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Scheduled Tasks and Anonymous Access in ColdFusion 11

I have been converting applications from ColdFusion 8 to CF 11 over the last several months, and some of the challenges have been quite a bit more daunting than this one. Even so, I felt this was worth mentioning.

After copying all the code for my most recent upgrade candidate from the old server to the new one and setting it up in IIS, I proceeded to set up the CF Scheduled Tasks on the new server.

One of the tasks that I set up runs under a blank user name. In order for that to work, you have to make certain that several settings related to authentication are set properly in IIS. First of all, if the app as a whole runs under anything other than Anonymous Authentication (such as Windows Integrated Authentication or Forms Authentication), your Scheduled Task URL will have to be inside a folder that has Anonymous Authentication enabled, even if it’s turned off for the rest of the app.

Secondly, you have to make sure that the “jakarta” virtual folder that is set up during IIS configuration of the website also has Anonymous Authentication enabled.

Having Anonymous Authentication disabled on the jakarta folder will cause no end of irritation if you don’t have the output of the URL sent to a file, as neither the application log file nor the Security log in Windows Event Viewer will tell you exactly why the task is failing. If you send output to a text file, you can rename that text file with an HTML extension (I’m still not sure why Adobe doesn’t just allow output as HTML for this…) and then see more clearly why your task was failing.

IIS authentication error

So set your authentication properties correctly to avoid this frustration!

About the author: I solve problems. Solutions Architect / Senior Software Engineer / Business Analyst / Full-Stack Developer / IT Generalist