powershell npm install --global --production  npm
RUN powershell npm install --global --production  node-gyp
RUN powershell npm --vcc-build-tools-parameters='[""--allWorkloads""]' 
install --global --production windows-build-tools

For that purpose, we use the npm install command to download and install specific Node.js modules such as npm, node-gyp and build tools for Visual Studio 2017.

Another important configuration step is that we need to setup the number of environment variables required by specific Node.js modules to function properly:

ENV PATH 'C:\users\containeradministrator\.windows-build-tools\Python27;
C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\14.0\bin\;C:\Windows\system32;C:\Windows;
C:\Program Files\nodejs\;C:\Users\ContainerAdministrator\AppData\Local\Microsoft\WindowsApps;
ENV PYTHON '%USERPROFILE%\.windows-build-tools\Python27\python.exe'
ENV PYTHONPATH '%USERPROFILE%\.windows-build-tools\python27'
ENV VCTargetsPath "C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft.Cpp\v4.0\v140"
ENV NODE_PATH "C:\Users\ContainerAdministrator\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules"

Finally, we also must download and install Node.js modules required by the web-application to run:

RUN powershell npm install --global --production body-parser busboy cluster 
consolidate cookie-parser debug express express-fileupload favicon http logger math net 
path querystring url util jade bindings

After that, we need to specify the TCP-port (e.g., TCP-8080 port) that will be listened by our web-application, and provide an entry point for our application:


ENTRYPOINT node.exe ./server.js

Building And Running Node.js Web Application

To build an image by using Dockerfile that we have created in the previous step, we have to enter PowerShell console and execute the following command:

PS C:\antispamnb> docker build --no-cache -t nodejs-core .

Since we've built nodejs-core image, now we can run the web-application by entering the following command:

PS C:\antispamnb> docker run -d -p 80:8080 --restart=always --name=antispamnb nodejs-core

After that, let's check if our application really works. To do that, we must open web browser and the following link:

Image 4

Points of Interest

In this article, we've discussed how to create a Dockerfile that can be used to deploy a Node.js web-application running on Windows Server Core 2016 to Docker Windows containers.


  • September 1, 2018 - The first revision of this article was published


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Arthur V. Ratz
Software Developer (Senior) EpsilonDev
Ukraine Ukraine
I’m software developer, system analyst and network engineer, with over 20 years experience, graduated from L’viv State Polytechnic University and earned my computer science and information technology master’s degree in January 2004. My professional career began as a financial and accounting software developer in EpsilonDev company, located at L’viv, Ukraine. My favorite programming languages - C/C++, C#.NET, Java, ASP.NET, Node.js/JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Python, SQL, HTML5, etc. While developing applications, I basically use various of IDE’s and development tools, including Microsoft Visual Studio/Code, Eclipse IDE for Linux, IntelliJ/IDEA for writing code in Java. My professional interests basically include data processing and analysis algorithms, artificial intelligence and data mining, system analysis, modern high-performance computing (HPC), development of client-server web-applications using various of libraries, frameworks and tools. I’m also interested in cloud-computing, system security audit, IoT, networking architecture design, hardware engineering, technical writing, etc. Besides of software development, I also admire to write and compose technical articles, walkthroughs and reviews about the new IT- technological trends and industrial content. I published my first article at CodeProject in June 2015.

Comments and Discussions

-- There are no messages in this forum --