Using OpenGL under IIS on Windows Server 2008

Bear with me…

We are looking at creating an OGC Web Terrain Service (WTS).

We already have the full framework for a WMS (Windows/Linux/Solaris) and we have a full 3D world application that uses OpenGL to render the world.

The step from rendering the world to providing snapshots via a WTS is fairly straight forward and we already have code to draw accelerated off-screen.

However a Console is not always available when something is started via IIS on a number of versions of Windows (notably Windows Server 2008 which is our target).

When a Console is not available it appears not to be possible to obtain an Accelerated context for rendering off-screen and thus we are limited to OpenGL 1.1 software renderer.

I would like some guidance on how to obtain an accelerated context in this situation as the software renderer does not have the necessary extensions and is far too slow.


PS. I know how to do this with Web-Servers running on X11 targets… however for this I need a solution on Windows as the other dependencies are too difficult to port.

I just read through this :…erver-2008.aspx

Does using /admin instead of the /console helps ?

Otherwise, well no idea, use X11 …

I don’t think there’s any reliable way to achieve this in general, since Windows Server 2008 can run in headless mode. If you can ensure the necessary hardware is there, it should be possible to launch a regular local process for OpenGL rendering and have it communicate its results back to the IIS process. If that’s not possible, I am afraid there is not other solution I’m aware of - hardware accelerated rendering on a web server is not a very well-supported scenario (although it comes up fairly often).

In the worst case, you can try using Mesa3d to get modern OpenGL support (2.1 and soon 3.x) through software rendering. It should be faster than Microsoft’s GDI renderer, but it won’t offer hardware acceleration either (not on Windows, at least).