Login failed for user ‘IIS APPPOOL\DefaultAppPool’.[EkSite->GetSiteVariables()]

As I have mentioned earlier, I started playing around with the Ektron 400 CMS.NET content management system. Soon after I installed starter kit websites, I got the below error.

Login failed for user 'IIS APPPOOL\DefaultAppPool'.[EkSite->GetSiteVariables()]

My system configuration is Windows 7 x64, IIS 7, .NET 3.5, SQL 2008 (with NT Authentication) and Ektron 7.6.6. If you got that error, this one could be your fix.


  • Open your Internet Information Services Manager. IIS 7 from – Control Panel\System and Security\Administrative Tools
  • Select the website and / or virtual directory that’s causing the above error.
  • On right side under ‘Manage Application’ click on Advanced Settings
  • Make a note of ‘Application Pool’ under ‘General’ category. Mine was on ‘DefaultAppPool’
  • Now, go to your list of ‘Application Pools’ and note the Identity under which the .NET Worker process is running. For me it was ‘ApplicationPoolIdentity’
    Application Pools on IIS 7

    Application Pools on IIS 7

  • Since my application / web.config is configured to use the Integrated Security, it’s trying to use ‘ApplicationPoolIdentity’ to login to the SQL Server.
  • Since I already configured ‘NT Authority\Network Service’ to have database permissions, I changed the Application Pool’s Identity to ‘NetworkSecurity’ as show below

    Application Pool's Identity

    Application Pool's Identity

  • Also make sure that this ‘Application Pool’ is operating using the ‘Integrated’ Managed Pipeline or else you might get this error
  • The security concerns with respect to accessing the database using Network Service account is beyond this topic. Should you need to use less privileged account, then use SQL Authentication on Ektron as detailed in here

– Shyam K. Arjarapu

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