It's been a painful process, but I've now managed to document a way to use "Map Host Headers to Channel Names" on development servers (even though the root channel name has the final/production url).

Why this isn't documented by Microsoft I'll never know, as its a common request. Worse you need to get a hotfix from for MCMS (but you can't download it - you need to contact Microsoft) for it to work properly (try it without and you'll see why).

  1. Contact Microsoft to get the Hotfix outlined in KB824597. Remember to tell them whether you have SP1 installed or not (its a different hotfix): 193kb (non-SP1), and 15.6MB (SP1).
  2. Install the hotfix on the server
  3. Download and install (onto the server) ISAPI Rewrite (lite) from - Its free
  5. Decide which hostname you'll use for the local/dev version and add this to the httpd.ini (part of ISAPI Rewrite):
    RewriteCond  Host:  DEV_HOSTNAME_HERE
    RewriteHeader Host: .* ROOT_CHANNEL_NAME_HERE
  6. If you don't have control over the proxy script, add "DEV_HOSTNAME" to your hosts file (%windir%\system32\drivers\etc\hosts) in the format:      DEV_HOSTNAME_HERE
  7. If you are receiving authentication errors when accessing the site, checkout KB294382.
  8. Enable "Map Channel Names to Host Header Names" in the Server Configuration Application