Use Conveyor to access your IIS Express app over the internet

Published: 26 June 2019


Introduction

In yesterday’s blog post, I looked at how you can use ngrok to access an ASP.NET Core web application running on your computer from the public internet. This is very useful in situations where you want to test and debug webhooks, for example.

One of the issues I mentioned on that blog post was that ngrok changes the public URL for your application every time you restart it. This can be a nuisance, and though you can prevent that by buying a paid subscription, there is another, free option available to you as well.

It is a Visual Studio extension called Conveyor. In this blog post, I’ll show you how to install and use Conveyor.

Installing Conveyor

You can install Conveyor from the Visual Studio Marketplace. In Visual Studio (I am using VS 2019), go to Extensions > Manage Extensions.

Open the Manage Extensions menu

Ensure you have selected the Online section, then search for conveyor. You will see it listed as Conveyor by Keyoti. Click on the Download button to install the extension.

Search for Conveyor in the extensions marketplace

You will need to close and restart Visual Studio as part of the installation process.

Using Conveyor

After the installation is complete, open and run the application that you want to expose on the internet. Be sure to run your application with IIS Express.

Run the application with IIS Express

Once the application has started up, you can access Conveyor by going to Tools > Conveyor.

Access Conveyor from the Tools menu

A Visual Studio tool window will open and you will see your application listed, alongside a Remote URL. You can access the application using that remote URL.

Conveyor running with the Remote URL

As you can see, that URL is just an IP address with a port, but you may need to access your application using a proper domain name without a port. To do that, click on the Access over Internet button.

Click the access over internet button

At this point, you will be asked to log in to the Conveyor website or sign up for a new account.

Sign up or log in to Conveyor

After you have logged in, you will see an Internet URL in the Conveyor tool window.

Conveyor running with the internet URL

You can now access your application from any internet device with this URL:

Access your application over the internet

Conclusion

In this blog post, I demonstrated how you can use the Conveyor extension for Visual Studio to make your application running on IIS Express available over the internet. This is useful for scenarios like testing and debugging webhooks, or anywhere else an external system needs to access your application.

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