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Chapter 36. FrontPage 2002 and the Micro... > Understanding Virtual Directories

Understanding Virtual Directories

A virtual directory is a directory that is not physically contained within the Home Directory. With the PWS, this Home Directory (at default) is the folder C:\Inetpub\_wwwroot. If you add virtual directories to your web, browsers these directories as being contained in the Home Directory, even though they are not physically there.

A very important security point must be noted about the Home Directory. It and any subdirectories physically within it are effectively publishing directories, accessible to anyone who visits your site—even if you haven't included any links to those subdirectories or to their content. This is because the access permissions applied to the Home Directory affect both it and the subdirectories physically contained within it; you can't apply permissions on a directory-by-directory basis. So, if you remove read access from your Home Directory, nobody can view anything in it or in its subdirectories. This rather defeats the purpose of your web! Virtual directories provide a way around this.


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